The Ten Best Brunches in NYC

Rebelle's steak and eggs
Rebelle's steak and eggs

In NYC, brunch offers a perfect opportunity to sample the city's veritable smorgasbord — you can find everything from roving booze carts to D.I.Y. gourmet breakfast sandwiches to Mediterranean spreads of seasonal small plates. Here are our favorite places to indulge:

Smoked eel roll with cornflakes
Smoked eel roll with cornflakes
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

10. Mission Chinese Food (171 East Broadway, 212-432-0300)
Last year around Christmastime, Danny Bowien and executive chef Angela Dimayuga's Mission Chinese Food crew debuted a playful take on dim sum brunch, complete with carts. The only catch is that you’re more likely to find tartare-topped congee and bagels smeared with chicken liver than crystal shrimp dumplings. If he’s around, Bowien himself may serve you bowls of sinigang, a Filipino soup soured with tamarind or wobbly rice rolls stuffed with smoked eel and sprinkled with cornflakes. He works the room harder than his waitstaff, whose indifferent attitude feels identical to what you'd get in Flushing, Sunset Park, or Mott Street. Barring the mimosa bottle service, the check’s nearly on par with Chinatown, too.

Mek-muffin breakfast sandwich
Mek-muffin breakfast sandwich
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

9. Mekelburg’s (293 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-399-2337)
Every day of the week at Alicia and Daniel Mekelburg’s subterranean grocery and pub, the couple transforms the shop’s soft, dense babka into luxurious French toast. The brief menu also features smoked salmon and whitefish toasts, as well as a "Mek-muffin," which puts the golden arches to shame with a crème-fraîche-and-chive frittata covered in melted cheddar, slab bacon, wilted arugula, and Malaysian hot sauce. The signature breakfast sandwich clocks in at $10, but a naked frittata on Mazzola Bakery brioche is just $3.75, with toppings like serrano ham or broccoli rabe available for about $2 each.

8. Glasserie (95 Commercial Street, Brooklyn; 718-389-0640)
In addition to brunch fare like lamb phyllo pies and ricotta-smeared grilled bread with stewed fruit, Glasserie’s Israeli chef Eldad Shem Tov offers a meze deal that comfortably feeds two. The $19 feast includes ten small tastes (bowls of yogurt, hummus, and seasonal vegetables) to pair with grilled flatbread. For $25, the kitchen throws in a choice of entree — think poached egg shakshuka, house-cured sardines, or more flatbread (this time with lamb and charred vegetables). Sure, the restaurant’s a bit remote, but that's part of what makes it such a gem.

Chicken and waffles
Chicken and waffles

7. Delaware and Hudson (135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn; 718-218-8191)
Patti Jackson satisfies all your Mid-Atlantic desires at this charming and relaxed Williamsburg retreat known for its killer beer list. Scrapple, a Pennsylvanian pork-scrap treat, is made in-house. The kitchen serves the hash in thick golden-brown slabs with eggs any style. And Jackson forgoes fried fowl for crisp and airy waffles ladled with luscious chicken stewed in gravy. She’s even gotten into the breakfast sandwich game with "the Moose," a mess of cheese, bacon, mushrooms, onions, and creamy special sauce on a hard roll — skin-on potato chips and seasonal pickles included.

Hot chicken biscuits
Hot chicken biscuits

6. Joe and Misses Doe (45 East First Street, 212-780-0262)
Opinionated restaurateurs Jill and Joe Dobias slay the weekend daytime meal Beyoncé-style at their stalwart East Village shoebox of a restaurant. Joe lets loose with inventive brunch riffs (BBQ chicken Benedict) and some seriously fierce biscuits. Enjoy them on their own, or split in half for a hot chicken sandwich that’s just begging for Queen B’s handbag hot sauce. Jill is a big fan of encouraging folks to have “sexy time” with her cheeky sidewalk chalkboard signage, and serves quirky goblet drinks, like a Michelada for two, perfectly attuned to the meal’s bacchanalian tendencies.

Smoked sturgeon and salmon platter
Smoked sturgeon and salmon platter
Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice

5. Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-724-4707)
New York's oldest surviving appetizing shop and restaurant, Barney Greengrass has served the Upper West Side since 1908. You can sit in the timeworn beige dining room eating lox and eggs while the wait staff banters, grabbing cans of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda or your pick from the cold case. These days, third-generation owner Gary Greengrass oversees the action. The outfit also offers pastries, cheeses, matzo ball soup, blintzes, and other Jewish comfort dishes. But undoubtedly, the "sturgeon king" deserves his crown: the flaky, thick slices of pink-hued fish are subtly smoky, with remarkable unctuousness and a firm, meaty chew.


From Our Sponsors


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >