Best brunch in NYC
If you’ve spent more than one Saturday afternoon waiting in line for a few gorgeous slices of nova, this is the brunch for you. Gather your fellow lox lovers and slip into a time-warp vinyl booth to split a smoked-fish platter for four people at the coffeeshop sibling of the Lower East Side’s revered appetizing store. The beefed-up boards are each named after one of founder Joel Russ’s daughters and padded with a laundry list of accoutrements (rye bread, cream cheese).
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.
The glowing Noho café from Andrew Carmellini—the man behind perpetually crowded downtown spots the Dutch and Locanda Verde—is like the current answer to that bustling Sex and the City–era favorite, Balthazar, with booths as buttery as béarnaise and an A-list clientele that includes Anna Wintour and Gwyneth Paltrow. Lush bistro eats are the go-to—think beef tartare with Tabasco aioli and soft-scrambled eggs with chèvre and truffle vinaigrette—punctuated by pâtissier Jennifer Yee’s acclaimed breads and viennoiseries.
Let’s put it this way: Where does the former President of the United States go for an idyllic brunch burger when he’s in town? Justin Smillie’s splashy, Italian-tinged Gramercy brasserie, that’s where. And when it’s not busy sating POTUS’s Peppadew-topped cheeseburger cravings, the copper-and-jade dining room beckons power brunchers and preternaturally leggy models, like Gigi Hadid and Iman, with smoked-salmon pizza, porchetta-and-egg sandwiches and farm omelettes.
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 their 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. It’s a cure that almost makes your hangover from last night worth it—almost.
No matter the weather, you will always find a Lululemon-clad crowd clamoring for a table outside the Australian café. The resident twenty-somethings are so desperate to eat at the Greenwich Ave locale, that you’ll regularly spot them chowing down al fresco in 40-degree weather under complimentary blankets. Maybe it’s the OG avocado toast with feta and sunflower sprouts? Maybe it’s the warming flat whites or the cooling ice-cream-topped iced lattes? Or maybe it's those friendly Melbournian attitudes radiating from the staff in the beachy dining room?
At Gabriel Stulman's all-day Gramercy café, nosh on Mediterranean and North African plates in a stylish, mid-century setting in the Freehand Hotel.
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.
Enrique Olvera’s Mexican blockbuster has been a tough reservation to snag since its opening in late 2014—a #squadgoals dinner starring Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Adele and a visit from the Obamas hasn’t helped matters—but it’s less of a chore to enjoy the smash hit during brunch service. Pull up a stool at the sleek, blond-wood front bar for a serrano-fuesed Bloody María and inventive Mex plates.
It’s not exactly orthodox for the neighborhood ramen-ya to offer a boozy brunch, but this counter from Ivan Orkin—a Jewish Japanophile from Long Island—has always been anything but traditional. On weekends, pair the chef’s steaming bowls with free-flowing pours of Japanese-ified cocktails. Want something tamer to tipple the day away? (Wimp.) Opt for draft pours of Kirin Ichiban or sake-splashed mimosas.
This downtown Caribbean corner joint playing a reggae-and-dancehall soundtrack offers a brunch power hour with the purchase of any brunch entrée. Guzzle 60 minutes’ worth of island cocktails like the Bob Marley–nodding One Love bellini (champagne, passion-fruit puree) or a boisterous, soju-based Hotstepper (spicy Bloody Mary, Scotch bonnet pepper) while feasting on West Indian–inspired platters.
Keep the party vibes going with the hip-hop-fueled brunch from Leah Cohen, who dishes out culture-crossing Southeast Asian morning fare soaked up with all-you-can-drink beer and tropical mimosas during brunch. Choose from the usual orange, or opt for mango, lychee or white peach to offset the gut-sticking Filipino Sizzling Sisig, featuring pork head chopped on a hot skillet with a whole egg.
It looks like the inside of Gwyneth Paltrow’s brain: The crisp, spacious room is a Goop-y stretch of all-white furniture, with pops of color courtesy artisanal ceramic plate ware, millennial-pink wall panels and boho banquettes draped in handwoven Andean textiles that likely cost more than your rent. Each menu—already littered with wellness buzzwords like “restorative tonics” and divided into categories that include Energizing & Fresh and Warm & Sustaining—arrives with a supplementary insert chart detailing the health benefits of various vegetables.
Okay, so most of us wake up and gorge to avoid being healthy, but sometimes even a bruncher wants a wholesome meal—or at least to stock up on the freshest ingredients. Enter megawatt chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. His stylish Flatiron stalwart has long been a standard-bearer for elevated, plant-based cooking.
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 or cured steelhead trout.
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 pitahaya bedecked in superfoods. 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, and a quinoa plate with stewed chickpeas, Broccolini and pickled mushrooms.
