20 Prime Brunch Spots in New York City Worth the (Inevitable) Wait


Looking for the best brunch in NYC? This local has you covered. I have spent countless mornings catching up with friends and family over brunch and have tried my fair share of restaurants, bistros and cafes. 

What’s more, visiting friends and family often ask about the best brunch in New York City (while staying with yours truly), so I finally sat down and rounded up my favorites. So this one’s for you, mom!

Fair warning though – most of these NYC brunch spots are popular for good reason and people come from all around New York City for a bite. I suggest making reservations whenever possible (some places are first come, first served).

So enough of the small talk, let’s dive into the best brunch in NYC.


Visiting New York City? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in New York City (The best neighborhoods for first timers +2 to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s our favorite hotel in NYC, hands down.



Citizens

If you’re looking for the most aesthetically pleasing brunch spots in NYC stop by Citizens. Opened in 2016, this Australian-based cafe prides itself on community and building a safe space to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.

Co-founders Justin Giuffrida and Andrew Geisel bonded over their Australian upbringing while working at a cafe together prior to opening Citizens Coffee. They quickly realized how important relationships were and wanted to create a space where people would remember each others names and find comfort in familiar faces.

And they did exactly that. Whenever I swing by Citizens coffee I am always greeted by an eager staff member who goes above and beyond. Thanks to the kind staff, beautiful setting and some of the best brunch in NYC, I can’t help but keep coming back.

The interior is vibrant and bright, filled with green plants and fun tiled floors. Citizens coffee hit the nail on the head when it comes to a welcoming environment.

I highly recommend the Smashing Avocado (avocado toast). It is some of the best NYC brunch food I’ve had. Served on multigrain toast, Citizens Coffee adds pickled onion, feta and a beetroot hummus creating not only a delicious meal but a memorable one.

Citizens

Sweet Chick

The quintessential chicken and waffles joint, Sweet Chick has been rapidly expanding to meet growing NYC brunch demands ever since they first opened their doors in 2013.

Celebrities can’t get enough of it either, popular rap artists are known to frequent their locations searching for the best brunch in NYC. Nas, arguably the greatest rapper to come out of New York City, liked it so much he was one of the earliest investors in the company.

The celebrity status might bring folks into Sweet Chick, but the food keeps them coming back. The menu is replete with biscuits, waffles and a customizable burrito that shouldn’t be as good as it is at a chicken & waffles joint.

Address: Multiple locations in NYC


Clinton St. Baking Co.

Clinton St. Baking Company was born in 2001 to prodigy chef Neil Kleinberg. A native New Yorker, Kleinberg honed his skills in the kitchen from a young age and opened his first restaurant at a mere 22 years old.

Having first opened their doors as a small batch bakery, Clinton St. Baking Company’s rise in popularity forced them to buy the property next door and evolve into a full fledged restaurant. Thanks to their world renowned pancakes, you’re all but guaranteed the best brunch in NYC.

The pancakes are famous for good reason. On their website, Clinton St. Baking Company says their current mission is to live up to the “hype” and I can attest, they do.

The pancakes are everything you want them to be. Fluffy and airy, I like them with wild Maine blueberries but there are also options for banana walnut or chocolate chunk.

Also offering other traditional American breakfast meals, Clinton St. Baking is well placed among the best brunch in New York City.

Address: 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

Clinton St Baking Company Brunch NYC

Tartine

I consider Tartine one of the best restaurants in Greenwich Village and after numerous dinner visits a friend asked if I recommended it as a good brunch spot in NYC. Well, I didn’t know they serve brunch, so I stopped by the following weekend.

Well folks, I was not prepared for the flavor trip I was about to embark on. I had no idea this corner bistro is responsible for some of the best brunch NYC has to offer! Between the ambiance, inviting staff and delicious fare, it’s not wonder this place boasts such long lines!

Heck, I’m slightly reluctant to mention Tartine on this list because I want to keep it to myself, but I’d be doing you a disservice. They only have brunch on the weekends and take no reservations, but it’s BYOB and the food is incredible.

Address: 253 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

best restaurants west village

Veranda

Veranda just might be the most beautiful brunch spot NYC has ever seen. The setting is upscale, bright and inviting and there are multiple seating areas including the main dining room that boasts a retractable roof.

But the restaurant itself isn’t the only pretty thing here, chef George Mendes really knows what he’s doing. After closing Aldea, his previous restaurant (which had earned a Michelin rating), he’s continued putting out Portuguese-inspired dishes.

