Food:

We’re Calling It… These Are the 13 Best Brunch Spots in New York

Words by Romilly Newman.

Growing up in New York, the weekends were a sacred time. I’d momentarily forget that I was in high school and spend two days enjoying meals as a form of escapism. This served as a source of inspiration and as a form of therapy of sorts. I would completely immerse myself in the varied cultures and simultaneously forget whatever school drama or history test was awaiting me come Monday morning. Eating out has always been just as instrumental in my culinary growth as cooking. Nothing thrills me quite like eating a brilliant dish that I wouldn’t have thought to cook myself. That’s what food is about—sharing and learning. These days, brunch is a ubiquitous weekend activity, and while the initial novelty has somewhat worn off, there are a few places around NYC with fare so good that it brings back the excitement of meeting friends after breakfast and before lunch. So, after eating my way through the Big Apple, I can safely say that these are the 13 best brunch spots in new york right now. 

We’re Calling It… These Are the 13 Best Brunch Spots in New York

Nothing thrills me quite like eating a brilliant dish that I wouldn’t have thought to cook myself.

For All Things Good

A Mexican cafe with locations in both Bed Stuy and Williamsburg, For All Things Good harvests different varieties of heirloom corn and turns them into masa through an ancient practice called nixtamalization. They do this process on site, which yields their perfect Tortillas, Tlayuditas, Tlacoyos, and more. This method is not common practice in New York so upon first bite you can immediately taste the difference. The Breakfast Tlayudita is a must. It consists of a crisp masa base topped with intensely flavorful black bean puree, avocado, Oaxacan cheese, a beautifully runny egg, and salsa which offers just the perfect amount of heat. The flavors are vibrant yet balanced, the cheese is oozy, masa crisp, and the dishes everything you want them to be, and then some. Go on a sunny day, grab a table outside, and revel in the culinary brilliance that is a meal at For All Things good.

Location: Bed Stuy and Williamsburg
The Must-Order Meal: The Breakfast Tlayudita
Walk-ins only.

La Mercerie

A sprawling all day spot serving french fare situated inside the wondrous world of overwhelming beauty that is the Roman Williams Guild. As you walk into the unbelievably chic space—sumptuous crushed blue velvet booths, Emily Thompson’s whimsical wild floral arrangements, and, of course, Roman Williams serve ware—you’ll be transported to a Parisian cafe that previously only existed within your wildest fantasies. Marie-Aude Rose is at the helm of the kitchen preparing simultaneously elegant and indulgent dishes such as her Crêpe Complète—a delicate buckwheat crêpe with a sunny side up egg, Paris ham, Comté, and crème fraiche. The crepe has a subtle toasty flavor thanks to its buckwheat base, but its gloriously rich yolk, aged comté, and Parisian ham fillings steal the show. While you’re at it, order the Crêpes au Sucre—three expertly made crepes with a side of vanilla sugar, jam, and lemon. These are so good they transport me to a moment of child-like bliss every time I take a bite. That is rare to find on a menu. 

Location: Soho
The Must-Order Meal: Crêpe Complète
Reservations through Resy.

Chez Ma Tante

This Canadian spot in Greenpoint makes what is unquestionably the best pancake stack in New York. There, I said it! Chez Ma Tante delivers what would be best described as the neighborhood restaurant of your dreams, AKA expertly prepared simple food that never gets old. There are so many good menu items—I guarantee you’ll want to order one of each and then be faced with the unexpected dilemma of dish elimination. The pancakes are already in your order, but don’t miss out on the Kedgeree: curried rice topped with poached cod and celery salad that hits every single note imaginable. Another favorite of mine is the deceptively simple ham sandwich with sharp English cheddar, scrumptious french ham, and a Branston pickle. Trust me!

Location: Greenpoint
The Must-Order Meal: Kedgeree and Pancake Stack 
Reservations through Resy.

Dim Sum Go Go

Dim Sum makes for a nearly perfect weekend meal, and Dim Sum Go Go is the best at its craft. Order one too many dishes, sit back, bask in the weekend glory, and you have yourself an unbeatable brunch experience. Shrimp rice rolls are a must. Silky rice noodles house steamed shrimp and are served with a sweet soy sauce making a perfect bite. Another non-negotiable is the pork soup dumplings. No explanation needed, just a perfectly executed staple. 

Location: Chinatown 
The Must-Order Meal: Shrimp Rolls and Pork Soup Dumplings
Walk-ins only.

Estela

Everything Chef Ignacio Mattas touches turns to gold. He is the undisputed king of salads, and if you go to Estela for brunch you’ll need to order the endive one to see what I’m referring to. I’ll refrain from giving you any more information on said dish because half of the joy is uncovering the layers of surprises he composes. Order the Egg sandwich with ’nduja and miso to accompany and you’ll be in a state of utter bliss. 

Location: Nolita 
The Must-Order Meal: Endive Salad
Reservations through Resy.

