The 40 best brunch spots in New York City

Rose WaterRose Water Restaurant/YelpRose Water in Park Slope serves up killer challah French toast.

If there’s one thing all New Yorkers love, it’s brunch.

As part of its 2016 restaurant-survey results, Zagat compiled a list of the best brunch spots in New York City.

Zagat reviewed restaurants in downtown, midtown, and uptown Manhattan, as well as in Brooklyn. Food ratings are out of 30 on the Zagat scale. For reference, scores between 26 and 30 are generally reserved for restaurants that are “extraordinary to perfection.”

So whether you’re a born-and-bred New Yorker or just passing through town for the weekend, here are the best places to get a leisurely start to your day.

44&X

SueAnn Y/Yelp

622 10th Avenue

Food: 23

As the name alludes, new American restaurant 44 & X sits at the corner of 44th Street and 10th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. Customers rave about the brunch menu, naming the hazelnut brioche French toast, fluffy herbed omelets, and silver dollar pancakes as some of their favourites.

It wouldn't be an NYC brunch without a few drinks: the Bloody Mary with stuffed olives and pomegranate mimosa shine as well.

ABC Kitchen

Lori L/Yelp

35 East 18th Street

Food: 26

With rustic decor and a huge, airy space, ABC Kitchen in Union Square serves as the perfect backdrop for a casual, yet chic brunch. The restaurant is committed to serving fresh, local, sustainable produce, and sources many of its ingredients from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket.

The menu changes based on what's available, but brunch options can include housemade yogurt, scrambled eggs with crispy oysters in a hot butter sauce, or buttermilk pancakes topped with lemon curd.

Aita

Liz N/Yelp

132 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn

Food: 24

Wooden floors, low lighting, and slight decorative touches make Aita an adorable and unfussy brunch spot in Clinton Hill.

The simple menu features traditional brunch dishes, such as eggs Benedict and French toast, that have unique touches like jalapeno Bearnaise sauce, homemade cashew butter, and smoked Canadian bacon.

Allswell

Chris B/Yelp

124 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

Food: 23

All's well that starts with brunch at this trendy Williamsburg pub. The seasonal restaurant is hip, yet laid-back, with a breakfast menu that includes all of the usual suspects: avocado toast, ginger granola, and made-to-order eggs.

The crispy chicken sandwich -- Allswell's signature dish -- is available all day.

Artisanal

Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro/Yelp

2 Park Avenue

Food: 21

Come ready to indulge at Artisanal in Murray Hill, where you'll find a host of decadent dishes, including duck confit hash, red velvet waffles, truffle and wild mushroom mac and cheese, and Nutella French toast.

The brasserie also takes pride in handcrafting the highest quality cheeses at its in-house fromagerie and offering impeccable service to every customer.

Barney Greengrass

Loon E/Yelp

541 Amsterdam Avenue

Food: 25

New York is known for nothing if not bagels, and Upper West Side deli Barney Greengrass serves up some of the freshest in the city. The spot's renowned for its smoked fish, which comes in lox, sturgeon, and whitefish varieties, among others.

Perfect for a quick bite, stop by for a casual brunch reminiscent of old New York. But remember to bring cash -- Barney Greengrass famously doesn't accept credit cards.

Buttermilk Channel

AM/Yelp

524 Court Street, Brooklyn

Food: 26

Visited by celebrities like Beyonce and Bobby Flay, Buttermilk Channel often draws lines out the door and down the block.

The Carroll Gardens restaurant doesn't take reservations, but it's worth the wait for pecan pie French toast, short rib hash topped with a poached egg, and the perfectly prepared fried pork chop with cheddar waffles.

Cafe Cluny

Angel H./Yelp

284 West 12th Street

Food: 23

A quaint and cosy spot in the West Village, Cafe Cluny is known for its excellent service and consistently delicious French-American food.

Customers rave about the short rib hash served with poached eggs and Bearnaise sauce, as well as the smoked sable Benedict and breakfast club sandwich.

Cafe d'Alsace

Surge C/Yelp

1695 2nd Avenue

Food: 21

Recognised for its traditional French cuisine and top-notch service, Cafe d'Alsace serves delicious food with a side of elegance.

The Upper East Side spot features both classic brunch items -- traditional eggs Benedict and pancakes with caramelised apples -- as well as more decadent options, such as a lump crab meat omelet and steak tartare.

