Eating + Drinking

Best Places in Manhattan to Get Brunch

The weekends are for brunching. Polish off a Jack's Wife Freda's famous green shakshuka or indulge yourself with a chocolate french toast from Norma's.

Photo courtesy of Dante

Eating brunch on a weekend morning is one of the best parts of living in New York. The ritual of coffee, fancy eggs and a cocktail may be sacred to some, but if you’re just getting started on the Manhattan brunch scene, you need to hit up these notable eateries to get the lay of the land.

The end–all, be–all of the New York brunch scene, this decadent restaurant isthe place to treat yourself for breakfast. Crazy sweet options like the infamous dessert-like Chocolate Decadence French Toast, which is topped with fresh strawberries, pistachios and creamy Valrhona chocolate sauce, and the beloved Waz-Za, a waffle with a crème brûlée topping that will make your weekend morning. Savory options are also on par, with egg-heavy options loaded with seafood, fresh vegetables, fine cheeses and more.

Brunch at Norma's (Credit: Facebook/NormasNY
Brunch at Norma’s (Credit: Facebook/NormasNY)

This trendy meat-free restaurant cooks a brunch so good you won’t even notice it’s missing the bacon! Grab a booth in the serene dining room where you won’t be able to resist a starter of sticky walnut buns with dippable cream cheese frosting. Both vegan and vegetarian entrées are available, including an elegant rendition of egg-in-a-hole in pumpernickel toast with white cheddar and avocado, and a light, homemade cashew yogurt topped with toasted coconut granola and fresh berries.

In 1915, Caffe Dante opened its doors in the West Village, catering to generations of bohemians and artists to come. One hundred years later, Dante has become a trendy brunch spot, paying homage to its old school roots with historic décor and a throwback vibe that’s wonderfully nostalgic for a weekend morning. To eat, expect contemporary renditions of Italian classics, including a variety of flatbreads, a steak and egg panini, and a notably excellent avocado toast.

Brunch at Dante

Jack’s Wife Freda
The brunch spot of choice for the fashion elite and Instagram addicts, this colorful restaurant attracts a steady wait for brunch, but, luckily, there’s a park and plenty of shops nearby to work up your appetite. First–timers will have to get the social media–famous Green Shakshuka, in which two eggs are baked into a magical sauce and scooped on challah toast. And don’t skip out on the seasonal fruit juices and cocktails, like the flavorful cantaloupe mimosa.

Jacob’s Pickles
If you want a brunch that will keep you full for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you have to feast at Jacob’s Pickles. On weekends, you may be expected to wait up to over an hour, but all the more time to salivate over other diners’ orders of fried chicken biscuit sandwiches and rich, gravy–soaked biscuits with egg dripping off the top.

This tiny West Village restaurant brings on the Parisian charm, and, yes, there’s also a Paris outpost if you want to pretend for a few hours that you’re actually in France. The menu changes, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy whatever gem of a dish chef Jody Williams has created when you visit. The bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiched between a delicate waffle is a fan favorite.

Brunch at Buvette

A tiny restaurant with big flavors, this East Village classic, helmed by the fantastically talented Gabrielle Hamilton, is a must for brunchers. A platter stacked high with Lower East Side delicacies like Russ & Daughters’ lox is a crowd-pleaser. Try something more unique like the Youth Hostel Breakfast complete with fish pastes, liver wursts, lanjaegers, bread and condiments, or the enormous Dutch Style Pancake baked with blueberries and served with powdered sugar and a nice portion of Canadian bacon.