The stylish sit-down café, set in Roman and Williams Guild, has to-go service for its food and home goods. While you're noshing on French fare from chef Marie-Aude Rose (wife of Le Coucou's Daniel Rose), scope out the kitchenware that is also for sale.
In the neighborhood that gave rise to hip-hop, this orange-brick pub inside a former piano factory spins ‘90s rap albums and hosts live jazz bands while slinging Southern-leaning plates every weekend beginning at 11 a.m. Solo diners should belly up to the bar for DJ Menyu’s monthly “Boogie-Down Brunch” of old-school hip-hop and R&B remixes, so you can tune in (or zone out) alongside both Bronx natives and newcomers. Ask for a Henny From The Block, which spices up the caramel-y cognac with hits of ginger syrup and orange bitters, plus a zap of fresh lemon, before diving into the locals’ favorite dish: the Fried Chicken Benny, a decadent hybrid of two brunch bastions that layers a sunny-up egg atop boneless fried chicken and a crispy waffle, all showered in sausage gravy.
The growing demand for chef-driven clean eating has brought inherently hearty Israeli-Mediterranean cuisine back into the spotlight, a movement led in part by Nir Mesika’s rustic, plant-bedecked East Village charmer. The Israeli chef’s weekend menu nods to his family’s home cooking as well as native street foods such as shakshuka and hummus masabacha, a chunkier variation of the traditional chickpea spread with hand-mashed preserved lemon and smoked eggplant.
This popular West Village eatery serves a two-hour bottomless brunch. The 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.—Tazi Phillips
Casual dilemma: you want a good bite to eat, but you also want to get completely crunk after. While there are numerous nabes with a high density of bars (this is NYC, after all), there are none quite as daytime-friendly as the eastern stretch of the West Village. Fairfax is the sunny café parked right in the middle of it all. Sporting of-the-moment mid-century modern decor and large windows, it’s the prime place to pad your belly with trendy but comforting plates—think gravlax with challah chips, bacon-topped carbonara flatbread or a pimento-cheese-burger. Now that’s drinking responsibly.
Inspired by 1960s Los Angeles, this California cool café in SoHo boasts a flavor-packed, health-driven menu that won’t leave you feeling guilty or lethargic. That said, the plates—named for neighborhoods and institutions around L.A.—don’t follow any strict nutritional rules, but rather a general ethos of wellness lead by owner and Golden State native Camilla Marcus. The healthful additions from the open kitchen are smart and subtle, like buckwheat in vanilla crème-fraîche–topped Malibu waffles, a pair of Echo Tacos loaded with potato-pepper hash and crisp romaine, and, of course, a chia pudding tinged with coconut and decorated with toasted almonds and fresh raspberries. If nothing else, the donation from every purchase to the poverty-fighting Robin Hood Foundation will leave you feeling pretty damn full.
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 frittatas and spaghetti, as well as more intriguing options—eggs Benedict with home fries, english muffins, smoked canadian bacon and bernaise sauce, for instance. —Matthew Love
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.—Marley Lynch
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.—Evelyn Derico
Though Beso is billed as a Spanish tapas bar, the menu at this sexy little spot goes far beyond Iberia (through Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico, for starters), making up for a lack of focus with big flavors and conviviality. The three-course brunch is a steal with options like baked scrambled eggs with spinach, bacon and cheese. Choose the soup of the day or a salad and go straight for a fruity-sweet glass of tequila-spiked sangria. And even if you’re stuffed, make room for dessert, like the tres leches cake or complimentary fluffy sopapillas.
Since launching in late 2008 on Carroll Gardens’ busy Court Street and elbowing its way to the front of the pack, Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo’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 din is worth it.—Joshua Rothkopf
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.—Sophie Harris
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.—Evelyn Derico
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Nestled next to the High Line, Cookshop is perfect for alfresco dining. The seasonal, locally sourced dishes and array of fresh, piquant cocktails—many of which contain bitters or muddled fruits—are not to be missed. 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.—Evelyn Derico
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.—Christina Izzo
For a chill dining experience filled with burritos, tacos and fantastic huevos rancheros, visit this Long Island City restaurant and comedy theater, which houses two stages and a separate dining area. At each table you’ll start with a complimentary order of tortilla chips and homemade salsa. Check out the patio or the downstairs bar and performance space, which hosts a variety of acts. The kitchen serves all kinds of savory Tex-Mex standbys, as well as those with a bit of a twist.—Evelyn Derico
Housed in what was once the legendary Perk’s jazz bar, this uptown sleeper opened late last year with chef Gustavo Lopez (Terroir, Lupa, DBGB) at the helm, turning tired “farm-to-table” on its head. Trend chasers should seek out the corner spot’s contemporary yet cozy bi-level dining rooms, where rib-sticking midday meals are ushered to blond-wood tables on hand-thrown earthenware. At this historic jazz stalwart, you’ll catch a glimpse of both new and old Harlem.