Cafe Luxembourg

Jennifer C/Yelp

200 West 70th Street

Food: 21

Start your day with a leisurely meal of Parisian comfort food at New York staple Cafe Luxembourg on the Upper West Side.

With a menu that's chock-full of everything from avocado toast to ricotta pancakes to croque monsieur to steak frites, there's sure to be something to satisfy any craving. The cafe also has a solid gluten-free menu for anyone with dietary restrictions.

Clinton Street Baking Company

Shelly L/Yelp

4 Clinton Street

Food: 25

Pancakes, pancakes, pancakes -- that's what it's all about at Clinton Street Baking Company on the Lower East Side. Sure, there's huevos rancheros and brioche French toast, but the award-winning blueberry pancakes are a must-try. Trust us, they're the best pancakes you'll ever have.

Missed brunch? Don't worry, you can still order pancakes after dark.

Colonie

Tejune K/Yelp

127 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn

Food: 25

Colonie in Brooklyn Heights aims to provide a causal, welcoming atmosphere for neighbours to drink, dine, and hang out. The exposed brick walls, open kitchen, and wood detailing, coupled with attentive service, create just that.

The food does its part as well, allowing customers to relax with comfort foods like shrimp and grits, buttermilk biscuits, duck hash, and doughnuts that are out of this world.

db Bistro Moderne

Lea T/Yelp

55 West 44th Street

Food: 24

From iconic chef Daniel Boulud -- known for NYC's famed Daniel and Bar Boulud -- comes the stylish, yet pared-down db Bistro Moderne in Midtown West, which serves updated French classics with American twists.

Choose two courses from the prix fixe brunch menu, which features eggs any style and cinnamon crumb coffee cake, or order dishes like avocado toast, croque monsieur, and lobster salad a la carte.

Delaware & Hudson

Lori L/Yelp

135 North 5th Street, Brooklyn

Food: 26

Farm-to-table restaurant Delaware & Hudson brings a rotating menu of local, seasonal ingredients to Williamsburg.

Dinner is prix fixe only, but brunch diners can order dishes like French toasted bread pudding, Baltimore crab cakes with hollandaise, and Amish-style chicken pot pie a la carte.

Egg

Mike C/Yelp

109 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn

Food: 24

Open only for breakfast and lunch, this Williamsburg spot lets diners start their days with natural light and hearty food.

As the name suggests, Egg serves an assortment of -- you guessed it -- egg-centric dishes, including grits and eggs, eggs Rothko, and chorizo and eggs.

Estela

Yelp

47 East Houston Street

Food: 27

Tired of the same old brunch offerings? Head to Estela, a charming tapas restaurant in NoHo, where you can start your morning with ricotta dumplings and mushrooms, lamb ribs with carmoula and honey, or burrata with salsa verde.

Though it's pricey, customers agree that the food can't be beat.

Five Leaves

Tamara H/Yelp

18 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn

Food: 25

Tucked into a nondescript corner across from Greenpoint's McCarren Park, Five Leaves features shabby-chic decor and abundant outdoor seating.

The ricotta pancakes, Moroccan scramble (eggs with sausage, spiced chickpeas, and crushed avocado), and BLAT sandwich (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) are fan favourites. It might be breakfast, but you can't leave Five Leaves without trying an order of its famous truffle fries.

Jack's Wife Freda

Luciada B/Yelp

224 Lafayette Street

Food: 23

Jack's Wife Freda puts an American spin on Mediterranean flavours, with dishes like baked eggs in a green shakshuka sauce, poached eggs with grilled tomato and haloumi, and marinated chicken kebabs. The rosewater waffle and house-cured duck bacon are must-trys as well.

The simple space gets packed quickly, and long lines are common, but customers are more than willing to wait for the impeccable food.

Jacob's Pickles

Mercy G/Yelp

509 Amsterdam Avenue

Food: 22

Settle in for a brunch of classic Southern comfort food at Jacob's Pickles, where you'll immediately feel like family. Indulgent choices like biscuits and gravy, shrimp and bacon grits, and grit-crusted fried green tomatoes fill the menu, making it feel like you're in the Deep South instead of on the Upper West Side.

The wait is no joke, though -- come prepared for a line that's routinely hours long.

