New York is pretty fond of brunch - there are myriad restaurants, cafes, and other eateries that cater to the widespread desire among New Yorkers for midday weekend dining options. As such, any visit to the area must include a delicious brunch excursion.
But where should you go? As mentioned, there is a true plethora of options available. This is why we’ve put together the below guide, featuring the best places to get brunch in New York. We, of course, couldn’t include them all, but we are pretty pleased with our list and we hope that you will try one or two of the below during your next visit to one of New York’s wonderful attractions.
New York is known as a melting pot, and this certainly translates over to its culinary scene, amassing a vast swath of different dining delights from across the globe. For visitors who haven’t tried Ukrainian or Polish food before, they will certainly want to head to Veselka in the East Village, where guests can enjoy quite a unique brunch experience.
“We’ve been here in the same location for 64 years” Veselka told us. “Over that time, we’ve grown a lot and built a good reputation. The place is very homey and welcoming. We are truly a neighbourhood spot. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We serve many breakfast/brunch items all of the time. When the weather is good we have outdoor seating."
“Our menu features Ukrainian and Polish comfort food. On weekends, we have a special brunch menu where we combine these foods with traditional brunch items to create such dishes as latke salmon benedict, waffle with kielbasa and blueberry maple syrup, breakfast pierogi filled with Bacon, Egg and Cheese. In addition to these we have blintzes, pancakes, waffles, French toast and omelettes, all made with the best quality, fresh ingredients. We also have kasha, a nutritious alternative to potatoes or rice. Our food is good, prices are reasonable and the staff are friendly and competent.”
Image Credit: Belle Savransky
Situated in the East Village, and founded in 1983, Cafe Mogador is a pioneering NYC restaurant and today serves up sumptuous Moroccan-inspired cuisine. The brunch available here is award-winning and it’s not hard to see why.
Cafe Mogador spoke to us about their history, menu, and what makes them such a wonderful establishment for enjoying brunch in New York:
“Throughout three decades Cafe Mogador gained tremendous recognition and solidified its place as a neighbourhood institution and culinary destination. Cafe Mogador provides a warm and inviting environment nestled in the heart of the East Village. From expertly braised tagines and house-made bread, to an award-winning brunch served alongside some of the best people-watching in the city, the restaurant continues to proudly grow with the neighbourhood it's helped create.
“Our brunch menu offers classic brunch fare and delicious Moroccan breakfasts. One timeless favourite is our Moroccan Benedict; two poached eggs top an English Muffin with spicy tomato sauce and hollandaise. All of our brunch items are served with oven roasted potatoes, salad, fresh squeezed orange juice, and an espresso based beverage or tea. We like to pair the Moroccan Benedict with our spicy house-made merguez sausage. Add our house-made Bloody Mary made with fresh ginger and you've got our Brunch Tri-fecta!”
Clinton St. Baking Company
This restaurant from Chef Neil Kleinberg is renowned for being a truly great spot for brunch in New York. Its pancakes (pictured at the head of this article) are of particular note, and people arrive from all over just to take a bite for themselves. Visitors would be well advised to add them to their New York checklist.
Clinton St. Baking Company spoke to us about what goes into making their location such a top spot for eating brunch in New York, painting a tasty picture in the process:
“Clinton St. Baking Co is a mom & pop neighbourhood institution that has been serving up nothing fancy, just good eats since 2001. We pride ourselves on using the best quality ingredients for our classic American eclectic eats. We try to make the best version of the simplest American dishes you’ve ever tasted.”
Clinton St. Baking Company also went on to describe their menu, popular dishes, and what else diners can expect on arrival:
“Our most popular dishes are blueberry pancakes, huesvos rancheros, fried chicken and waffles and biscuits with our house-made raspberry jam. Our special waffles and eggs benedict also steal the show. When visitors arrive they can expect plenty of crowds from all over the world. We have locations in Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok, and Japan. Our spot is hopping with Latin jazz music that is evocative of NYC and the LES and everything smells like our fresh baked muffins and scones, which we hand craft and bake daily in the bakeshop on premises.”
High Street on Hudson
With brunch hours of Saturday and Sunday between 11.30am and 3pm, High Street on Hudson is an all-day café and restaurant that is perfectly suited for a delightful weekend brunch. High Street on Hudson is in the West Village and also offers a terrific dinner menu.
The restaurant has received numerous accolades – including a nod in Food & Wine’s Best Restaurants of the Year in 2016 – and kindly spoke to us about their fantastic brunch services, showing that visitors can look forward to quite a treat:
“High Street on Hudson’s chef driven menu highlights simple and familiar dishes with elevated flavours and techniques. Among the many notable brunch items are their signature sandwich ‘The Bodega’ with malted breakfast sausage, farm egg, and aged cheddar on a sage-black pepper biscuit. An on-site bakery provides freshly baked bread for all-day menu items and solidifies High Street on Hudson as a go-to spot for diners looking to pair a hand-crafted Raspberry Thyme Bundt Cake or Chocolate Croissant with a coffee sourced by Philadelphia’s Rival Bros Coffee.”
