Best Brunch Spots in NYC

March 6, 2017
·
by Zagat Staff

The search is over.  Here's our picks for brunch spots that won't disappoint.  

Aquagrill
American · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

A “mainstay” for “consistently excellent” seafood, this SoHo “institution” offers “perfectly cooked” fish and “super-fresh” oysters, plus a “fabulous” brunch; if the “low-key” dining room is “showing its age” , service remains “seamless” and the seasonal patio is a “delight.”
Rose Water
New American · Park Slope · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

An enduring Park Slope “favorite” , this “charming” New American offers a “beautiful representation of the seasons” via “excellent” locavore fare, including a “delicious” brunch; the “tight” environs are “worth squeezing into” , and there’s a “gorgeous” patio in the summertime.
The River Café
American · DUMBO · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.8 · Service 4.6

“Is there a more beautiful setting in NYC?” swoon fans of this Dumbo waterfront “classic” whose “romantic” dining room offers “unbeatable” views of Manhattan, as well as a fairy-lit “Garden of Eden” just outside; “elegant” prix fixe–only American cuisine and “exceptional” service complete the “high-end” experience – for which an “expensive” price tag is “to be expected.”
Maialino
Italian · Gramercy Park · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

“Danny Meyer does things right, as usual” at this “love song to Rome” overlooking Gramercy Park, where “sublime” farm-to-table Italian fare and “stellar wines” come in “delightful” , “buzzing” digs via a “welcoming” pro staff; scoring a reservation can be “challenging” (though the “bustling” front bar welcomes “drop-ins” ), and while prices run “high” , at least “the tip is included.”
Prune
New American · East Village · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.6 · Service 4.3

An “innovator that’s stood the test of time” , chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s East Village “standout” serves a “perfectly curated” menu of “exceptional” New American dishes in “unfailingly professional” style; the only drawbacks are a “toooo small” room with seating “on top of your neighbors” and long lines for the “fabulous brunch.”
ABC Kitchen
American · Flatiron · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s “hip” Flatiron “winner” “still delivers” with “original” , “all-around delicious” American cooking ordered from a “sophisticated” farm-to-table menu; a “stylish” , “airy” space further justifies the “spendy” tabs – and the “challenge to get a reservation.”
Colonie
American · Brooklyn Heights · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.2

“Vibrant atmosphere meets inspired menu” at this Brooklyn Heights New American, where a seasonal lineup of “exceptional locavore” dishes pairs with “top-notch” service in a space sporting a “lush garden” wall; it's an acknowledged “keeper” , though the “energetic” crowds and “tight” quarters can make it “hard to snag a table.”
Locanda Verde
Italian · TriBeCa · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.2

“Energetic” is the word on chef Andrew Carmellini’s “grand-slam” TriBeCa Italian offering a “delectable” , all-day menu to a “swinging” clientele basking in its “trendiness factor” ; despite an “overcrowded” , somewhat “frantic” scene at prime times, reservations can still be “hard to get.”
Clinton St. Baking Company
American · Lower East Side · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.9

“Bring War and Peace” to pass the time in the brunch line at this LES bakery/cafe, which repays “daunting” waits with homespun Americana “made with love” (especially those “divine pancakes” ); a recent expansion may relieve the daytime crowds, though insiders hint “dinner is just as good.”
Norma's
Brunch · West 50s · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

“Lavish” breakfasts and brunches are the specialty of this Midtown American in the Parker Meridien, where the “memorable” morning fare arrives in “large, easily shareable” portions; no kidding, the tabs are “out of this world” (e.g. that $2,000 frittata) and it’s a “bit of a tourist factory” , but it's still a “highly recommended” experience.
Balaboosta
Jewish · NoLita · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

Applying “artful flair” to Med-Mideastern “comfort” classics, the Taïm team spins a “gourmet experience” at this NoLita “favorite” ; the space is “cute” but “always packed” , so you may gain acquaintance with your “neighbor’s elbow” , but that’s easy to overlook given such “warm welcomes” and “reasonable” prices.
Five Leaves
New American · Greenpoint · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.9 · Service 3.6

This all-day Greenpoint “staple” “remains a favorite” in “hipsterville” for “out-of-this-world” burgers, “incredible pancakes” and other “reliable” New American eats; despite often- “crowded” digs and occasional “attitude” , it’s pretty “perfect for brunch” – with the “long lines” to prove it.
Egg
American · Williamsburg · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.8

Known for “one of the best brunches in town” , this Williamsburg daytimer packs 'em in for “very good” , “simple” Southern dishes made with ingredients from its own upstate farm; there are “lengthy” waits on weekends, but given the “hip” crowd, at least there's good “people-watching.”
Rosemary's
Italian · West Village · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.1

“Delicious yet light” Italian dishes are sourced “straight from the rooftop garden” at this “energetic” , all-day West Village trattoria with a “sunny” , “rustic” dining room; a no-reservations policy (for fewer than eight) makes it “difficult to get a table” and the big “bar scene” pumps out “loud” decibels, so insiders say it’s best “mid-afternoon.”
Cafe Mogador
Moroccan · East Village · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.8 · Service 3.9

“Everything is delicious” at these “popular” Moroccan “standbys” that are especially known for their “unbeatable” brunches; “tight seating” and “long waits” are part of the deal, but “gentle prices” help, and Williamsburg's “cute indoor garden” is especially “charming.”
Cafe Cluny
French · West Village · $$$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

A “wonderful vibe” has evolved at this “quaint” West Village bistro, a bona fide “nabe fave” thanks to “appetizing” Franco-American cooking served in a “bright” space; since the weekend brunch can be a “free-for-all” , regulars say “arrive early.”
Westville East
American · East Village · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.3 · Service 3.8

Popular with “young 20s and 30s” , these “local hangouts” dish out “New Wave” American “diner food” with an emphasis on “heavenly” market-fresh veggies that make them a “vegetarian’s paradise” ; they’re often “crowded” with “elbow-to-elbow” seating, but “value” prices keep the appeal high.