Best brunch in Brooklyn
Contrary to what the name might suggest, Sunday in Brooklyn is open for brunch and dinner every day of the week. The rustic three-story space boasts an outdoor patio, marketplace, private dining room and rooftop garden. The brunch menu includes lighter bites, like yogurt with granola or avocado toast, and heartier fare, like malted pancakes and a plate of pastrami black cod.
This Prospect Heights gem has recently entered the brunch game with a menu that’s just as eclectic and creative as their dinner offerings. Find innovative takes on brunch classics, like a stellar burger on an English muffin, potato latke, apple strudel rolls and unique cocktails to wash them all down with.
Middle Eastern food is having its moment in NYC and we're here for it. Employing tangy yogurt, fragrant spices, zippy chilies and heaps of fresh herbs to build layers of flavors in complex dishes, it’s a cuisine that deserves to be celebrated, especially in New York. Miss Ada is at the forefront of this wave, serving some of the best Israeli cuisine in town. On the weekends, head over for Blechman’s brunch offerings, including heavenly Yemenite pastries.
The downside: Sweet Chick lies on that crowded patch of Bedford Avenue typically overrun by tourists who want to see where Hannah and the rest of the Girls live (people, they’re in Greenpoint!). The upside: The food is worth the hassle. Sumptuous treats like chicken and waffles (they even have a vegetarian version) and steak and eggs more than make up for what the space lacks in personality. Brunch here means you won’t be eating much for the rest of the day—no, you’ll be splayed out on your bed, rubbing your belly with a smile on your face.
There’s a lot of new competition on Washington Avenue, but no one else draws loyal customers quite like beloved Brooklyn institution Tom’s—as evidenced by the line spilling out of the place and around the corner every weekend. The joint is best known for its variety of griddled offerings, including fluffy lemon-ricotta pancakes, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of the comforting morning options.
Two words: Breakfast. Sandwiches. A bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll is a Saturday late-morning standby, but the righteous brunchtime subs at this beloved Carroll Gardens market-café are a welcome upgrade from that bodega classic. We’re talking Balthazar ciabatta loaded with scrambled eggs, salty Cabot cheddar and arugula, or a Taylor pork roll with American cheese on a Martin’s potato bun, delivered straight to the cozy dining room.
While the down-and-dirty Southern fare—honest, cheap and often delicious—is certainly in line with Brooklyn’s all-American moment, it’s an audacious departure from the borough’s judiciously sourced, seasonally orthodox, self-righteously ethical ethos. Yes, the chickens are antibiotic- and hormone-free. During brunch, available weekends 10am to 4pm, you can get that namesake bird on a buttermilk biscuit slathered in hot sauce and honey butter, or atop buckwheat waffles topped with cinnamon butter and strawberry.
This Vietnamese darling injects some much-needed variety into the typical eggs-and-Bloodys brunch game. The pastured chicken congee is an elevated savory brunch bowl featuring a rice porridge base and a flurry of fresh leeks, shiitakes and goji berries, with a Heritage pork and sweet radish omelette to top. Ordering for the table? The bún thang and oxtail-potato hash are not to be missed.
Reynard, and its upstairs sibling, the Ides, are the brainchildren of Andrew Tarlow, a restaurateur as responsible as any for Brooklyn’s culinary ascendancy. The restaurant builds on everything he’s done so far, elevating all the usual Williamsburg tropes. Just check out brunch: Dishes include sourdough pancakes with apple and maple syrup, frittata with Brussels sprouts, Ameribella and rosemary and a grass-fed burger with Raclette, pickles and horseradish mayonnaise.
Executive chef Jared Braithwaite retools hearty morning classics with an array of locally sourced ingredients at his exposed-brick-fitted Brooklyn Heights dining room. While offerings rotate regularly, keep an eye out for fan favorites like garden-fresh duck hash with a poached egg laid over red potatoes and roasted onion puree, or cured steelhead trout spread on potato rosti with black mustard and trout roe.
Although the main menu at this Williamsburg gastropub changes daily, the brunch menu does not vary as often: Expect buttermilk pancakes with apples and pure maple syrup and a gut-busting egg sandwich on a house-made English muffin. For a real eye-opener, try the Cowboy Coffee, a bracing mix of bourbon, iced coffee, Borghetti and cream.
Middle Eastern cuisine goes far beyond the same old falafel at this innovative bistro. Herbs, spices and fresh combinations dominate an inspired Israeli-fusion brunch menu featuring verdant shakshuka made with a blend of tomatillos, poblanos, onions, garlic and cilantro, as well as buttery burekas—flaky Mediterranean puff pastries stuffed with feta and olives.
This Southern-accented breakfast and lunch abode has no parallel in Williamsburg or beyond—which means you can expect a bit of a wait to get seated. Once you do get in, perch on chairs at a paper-covered table (crayons are provided), wake up at a leisurely speed to the occasional old-time folk music on the sound system, and scarf down an affordable meal that may include eggs Rothko (a slice of brioche with a hole in the middle that accommodates an easy-cooked egg, all of which is covered with Grafton cheddar) or a terrific country-ham biscuit sandwich.
Pizza for brunch is always a good idea, especially when it’s served at the Michelin-starred pizza joint favored by Bill and Hillary Clinton. The venerable Bushwick institution offers many of its artisanal pies during brunch, and you always have the option of topping your order with an egg. Plus, Roberta’s has a fancy bacon-egg-and-cheese on croissant and a life-changing sticky bun. Sure, you won’t sit down right away, but the wait is substantially shorter than at dinner—and you can always while away the time with drinks at the adjacent bar.