Lavo

Monalisa B/Yelp

39 East 58th Street

Food: 20

A club by night, Lavo is just as fun for brunch. The trendy Midtown East spot offers lavish breakfast options such as white polenta pancakes with toasted hazelnuts, wildflower, and apricot honey, or lobster eggs Benedict with avocado and truffle hollandaise.

If it's already afternoon, dive right into the lunch menu, which features roasted Chilean sea bass, burrata pizza, and pappardelle bolognese with ground veal.

Locanda Verde

Peter P/Yelp

377 Greenwich Street

Food: 25

Upscale, yet not pretentious, TriBeCa's Locanda Verde serves rich, refined Italian dishes that don't skimp on flavour. The brunch selection includes zucchini frittata with roasted tomato and goat cheese, hazelnut-crusted French toast, and 'scampi and grits' with polenta, tomato, sausage, and fried eggs.

Don't have time for a sit-down meal? Grab a baked good, such as a raspberry-glazed pistachio doughnut or a fig-and-Gorgonzola scone from the to-go counter.

Má Pêche

Chris C/Yelp

15 West 56th Street

Food: 23

Part of David Chang's Momofuku empire, Má Pêche cooks up American cuisine with an Asian flair. More casual than Momofuku's other venues, Má Pêche serves up dishes that are meant for sharing. Servers at the Midtown West restaurant also bring a rotating selection of sides to your table, which are meant to complement the chef's entrees of the day.

Brunch offerings can include anything from egg buns with cheese and bacon to a chorizo biscuit sandwich.

Nice Matin

Victoria B/Yelp

201 West 79th Street

Food: 19

A charming spot on the Upper West Side, Nice Matin serves up inventive French food with a modern twist. The brunch menu offers both breakfast and lunch options, from a spicy lamb sausage and egg scramble to grilled chicken paillard.

If the weather's nice, take advantage of the bistro's breezy outdoor seating.

Northern Spy Food Co.

Amy S/Yelp

511 East 12th Street

Food: 21

Light wood paneling and minimalist decor give Northern Spy Food Co. in the East Village a laid-back vibe, ideal for a casual brunch. The restaurant prioritises sustainability, using reclaimed wood for its interior and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Kick off brunch with a creative cocktail, such as the watermelon basil mimosa, before digging into corned beef hash or chicken and pork meatballs.

Penelope

SueAnn Y/Yelp

159 Lexington Avenue

Food: 22

With wooden tables, light blue walls, and rustic decor, Penelope oozes warmth the minute guests walk in.

Perfect for a cosy weekend brunch, the Kips Bay joint offers simple comfort foods, such as pumpkin waffles with apple butter, Nutella French toast, and fresh eggs with grilled asparagus. The $US19 prix fixe brunch gets you an entree and a cocktail.

Pizza Beach

Erin R/Yelp

1426 3rd Avenue

Food: 19

Who says you can't start the day with pizza? Take in the chill vibes at Pizza Beach's Upper East Side location -- they also have one on the Lower East Side -- where great pizza and friendly service is guaranteed.

Start with the Tuscan kale or citrus marinated beet salad before digging into a pie with toppings like Brussels sprouts, roasted kabocha squash, caramelised onions, grass-fed lamb, and housemade mozzarella.

Prune

Meg H/Yelp

54 East 1st Street

Food: 24

A tiny enclave in the East Village with a James Beard Award-winning chef, Prune is one of New York's best hidden gems.

The cosy spot has a unique take on classic brunch items, like Dutch-style pancakes topped with a creamy blueberry compote, or a coddled egg served with savoury chicken and buttered toast. It's cash-only, so make sure to bring some bills.

Rainbow Room

Minique D/Yelp

30 Rockefeller Plaza

Food: 23

Located inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the famed Rainbow Room is known for its exclusive event space and fine-dining restaurant. For a more low-key version of the trendy night spot, join Chef Jonathan Wright for a prix fixe Sunday brunch featuring cuisines from across the globe.

The Rainbow Room gets booked quickly, so be sure to make reservations in advance.

Ristorante Morini

Rita C/Yelp

1167 Madison Avenue

Food: 24

This upscale Italian spot on the Upper East Side works for both a night out and brunch the next morning.

Enjoy elevated takes on classic breakfast options, such as a lobster Benedict and short rib hash, or dive right into lunch with wild mushroom risotto, basil and ricotta ravioli, or roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes.

River Café

Stephanie L/Yelp

1 Water Street, Brooklyn

Food: 26

Situated right under the Brooklyn Bridge with an unbeatable view of the Manhattan skyline, the iconic and Michelin-star-winning River Café evokes old New York with low lighting and pristine white tablecloths.

The high-end brunch menu features elegant dishes such as mushroom Wellington, poached lobster, Hudson Valley foie gras, and Wagyu steak tartare.

Roberta's

Sara S/Yelp

261 Moore Street, Brooklyn

Food: 26

Pizza for breakfast? Yes please. Bushwick staple Roberta's might be known as an evening destination, but its pies are just as good at brunch.

The pizzeria offers soft-scrambled eggs and cornmeal pancakes, as well as pizzas topped with egg, sausage, and plenty of mozzarella for breakfast.

Rose Water

Rose Water Restaurant/Yelp

787 Union Street, Brooklyn

Food: 26

Park Slope's Rose Water restaurant is committed to serving only the freshest ingredients using local, organic, and sustainably raised food whenever possible.

The $US17 prix fixe brunch menu covers an entree and a drink and includes options such as smoked fluke fishcake, poached quince crepes, challah French toast, and a fried butternut squash sandwich. Drink options include mint lemonade, hibiscus iced tea, and apple cider served warm or cold.

Rosemary's

Jan S/Yelp

18 Greenwich Avenue

Food: 22

The produce is guaranteed to be fresh at Rosemary's in the West Village -- most of it comes from the restaurant's own rooftop garden. Selections of pasta, salami, and cheese are made in-house as well.

Though the trattoria's brunch menu includes traditional options like eggs Benedict and veggie frittata, diners can also branch out with homemade cavatelli, octopus salame, or a pork belly BLT.

Russ & Daughters

Peter J/Yelp

127 Orchard Street

Food: 26

Since opening in 1914, this family-owned shop on the Lower East Side has become a New York staple known for its smoked fish and classic deli fare.

However, the relatively new cafe has quickly garnered its own following as a go-to brunch spot as well. Stop by for more of the classics, such as lox on bagels, potato latkes, matzoh ball soup, and knishes.

Salvation Taco

Sandy Y/Yelp

145 East 39th Street

Food: 20

It might serve street-style tacos, but Salvation Taco in Murray Hill is decidedly upscale. Created by Michelin-starred chef April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, the taqueria offers a fresh take on brunch.

Try the beer-battered fish tacos with Mayan mayo, the chorizo torta, or chilaquiles with baked eggs.

Stone Park Cafe

Sherra L/Yelp

324 5th Avenue, Brooklyn

Food: 25

Stop by the Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope for seasonal American dishes and classic brunch fare.

Customers rave about the short rib hash, pan-seared bluefish cakes, and Bloody Marys, but you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

The Cecil

John S/Yelp

210 West 118th Street

Food: 23

Part of Harlem's growing food scene, The Cecil fuses African, Asian, and American cuisine, interpreting all three through an African lens.

The result is a unique culinary experience with brunch items that include barbecue brisket egg rolls, cinnamon-scented fried guinea hen, black bean cakes, and Afro/Asian/American gumbo. It's certainly worth the trek uptown.

The Penrose

Camille S/Yelp

1590 2nd Avenue

Food: 22

Though best known for its comprehensive beer and whiskey selections, The Penrose also cooks up a killer brunch. Enjoy a hearty breakfast of fried chicken and waffles or a bacon, egg, and oyster sandwich at the Upper East Side gastropub.

But don't forget the cocktails! The Penrose has three Bloody Mary specials for brunch, including bacon and beet takes on the classic drink, as well as a spiked horchata and a strawberry mint margarita.

The Smith

Patricia S/Yelp

956 2nd Avenue

Food: 19

A classic brunch spot, The Smith -- which has locations across the city -- features a light and airy atmosphere with rustic decor and chic wood paneling.

The expansive brunch menu includes everything from vanilla bean French toast to Sicilian baked eggs with artichokes and burrata.

Upland

Upland/Yelp

345 Park Avenue South

Food: 25

Bringing the culture and flavours of California to the East Coast, Upland aims to give every dish an urban touch.

For brunch, try the smoked salmon pizza with cloumage, sunflower sprouts and casper berries, or the Spanish frittata topped with roasted garlic mayo and fresh chives.

NOW WATCH: Executive Life videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.