Best Brunch Uptown in NYC

October 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Here are the top-rated New York restaurants for brunch in uptown Manhattan.

Cafe Luxembourg
French · West 70s · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.1

By “now a neighborhood landmark” , this “perennial favorite” brings a “touch of glamour” to the UWS with its “arty” , “adult” crowd, Parisian atmosphere and “jolly” mood; the “simple” French cooking is “delicious” enough, but the “stargazing” and “eavesdropping” are even better.
Cafe D'Alsace
Breakfast · East 80s · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

This “unpretentious” Yorkville brasserie is a “bustling” standby for “stick-to-your-ribs” Alsatian fare paired with an epic beer menu that merits its own sommelier; given the “too-close” quarters and “high decibels” , many opt to sit outside, weather permitting.
Barney Greengrass
Brunch · West 80s · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.0 · Service 3.7

An “essential” UWS “institution” , this circa-1908 “temple to smoked fish” “still reigns” with its “fabulous fresh bagels” , “silky” nova and other “quintessential” Jewish deli fare; on weekends service turns more “brusque” and the “cramped” space gets “chaotic” , but “so what?” – it's “part of the charm.”
The Cecil Steakhouse
Steakhouse · Harlem · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.1

A “happening” place with an “outstanding, inventive” menu, this Harlem “hit” puts together “foodie” -approved Afro-Asian-American dishes highlighting “flavor combinations that are hard to find elsewhere” ; “noisy” digs and “Downtown” prices aside, it’s “great for groups” and also has an “exceptionally good” weekend brunch.
The East Pole
European · East 60s · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

“Downtown moves Uptown” via this "mostly healthy" Fat Radish offshoot that's “enchanting” Upper East Siders with its “farm-to-table-done-right” , British-accented New American fare and “original” cocktails served in airy, “hip” quarters; despite “pricey” tabs, it's generally “crowded” – especially at the “fantastic brunch" , while its Fish Bar location focuses on seafood and oysters.
Ristorante Morini
Italian · East 80s · $$$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

An “oasis on Madison Avenue” , this “civilized” UES duplex from chef Michael White delivers “beautifully prepared” seasonal Italian fare headlined by “superb” handmade pastas; service is appropriately “white-glove” , while happy hour at the downstairs bar offers an alternative to the otherwise “special-occasion” prices.
The Penrose
Brunch · East 80s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 3.7

A “hip spot” in the “otherwise unhip Upper East Side” , this “lively” gastropub lures “younger” types with a “trendy” scene fueled by “delicious burgers” and other “enjoyable” American bar bites; a “Brooklyn vibe” and “rustic” looks make it a “welcome alternative” in the neighborhood.
Nice Matin
Breakfast · West 70s · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.7 · Service 3.9

“Always running full throttle” , this all-day UWS “hive” doles out “reliable” French-Med eats in a “casual” space channeling the “South of France” , complete with “sidewalk seating” to “watch the passing scene” ; however, given the prime-time “noise” and “crush” , regulars say it's “best off-peak.”
The Smith
American · West 60s · $$$
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.7

“Don't expect an intimate conversation” at this “million-decibel” mini-chain that supplies “basic” but “appealing” American grub to “under-35” throngs out to “eat and be merry” ; “especially popular for brunch” , they're routinely “bustling” thanks to “good value” and “upbeat” vibes.