Ahhhhh, brunch in New York City. What should be an easy and stress-free endeavor is often complicated by extremely long wait times, an overwhelming number of options, and way too many restaurants marketing themselves as “trendy” or “aesthetic” spots. It can be challenging to filter through the sea of “Instagrammable” eateries when you’re looking for a genuinely good, hearty meal. And even more difficult if you want both the quality food AND a fun photo op for your socials. But, navigating the NYC brunch scene doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing. Next time you’re looking for a spot to take your friends, family or out-of-town visitors, I suggest choosing from this handful of restaurants throughout the boroughs that I personally believe should not be missed.


Location: Tribeca

Bubby’s is one of the few spots on this list that I would recommend specifically to the pancake aficionados of the world. They have two styles, the James Beard (your traditional light and fluffy flapjack) or the 1890 Sourdough (a thin and chewy pancake with that unmistakable sourdough tang) that can be customized with toppings like chocolate chips or caramelized bananas. Bubby’s also has divine fried chicken sandwiches and overflowing breakfast platters for those who aren’t making a beeline for sweets first thing in the morning, but I do absolutely encourage trying one of their outstanding homemade pies.

Maison Pickle

Location: Upper West Side

I wish it was socially acceptable to eat every meal of every day at Maison Pickle, but alas. Honestly every single thing on their extravagant menu is a hit, but the honey butter pull apart rolls as a starter are an absolute MUST no matter what time of day it is. And if you’re a fan of chicken and waffles (I very much am), they’ve put a unique spin on a traditional dish with their own hot honey chicken and toast. Their french dip sandwiches are also a delightful choice if you’re a breakfast lover but prefer a savory dish. Maison Pickle is a food blogger’s dream – the restaurant interior is gorgeous and the food is not only Instagrammable, but truly delicious.


Location: Astoria

I am not kidding you when I say that I think I had the best brunch of my life at Comfortland. I literally almost collapsed onto the street in awe when I took a bite of their otherworldly chicken biscuit buddy sandwich, and I have thought about it every day since. Their rotating menu of baked goods has previously featured items in collaboration with @donutdivany including salt and pepper doughnuts, rainbow crumb cake, and funfetti scones, among other incredible things, but their daily offerings also consist of various savory sandwiches and ice cream-based treats. The service at the window is consistently impeccable, and it is clear that everyone who works there is truly a fan of the food they are making.


Location: SoHo

If you’re an avid Instagram user and unironically live by the motto “phone eats first”, Flipper’s is the ideal spot for photo-focused foodies. They specialize in those fluffy, jiggly Japanese soufflé pancakes that you’ve probably seen all over social media. I was worried that dishes at an eatery like this would look pretty but not actually taste great, however I had an outstanding meal here with my friends. They also have an amazing array of refreshing beverages, including brown sugar milk tea with boba, passion fruit green tea, and honey lemonade, as well as warm sides like truffle fries and brussels sprouts with bacon.

Clinton Street Baking Company

Location: DUMBO + Lower East Side

Okay pancake lovers, you can tune back in now. Clinton Street Baking Co, located in both Brooklyn’s waterfront TimeOut Market and on the Lower East Side, is serving up decadent crispy-edged pancakes with warm maple butter and your choice of toppings (including chocolate chunks, blueberries, or banana walnuts). With additional sweet choices like chicken & waffles and brioche french toast, or savory selections like latke eggs benedict and a buttermilk biscuit sandwich, there is something for all breakfast fans at this spot.

Carnegie Diner & Cafe

Location: Midtown

I had to add a classic diner to this list, and Carnegie Diner was the obvious choice. Located just blocks from Central Park and in close proximity to the theater district, it is the perfect spot to grab a bite before a matinee or after a morning stroll. Their menu boasts a wide variety of dishes, from sweet options like peanut butter + bacon pancakes or salted caramel waffles (two of my favorites) to savory options like omelets or chicken sandwiches. My best advice is to make a reservation ahead of time, as it seems I’m not the only one in this city who realizes how great their food is.

Breakfast by Salt’s Cure

Location: West Village

Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, self-described as “a sustainable clean comfort restaurant”, originated in California before recently making the move to Manhattan. They are known for their oatmeal griddle cakes, which are easily recognizable thanks to their thin form and crispy edges, qualities that immediately distance them from “traditional” pancakes. They come in five flavors including chocolate chip, banana nut, or pink lady apple. However, syrup is a no-no in this establishment, simply because the chefs don’t think it's necessary. The batter itself is said to have the perfect amount of sweetness, and their signature topping combo of sea salt butter + powdered sugar is truly all you need.

