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Chicken and Waffles at Sweet Chick
Photograph: Jolie Ruben

17 best cheap brunch spots in NYC

The best cheap brunch places in NYC for budget mimosas, Bloody Marys and breakfast food.

Edited by
Will Gleason
Written by
Christina Izzo
&
Rachel Pelz
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Want bottomless mimosas, but don’t have bottomless pockets? We’ve rounded up the best cheap brunches in NYC so you and your friends can get your cheap eats on and still have cash left for a yoga class (or, you know, another round of drinks). Roll out of bed and head to the best brunch in Brooklyn or nurse your hangover with a Bloody Mary and the best pancakes in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best brunch in NYC

Best cheap brunch places

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Prospect Heights
  • price 1 of 4

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. Once inside, you’ll find an old-school diner lined with wood paneling and all manner of items hanging on the walls—photos of local celebrities, framed newspaper clippings, etc. The joint is best known for its variety of flapjacks, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of the comforting breakfast options.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Upper West Side

Nina Flores’ tiny but beloved Great Burrito shop opened in 1994. In January 2022, after nearly thirty years in the neighborhood, the family business was transformed into a sit-down restaurant. Order a breakfast burrito (it is what Nina’s known for, after all), or the French toast, which is made with cinnamon raisin bread and can be ordered with cajeta, a dulce de leche made from goat’s milk. Treat yourself to a glass of sangria, too – it’s got fruit, so it’s healthy. 

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Nolita
  • price 2 of 4

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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Williamsburg
  • price 2 of 4

The downside: Sweet Chick lies on a particularly crowded patch of Bedford Avenue. The upside: The food is worth the hassle. Sumptuous treats like chicken and waffles (they even have a vegetarian version) and shrimp and grits 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.)

  • Restaurants
  • Williamsburg

Koko’s specializes in Nikkei cuisine, which combines Peruvian flavors and ingredients with Japanese techniques. At brunch, you can order the ceviche with tuna, ponzu, konbu and avocado, or sample the $7 baos – our favorite is the pan con chicharron bao, made with pork belly, salsa criollo and acevichado sauce. Their spicy Bloody Mary with kimchi, fish sauce and wasabi, is one-of-a-kind, too.

 

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  • Shopping
  • Grocery stores
  • Red Hook
  • price 1 of 4

Two words: Breakfast. Sandwiches. A bacon-egg-and-cheese on a roll is a Saturday late-morning standby, and the righteous brunch time subs at this beloved Brooklyn market-café are a welcome upgrade from that bodega classic, delivered straight to the cozy dining room.

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Mother’s Ruin
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Nolita
  • price 2 of 4

A peaceful respite from Soho’s shopping-bag-toting hordes, this light-filled Nolita bar feels especially welcoming during daylight hours, when it’s scarcely populated and gives off a friendly neighborhood vibe. Its cheap but filling dishes leave you cash to spare for expertly crafted cocktails.

  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Forest Hills

With a live DJ and a buzzy, boozy brunch, this BBQ spot turns brunch into a party. We love the brisket egg and cheese sandwich and the biscuit bully plate, served with chicken, a cheddar scallion biscuit and maple cayenne butter. For $35, you can score 90 minutes of unlimited peach, mango or strawberry bellinis and mimosas. The whole table has to participate in bottomless brunch, so make sure to bring your most-fun friends. 

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

This dinner-focused spot opens its doors to the daytime crowd for a weekends-only prix fixe. Look for favorites like a lobster BLT or steak and eggs, then upgrade to bottomless booze for $20. 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 live jazz performances.

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Tribeca
  • price 1 of 4

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, salads, French toast, bagels—and if you stick with the classics (like the Lumberjack or a burger), you’ll leave a satisfied customer. Especially if you also order an egg cream.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Kips Bay
  • price 1 of 4

This pretty cafe churns out comfort-food favorites for brunch. Try dishes like the Nutella French toast, chicken meatballs or a “hangover bowl” with pastrami hash. If you’re really hungover, wash your brunch down with an espresso martini or soju rosemary Bloody Mary for some old-fashioned hair of the dog. 

Poco Bar
  • Bars
  • Tapas bars
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

This bottomless booze spot in the East Village is well known for good reason. The atmosphere is fun (and by that, we mean it can get a little…wild), the food is good and there’s outdoor seating when the weather is nice. Plus, patrons get an hour and a half of Bloody Marys, mimosas or white sangria. Be prepared for a long wait during peak hours, and make sure your party is all there or they won’t seat you. And bring cash!

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La Superior
  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Williamsburg
  • price 1 of 4

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 the huevos de hacienda or chilaquiles, which pair exceedingly well with La Superior’s signature tamarind margarita. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Hummus Shop owner Shay Zvibak reopened his East Village space—formerly Candela Candela—as a health-focused Mediterranean eatery. Hummus continues to anchor the menu, while Mediterranean-style entrees include eggs benedict with chickpea polenta and lamb, shakshuka and Israeli meatballs. 

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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Astoria
  • price 2 of 4

So you took the N train to the famous Bohemian Hall, 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 breakfast sandwich to heal your hangover. 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 hot new Astoria friend will know exactly what to order. 

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