The American brunch is a force to be reckoned with. An awe-inspiring thing, a weekend tradition so strong that restaurants will draw long lines of hungry (and hungover) hopefuls every Saturday and Sunday, eager to get their grub on. As passionate breakfast enthusiasts, we’ve done our fair share of brunching in the Big Apple. We’ve sipped on mimosas and sampled menu items both sweet and savory. But do be warned – if you’re looking for cheap brunch buffets or bottomless, all-you-can-drink affairs, this is not the guide for you. If you’re craving simple breakfast classics like pancakes, bacon, eggs Benedict, and avocado toast, we’ve got some suggestions. And if you’re looking for a brunch experience that’s more out-of-the-box, we’ve got recommendations for that too. Keep reading to see our guide to the very best brunches in New York City, from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
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Chez Ma Tante
Pancakes are an item we rarely order at restaurants. We make a mean buttermilk pancake at home, so when we go out to eat we usually opt for other menu items. The opposite is true in this scenario – Instagram photos of these buttery hotcakes led us to book a reservation at Chez Ma Tante. And, excuse our French, but holy sh*t – these are the best restaurant pancakes we’ve ever had. They are thick and fluffy, absolutely soaked in butter (and maybe maple syrup, too), with a crispy ring around the edge. These pancakes live up to the hype and then some – this is breakfast food for the gods.
CHEZ MA TANTE Address & Contact Information 90 Calyer St, Brooklyn, New York Website Instagram Facebook
Why limit brunch to weekends? At Thai Diner, brunch is served until 5pm daily, so you can get your fix any day of the week. The must-order dish here is the Thai Diner egg sandwich. Scrambled eggs, sai oua (herbal sausage), American cheese, and Thai basil are wrapped together in a homemade roti and served with roasted chili nam jim (dipping sauce). This flavorful brunch item is the perfect blend of modern Thai and American cuisines. We also love the disco fries (crinkle cut fries topped with massaman curry, red onion, peanuts, and coconut cream) and the phat thai (rice noodles with peanuts, radish, and crispy dried shrimp in a tamarind sauce). Although it’s usually difficult to book a table online, there are typically seats available for walk-in.
THAI DINER Address & Contact Information 186 Mott St, New York, New York Website Instagram
Sunday in Brooklyn
Sunday in Brooklyn is one of the best brunch spots in New York, and the home of the malted pancakes with hazelnut praline and brown butter. Maybe you’ve seen these gloriously glazed hotcakes on Instagram? When given the option to order 1, 2, or 3 pancakes, we obviously go for the triple stack. (Life is short, after all!) Other brunch classics include the breakfast scramble, biscuits and gravy, the steak and eggs platter, and various breakfast sandwiches – but don’t leave without ordering the maple cheddar biscuit. It’s sweet, salty, and our favorite thing on the menu.
SUNDAY IN BROOKLYN Address & Contact Information 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, New York Website Instagram Facebook
Rule of Thirds
Japanese-style sandos have been all over menus the last few years, but Rule of Thirds’ tamago sando is perhaps the best we’ve had outside of Japan. A fluffy Japanese omelette is served on toasted milk bread with miso mayo and yuzu cucumbers. Creamy and fresh, with wonderful textures – this was a breakfast dream come true. Other must-order dishes here include the karaage (fried chicken with ginger, soy, and tartar sauce) and the hottokeki (a Japanese souffle pancake with honey maple butter, sesame, and soft serve). This is the perfect place for a sunny weekend brunch in Brooklyn.
RULE OF THIRDS Address & Contact Information 171 Banker St, Brooklyn, New York Website Instagram
Craving Mexican brunch and margaritas? Why not have brunch at one of the world’s best restaurants? Cosme was ranked no. 22 on The World’s 50 Best list 2021, but don’t expect a formal tasting menu here. Enrique Olvera’s NYC restaurant has a fun, chill vibe and a positive atmosphere. The team’s happy energy bleeds into the dining room, and into the food. The brunch menu takes a lot of the Cosme classics and puts a sunny spin on them. You’ll find a corn omelette with fresh herbs, chilaquiles with salsa, queso fresco, and an egg, and duck enmoladas, covered in that famously rich mole negro. Best of all, the signature desserts, the corn husk meringue with corn mousse and the churros with dulce de leche, are both on the brunch menu.
COSME Address & Contact Information 35 E 21st St, New York, New York Website Instagram Facebook
Win Son Bakery
One of our favorite bites in NYC is the scallion pancake egg sandwich at Win Son Bakery. It reminds us of a cheesy quesadilla on a flour tortilla, but with the wonderful addition of scallion. (Big fans of alliums here!) This dish is so good that we ordered seconds immediately after finishing our first sandwich. On the side is their signature Ginger Deluxe sauce (a blend of kewpie mayo, ginger, scallion, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic), which was so delicious we bought a bottle to bring home with us. We also adore the Fan Tuan (the rice roll with the fried dough and pork floss inside) and the mochi donut.
WIN SON BAKERY Address & Contact Information 164 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, New York Website Instagram Facebook
Where’s your favorite place to eat brunch in New York? Let us know in a comment below.