If you’re looking for the best brunch in NYC to celebrate something, whether it’s an anniversary or success in business Veranda would be my top choice.

There is a bar, so if you’re looking for a boozy brunch in NYC Veranda has you covered. And as far as food goes, everything is great, but the Bitoque steak and fried egg is next-level.

Address: 23 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

Veranda best brunch NYC
Image Courtesy Michelin Guide

Poco NYC

Boozy Brunch anyone? Meet me at Poco. For $47 you can enjoy bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, and red or white sangria along with your meal. Without fail, your meal will be surrounded by people celebrating a birthday or promotion thanks to one of the best boozy brunch in NYC.

As if the booze weren’t enough, the menu was curated by Abe Lopez from the Food Network’s TV show “Chopped.” The Spanish tapas cuisine features an award winning vegan smoked truffle mac & cheese that you just have to try.

Along with other items you will find “The Cure” to your hangover. A Mexican dish of eggs, pico and tortillas that will apparently get rid of that pounding headache. I may or may not have put it to the test…

Address: 33 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

Poco New York City
Image Courtesy Poco

Dante

Caffe Dante dates back to 1915. It served as a staple for the community before slowly fading into oblivion before two Australians decided to breathe new life into the historic institution in 2015.

The result was striking, within a few years of reopening, Dante was named the best bar in the world in 2019 and appeared on the list again in 2020. Why not stop by for a great NYC boozy brunch experience?

Although the drinks are Dante’s claim to fame to let that distract you from the delicious brunch fair. They serve a breakfast brioche (crispy pancetta, salsa pepperoncini, provolone and a fried egg) that leaves me wondering whether the food or the drinks are better.

Dante now has three locations — Dante West Village and Caffe Dante, only a few blocks apart in Greenwich Village and a Dante Seaport location at Pier 17 each with their own brunch schedule.

I suggest checking their website and trying to make reservations since they can get pretty busy.


The Consulate

No list of the best brunch in NYC would be complete without mention of The Consulate, one of the most charming restaurants in the city. Restaurant by day, and elegant bar by night, The Consulate offers an air of sophistication that will leave you feeling like Don Draper. 

And since nothing is done halfway, allow me to share that the brunch menu pairs well with the aesthetic. This NYC brunch spot offers unique twists on classics, like the burrata waffle (which is a must-order in my book).

One of the more amusing items on the menu is the hangover burger (which can be ordered void of judgment at this classy joint). 

Our server at The Consulate was also very kind and we all know that good service is not to be discounted!

Address: 519 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

Further Reading: The Consulate also appears on 12 Toothsome Upper West Side Brunch Spots (Worth the Wait)!

Brunch NYC
Cast Iron Pancakes at the Consulate | Toothsome Brunch NYC

Sunday in Brooklyn

The founders of Sunday in Brooklyn wanted to create a staple restaurant that attracted crowds all day. Not only did they want the best cocktails and dinner, they also wanted to serve the best brunch in NYC.

The restaurant feels open and bright, similar to a living room that you could lounge in for hours. During the summer months they open up their rooftop garden to guests. In the winter every dining area has a wood burning oven to add to the homelike feeling.

The biscuits and gravy are my go-to. Cheddar biscuits are smothered in a warm sausage gravy that gives diners all across America a run for their money. They also serve the best brunch in New York City thanks to their memorable pancake. Hazelnut maple praline syrup with brown butter melt over some seriously thick pancakes. The perfectly rounded edges make it seem like they came out of a mold.

Address: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Sunday in Brooklyn Brunch NYC

Jacob’s Pickle’s

Jacob’s Pickles is the brainchild of the mastermind behind Maison Pickle. This is a more casual eatery that specializes in serving some of the best southern comfort-food brunch in NYC. Swing by for all the classics, like fried chicken and waffles, and delicious craft cocktails.

The fried chicken is particularly great and I never pass up an opportunity to order it. It pairs with all the side dishes nicely, and the mac & cheese is nothing short of incredible (seriously some of the best I’ve had in NYC).

It’s hard to go wrong with anything on the menu, which is why it’s our go-to brunch spot in NYC for out of town guests.

Note: Jacob’s Pickles is one of the most popular brunches on the Upper West Side and reservations are required. Make reservations in advance, getting a table during the weekend feels like an impossible task, so plan ahead.

Address: 509 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Jacob's Pickles best brunch New York City

Bubby’s

Waking up at grandma’s house is a treat no matter what background or ethnicity you’re a part of. The meals seem to have no end and the flavor made in that kitchen has no comparison. Named after the Yiddish word for grandmother, Bubby’s is no exception.

