The Best Brunch in 15 Brooklyn Neighborhoods
It’s been many years, many prestige cable television programs, and many restaurant and bar openings since Brooklyn was considered second to anything. Long ago regarded as baby Manhattan, Kings County is the most populous borough in NYC, with copious eating and drinking destinations to match. There are a lot of things that Brooklyn does best, and brunch ranks high among them.
Whether you wake up here every day or arrive by bridge, tunnel, subway, ferry, or bicycle, you’ll find the classic, trendy, innovative, buzzy, quiet midday meal of your dreams at restaurants, cafés, cozy corner spots, and slick newcomers. These are the kind of places that offer opportunities to try new things, evoke nostalgia with takes on staples, make you feel like a regular on your first visit, and entice you to return. Raise a Bloody Mary, mimosa, or BEC to the best brunch spots in 15 NYC neighborhoods.
If you can swing it, The Common is best visited on a weekday, when it’s less crowded and you’re able to fully enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the quaint café. The best option on the all-around excellent menu is the inside out truffle bun, which pairs truffle aioli with bacon jam on a soft scrambled egg sandwich for an unparalleled match made in brunch heaven.
A fairly new addition to Bed-Stuy’s restaurant scene, Zaca Cafe is a fantastic option for an everyday brunch. The staff is warm and gracious, the menu -- which includes staples like French toast and fried chicken and waffles -- is spectacular, and the portions are generous.
Stepping into this cozy café, with walls lined in old French newspaper, feels like traveling back in time and across the world, to 1950s Paris (the back patio feels particularly whimsical and otherworldly). Dining with a group with varied tastes and diets? No problem -- Mominette’s brunch menu includes sections dedicated to eggs, burgers/sandwiches, vegan options and sweets.
The “New American cuisine - prepared by our new American students” at Emma’s Torch is inspired by the restaurant’s mission to empower refugees through culinary education. Throughout a three month, paid apprenticeship, students take ESL classes, prepare for job interviews, and create delights like black-eyed pea hummus, tamarind barbecue wings and pistachio bread pudding. [Find reservations on OpenTable.]
Sisters is always a stunning venue to enjoy a meal, but it’s especially beautiful during brunch, when the enormous skylight spotlights the wraparound bar (and the majestic flora-filled shelving behind it). Go for the savory French toast, made with pulled pork, scallions, cheddar & fried egg, paired with a Mother Have Mercy, a cocktail of mezcal, chareau, lime and ginger.
Welcome to New Orleans via Brooklyn at Mayfield, where dishes like the cornmeal fried oyster appetizer and shrimp & grits are standouts on a menu full of incredible options. Owing to an outstanding beverage program, gorgeous presentations and deeply comforting (and filling--the portions are hearty AF) meals, Mayfield is predictably busy during brunch, but it’s well worth the wait.
The Castello Plan
The Castello Plan feels a bit like an old west saloon with a modern twist, which makes perfect for Ditmas Park, a neighborhood known for its Victorian-era homes (go on a nice day, when you can walk around a bit before or after you eat). Their brunch menu includes just 10 items, all done spectacularly -- especially the biscuits and gravy.
Westville is the perfect stop on your way to or from Brooklyn Bridge Park. When the weather is nice, go with a group (bonus: there are many delicious options for vegans and vegetarians) and sit at the picnic benches on the outdoor patio. Go for the California Benedict (poached eggs, roasted corn and avocado over crispy hashbrowns, topped with sriracha hollandaise). [Find reservations on OpenTable.]
You’ll find some of the NYC’s best Italian food at Evelina -- a bold claim for sure -- and its brunch means business, too. The prosciutto di Parma eggs Benedict, prepared with burrata and truffle hollandaise, is exquisite. And the dining room, which feels old-school NYC cool with its exposed brick walls and white mosaic tile floors, is bathed in sunlight during the day.
It’s hard to choose between indoor and outdoor seating at Oxomoco. The front patio, which is nestled between two brick buildings, feels like an oasis, and the dining room, with its huge skylight, white decor and hanging ivy, has some serious Tulum vibes. Fortunately, the tuna tostada, beet “chorizo” bowl, lamb barbacoa quesadilla and masa griddle cakes are all terrific from any seat in the house. Oxomoco also swirls up frosty frozen margaritas -- a rare find at your finer dining destinations.
Cheryl’s Global Soul
Cheryl’s Global Soul, aka “that cozy café around the way,” offers one of the best and most hearty brunch deals in the borough. Heaping plates of pancakes, brioche French toast, quiche, eggs any way with home fries, toast, bacon or sausage, and other items from its prix fixe menu top out at $15 and include coffee and a bloody Mary or a mimosa. Unsurprisingly, there’s almost always a long wait for a table on the weekend, but once you’re settled in you’ll feel equally at home in the comfy dining room or the cozy garden.
Prospect Lefferts Garden
PLG Coffee House and Tavern
Late sleepers rejoice: bunch bites like smoked salmon, BECs, and avo toast are served until 5pm on weekends at this Prospect Lefferts Garden favorite, which feels like a suburban hideaway despite its quirky hipster decor. The combination of PLG’s excellent beer selection and its dog-friendly seating out front make it a perfect venue to enjoy a leisurely brunch with your favorite pals and pooches.
This homey and welcoming Sheepshead Bay café has a brunch option for every palate. If you prefer a savory meal, go for the eggs in purgatory (baked eggs in tomato sauce topped with melted burrata, sauteed spinach and toasted sourdough). Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try the cinnamon swirl pancakes. Need a detox? Sip a smoothie or a fresh juice. Retox more your speed? Terra has a full bar, too.
Zona Sur Bar Bistro
Not only is boozy brunch an option seven days a week at Zona Sur, but it also had daily pancake specials and breakfast pizza. The cocktail list is phenomenal -- start with standouts like the Sicario (mezcal, pisco, pineapple, lime, agave and worm salt) and La Bicicleta (white wine, green grapes, basil, peach puree and citrus).
House of Small Wonder
House of Small Wonder is perhaps the most aptly named cafe in town: Its terrarium-filled treehouse-like interior looks as likely to host mischievous fairies as it hungry humans. Select from an eclectic menu that includes classic brunch staples like egg scrambles, croques, and French toast alongside Japanese inspired specialties like Okinawan taco rice and tsukune don. Cocktails like the mimosa and bloody maki are all under $10.
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