The 12 Best Brunch Spots In NYC

Whether you're a weekend Eggs Benedict fanatic or someone who'd rather starve than wait 45 minutes for a $20 breakfast, there's no question that brunch is a fact of life in NYC, a fate to which we all succumb sooner or later. Hell, there was even a riveting year-long turf war over it in Williamsburg! #Neverforget. The options here run the gamut from all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary bingefests to fancy French petit de'jeuners, with every type of chicken-fried-waffle situation in between. Here are our favorites; we know you'll leave yours in the comments.

Eggs Blackstone at Mogador (Via Yelp)

CAFE MOGADOR AND CAFE ORLIN: It's a hard tossup between these two Mediterranean-inspired East Village joints, so we're just going to lump them together. Hell, if you're stuck on line for one of them (and you will be), you can always just meander down the block to the other one and double up on the wait lists. Modern convenience is a wonder. Either way, though, both Mogador and Orlin serve up stellar brunches, with Mogador offering standout dishes like the savory goat cheese, tomato and spinach omelette ($16) and the fiery Moroccan Benedict ($16). The newer Williamsburg outpost doesn't serve the omelette, sadly, but you can still opt for their hollandaise-sauce drizzled Eggs Florentine ($16) served with homefries and a salad. Mimosas, blood-orange mimosas and Bloody Marys run $8.

Orlin's menu is pretty similar to Mogador's, with the same Eggs Florentine and Eggs Blackstone offerings for a slightly cheaper $14.50. They also have a tasty Challah French toast ($14.50), omelets, a spicy standout Tunisian eggs over-easy dish ($11) made with peppers, tomatoes, homefries and pita, and a whole bunch of pancake dishes ($11-$12) if your hangover demands something sweet and bread-y.

Cafe Mogador is located at 101 St. Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A in the East Village (212-677-2226, and at 133 Wythe Ave between North 7th and North 8th Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-486-9222, Cafe Orlin is located at 41 St. Marks Place between 1st and 2nd Aves in the East Village (212-777-1447,

JACOB'S PICKLES: The Upper West Side got a much-needed jolt of chicken-fried happiness when this Southern-inspired spot opened in 2011. And though Jacob's Pickles' beer selection deserves a whole celebratory post of its own, the brunch here is a weekend force to be reckoned with. Standout items include the biscuit pancakes and buttermilk fried chicken combo ($15), which is as deliciously deadly as it sounds, the equally decadent biscuits, gravy and fried eggs plate ($10), the sumptuous biscuits french toast ($13) and the sausage, egg and cheese biscuit sandwich ($11). Do not attempt on a diet.

Jacob's Pickles also serves a stellar Bloody B.L.T. ($13), a Bloody Mary made with Niman ranch bacon and a jalapeño pickled egg. They also offer their famed pickle jars for brunch, but personal experience has taught us that too many hot sour cukes in the morning can be disastrous, so proceed with caution.

Jacob's Pickles is located at 509 Amsterdam Ave between 84th and 85th Streets on the Upper West Side (212-470-5566, them on Facebook.

Lobster huevos rancheros at the Lobster Joint (via Yelp)

LOBSTER JOINT: We gave the Lobster Joint love for its Lobster Claw Bloody a while back, but the brunch prix-fixe deal here is so sweet it warrants its own write up. For $19, you can choose from a zesty fried oyster scramble, lobster rancheros, a crab & asparagus omelette or for the landlocked, a mushroom frittata or Angus burger; the pre-fixe also includes coffee and a mimosa or the aforementioned Lobster Claw Bloody awesomeness. The special runs Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; if none of the brunch dishes tickle your fancy, they've got a long list of lobster rolls and seafaring sandwiches to choose from as well.

The Lobster Joint is located at 1073 Manhattan Avenue between Eagle and Dupont Streets in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-389-8990, and at 201 East Houston Street between Ludlow and Orchard Streets on the Lower East Side (646-896-1110, Follow them on Facebook.

Pastry board at the Dutch (via Yelp)

THE DUTCH: For a super fancy brunch, this lauded SoHo spot will serve you well. Egg dishes are the name of the game here, with organic, locally-sourced offerings like soft scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and roe ($19), and zesty barrio tripe with fried eggs and pico de gallo ($15). Also of note: the hot fried chicken served with a honey butter biscuit and slaw ($21) and anything off the Oyster Bar menu, including the razor clams ($12) and the cracked rock crab claws ($12). We've heard good things about their Kierin pastry boards, too, with $11 getting you a rotating selection of coffee cakes, doughnuts and scones. Save room for their Bloody Mary ($13), made with pickles and chorizo, or the Bloody Ceasar ($15) which comes with a shucked oyster.