This dinner-focused spot opens its doors to the daytime crowd for an affordable weekends-only prix fixe. Coffee plus one cocktail is included with each entrée—choose from hearty favorites such as banana-bread French toast or the Breakfast Lox pizza—or upgrade to bottomless booze for just a bit more. Even if you’re recovering from late-night shenanigans, the atmosphere has the perfect amount of bustle without being annoying. Sit near the entrance for a front-row seat to the live-music duo, performing soulful acoustic covers of Hall & Oates, Michael Jackson and Jewel.—Jessica Lundgren
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 chorizo and ancho-lime hollandaise sauce—are worth the wait, and the minimuffins handed to waiting diners should keep even the hungriest customer going until a table opens up.—Nick Leftley
A short stroll from the Chambers St subway stop, Edward’s is a sunny, relaxed Tribeca eatery that feels, due to strategically placed mirrors, refreshingly large and airy. In keeping with the French-American bistro decor, the brunch menu has a robust range of stomach-filling goodies, from buttermilk pancakes to crab-cake sandwiches and chilaquiles. Edward’s gets bonus points for its well-stocked bar and numerous group-friendly seating arrangements.—Nick Leftley
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.
Come for the huevos rancheros (and the biscuits and the cheese 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 a mothereffing caper berry. Though there’s often a crowd, the staff kindly provides free coffee while you wait—and McCarren Park is 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.—Carla Sosenko
Brunch at this hip Greenpoint joint features pastries from Nolita’s Ceci Cela and entrées like spiced chia pudding with pears, ricotta pancakes with fruit and maple syrup, and a Moroccan scramble with merguez sausage, spiced chickpeas and avocado. To get into full weekend mode, sip on a kir royale or the tequila-based Tiny's Drink as you soak up the sweet, bustling ambience.—Cristina Alonso
This farmer has many friends, so get there early (say, before 11am) on weekends to avoid standing in line. Rustic as an L.L. Bean catalog styled by Grant Wood, the eatery has a square-jawed directness that comes through in simple ingredients, relative affordability and straightforward dish names (the basket of assorted freshly baked breads really should be rechristened the basket of “Omigod, the zucchini bread!”). Still, the homestead has a touch of whimsy: Rumor has it that every time someone orders the Farmers’ Market Omelette, a waiter sprints three blocks to the Union Square Greenmarket to buy fresh eggs, spinach, mushrooms and cheese.—Silvija Ozols
Israeli-born Maya Jankelowitz met her South African husband, Dean, while working at Balthazar, and the patrons at their charming, sunlit Soho nook look like holdovers from that late-breakfast bastion—i.e., tiny-waisted ladies who brunch, and the men who love them. But the Jankelowitzes’ café offers Jewish-tinged bites as warm and comforting as anything your bubbe ever made you. With one (or three) refreshing cantaloupe mimosas, chowing down next to hoards of lithe brunch ladies ain’t so bad after all. In fact, it’s pretty damn great.—Christina Izzo
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-drenchedchilaquiles (green or red), huevos toluqueños (scrambled eggs with chorizo and soupycharro 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.—Hank Shteamer
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for brunch at Gowanus’s go-to seafood haunt. Indulge in the delectable, super soft lemon-and-ricotta pancakes, hot-sauce-spiked chicken and waffles, smoked-whitefish omelettes 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. And best of all? There’s nary a hippie in sight.—Tim Lowery
A museum morning followed by weekend brunch simply screams New York. Especially when that brunch comes courtesy of husband-and-wife eccentrics Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, who run this funky daytime cafeteria inside Long Island City’s MoMA PS1. The digs are cheekily familiar—fashioned after a schoolhouse, they boast decorative chalkboards, old class photos and cubbyhole desks—but the midmorning offerings are brash, bold and daily-changing. Take that picky-eating, pancake-ordering brunch friend and teach ’em the golden M. Wells rule: Eat first, ask questions later.—Christina Izzo
This bottomless-booze brunch spot in the East Village is well known, and for good reason. The atmosphere is fun (and by that we mean it can get a little wild) and the food is good. For a set price, patrons get an hour and a half of Bloody Marys, mimosas or sangria. Menu favorites include thick-cut French toast with fresh berries, the Poco Benedict and a truffle mushroom omelette. Be prepared for a long wait during peak hours, and bring cash! —Tazi Phillips
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.—Marley Lynch
Don’t let the off-kilter bookcases, purple velvet benches, or mix-matched textiles fool you: this Lower East Side parlor takes high tea seriously. Perched above a burger spot, this private den behind a vault door is filled with brassy swing tunes and tea-sipping patrons by day, and speakeasy-seeking imbibers by night. Reservations are required for the $40 prixe-fixe service, which delivers a tiered tray of fresh cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, curry chicken salad tarts, scones with house-made clotted cream, brown butter cookies, buttermilk cupcakes, and unlimited tea to your table. Brewing Indian tea (chai, darjeeling, assam) exclusively, Janam also offers an unlimited champagne package for an extra $35 per person if you’re feeling a bit more loose and boozy than pinkies-up prim and proper.
