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The best brunch in Brooklyn

On the hunt for the best brunch in Brooklyn? Feast on pancakes, eggs and more at these top-notch brunch spots.

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

New York’s most talked about borough long stepped out of Manhattan’s shadow to become a must-hit dining destination in its own right, and at no times does that seem more true on Saturdays and Sundays, when Kings County dwellers are on the hunt for the best brunch in Brooklyn. Whether you want Bloody Marys at bottomless brunch in Bushwick or tricked-out pancakes in Park Slope, here’s where to find the best weekend-morning (or late afternoon, if you’re still nursing that hangover) meals in Brooklyn.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best brunch in NYC

Best brunch in Brooklyn

1

Tom’s

There’s a lot of new competition on Washington Avenue, which sits on the border of recently trendy Prospect Heights and newly trendy Crown Heights, 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. Queuing up is a pleasure, though, with friendly staffers handing out complimentary coffee, cookies and (most famously) orange slices to hungry waiting patrons. The joint is best known for its variety of griddled offerings, including fresh strawberry and banana-nut pancakes, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of the comforting morning options.

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Prospect Heights
2

Court Street Grocers

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. And a New York brunch isn’t complete without bagels: Served on weekends, here they’re hand-rolled by Park Slope’s Bagel Hole and jacked with Acme whitefish, Samaki organic lox and Ben’s cream cheese.

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Red Hook
3

Grand Army

Bloody Marys are to brunch what pinstripes are to the Bronx Bombers. At this dark-wood, naval-inspired Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, tavern, you can get master barman Damon Boelte’s civilized take on that time-honored hair of the dog à la carte, or bring a buddy to split the bar’s brunch-on-steroids Bloody Mary Platter ($70). The head-turning spread comprises two house Bloodys (your choice of vodka, tequila or gin), two sidekicks of pilsner and a two-tier tower set with local bivalves, fresh vegetables, shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs and a colossal king crab leg that can be tricked out with accompanying medicine droppers of mignonette. It’s a cure that almost makes your hangover from last night worth it—almost.

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Boerum Hill
4

Pies ’n’ Thighs

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, but you won’t find the name of the farm where they came from on the menu. 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 baked apples.

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Williamsburg
5

Colonie

Chef-gardener Andrew Whitcomb retools hearty morning classics with an array of locally sourced ingredients at his exposed-brick–fitted Brooklyn Heights dining room. Pasture-raised eggs—think a step above “cage free” or “free range”—are purchased from Rock Ridge Farms in Andover, New Jersey; grains and grits come from Castle Valley Mills in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; and potatoes and veggies are sourced from Sparrow Arc Farm in Copake, New York. While offerings rotate regularly, seek out permanent favorites like a 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 dill crème fraîche and trout roe.

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Brooklyn Heights
6

Allswell

The main menu at this Williamsburg gastropub changes daily, but luckily for all you indecisive diners out there, its Tumblr gets updated every morning. The brunch menu does not vary as often: Expect a frittata with seasonal fixins, a gut-busting egg sandwich with homemade fries, plus some picks straight outta left field. For a real eye-opener, try the Cowboy Coffee, a bracing mix of bourbon, iced coffee, Borghetti and cream.

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Williamsburg
7

Egg

This Southern-accented breakfast and lunch abode has no parallel in Billyburg 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 a cheap 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 sharp cheddar) or a terrific country-ham biscuit sandwich. If you must have dessert at breakfast, finish with a bowl of caramelized grapefruit and mint.

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Williamsburg
8

Faro

Feeling generous—or simply hungry enough to eat for two? A section of the Sunday brunch menu at Kevin and Debbie Adey’s hyperseasonal Bushwick, Brooklyn, restaurant is dedicated to large-format plates, ranging from a dry-aged duck hash with emmer and pumpkin to pollo alla cacciatora with mushrooms and bacon to meatballs with polenta, fonduta and bread to sop up every bite. Cocktails are also tailored to groups: They are available by the pitcher, including a tequila-grapefruit Kings County Sunrise and a Bloody updated with ember-roasted tomatoes and fish-sauce-spiked Thai caramel. 

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Bushwick
9

Roberta's

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 stellar seasonal greens, plucked from its own rooftop garden; 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 in the adjacent bar.

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Williamsburg
10

Sweet Chick

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. 

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Williamsburg
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Comments

5 comments
fabiola l
fabiola l

This article as well as the title is misleading. I understand that Brooklyn is going through a gentrification process, however, to insinuate Brooklyn is essentially composed of the areas between Williamsburg and Parkslope is disrespectful, ignorant and uninformed. As someone who was born and raised here In the best borough in NYC, there is so much to Brooklyn beyond those areas and they honestly have more to offer if you are open to going beyond where the newbies are flocking to. But then again, stick to your list (some of this food is average and bland) and the real people who are from here will keep the true best places (where the food has cultural flavor) a secret.

George the Realtor
George the Realtor

I am a Brooklynite. I was born and raised here. I know that if there is one word to describe Brooklyn natives, it is "eaters." We love to eat. So whenever we come across a great list of places to eat such as this one, we celebrate in our heads because we know we will soon have a party in our mouth. You Brooklyn born freaks know what I'm talking about. Nothing makes me happier than a good Brooklyn meal shared with my family. I share this love of fun food with my clients of course, but my true passion is having my kids ask me to take a pic of them with the meal they are about to enjoy. Here's a photo of my kids enjoying fun food at 3 a.m. at Kellogg's Diner in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Sure that isn't brunch time, but being that they serve any time of the day (and do it better than McDonald's or iHop...lol), I felt it would be appropriate to share the photo with you.



[Realtor and Senior Managing Partner at The Rosario Shalomayev Real Estate Group with Coldwell Banker Kueber. We provide everything needed to meet your Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan real estate needs. #RosarioShalomayevGroup #glrosario http://www.GeorgeRosario.com

Julie T
Julie T

Cafe Luluc is amazing! Great brunch spot

Rachel S
Rachel S

I'm really disappointed Concord Hill in Williamsburg didn't make your list.

chanelle e
chanelle e

WOW!  You couldn't find a delicious brunch spot in Bed-Stuy?  Shameful and Transparent!