The 16 Most Essential East Village Brunch Spots

Knock out those Sunday scaries, or your hangover, or...both.

Bar Primi's breakfast spaghetti
Bar Primi's breakfast spaghetti | Photo by Nicole Franzen
Bar Primi's breakfast spaghetti | Photo by Nicole Franzen

No one does brunch quite like New Yorkers. And no NYC neighborhood does it quite as well as the East Village. After a night of bar hopping around its iconic watering holes, head right back the next morning for your hangover meal. From brunch legends like Veselka and Cafe Mogador to newer haunts like Little Rebel, the choices are seemingly endless.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for Italian or dim sum-inspired options or a full-out Jamaican feast, here are some can’t-miss brunch options in the East Village:

Baar Baar
Photo by Noah Fecks

While feasting on Indian-influenced dishes, let the melodic sounds of Baar Baar’s live Bollywood jazz brunch heal your hangover. Vibe out with the band over a small plate like the Bombay chili cheese toast with red onion and tomato; or the pani puri served with passionfruit water, mint, cilantro, and chili. Move onto an entree with a jackfruit burger with coleslaw, cilantro chutney, and chili mayo; malai chicken mac and cheese; or the cheesy shrimp and grits with tomato kut. Brunch rules state that a side must be ordered with your entree—but good news there’s plenty to choose from, like garlic naan; saffron rice; or masala fries. A pitcher (or two) of mimosas, bellinis, sangria, or margaritas will do the trick for rounding out your meal.
How to book: For Saturday brunch email brunch@baarbaarnyc.com

Available for Reservations
Bar Primi
Photo by Nicole Franzen

The Italian eatery from Noho Hospitality Group, known for its pasta-centric menu, serves up a range of sweet and savory brunch dishes. The crowd-favorite is obviously the breakfast spaghetti with kale, pancetta, and a poached egg or opt for the ricotta pancakes topped with Nutella, banana, and walnuts. If you’re more in a tapas-type mood, the antipasti menu is rife with options like the tomato and basil pesto rice balls; peperonata burrata; or beets atop pimenton yogurt. Sip mimosas (choice of orange, grapefruit, or blood orange) or spicy Bloody Marys by the glass, or pitcher if you’re feeling it. If you want to keep the drinks flowing without a change of scenery, Aperitivo Hour—specialty cocktails and small bites—starts promptly at 3 pm on the weekends as well.

Available for Reservations
Cafe Mogador
Photo courtesy of Cafe Mogador

Serving up a Moroccan-inspired brunch since 1983 is family-owned and -operated Cafe Mogador, which still boasts lines down the block nearly 40 years later. Snag a spread from the egg-centric brunch specials: sabich plate with roasted eggplant, tahini, eggs, and amba; spicy tomato and pepper sauce-doused Moroccan benedict; Yemenite flatbread served with eggs, schug, and labne; or the eggs blackstone with bacon, poached eggs, and roasted tomato. Pair your dish with a freshly-squeezed glass of OJ or a specialty cocktail like the Marigold Road (turmeric-infused gin, lemon, honey). If you’re not in the mood for eggs, the breakfast and lunch menus are also available, with options like buttermilk pancakes and falafel sandwiches.
How to book: Walk-in only

Vaulted ceilings, an expansive dining area, and dimmed mood-lighting greet you at Tao Group Hospitality’s most recent opening, Cathédrale. Located underneath the Moxy Hotel, the 250-seat space works well for bigger groups or for recuperating from a hangover amid a large crowd. Guest favorites include the mimosa flight (spiced apple cider, classic OJ, pomegranate juice, and peach puree) and the garden spritz (sparkling wine and orange peels combined with herbs and spices). Explore the menu of French-Mediterranean cuisine that calls to the coastlines of Southern France, Italy, Spain, and Greece. Dive into a nicoise salad; salmon with couscous; shakshuka; or a frittata to round out your experience.

Available for Reservations

Sidle on into the cozy one-room, French-American eatery, David’s Cafe, for your next weekend outing. For the most part we’re talking classics: French toast, eggs Benedict, steak and eggs, but specialty dishes are also available for more curious diners. Sample the orange blossom pancakes with blueberries and lemon zest or go seafood-centric with the tartar sauce-smothered crab cake Benedict. Wash it down with wine carafes and the pitchers of mimosas, bellinis, sangria, and a range of beers.

Available for Reservations

Thankfully, Emmy Squared keeps serving up reliably crispy Detroit-style pies, even on the weekends. Shake those Sunday scaries with an order of The Hangover pizza (caramelized onions, sausage, bacon, smoked gouda, fried egg, and, of course, ranch) or dive into a cheesy beef burger on a pretzel bun with a side of waffle fries. Wake yourself up with an espresso martini or spiked americano, or venture over to the cocktail pitchers (Bloody Mary, mimosa, and peach sunset sangria).

Available for Reservations

Serving up neighborhood hangout vibes and a cash-only policy is Neapolitan pizzeria Lil’ Frankie’s. Although during brunch hours you can still snag a pie, sandwiches and breakfast dishes make an appearance on the menu. Take down a crimini and fontina omelette; chicken parmesan sammy; or the polpettes served with baked eggs. And don’t miss the $16 three-for-one drink deal, which applies to mimosas, Bloody Marys, screwdrivers, bellinis, or prosecco.