The Dutch is located at 131 Sullivan Street between Prince and Houston Streets in SoHo (212-677-6200,

Mac & Cheese pancakes from Shopsins (via Ciara G. on Yelp)

SHOPSINS GENERAL STORE: As long as you can stomach a Rain Room-esque line, cranky staff and infamously volatile chef Kenny Shopsin at brunchtime, this eensy little eatery cloistered away in the corner of Essex Market will become your go-to spot in times of extreme hunger. Shopsins' menu resembles the Daily Prophet, with its one bazillion items crammed onto two pages, and the food is just as damn magical. The mac 'n Cheese pancakes are a must, as are the thick, international-themed slutty cakes ($19, and they come with a flag!), the Blisters On My Sisters egg scramble ($10), the unabashedly non-PC Jewboy, Jihadboy and Indianboy sandwiches AH JUST ALL OF THE THINGS.

Sadly, the Shopsins crew will only allow one order per person and there is NO SHARING, but if you feel like you can take on a meal befitting a small kingdom, the $24-$28 Three-Part Happy Breakfast Trays will pile all sorts of delicious scrambles and chorizos and pancakes on your plate. And if that's too daunting, you can stick with a slightly less gluttonous Two-Part ($18) or 2.5 Part ($22) trays instead.

SHOPSINS GENERAL STORE is located in Essex Street Market, 120 Essex Street on the Lower East Side (212-924-5160,

Fried pork chop and waffles (Yelp)

BUTTERMILK CHANNEL: This Carroll Gardens spot is another gluttonous, deep-fried slice of heaven, though unlike some of its compadres, there are some slightly healthier options here, too. On the pants-tightening side, there's the delectable Fried pork chop ($16), served on top of waffles and drizzled with maple syrup; the molasses-heavy pecan pie french toast ($11) and the fluffy, namesake buttermilk pancakes ($7). They've also got a solid selection of scrambles ($12), including one with roasted mushrooms, goat cheese and spinach, a hearty parsnip and ginger soup ($10) and the A-B-C grilled cheese ($11), which is made with bacon, smoked local cheddar and sliced apples. Pair your brunch dish with one of their four specialty Bloody Marys ($10-$12) or opt for a bellini or mimosa ($7) to wash down your meal.

Buttermilk Channel is located at 524 Court Street between Garnet and Huntington Streets in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718) 852-8490, Follow them on Facebook.

Frittata at LIC Market (Via Yelp)

LIC MARKET: This hearty LIC eatery has honed its chops when it comes to fresh-tasting, locally-grown/sourced goods, and its brunch menu is no exception. Their big-plate offerings are stellar—their frittata of the day ($9) is always flavorful and filling, and meat dishes like the slow-roasted duck hash ($12) and slow-cooked pork ($12) will satisfy any breakfasting carnivore. Also of note are LIC Market's brunch sandwiches, like the $9 shredded brisket sandwich, served on a brioche bun with a side of red cabbage slaw, or the juicy $12 Market burger. Pair your entree with a side of crispy home fries or apple-smoked bacon ($5) and be prepared to fall into a daylong food coma; they even bring out a basket full of complimentary pastries and breads to jumpstart all the good eating.

LIC Market is located at 21-52 44th Drive in Long Island City, Queens (718) 361-0013, Follow them on Facebook.

QUEENS COMFORT: This Astoria spot's got the word "Comfort" right in its name, so it should come as no surprise that its brunch menu is stocked with body-warming, down-home dishes with a twist. Some favorites include the funky brioche hot dog grilled cheese ($14) made with cheddar and a fried egg; the fried green tomato benedict ($14) served with a flaky buttermilk biscuit; ever-decadent caramel apple and bacon buttermilk waffle ($12), and the "Pig Mac," a fried pork tenderloin sandwich served on a challah bun with fries. The list goes on and on, though, and no brunch option is a miss here. Do leave room for an order of peanut butter and jelly bread pudding ($6.50), served with a side of whipped cream; you won't have to eat again for three days.

Queens Comfort is located at 4009 30th Ave in Astoria, Queens (718-728-2350, Follow them on Facebook.