So you took the N train to the famous Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, caroused all night and went home with an attractive Astorian (is there any other kind?). Now it’s morning, and you need a perfectly balanced omelette in a quiet, wood-paneled pub. Head to the humble but mighty Sparrow, just across the street from the beer garden. Its low-rent gray awning belies its foodie status, but your new Astoria friend will know it. The lookers all do.—Silvija Ozols
From humble juice bar beginnings to raw-food superstar with bicoastal outposts, this sun-drenched café in Nolita has vegetarians hooked — and for good reason. The rustic-chic vibe — complete with blonde-wood counters, white-washed brick, and a plethora of lush greenery — sets the scene for farm-forward plates. Not to be overlooked, the extensive drinks list includes super-food smoothies, elixir shots and even cold-pressed cocktails.
A late-night meal at East Village institution Veselka (translation: “rainbow”) is a rite of passage for NYU students, artists, club kids and all sorts of other downtown creatures. But the brunch fare at this classic Ukrainian diner is worth waking up (relatively) early for. Pillow-light blintzes served with sweetened sour cream and seasonal compote are a refreshing alternative to standard-issue pancakes. Pro tip: Order a side of kielbasa with your breakfast food. You’ll never want to return to plain old sausage or bacon.—Ethan LaCroix
This utterly unironic throwback to traditional diners, sitting neatly in the middle of an otherwise thoroughly modernized Tribeca, is the perfect escape into a simpler time. The menu is exactly what you’d expect—omelettes, hot sandwiches, French toast, bagels—and if you stick with the classics (like the Lumberjack Breakfast or one of the 27 varieties of burger on offer), you’ll leave a satisfied customer. Especially if you also order an egg cream.—Nick Leftley
The unassuming storefront seems at first to live up to its name, but step beyond the grab-and-go counter through stone archways to a sprawling, though enclosed, back patio where the flourishing outdoors are brought inside. Replete hanging planters cascading greenery overhead, floor-to-ceiling windows and a skylight drenching the reclaimed wood tables with sunlight, the French country restaurant feels more like a greenhouse than a dining room. Outdoor eaters will love the year-round availability and whimsical allure of glowing string lights, rustic brick walls, and charming menu of dainty tea cakes and fresh, flaky croissants.
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. (That sounded less weird in our head.)—Carla Sosenko
This Prospect Heights Mexican favorite is floating in a sea of nearby brunch options. Still, it’s surprising just how often you’ll find this brightly painted, sugar-skull–bedecked spot completely empty on a Sunday afternoon. The savory breakfast burritos 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.—Ethan LaCroix
The Jane Hotel may be best known for the raucous late-night party scene in its hidden ballroom, but a new restaurant replacing Cafe Gitane might make the hotel a destination in the earlier hours, too. Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte (the Smile) have opened an all-day Italian restaurant and café with plates from chef Joey Scalabrino (Lighthouse). Nosh on house-made sourdough with Sicilian olive oil, or burrata pizza slathered in vodka sauce for dinner, plus salads and sandwiches for lunch and breakfast dishes like a fried-egg sandwich with mortadella, provolone and pickled cucumber. The airy interior is shaded in hues of white, gray and black, with illustrated murals by Stefano Castronovo.
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. Once inside, you’ll find an old-school diner 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 breakfast options.—Ethan LaCroix
This white-washed Meatpacking standby nods to Saint–Tropez’s glitzy party scene with crystal chandeliers and champagne-soaked brunches legendary for tabletop dancing. Food may be beside the point, but revelers can find clubby French-Mediterranean fare, like ahi tuna tartare with avocado salad and a lime-soy vinaigrette; truffled chicken with roasted potatoes; and pan-seared sea scallops with braised endive and vanilla beurre blanc.
Some purists swear that all-you-can-eat brunch is the only way to do the midmorning meal; their case is made at this always-busy Italian restaurant in the Bronx. The spread features an omelette station, Italian bread French toast and a variety of pastas, plus bottomless pours of classic brunch drinks (Bellinis, champagne, mimosas, Bloody Marys).—Cristina Alonso