Bubby’s has been among the best brunch in New York City for more than 30 years. Owner Ron Silver describes dining here like the “day after Christmas” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s American homestyle cooking in the hectic city.

I’m sounding like a broken record, but New York City really knows how to make pancakes. Bubby’s might just be the best of them all. They sell two different styles, an 1890 sourdough which are only a little bit thicker than a flour tortilla, and James Beard pancakes which follow the legendary chef’s recipe with a few adjustments.

You won’t go wrong with either one, but if you really can’t decide bring a friend so you can each get one and share.

The NYC brunch joint has a lot more than pancakes too though, take your time choosing but no matter what you do get a side of the homestyle fries, you wont regret it.

Address: 120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013


Tara Rose

Bottomless brunch in NYC? Sign me up! For only $25 you get either bottomless mimosas or aperol spritzs for 90 minutes (challenge accepted). In a city where drinks are often right around the $20 mark, it’s a small price to pay.

You’ll still have to purchase food separately but it’s well worth it. The food is incredible and reasonably priced, with no dishes surpassing the $20 mark. The hangover sandwich (eggs, cheddar, bacon, ham, secret sauce) is delicious whether you have a raging headache or not.

Served only on weekends from 11-4, getting reservations to Tara Rose is worth it if you have the time but the NYC brunch spot is still worth a stop even without them. I’ve never had to wait long for a table on a weekday.

Address: 384 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016


Petite Boucherie

Serving classic French fare in a Parisian environment, Petite Boucherie checks all the boxes for Francophiles. Tucked away on the corner of Gay Street and Christopher Street, this cozy French restaurant is the perfect spot to celebrate a momentous occasion.

Along with serving the best brunch in NYC, Petite Boucherie knows how to create an aura of magic. The romantic ambiance in the little bistro is worth getting dressed up for, you’ll feel like you were transported to Paris! So swing by if you’re feeling a little Parisian while enjoying the plethora of things to do in Greenwich Village.

The French onion soup was notable, as well as the berry waffle. When outdoor dining, a latte pairs great with the sun rising. It’s hard to not to feel like the main character in a movie at Petite Boucherie which is why it’s among the best brunch in New York City.

Further Reading: Petite Boucherie also appears on 12 Charming Restaurants in Greenwich Village Worth the Wait!

Address: 14 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

Petite Boucherie Bistro Best Brunch NYC

Mudspot

MUD aka Mudspot is a popular NYC brunch spot and one I recommend you check out regardless of whether you’re a tourist or a local.

For starters, their coffee alone is worth a visit. They started selling it out of a truck (appropriately named the Mudtruck) and after a 15 year run that developed a loyal base it was time for a brick and mortar joint.

The restaurant is small and has a retro vibe to it. It seems like the kind of place the college student would hang out in the 70’s, with it’s brown and orange undertones.

However once the food comes out it’s hard to focus on anything else. It’s one of the most delicious brunch spots in NYC, with my favorite item on the menu being the french breakfast, which is a croissant breakfast sandwich.

Address: 307 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

Fun Fact: Dylan Sprouse worked at Mudspot while a student at NYU.


Jack’s Wife Freda

You might recognize Jack’s Wife Freda from Instagram. It’s one of the most photographed brunch spots in NYC thanks to the floral arrangement that that adorns the entrance at their SoHo location. Paired with a forest green paint job and a neon sign it’s hard for folks not to snap a quick pic.

What you may not know however is that Jack’s Wife Freda also serves the best brunch in New York City. In particular the Madame Freda is notably memorable.

It’s a pressed sandwich that’s served warm and soft, and cuts relatively easily with a fork. The duck prosciutto added a nice contrast to this cheesy delight. Overall it’s a beautiful meal that you will be dreaming about for days.

The staff is kind, and amiable. Our server made for pleasant small talk while taking our order and checking in on us.

At the end of our meal he told us we can’t leave Jack’s Wife Freda without having Naom’s Malva Pudding, which is a small African sponge cake doused in a sweet caramel pudding with a side of whipped cream. It was incredible. The recommendation alone vaults their service to the top of my list.

Address: 4 locations across New York City

Jack's Wife Freda Best Brunch NYC

Good Enough to Eat

Hey, the name of this brunch spot in NYC says it all. It’s Good Enough to Eat! Now when walking by this beloved Upper West Side joint you might not think much of it. The facade doesn’t immediately pop out at you.