AMY RUTH'S: Harlem soul food joint Amy Ruth's has been serving up tasty home-cooked grub for over a decade now, and its heaping plates of collard greens, fried chicken and other Southern-style offerings just get better with time. For brunch, you can't go wrong with one of Amy's waffle dishes; the Rev. Al Sharpton ($12) is a hearty classic chicken-and-waffle entree, or you can try the fried-catfish-and-waffle Rev. Thomas Johnson dish ($17) for something unique.

Vegetarians can avoid all that chicken with fruit-topped waffles, like the Guy Woods & Shay Barnett ($10), made with cinnamon, bananas and pecans, or the sauteed apple-topped Bishop Charles Reed ($10). If you're not down with waffles, Amy's got a number of daily entrees too, like the $14 President Barack Obama (fried, smothered, baked or barbecue chicken) or the fried shrimp, catfish & crab cake Dr. Walter Delph platter ($20) that could suffice as a particularly hearty brunch meal, if you think you can handle it.

Amy Ruth's is located at 113 West 116th Street between 7th and St. Nicholas Aves in Harlem ((212) 280-8779,

Potato bowl (via Yelp)

CAFE GHIA: Not every brunch meal must consist of a platter of fried chicken, and this little Bushwick bistro is a prime spot for a (semi) healthy midday breakfast. Ghia's vegan scramble ($10), a fresh-tasting combo of tofu, sweet potato, kale and spicy black bean sauce, will fill you up all day without weighing you down with breakfast grease, an oft-welcome antidote to a night of drinking.

The hearty potato bowl ($6, fried egg, bacon or avocado is $2 extra) is a little heftier, but just as flavorful, and the breakfast brioche sandwich ($11), served with scrambled eggs, braised bacon and house-made sausage, is appropriately popular as well. Drinkswise, though their classic Bloody ($7) tends to be on the watery side, the $9 Kimchi Bloody has a solid kick to it, and the $8 Jameson-spiked Irish Coffee will do you in all day. Best of all, Ghia's brunch runs daily, so if your weekend falls during the regular workweek instead of Saturday or Sunday, you don't have to miss out on all the brunch hype. Plus, no lines!

Cafe Ghia is located at 24 Irving Ave between Jefferson and Melrose Streets in Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-821-8806,

AAMANNS-COPENHAGEN: Aamanns-Copenhagen is a perfect, nearly guilt-free brunch, and if you go late enough in the day (say, 2 p.m.) you can avoid your standard brunch crowd. While you can order smaller brunch items separately, just get the brunch plate, which starts at $25 and delivers a variety of delicious items, including a perfectly soft-boiled egg; two cheeses; a brunch salad; a seasonal salad; a bowl of soup; homemade yogurt and granola; and an entire basket of bread, Danish pastries, butter and jam. There's also a larger plate that includes two cold cuts and fish. Top that off with one of the brunch cocktails, like a Bloody Mary with your choice of bacon, ramp, or lemongrass akvavits... though we prefer the Berry Bourbon Iced Tea ($14). Full menu here. (Jen Carlson)

Aamanns-Copenhagen is located at 13 Laight Street in Tribeca (212-925-1313, Follow them on Facebook.

AURORA: Ah Williamsburg, where naive brunch dreams go to die an embittered, hangry death. There are many delicious brunch options in the area—Pies 'n' Thighs, Diner, Egg, to name a few—but you'd better be prepared to grow a long white beard, especially at Pies 'n' Thighs, which is a goddamn reptile zoo on weekends. I don't own golf shoes, so I've often found solace in Aurora, a first-rate rustic Italian restaurant with a tranquil outdoor seating area. And I've never had to wait for a table during brunch, even at peak homicidal hungover weekend feeding times.

They currently have a reasonable $15 special that includes bottomless coffee, very fresh squeezed-juice, and your choice of entree. The food here is very good—a recent order of Eggs Florentine was drenched with what may have been the best Hollandaise sauce I've ever had. But the quiet, relaxed atmosphere is what makes Aurora such an oasis in the neighborhood's bloody brunch battlefield. I guess now I've gone ahead and ruined it. (John Del Signore)

Aurora is located at 70 Grand Street between Wythe and Kent Aves in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718) 388-5100,

HONORABLE MENTIONS: We left a couple places off this list that made it onto other Best Ofs, but that doesn't mean their brunch should be any less celebrated. Brooklyn Star, in Williamsburg, has one of the best brunches in town (and they make a killer Bloody Mary). And we drooled over Tom's in Prospect Heights on our Best Diners roundup, but the daily breakfast dishes over there deserve a mention on this list as well.

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