Image Credit: Noah Fecks
As well as having some wonderful brunch options, The Wren on Bowery also has a marvellous bar to boast about, along with a welcoming, almost rural, atmosphere.
The Wren’s brunch hours are between 10.30am and 4pm on weekends and holiday Mondays, and along with great food The Wren has a selection of brunch specific drinks such as raspberry beret, ginger shandi, and a drink known as ‘Good Old Boy’ comprised of bacon-infused Jim Bean bourbon, tomato juice, HP sauce, brown sugar and smoked salt.
For a few more details regarding what visitors can look forward to when dining with them, The Wren mentions: “the bar has an outstanding list of vintage beers, in addition to seasonal cocktails, locally sourced foods and a rustic farmhouse atmosphere. Some of our most popular brunch dishes include the breakfast BLT; bulgur wheat pancakes; and the full Irish.”
For a full look at The Wren’s brunch menu, take a look at their website.
Image Credit: Paul Wagtouicz
Do eggs, eggs, and four different variations of Bloody Marys sound good to you? Then you will almost certainly want to make The Penrose on Second Avenue the venue for your New York brunch treat.
A great little spot to be for good conversation and a friendly drinking environment, The Penrose also offers a menu full of locally sourced foods, crafted brews, and brunch drinks such as pink peppercorn-infused resposado tequila.
The Penrose spoke to us about their selection of brunch drinks, their famous coffee cocktail, and some must try brunch dishes:
“The menu features a variety of different Bloody Mary cocktails, as well as drinks like the rum, amaro and cold brew coffee cocktail ‘Wake Up Mr West!’ Some standout brunch dishes include the baked eggs in tomato sauce; bacon, egg & fried oyster sandwich; eggs benedict; and the Penrose Burger topped with a fried egg.”
Visit The Penrose website for a closer look at the menu.
Wilfie & Nell
Image Credit: Paul Wagtouicz
This West Village bar is a cosy little spot tucked away in an incredibly beautiful brownstone building that goes a long way in providing a rather different atmosphere for any potential brunch in the city.
With locally sourced food, a rustic setting, and a great range of cocktails, wine, and draft beer – including the Five Boroughs Hoppy Lager – Wilfie & Nell should absolutely make an appearance on your NYC schedule, especially when it comes to grabbing a bit of brunch.
Speaking about what’s on offer and the highlights of their drinks menu, Wilfie & Nell say: “the ever-rotating beer list always features a strong selection of locally brewed options, and the brunch menu includes numerous unique beer cocktail options like the IPA Over Ice and IPA Pint Cocktail, and other boozier breakfast drinks like the Breakfast Negroni and Breakfast Cocktail.”
In terms of brunch food, visitors to Wilfie & Nell can look forward to dishes such as the ‘Dry Aged Burger’, the sage sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich, and Irish eggs benedict. For more information, find their menu here.
Operating since 1762, Fraunces Tavern serves brunch on the weekends fulfilling the desires of hungry New Yorkers and tourists in a notably sophisticated environment. This Colonial American Tavern is open seven days a week from 11am to 2am, serving brunch on the weekends. It is known for being the home of great food, over 200 whiskies, and 130 craft beers and ciders.
Fraunces Tavern radiates history and its uniqueness is apparent to all those that venture inside. Visitors to New York will be hard pressed to find a more interesting location to enjoy their brunch.
Fraunces Tavern spoke to us about this history, as well as what visitors can expect today:
“Fraunces Tavern is a colonial American Tavern, and one of New York City's most historic buildings. The building first became a tavern in 1762 and in 1783 George Washington bid farewell to the officers of the Continental Army in the tavern's Long Room, which is now part of Fraunces Tavern Museum.
“Today, Fraunces Tavern houses eight unique dining spaces and is the home of craft beer, amazing tavern fare and has a collection of over 200 whiskeys in its Dingle Whiskey Bar.
“We offer brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm, with the option of choosing a $35 Prix-fixe, which includes a choice of appetizer and main course with 2 mimosas or 2 Bloody Marys. Guests also have the option to dine á la carte. Some of the brunch favourites are our Traditional Irish Breakfast, Apple French Toast and an all-around favourite is our Chicken Pot Pie.”
Jack’s Wife Freda
Opening its doors in 2012, Jack’s Wife Freda is an all-day bistro specialising in American-Mediterranean cooking, as well as some classic cocktails. With locations in Soho and West Village, Jack’s Wife Freda is open seven days a week and is owned by husband and wife team Jack and Freda.
To provide a fuller picture of what’s on offer, we reached out for some words on their brunch menu and the atmosphere awaiting future guests:
“Jack’s Wife Freda is a great representation of just how nice New York can be. Easy going, fun and driven by devoted hospitality each and every day.
“Our brunch menu is Mediterranean inspired with touches of South African and Israeli influence. All dishes are really wonderful, but if we were to point out a few favourites, the green shakshuka, madame freda and steak prego roll are amongst our top faves.
“When joining us for brunch people can expect an energetic room, with a satisfying menu and a genuine experience with all of our staff pitching in to help each other and create a memorable experience for every diner.”
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