But this is one of those weird restaurants where the food is actually good and not necessarily Instagram-good (although it is pretty) but I mean taste-good. The kind that keeps locals coming back year after year rain or shine.

Good Enough to Eat has been an Upper West Side Favorite for over 40 years, never wavering on their commitment to fresh ingredients and consistently churning out high quality dishes.

This has quickly become one of my go-to brunch spots in NYC (full transparency – I live in the neighborhood) and have yet to be disappointed by any of their dishes, but I am partial to the Peter Paul pancakes (chocolate filled, topped with coconut).

Address: 520 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024


Rule of Thirds

If you’re looking for a unique brunch in NYC, Rule of Thirds has you covered. In a world of waffles and eggs this Japanese restaurant sets itself apart.

Styled after the famous Izakaya restaurants in Japan, which resemble a pub, Rule of Thirds provide a spot to settle in with friends for great food and conversation.

In fact, Izakaya translates to stay-drink-place and that’s exactly what I do there while enjoying some of the best brunch in New York City.

Their menu offers sets like the Japanese breakfast set which comes with a variety of roasted market fish. There is also shareable plates like tuna & nori that will help get conversation flowing with whomever you’re sharing your meal.

Rule of Thirds also offers a pancake with a twist. It’s a Japanese Souffle Pancake which I can best describe as poofy. Like a ballon, this pancake is airy and eating it feels like you’re taking a bite out of a cloud.

Address: 171 Banker St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Best brunch New York City

Ruby’s

If there was ever such thing as a quintessential NYC brunch spot, it’d be Little Ruby’s Cafe. The place has been a New York City staple since opening in 2002 and with a continuously growing cult-following I don’t suspect it’ll be going anywhere soon.

Ruby’s serves traditional breakfast fare with Australian culinary influences attributed to it’s founders being from the land down under. Local favorites include the avo toast and the spicy sausage breakfast sandwich.

I do have to let you folks know though that Ruby’s doesn’t take any reservations and is served on a first come first served basis. If at all possible, come on early on a weekday to avoid the lines.

Address: 3 locations in New York City

Ruby's Best Brunch NYC
Image Courtesy Wish You Were Here Group

Cafe LuLuc

I first stumbled into Cafe LuLuc by complete accident in the fall of 2016. I’ve been back for what I consider to be some of the best brunch in NYC an embarrassing number of times ever since.

It’s a friendly French neighborhood cafe that serves incredible eats and drinks. Where Cafe LuLuc truly shines however is in serving some of the best brunch in New York City.

Offering traditional brunch fare you’ll always be able to find something appetizing. There are omelettes galore, including my brother in law’s sworn favorite – the Open-Face Western Omelette. With sausage, red peppers, scallions and red onions I can understand why.

As far as sweets go – you’re in for a treat. The, you guessed it, pancakes, are beyond belief. Think of everything that makes a pancake great and apply it to these pancakes times two.

The black bear syrup and fresh fruit compliment the flapjacks like peanut butter and jelly. It’s hard to be disappointed at Cafe LuLuc and that is why I consider it one of the best brunch in NYC.

Address: 214 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Local’s Tip: Cafe LuLuc is a cash only establishment, so come prepared.

Cafe LULUc Best Brunch NYC

Dudley’s

Dudley’s is bringing NYC brunch by way of the same folks behind fan-favorite Ruby’s. The food and ambience are of the same, exceptional quality and tastes just as delicious.

Whereas Ruby’s was created as a cafe, Dudley’s is a bistro (is that the same thing?). Like I said, very similar. In fact, they even offer some of the same dishes! I still recommend making the stop though because it’s just that good!

If you’re in the mood for a hearty brunch in NYC you need look no further than Dudley’s.

Address: 85 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002


20 Best Brunch Spots in New York City (Post Summary)


  • Dudley’s
  • Cafe LULUc
  • Ruby’s
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Jack Wife’s Freda
  • Mudspot
  • Petite Boucherie
  • Tara Rose
  • Bubby’s
  • Jacob’s Pickles
  • Sunday in Brooklyn
  • The Consulate
  • Dante
  • Veranda
  • Poco NYC
  • Tartine
  • Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant
  • Sweet Chick
  • Citizens

Map of the Best Brunch in NYC



And there it is my friends! The 20 best brunch spots in NYC according to yours truly! Let me know if there’s any you recommend I try – if it’s good enough I’ll add it to the list!

Cheers!