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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

The best brunch places in Manhattan

From classic diners to fine dining, see our picks for the top breakfast and brunch restaurants in Manhattan

By Jake Cohen, Dan Q Dao and Christina Izzo

It can be hard to navigate Manhattan’s plethora of restaurants, especially when you’re fighting off hunger pangs. Time to look at our best brunch picks for Manhattan (if you decide to venture out off the island, don't worry, we have strong thoughts on the best brunch in Brooklyn, too). From classic diners to upscale fine dining at some of the best restaurants in NYC, we’ve picked our favorite brunches to satisfy your weekend cravings.

RECOMMENDED: See more restaurants for the best brunch in NYC

Best brunch in Manhattan

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

1. Lafayette

Restaurants French Noho

From the leather booths you'll sink into to the blue and white tile motif, everything in this Noho café is well thought out to creat the ultimate bistrot from Andrew Carmellini—the man behind perpetually crowded downtown spots the Dutch and Locanda Verde. The brunch menu offers everything from more indulgent classics like their croque madame or a brisket burger au poivre, to a lighter frittata or lemon ricotta pancakes. Just save room for their pastries.

Roasted beets with housemade yogurt at ABC Kitchen
Photograph: Francesco Tonelli

2. ABC Kitchen

Restaurants Contemporary American Union Square

If you're looking for the brunch spot where you can enjoy yourself, without over-indulging, this is the place. Though the extensive brunch menu does include a hefty cheeseburger and buttermilk pancakes, more calorie-conscious diners have ample choice in sections such as market-table small plates, like the seasonal kabocha squash toast, mushroom and egg whole-wheat pizzas and spinach-ricotta omelette. And if you can't get a table, luckily you have ABC Cocina and ABCV as backups.

Loring Place Brunch
Photograph: Jake Cohen

3. Loring Place

Restaurants American creative Greenwich Village

In his first solo spot, chef Dan Kluger (formerly of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina) maintains the same voice in everything leaving the kitchen that we've grown to love. While dinner is stellar, their brunch stands on its own, bringing in troves of West Villagers, fighting for a table. Kluger serves up bright and fresh dishes, featuring local vegetables from the market, while adding nostagic takes on classics like tater tots and a Blizzard-inspired sundae.

4. Clinton St. Baking Company

Restaurants American Lower East Side

New Yorkers crave a comforting breakfast and Clinton Street Baking Company is the ideal spot to satisfy even the most discerning New Yorker. The beloved Lower East Side hotspot co-owned by Chef Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman offers eclectic takes on classic American food and melt-in-your-mouth pancakes which cause two-hour weekend waits. 

Photograph: Teddy Wolff

5. Bessou

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Japanese Noho

Roughly translating to “home away from home,” Bessou is the restaurant here to show New York the lengths Japanese cuisine can reach past sushi and ramen. Every dish on the menu is both vaguely familiar, yet pleasantly unique. A shakshuka of eggs nestled in a Japanese curry and packed with blistered eggplant is served with thick-cut milk toast for ample dipping. Don't miss the stack of Japanese-style pancakes dripping with caramelized bananas foster.

Photograph: Courtesy Agave

6. Agave

Restaurants Mexican West Village

This popular West Village eatery serves a two-hour bottomless brunch until 4pm. The $32.99 brunch menu gets you an egg entrée and your choice of all-you-can-drink margaritas, Bloody Marys, mimosas or sangria. Although they take reservations, be sure to book at least a week in advance as tables fill up quickly. Tables sitting down after 2pm will have their drinks cut off promptly at 4pm, unfortunately for those looking to get their money's worth.

The Tommy Tomita dish at Amy Ruth's Restaurant
Photograph: Filip Wolak

7. Amy Ruth’s

Restaurants Soul and southern American Harlem

Harlem staple Amy Ruth's is a true soul-food institution. The cheery, laid-back eatery serves dishes named for famous figures, many of whom have stopped by over the years. Try the Rev. Al Sharpton—crunchy fried chicken and waffles—though there’s a whole variety of something-and-waffle options featuring less traditional ingredients, such as catfish and ribs. Sides like mac and cheese, collard greens and candied yams are top-notch too.

Copyright Caroline Voagen Nelson, Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels

8. Cookshop

Restaurants American Chelsea

Nestled next to the High Line, Cookshop is perfect for  seasonal, locally sourced dishes and array of fresh cocktails. For a decadent brunch, try the French toast, served with almonds, poached blood orange, tangerines and cinnamon pastry cream. Appetizers include beignets with spiced pear compote and smoked arctic char with crème fraîche and pumpernickel toast. Many dishes are grilled, rotisseried or prepared in a wood-burning oven, in a wide-ranging display of sophisticated food craftsmanship.

Studio Freehand
Photograph: Courtesy Eric Medsker

9. Studio at Freehand Hotel

Restaurants Mediterranean Kips Bay

With Miami vibes, Gabriel Stulman's all-day Gramercy café is the perfect spot to grab a nosh. Between Mediterranean and and Middle Eastern flavors blend into an array of vibrant egg dishes and light bowls. Going light on your meal will allow you to embrace the true stars: the baked goods. Don't miss a slice of their babka or any of their cookies (especially the blueberry tahini one).

Dimes, best brunch NYC
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

10. Dimes

Restaurants Californian Chinatown

At this bright Lower East Side shop, Instagram-ready, SoCal-inspired fare stays true to the healthcentric ethos from which it was born. Eat clean with frozen bowls of blended acai and bright-pink pitaya bedecked in superfoods such as bee pollen, sunflower seeds and hemp. Veggie-focused savory dishes are similarly guilt-free, like a winter hash, tossing black rice with a sunny-side up egg, butternut squash and chili-slicked brussels sprouts.

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