We all know that New York is the best city to live, shop and find something new around every corner, but finding your spot for a weekend brunch does not need to be a farfetched exploration. We’ve created the master list of holy-grail Manhattan brunch go-to spots, so you don't have to. From classic bagels to party brunches, we have you covered.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Reservations: Only needed for parties of 6 or more, otherwise it is a walk-in basis
Thoughts: Jack’s Wife Freda garners a culinary adventure, with brunch options ranging from duck bacon to rose water pancakes, but certainly not at the cost of some go-to classics—it is the closest you can get to a glorified diner. However, it may not be the best option for Sunday brunch, unless you’re into a loud atmosphere and the occasional elbow in your back if you’re at the communal table. In all, if you’re looking for a slight twist on your typical brunch and have time for an 11am on a Wednesday, this is the place for you.
224 Lafayette Street- 212.510.8550
Reservations: Yes, but they go quickly
Thoughts: Sarabeth’s, does it get more classic New York City? No one has ever fought sitting down to ricotta pancakes topped with strawberries and maple syrup on a Sunday morning, and when we do, we certainly have wanted more! Sarabeth’s can always be trusted to serve a good, not great, but good, brunch with all of the bells and whistles one could hope for. While it can get loud at times, if you snag an outdoor seat during the warmer months you will be set for a very enjoyable brunch. Sarabeth’s is for the the brunchers who love the classics and simplicity of a New York City Sunday brunch.
40 Central Park South- 212.826.5959
Thoughts: Lavo may not be known for its brunch, but certainly should not be forgotten. Every Sunday, Lavo serves up brunch options ranging from lobster eggs benedict to an 8oz center cut, all of which taste just as good as one could hope. This brunch is certainly for those who are willing to expend their daily calorie intake on one meal over a bottle of Dom Perignon, and, hopefully, already have a Soul Cycle class booked for much later in the day!
39 East 58th Street- 212.750.5588
Thoughts: Bagatelle embodies the spirit of a Sunday Fun-day brunch in the Meatpacking District. Though some of the dishes are outstanding, like the Nutella French Toast and Truffle Pizza, others, like the gnocchi, are on par with a mediocre Italian restaurant. However, that should not be a deterring factor when considering Bagatelle. The Sunday brunch mix of young professionals and early 40’s, along with a lively DJ who creates a subtler version of the Lavo atmosphere, makes for a brunch where you will want to hang around for hours, but can still have a conversation at your table.
1 Little West 12th Street- 212.488.2110
Thoughts: Sadelle’s perfectly executes the New York City (at home) brunch classic of a bagel with lox and cream cheese, but in a posh SoHo atmosphere. If a bagel created exactly how you want it to be is not enough, Sadelle’s will win you over with their dramatic atmosphere from an entrance next to fresh fish being sliced and a caviar bar, to shouts when a new batch of bagels come out of the oven. If bagels are not for you, certainly try the French Toast—it is arguably one of the best in all of Manhattan. However, make sure to book a reservation and get there early because, no matter what, there is always a wait.
463 West Broadway- 212.776.4926
Thoughts: Veselka is the home to some of Manhattan’s best Ukrainian food and an unapologetically good brunch. If you’re familiar with Ukrainian food, or would like to venture toward the world of authentic pierogis, Veselka should become a must on your list of Sunday brunch go-to spots, even if it is not your regular location. Veselka is known for its Borscht and Pierogis as well as its all day breakfast and vegetarian options. Additionally, the outdoor seating cannot be beat during the warmer months. However, Veselka does not take reservations, so make an effort to get down to the Ukrainian Village before the local crowd beats you there.
144 2nd Avenue- 212.228.9682
Thoughts: If the frost of Manhattan winters gets to you, or you just want to be transported to a tropical paradise in the middle of the Meatpacking District, Santina is a must try. With youthful, but tasteful décor accompanied by an amazing frittata, Santina brings one of the most delightful brunch experiences to the city. Though the service can be a bit inattentive at times, the rest of the atmosphere creates a laid back vacation feeling that compensates for the service. Although Santina is probably not a go-to Sunday brunch, every once in a while when you feel like you need to get away from the city, you will find the most divine experience at Santina.
Reservations: Yes, not that hard to get
Thoughts: Mari Vanna transports anyone who enters to the most beautiful little restaurant in Russia, but in the convenience of Manhattan’s own Flatiron District. If brunching is a timeless abyss for your crowd, Mari Vanna serves Sunday buffet style with bottomless mimosas welcoming all guests to stay awhile. If you get there for brunch one Sunday, make sure to the Serbian Pelmeni and the Napoleon.
820 Washington Street- 212.254.3000
Reservations: They do not accept reservations
Thoughts: Le Bilboquet is inarguably one of the all-time greatest brunches in New York City.
Le Bilboquet has, hands down, some of the best Cajun Chicken and Tuna Tartar in Manhattan as well as unmatched service, from a coat check to a perfectly trained wait staff. Though the no-reservation policy can be tough to work around, you can almost always get a table for brunch on Saturday’s. However, the loud, yet intimate, setting is perfect to get you up and moving for an earlier brunch. For all the Upper East Siders, Le Bilboquet should at least make it to the must try list, if not your weekly brunch.
20 East 60th Street- 212.751.3036
This is a guest blog written by Teddy Bulajic