Where to Eat Brunch in NYC This Spring
It’s back and better than ever.
In the Before Times, brunch may not have been the most ideal time to dine out in NYC, considered by some as “amateur hour” thanks to overly packed sidewalk cafes, long wait times, and a bevy of overpriced mediocre options (no one’s knocking those bottomless mimosa specials however). But now that we’re a year into the pandemic, the prospect of daytime drinking and dining with friends is sounding pretty damn good after a year of social isolation—so with the spring weather (not to mention Easter Sunday) just around the corner and plenty of things to toast to, we say go ahead and indulge, and order up another round of Bloody Marys for the table.
Whether you’re looking to eat onsite at a restaurant or order up dishes for takeout to enjoy with your crew at the park, there are still plenty of stellar brunch options in NYC to choose from. From brand-new openings and reopenings to old standbys, no matter what neighborhood you call home, we’ve rounded up 17 spots perfect for a midday weekend meal. And when dining out, please tip generously, wear your mask whenever not seated at your table, and continue to social distance responsibly.
Pig & Butter
Pig & Butter is the Lower East Side’s newest destination for brunch that opened just last week. After starting her culinary career at Superfine in DUMBO (and putting her MA in psychology to good use as a practicing psychotherapist for years), the concept of owner-chef Sherry Grimes’ first NYC brick-and-mortar restaurant is all about breakfast-inspired dishes. Served under a “Black Owned” neon sign in the dining room with classic soul, hip hop, and reggae playing in the background, diners can expect dishes like fried chicken and waffles with pure maple syrup; The Conductor sandwich with candied bacon, fried chicken, a fried egg, and buttery maple syrup between cornbread; and the chorizo scramble, an item inspired by a dish Grimes often had during hungover mornings in Barcelona. Expect signature drinks and various compotes in the near future once a liquor license is secured.
How to book: Limited space due to capacity. Reservations are available for indoor dining and outdoor seating via email at email@example.com. Order takeout via website.
After hibernating for the winter, this highly acclaimed Williamsburg brasserie (from the same team behind nearby Chez Ma Tante) is set to reopen this week. At Le Crocodile, chefs Jake Leiber and Aidan O’Neal serve French fare inspired by their favorite haunts in both Paris and NYC—and for their first weekend brunch service of 2021, the restaurant exclusively tells Thrillist that diners can expect the debut of two new seasonal items: oeufs en meurette with red wine, porcini, and bacon; and eggs florentine with spinach and artichoke. Finish it off with desserts from executive pastry chef Kimberly Ku including maple cream doughnuts, sticky banana date pudding, tarte au citron, and chocolate cake.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy for indoor dining and heated outdoor garden terrace dining.
Opened in February, chef Ari Bokovza’s Meditterean-inspired menu at Dagon offers tastes of Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, and more, in a stylish dining room adorned with ‘70s vintage wallpaper. For brunch, choose from items like the Jerusalem bagel & cured salmon with za’atar cream cheese; poached egg khachapuri with preserved lemon hollandaise; or challah french toast with baharat granola and whipped yogurt. In addition, seven varieties of the restaurant’s signature mezze are also available, along with breads, salads, and small plates like shishbarak (Lebanese mushroom filled dumplings with warm yogurt, pine nuts, and spicy herb sauce.)
How to book: Reservations available via OpenTable for indoor dining and heated outdoor seating.
New Yorkers eagerly waited for this SoHo stalwart to reopen since closing last spring due to COVID-19. And a year later, the iconic French brasserie from restaurateur Keith McNally has once again opened its doors to offer onsite dining for the first time since the pandemic began. In addition to dinner and lunch service, brunch at Balthazar is also back with the eatery’s classics like eggs benedict; duck confit hash and eggs; belgian waffles; and plenty more. In addition to indoor dining and offering sidewalk seating, the restaurant’s new outdoor dining structures are a part of The Outdoor Villages program with American Express and Resy, and are currently available for reservations.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy for indoor dining, sidewalk seating, and The Outdoor Villages.
Charlies Bar & Kitchen
Located in a landmark building in Mott Haven that was once a piano factory, Charlies Bar & Kitchen (no apostrophe as its named after many famous Charlies), serves new American cuisine with a seasonal menu inspired by ingredients from local farmers markets. At this popular neighborhood eatery, go for brunch classics like pancake stacks; shrimp & grits; eggs benedict; or Charlies steak & eggs with fries and house salad. House specialties also include fish tacos, and a burger with caramelized onions, cheese, and bacon.
How to book: Reservations are available via website for indoor dining. Call 718-684-2338 for takeout and order delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, Seamless, Uber Eats.
After taking over the space of a Greenpoint deli where he was previously a regular, catering chef Edouard Massih opened his Lebanese grocer and deli, Edy’s Grocer, last summer. In addition to imported Lebanese pantry staples and rotating specials, the shop offers prepared foods like sandwiches, salads, pastries, and mains that include skewers and stuffed cabbage. For an easy brunch that’s ideal for anyone on the go, choose from items like breakfast empanadas made with bacon, egg, and cheese; chocolate tahini overnight oats with date molasses and pistachio; and spicy fig & ricotta man’oushe—all of which are priced at under $10. In addition, an assortment of 20 varieties of mezze include Lebanese sausage, lemony pickles, Beirut jardiniere, and many more.
How to order: Storefront or walk-up window, outdoor seating is first come, first served.
At this spot from chef Sam Yoo, nostalgic diner classics with an Asian twist and renditions inspired by its Chinatown neighborhood are served up in a picturesque location below the Manhattan Bridge. Yoo’s talents made Golden Diner a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2020 for Best New Restaurant, and for brunch, choose from signature items like the Chinatown egg and cheese sando; honey butter pancakes; kale and parmesan biscuits and gravy; and homemade granola and yogurt with pumpkin seeds and orange zest. Korean-inspired drinks include soju bloody mary and a makgeolli horchata (with Korean rice wine and a housemade horchata blend).
How to book: Brunch is available by walk-ins only or call same day at 917-472-7800 to be put on the waitlist for heated outdoor dining. Order takeout and delivery via website.
At this pandemic-born restaurant, chef James Tracey’s take on brunch checks all the boxes while adding his own Italian specialties to the menu. Dine on classic brunch dishes like omelets, french toast, and frittatas alongside more unconventional brunch appetizers like crispy cauliflower with calabrian chile aioli, meyer lemon, and shishito peppers or steelhead trout crudo. A menu from Isabelle’s Osteria wouldn’t be complete without pasta made in-house, with bucatini carbonara, mushroom lasagna, and tagliatelle bolognese a few of the selections to choose from.
How to book: Reservations are available via OpenTable for indoor dining and heated outdoor dining. Order delivery via website.
Well-executed Japanese-Italian mashup dishes are the focus at Kimika, a Nolita restaurant led by executive chef Christine Lau. Bringing over 15 years of industry experience, Lau’s menu has successfully captivated New Yorkers with a delicious approach to an oft-attempted (and oft failed) cuisine hybrid. Brunch options include baked eggs with sweet italian sausage and spicy cabbage; the cotechino katsu and tamago sando with kewpie egg salad; and french toast with matcha mochi and citron syrup available alongside a menu of signature pizzette frites and pastas.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy for indoor dining and heated outdoor dining.
Wife-and-husband duo Ria and Kevol Graham created a tropical paradise of sorts near the Williamsburg waterfront since opening Kokomo last summer. With a focus on Pan-Caribbean flavors, the spot’s bright energy and vibrant menu items make weekends shine even brighter with a dedicated brunch menu. Go for Koko’s chicken and waffle with housemade syrup and coconut whipped cream; sweet plantain pancakes with tropical fruit; callaloo egg frittata with home fries; and the Jerkmi burger made with grass-fed beef, fried onions, bacon, and jerk mayo. Pair dishes with cocktails like a coconut negroni, special good juice mango rum punch, or a tiki Aperol spritz. On Sundays, enjoy live entertainment in the restaurant’s tropical-themed outdoor patio.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy for heated outdoor dining. Order takeout and delivery via website, DoorDash, UberEats.
Mark's Off Madison
Mark’s Off Madison is a culmination of more than 30 years in the NYC food world for Queens-born chef, Mark Strausman. With past experience at legendary eatery, Freds at Barneys New York, and Italian spot, Campagna, Strausman’s first namesake restaurant focuses on quintessential NYC dishes of Italian, Jewish, and European roots made with sophistication. The eatery’s brunch menu can vary on what the chef is cooking up that day, but typical dishes include Mark’s bagel benedict with two poached eggs and double-smoked bacon on a bagel with cayenne hollandaise; banana stuffed French toast; and porchetta hash topped with a fried egg. And for any M.O.M. devotees, signature items like Belgian fries or Estelle’s chicken soup are also available to order.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy for indoor dining or heated outdoor dining. Order takeout and delivery via Caviar, Grubhub.
Mom's Kitchen & Bar
Hearty portions, colorful milkshakes, and all-day brunch—this popular neighborhood destination in Astoria has got it all. As Mom’s Kitchen & Bar celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, the restaurant continues to invoke a big appetite for fun with menu items that are treat for diners of all ages. Indulge in mac ‘n’ cheese pancakes; the house favorite chicken and bacon waffles topped with Cholula honey and cheesy sauce; avocado toast with poached eggs, mandarin orange, and pickled red onion on sourdough; and Korean cauliflower with gochujang sauce and black sesame seeds. Four signature milkshakes (that are towering in size) also come with a boozy option. And for those in Manhattan, a second location of Mom’s in Hell’s Kitchen is also open.
How to book: Indoor dining and heated outdoor dining is first come, first served. Call 718-267-0142 for takeout and order delivery via Grubhub.
Pastry chef Eric See’s Crown Heights cafe and bakery, Ursula, has become a Brooklyn favorite known for its New Mexican-inspired menu since opening its doors last September. For many New Yorkers, morning weekend plans now include rushing to the fast-casual eatery before noon to snag a highly-coveted breakfast burrito. Choose from four varieties—chorizo, bacon, scrambled eggs, or vegan pinto beans—all of which are made with hashbrowns and include green and/or red New Mexican chile. Additional menu items include a brioche egg sandwich or a variety of baked goods including rhubarb strawberry and rosemary pastelitos, biscochitos, rosewater concha, and blue corn scones.
How to order: Storefront, limited outdoor seating available in addition to covered outdoor standing bar. Delivery available via Caviar on select days.
The Wild Son
After relocating from its former post in the Meatpacking District, The Wild Son’s St. Marks Place home has ample outdoor dining for leisurely springtime brunches. From the team known for East Village staples like Goodnight Sonny and The Wayland, the brunch menu is stacked with breakfast sandwiches, buttermilk pancakes, and more lunchtime options like a hearty burger and fries or tuna melt. This all-day cafe also takes day drinking to a new level. The creative cocktail menu utilizes ingredients like beet juice in the restaurant’s take on a Bloody Mary and jalapeno-rosemary syrup in a drink called One Way To Oaxaca, so you have plenty of fun options to choose from.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy indoor dining and outdoor seating is first come, first served. Order takeout and delivery via website.
Since hitting the food scene with its Taiwanese-American offerings in 2016, the popular East Williamsburg corner location of Win Son has since gained a bakery (with signature donuts, desserts, and savory snacks) across the street. But at the original restaurant that’s open for dinner and brunch service, diners can revel in a daytime meal on Saturdays and Sundays through a dedicated brunch menu. Choose from items like big chicken and waffles with pan gravy and a sesame waffle: lu rou fan with minced heritage pork belly and two sunny side up eggs; and sesame noodles with oyster mushrooms, snow pea leaves, and peanuts. Small plates include tián dou jiang with sweet house-made soy milk and you tiao; and the hualien egg bomb with chili sauce and herbs. Mimosa pitchers serving 4-5 people are also available.
How to book: Reservations are available via Resy for parties of 5-9 in indoor dining. Smaller parties and outdoor dining is first come, first served. Order takeout and delivery via website.
Winner easily won over Park Slope since opening last year with fresh-baked breads, pastries, and a charming friends and family meal that rotates in a different guest chef to curate the menu each week. Although the shop may not call it by name, chef Daniel Eddy is making some of the best brunch in the area. The low-key cafe’s full coffee bar, egg sandwiches atop housemade english muffins, and sweet confections like cinnamon rolls, croissants, and a variety of scones are available early on, and lunchtime sandwiches and daily soup and salad are among the options into the afternoon.
How to order: Storefront
Xilonen is the latest project from the crew behind lauded Oxomoco and features plant-based regional Mexican fare that’s 75% vegan and 25% vegetarian (some items may contain eggs and dairy). Named after the Aztec Goddess of Young Corn, the restaurant’s two menus are categorized by day, Dia, or night, Noche, and weekend brunch items include scrambled egg tostada with salsa macha and queso chihuahua; green chorizo quesadilla with smoked pecans and black bean salsa avocado; and the signature masa pancakes with maple syrup and salted butter. Add on an order of vegan cinnamon churros made with Oaxacan chocolate or a Oaxacan hot chocolate to sip on.
How to order: Reservations are available via Resy for indoor dining and heated outdoor dining is first come, first served. Order takeout and delivery via Caviar, DoorDash.