Available for Reservations
Jolene
Photo by Eric Medsker

Restaurateur Gabe Stulman (Joseph Leonard, Fairfax) closed his restaurant Jones (located in the iconic Great Jones Cafe space) and in its place, opened Parisian-inspired Jolene earlier this year. Technically, we know this is NoHo, but we feel it’s fair game seeing that it borders the neighborhood line along Bowery. Start off strong with a michelada; a sbagliato (prosecco mixed with vermouth and campari); or grab a few glasses from the bespoke wine list. Follow up with a lox toast (scallion cream cheese, cucumber, roe) or go for lunch vibes with a crispy chicken Milanese served with artichokes. If neither of those are fitting your mood, there’s more to choose from the menu ranging from an omelette to a cheeseburger.

Available for Reservations
Little Rebel
Photo by Britt Stark

Dine in an atmosphere dedicated to the most iconic pop culture rebels of the past at Little Rebel. Consisting of two stories for the bar and restaurant, the ambiance channels the Victorian era with high ceilings, crown molding, and crystal chandeliers complete with framed pictures of famous mugshots (David Bowie and Prince make an appearance, obviously). Pair an espresso martini, margarita, or bellini with an order of the berry-covered pancakes; the bacon jam and egg burger; or chicken and waffles. If you’re leaning towards a stronger drink, explore the celebrity-inspired cocktails list like the James Dean (rye, vermouth, tobacco tincture) and the Tyler Durden (whiskey, walnut liqueur, maple syrup).

Available for Reservations
Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe
Photo courtesy of Miss Lily’s 7A Cafe

Every weekend, expect to see the masses lining up for Miss Lily’s Caribbean brunch. With chef Kahari Woolcock helming the kitchen, explore signature dishes like the Jamaican breakfast with ackee, saltfish, festival dumplings, and steamed greens; or the jerk chicken roti with rice, peas, shaved cabbage, and Trinidadian flatbread. For smaller bites, try the corn with jerk mayo and toasted coconut; cod fish fritters; or hot pepper shrimp. Pull up on a Sunday for the bottomless brunch, which gives customers an hour of bottomless drinks—like the pineapple and peach bellini or the orange rum punch—for $25 with the purchase of an entree.

Available for Reservations
noreetuh
Photo by Cassandra Wang

At Hawaiian restaurant, noreetuh, chef Chung Chow has designed an extensive Asian- and Pacific-influenced brunch menu. Go for a tapas experience by filling the table with dishes like musubi (popular options include the spam, spicy tuna, and sea urchin); tuna poke with macadamia nuts and pickled jalapeños; or a pork katsu sandwich on a sweet Hawaiian bun. If you’re not in the mood for sharing (hangover’s can make anyone a little grumpy), chomp down on a bowl of kimchi fried rice; or a plate of fried chicken served with rice, fried egg, macaroni salad, and gravy. An impressive wine list is available (with corkage fees waived on Sundays), as well as a specialty cocktail list with drinks like the coconut sangria (butterfly pea soju, coconut cream, mint syrup) or simply kick back with a cold six pack of beer.

Available for Reservations

Welcome some Southern hospitality into your life at Root & Bone by chefs Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis. Comfort food reigns supreme here, so it makes sense that there’s a boozy brunch option. At $45 per person (with the whole table required to participate), guests can order from the menu of large plates or salads to accompany an hour and a half of unlimited spiked Arnold Palmers or mimosas. Indulge with dishes like biscuits and gravy; fried chicken and waffles; shrimp and grits; or braised short rib meatloaf with eggs. On the other hand, you can keep it light with the brussels sprouts or wedge salad. Oh, and we would be remiss not to mention—there’s also deviled eggs on the menu.

Available for Reservations

Italian bistro Tarallucci e Vino’s East Village location offers a casual vibe for your weekend brunch plans. Choices range from delicate pastries and breakfast classics to filling entrees like specialty pizzas and pastas. On the savory side, pick from menu items like the farro and quinoa salad; Roman-style burrata pizza; or truffle aioli and provolone burger. If you’re sticking to the sweets, try out the Nutella, banana, and mascarpone french toast; or snag a couple pistachio bombolonis and pear danishes to pair alongside a cappuccino. Here, the crowd-pleasing cocktail pitchers are the main brunch attraction. Perfect for catching a little buzz, choose between three spritz options or the negroni.

Available for Reservations

Dig into all the dim sum you can handle at the Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant Tim Ho Wan. Together chefs Mak Kwai Pui and Leung Fai Keung’s menu offers a wide range of Hong Kong-inspired bites that draw lines stretching out the building. Can’t-miss items we recommend for your brunch table: barbecue pork buns; steamed rice rolls with barbecue pork; pan-fried turnip cakes; and steamed egg cakes. That being said, mix and match menu items to your heart’s desire, but make sure to grab a Hong Kong-style iced milk tea to wash it all down.
How to book: Walk-in only

Veselka
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

This Ukrainian coffee shop and eatery is one of the neighborhood’s most iconic culinary institutions. Located on a stretch that’s also known as Little Ukraine, its name translates to “rainbow” and has served the community for more than 60 years. The popular restaurant is best known for pierogies, borscht, and goulash, making it a solid brunch destination. Pull up a seat for a salmon and latkes eggs Benedict; a fall waffle with apple, pear, and raisin compote; or snag a couple seasonal blintzes to complement your mimosa.
How to book: First come, first serve basis

The Wild Son
Photo courtesy of The Wild Son

Head to The Wild Son for your next chilled-out weekend brunch. The bistro is a part of Endless Hospitality Group (Good Night Sonny, The Wayland) and offers a succinct menu of sandwiches, salads, and breakfast with a healthy spin, plus juices, coffee, and tea. We recommend starting your morning off right with the Grandma Anna (scrambled eggs, broccoli rabe, bacon, peppadew aioli) and a piping hot matcha latte or hibiscus lemonade. Feeling extra autumnal? Snag an apple cider doughnut on your way out.

Available for Reservations
Izzy Baskette is an editorial assistant at Thrillist.