Since launching in late 2008 on Carroll Gardens’ busy Court Street and elbowing its way to the front of the pack (winning Time Out’s 2009 Readers’ Choice Award for Best New Brooklyn Restaurant), Doug Crowell’s comfort foodery has become an essential. For brunch, sample the short rib hash along with several killer variations on the Bloody Mary, one garnished with antipasti from nearby Caputo’s. If you try to beat the rush, you’ll still have to compete for ear space with the young families and kids of the neighborhood, but the meal is worth it.
At the subterranean foot of the William Vale Hotel rests Leuca, the third dining concept from chef-restaurateur Andrew Carmellini (Locanda Verde, the Dutch) and his NoHo Hospitality team at the hotel. The menu is smart and civilized, with Italian-accented brunch options like sheep's-milk ricotta with hot honey, a Graham Avenue pizza topped with bacon and a duck egg, and polenta waffles with orange-mulberry syrup and mascarpone.
Nestled in a quiet corner of Clinton Hill, Aita is a respite for neighborhood denizens looking to catch up in cozy environs, snuggling up against fellow brunchers at the restaurant’s long window benches or bar. Dotting the primarily Italian menu are Benedicts and spaghetti, as well as more intriguing options—salmon hash with polenta, bacon, scallion and fried egg, for instance. Some staples dazzle outright: The buttermilk-berry pancakes with citrus-ricotta cream are lovely to look at, and even better to eat.
At this friendly Ditmas Park spot, patrons can dine in the large, exposed-brick main room or, in warm months, a lovely garden area. The excellent seasonal American menu highlights locally sourced ingredients: For brunch, opt for items like a smoked pollock cake with sunny-side egg and harissa mayo; a farmer's breakfast of scrambled eggs with Swiss chard and Parmesan; and a hearty hash built with corned beef and red beets.
Come for the huevos rancheros (and the biscuits and the grits), stay for the Bloody Marys. Okay, stay for three or four Bloody Marys: Enid’s has one of the best around, garnished with an olive, cornichon, celery and caper berry. There’s often a crowd, but keep in mind that McCarren Park’s right around the corner, so once you’ve got a good buzz going, you can decamp for the grass and catch up on some sleepy time in the sun.
Brunch at this hip Greenpoint joint features house-baked pastries and atypical dishes like chia pudding with rhubarb, house-cured Arctic Char with herbed cream cheese and a Moroccan scramble with merguez sausage, spiced chickpeas and avocado. To get into full weekend mode, sip on a Kir Royale or the famous Five Leaves Bloody Mary as you soak up the sweet, bustling ambience.
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for brunch at Gowanus’ go-to seafood haunt. Indulge in the delectable, Maine lobster roll, shrimp and grits, smoked-whitefish omelette and more. The New England decor, lack of lines out the door and friendly staff make for a decidedly laid-back and stress-free experience—especially for a spot that does brunch this damn good.
Our favorite couple of Franks (Falcinelli and Castronovo, of Frankies 457 Spuntino) dish out hearty fare in this rustic Court Street dining room. From brioche French toast and pork belly Johnny cake to their trademark Angus burger on a sesame roll, the portions are generous enough to hold you up after one too many aquavit-based Bloody Marys.
The savory breakfast burritos—stuffed with eggs, rice, beans, mushrooms, peppers, queso blanco, sour cream and salsa roja—are massive enough to feed two starving adults. And the Mexican French toast, filled with Mexican chocolate and served with caramelized bananas and dulce de leche, is even more decadent than it sounds. Brunch comes with your choice of a spicy chipotle Bloody Mary or a tropical mimosa, plus the standard coffee and juice. Given that you probably won’t eat till the next day, it’s really quite a bargain.
Expect this neighborhood favorite, conveniently located one block from Prospect Park, to be packed to capacity any time the sun’s shining. Its classic brunch foods—hearty omelettes, enormous waffles, a mouth-watering take on eggs Benedict with corned beef hash and ancho-lime hollandaise sauce—are well worth the wait. One word of advice: If you’re dining outside, sit as far from the little kiddy ride in the corner as you can, unless you want “It’s a Small World” to play relentlessly in your head all afternoon.
Delectable two-bite tacos—available anytime—are the main draw at this Mexico City-style Williamsburg staple, but the brunch menu is every bit as crucial. Spring for sauce-drenched chilaquiles (green or red), huevos toluqueños (scrambled eggs with chorizo and soupy charro beans) or egg-stuffed enfrijoladas (described on the menu as “brunch’s version of enchiladas”). Any of these options pair exceedingly well with La Superior’s signature beverage, the spicy-sweet marvel that is the tamarind margarita.
One word: pancakes. There are, of course, other delights to be found at this cute Cobble Hill café on Smith Street—the pretty French-American decor makes it the perfect spot for leafing through the Sunday papers with your one and only, and there are magazines galore to choose from. Plus, the service is good, and the french fries are excellent. But really, Luluc’s pancakes are the jewel in its brunch crown: soft and super fluffy on the inside, just a little bit crispy on the outside and 100 percent delicious.
Serving classic New Orleans dishes, Catfish is a true Crown Heights gem. At this cozy hideaway, you can savor bona fide Southern dishes like shrimp and grits. Enjoy a strong spring cocktail on the outdoor patio, like the Lady Laveu, a refreshing, flavorful mix of absinthe, St. Germain and lemonade. But be warned—alcohol isn’t served until noon on Sundays. Until then, there’s no shortage of delectable eats.
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