We’re Calling It… These Are the 13 Best Brunch Spots in New York

Pastis

While brunch is a meal best shared amongst friends, one of my favorite activities is to sit at the bar of the bustling Pastis on a Sunday, read a book, and experience Parisian classics all to myself. I consider their Croque Madame to be the best in the city—it’s truly Paris level. I order a side of spicy mustard to cut the rich béchamel and find myself completely lost in this expertly prepared dish. Start with some oysters, and always order a side salade verte, which makes every dish taste magically better—no meal is complete without. 

Location: Meatpacking
The Must-Order Meal: Croque Madame
Reservations through Resy.

Thai Diner

The team behind the sorely missed Uncle Boons opened Thai Diner in 2020 and to put it simply, it’s outrageously good. I pride myself on being an egg sandwich savant and this one wins the prize. Soft eggs, creamy cheese, and fragrant herbal Thai sausage are wrapped in a roti for the best iteration of this classic I’ve ever had. Order a Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad) on the side, which is the perfect balance of acid, heat, sweet, and umami, and you’re good to go. Thai Diner boasts ample outdoor seating, and a fabulously eclectic interior that’s impossible not to enjoy. 

Location: Noho
The Must-Order Meal: Thai Dinner Egg Sandwich
Primarily walk-in, limited reservations through Resy.

Rule of Thirds

Japanese comfort food is served in an airy former industrial space in Greenpoint but the main attraction is the Summer Pavilion which consists of outdoor private bungalows that hold between five to 20 people. Start your meal with the Tamago—a Japanese omelet sandwiched between two delectable pieces of milk bread and served with a miso mayo and yuzu cucumbers. Then, it’s time for the showstopper. The Hottokeki is a soufflé pancake served with honey maple butter and sesame, and is just as delicious as it sounds. The sweetness of the dish is not overwhelming, and the airy texture is luscious and delightful.  The almond miso soup is the perfect way to finish your meal. It’s rich and luxurious without being overwhelming and has beautiful nuance thanks to saikyo miso, barley miso, and dashi. 

Location: Greenpoint 
The Must-Order Meal: Hottokeki
Reservations through Resy.

Russ & Daughters

Russ and Daughters was a Sunday staple growing up. Every time I take my first bite out of a sandwich made of Gaspe Nova smoked salmon, scallion cream cheese, and an everything bagel, it feels like the first time. It’s comfort food in its purest form, and even if it’s not what you grew up eating, it’s what you’ll want to eat from this moment forward (I hope!). You can visit the landmark shop located at 179 East Houston St (which is an experience worth experiencing) or have a leisurely meal at their cafe. Have a slice of babka for dessert and you’re so very set. 

Location: Lower East Side 
The Must-Order Meal: Classic Bagel Sandwich with Gaspe Nova Smoked Salmon
Reservations through Resy.

We’re Calling It… These Are the 13 Best Brunch Spots in New York

Carne Mare

Brunch might not be the first meal you’d think to have at this Italian chophouse from Chef Andrew Carmalini, but let me enlighten you. Sip a bloody mary as you sit outside by the water watching ships go by, and indulge in dishes like Pane al Latte French Toast with whipped ricotta, almond, and blood orange syrup, and AC’s Famous Prime Rib Sandwich with caramelized onions, provolone, and porcini aioli. For good measure, order the mozzarella sticks and caviar, a whimsically stylish take on the Italian-American classic. 

Location: Seaport District 
The Must-Order Meal: AC’s Famous Prime Rib Sandwich
Reservations through Resy.

Clover Hill

Brooklyn Heights is famously not known for its restaurants but Clover Hill is the first step toward changing that. Executive Chef, Charlie Mitchell is an Eleven Madison Park alum and has put together an elegant lunch menu worth trying. The French Omelet featuring Tarragon Beurre Blanc, Fine Herbs, and Brioche is nothing short of exceptional, and the Croque Fromage which is made of brioche, brown butter, and truffle tastes exactly like it sounds—very good! 

Location: Brooklyn Heights 
The Must-Order Meal: Croque Fromage
Reservations through Resy.

Ursula

Ursula is a to-go only New Mexican-inspired Cafe & Bakery making things worth standing in any kind of line for. The Breakfast Burrito with bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheddar, and New Mexico green chile is a heavenly bite so good I can’t even begin to comprehend it. Get a sweet treat to finish the meal and thank me later. 

Location: Crown Heights 
The Must-Order Meal: Breakfast Burrito
Takeout only, can order pick-up and delivery via Caviar or Doordash.

Wildair

To know me is to know that Wildair is one of my favorite restaurants. Chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske are masters of their craft. The cool thing is, they’re big proponents of having fun. The weekend is the perfect time to see what I mean. Fabian created a donut collaboration series that garners huge lines and usually sells out within the hour. They are simply the best donuts. Go on the weekend, try their absurdly delicious sandwiches, and wash it all down with a glass from their extensive natural wine list. 

Location: Lower East Side 
The Must-Order Meal: Pithivier 
Walk-in only for brunch.

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