9 Must-Try Mexican Brunches in NYC

Swap those boring egg dishes for chilaquiles and tacos
March 1, 2016
by Elaheh Nozari

As far as New York weekends go, there's brunch and then there’s Mexican brunch: margarita- and Michelada-fueled feasts of huevos rancheros and chilaquiles; breakfast burritos and tacos with chorizo and egg; and churros, be they chocolate-dipped or reimagined in French toast. Here are nine of the best Mexican brunches in New York, from this year's hottest spots to tried-and-true city favorites.


Marc Meyer and Vicki Freeman, the husband-and-wife duo behind Cookshop, Vic’s and Hundred Acres, opened this light-filled Mexican spot in the East Village just about a year ago. The brunch menu includes sweet and savory small bites like churros with chocolate dipping sauce and corn on the cob with red chile and cotija cheese, as well as traditional egg dishes, like divorciados, red jalapeño and tomatillo salsas over black beans, topped with sunny-side eggs and queso fresco. The drink menu highlights tequila and vodka Bloody Marys, plus specialty beer cocktails. (11 AM–4 PM Saturday and Sunday)

29 E. Second St.; 212-353-0114


Chef Enrique Olvera applies the techniques of his native Mexico to seasonal ingredients from the Hudson Valley at this Flatiron hot spot. The brunch menu highlights his simple and elegant sensibility with starters like oysters and stuffed avocado, plus mains like egg-white omelets, chilaquiles and duck mole enchiladas. The drink menu includes classic cocktails like Bloody Marys, margaritas and palomas. (11:30 AM–2:30 PM Saturday and Sunday)

35 E. 21st St.; 212-913-9659

Casa Enrique

Those who know the Mexican scene in New York flock to this casual and well-priced restaurant in Long Island City for chef Cosme Aguilar’s mole and al pastor tacos nightly. The signature mole de piaxtla is available on the brunch menu, as are a variety of tacos, huevos and daytime specials like Mexican-style French toast—baked bread with molasses syrup, fruit, mint and pumpkin seeds. (11 AM–4 PM Saturday and Sunday)

5-48 49th Ave., Long Island City; 347-448-6040 

Empellon Taqueria

The taqueria outpost of Alex Stupak’s Empellon family is a far cry from the run-of-the-mill Mexican joints that line the West Village. Plus: you can usually find a table here when nearby brunch factories like Extra Virgin and Cafe Cluny are packed to the brim. The brunch menu is short and sweet with an emphasis on eggs—scrambled with potato and chorizo or served sunny-side up with New York strip steak. Drinks include Micheladas and mezcal cocktails, as well as fresh juices. (11:45 AM–3 PM Saturday and Sunday)

230 W. Fourth St.; 212-367-0999

Gran Electrica

This rustic Dumbo fixture specializes in simple Mexican cuisine, especially street-food bites like tacos and quesadillas. The brunch menu is heavy on egg dishes like chilaquiles and steak and eggs. The drink menu features four kinds of margaritas and Tecate Micheladas made with hot sauce and Worcestershire, a hangover favorite. The back garden underneath the Brooklyn Bridge makes the spot a warm-weather hit. (12–3 PM Saturday and Sunday)

5 Front St., Brooklyn; 718-852-2700

The Black Ant

It wouldn’t be a brunch roundup without a bottomless mention. This dark and eccentric spot is a go-to for creative Mexican in the East Village, and the weekend brunch is no exception. Duck replaces steak in an revamped meat and eggs dish, and there’s a slight focus on seafood, as seen in the octopus avocado roll and crispy cod tacos. Drinks — think mimosas, spicy and regular margaritas and tequila Bloody Marys — are available à la carte or as part of an hour-and-a-half bottomless-brunch option. (11 AM–3 PM Saturday and Sunday)

60 Second Ave.; 212-598-0300


Chef and restaurateur Julian Medina (Toloache, Yerba Buena) added this Astoria cantina to his mini Mexican empire in September 2014. The brunch menu features familiar dishes like steak or chicken chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos, as well as sweeter options like pancakes with berry pico de gallo and roasted-banana French toast with dulce de leche. Cocktails are limited to mimosas and Bloody Marys, made with your choice of vodka or tequila. (12–4 PM Saturday and Sunday)

35-01 36th St., Astoria; 718-786-2727

El Vez

At Stephen Starr’s Philadelphia import, the extensive weekend brunch menu offers a little bit of everything: ceviche, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, quesadillas and tacos, as well as non-Mexican brunch staples like eggs Benedict and buttermilk pancakes. The lengthy cocktail menu includes margaritas, sangria and a tequila take on hair of the dog. (11 AM–4 PM Saturday and Sunday)

259 Vesey St.; 212-233-2500


This beach stand–inspired taqueria keeps its brunch offerings simple: there’s no specialty menu but there are breakfast tacos and Micheladas. The NoLita location serves up two Yucatán specialties in flour tortillas: one with housemade chorizo and the other with scrambled eggs, while the Flatiron location doles out a shredded beef and egg version. The newest Tacombi outpost on Bleecker Street plans to introduce its own breakfast taco specials this spring. (Both locations open at 11 AM)

Tacombi NoLita: 267 Elizabeth St.; 917-727-0179

Tacombi Flatiron: 30 W. 24th St.; 212-242-3491

mexican food