Jacob’s Pickles

Location: DUMBO + Upper West Side

If biscuits are the first thing you look for on a brunch menu, I highly recommend paying a visit to Jacob’s Pickles at the TimeOut Market or on the Upper West Side. Everything on their menu just screams Southern comfort, and their biscuits are seriously to die for, especially when served with ingredients like fried chicken, eggs, honey or bacon, or transformed into french toast. They also have a wide selection of timeless favorites like shrimp & grits, fried green tomatoes, mac & cheese, and of course, almost 10 different types of pickles.

The Bedford

Location: Williamsburg

The Bedford's Instagram feed is sure to make your mouth water at first glance. I suggest ordering their fried chicken tenderloins & buttermilk waffles, but they probably have the largest savory morning selection on this list. With options like a mindblowing mac & cheese burger, pulled pork hash, or truffle egg toast, brunch has never been better for true lunch and dinner lovers. But if you are in the mood for a sugar rush, they have a magnificent creation called the drunken cookie, which is basically a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie topped with chocolate ganache and a rainbow injection (yes, you heard that right). Truly decadent.

Pies ‘n’ Thighs

Location: Williamsburg

This is another ideal spot for biscuit die-hards. Pies ‘n’ Thighs, which was featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”, is dishing out award-winning fried chicken and an array of Southern classics. Menu highlights include biscuits & gravy, fried catfish, hush puppies, and burnt end baked beans (*drools*). They are also known for their fresh baked pies, and the flavors currently on their menu include apple, banana cream, bourbon pecan, and sour cherry. I wholeheartedly trust the great Guy Fieri when it comes to food recommendations, and this eatery absolutely has his stamp of approval.

Mom’s Kitchen & Bar

Location: Astoria + Midtown

Mom’s is serving up quirky comfort food pretty much all day every day. With locations in both Queens and Manhattan, they have established themselves as the go-to spot for breakfast and brunch lovers who might not necessarily enjoy eating breakfast and brunch foods during the morning hours. Their chicken and bacon waffle is an iconic choice, but they also have some out-of-the-box options like mac & cheese pancakes and pancake burritos that are sure to be the star of your Instagram feed. And don’t forget to finish your meal with one of their massive bigmouth shakes.

Sunday in Brooklyn

Location: The Seaport + Williamsburg

Sunday in Brooklyn is another brunch spot that you’ve likely seen on social media. They are probably most well-known for their iconic Sunday Pancakes, which are thick, fluffy and topped with hazelnut maple praline sauce and a pad of brown butter. If that alone isn't enticing enough for you, they also serve an assortment of dishes like smoked salmon toast, steak & eggs, and shakshuka, as well as specialty brunch cocktails. This restaurant is a must for those who love an aesthetic meal and a more elevated dining experience.

Utopia Bagels

Location: Whitestone

If you’re looking for a place where you can sit down and enjoy a leisurely breakfast while snapping cute Instagram pics, Utopia Bagels miiiiight not be the spot for you. But if you’re looking for a shop that serves authentic, out-of-this-world NY bagels + insane breakfast sandwiches, then I would suggest running to Queens immediately. My personal favorite is the Cowboy Sandwich (chicken cutlet, american cheese, crispy bacon & BBQ sauce on a bagel of your choice), but you honestly can’t even go wrong with one of their many bagel options simply toasted with butter or cream cheese.

The Blue Dog Cookhouse & Bar

Location: Midtown

Blue Dog is unique because of its cozy layout and general warm vibe. With a long shared table in the middle of the room, it truly feels like a homey and communal environment, and that feeling is also present in the food they serve. They seem to have more savory options than most brunch spots, with 1.5 pages of their menu dedicated to items like egg-based dishes, burgers and quesadillas, but their sweet options, which include oreo crusted waffles and crunchy french toast, are also to-die-for. I feel like this spot is so underrated, and while midtown is generally oversaturated with touristy eateries, I promise this one will leave you feeling happy and full.

In hindsight, I'm realizing this list is primarily full of restaurants that specialize in fried chicken and/or biscuits in some form, so I guess it's obvious what my favorite brunch food is. It seems like the next logical step is to dedicate an entire piece to the best chicken biscuit sandwiches in NYC (which will give me an excellent excuse to sample a concerning amount of biscuits), so stay tuned for that! But in the meantime, happy brunching, and may the odds be ever in your favor.