Best-of Guides New York

The Best MICHELIN Guide Brunch Spots in New York City

6 Restaurants
The best thing ever.
Updated on 26 June 2024

Let’s face it. Brunch is perhaps the most challenging meal to get right. In New York there are countless options but more than a few will leave you disappointed: the music is too loud; the coffee cold; and the service is both painfully slow and rushed. But some places rise above the others and deliver exactly what you are looking for, whether it’s the ideal midday comfort food like a stack of fluffy pancakes to help soothe that faint hangover from last night’s libations or a leisurely meal to enjoy with out-of-town guests before sightseeing.

Yellow Rose, a festive spot in the East Village, caters to any appetite or mood. The kitchen elevates stick-to-your-ribs Lone Stare fare to a new level (chef and co-owner David Rizo used to work at cult favorite Superiority Burger, another top brunch spot). Fill up on breakfast tacos (made with Sonoran-style flour tortillas) with bean and cheese or chorizo and egg. It’s still technically morning and breakfast is the most important meal, so order the chips and vegan queso and glazed donuts. Wash it all down with a roast tomato Bloody Mary or a hibiscus tea.

If you’re in the mood for a classic, fail-proof brunch, head to Russ & Daughters Café on the Lower East Side, a 110-year-old institution that has been run by four generations of the same family. Order a classic lox and bagel with all the fixings or for more adventurous palates there’s sable and sturgeon and horse radish dill cream cheese. Pro tip: this might be the place to try a famous New York black and white cookie or bring home some chocolate babka.

Sunday in Brooklyn is what brunch is all about: making a day of the whole meal. At this Williamsburg restaurant, the line of 20 somethings armed with their phones to document every dish spills out on to the sidewalk while there’s usually a procession of Ubers dropping off even more customers. No one seems to be bothered by the wait and no one is in a rush. Instead, they stand patiently admiring the hearty dishes coming out of the kitchen like ricotta and roasted berry toast, hazelnut maple praline pancakes, and steak and eggs.

See the other spots that made the list below.

The Four Horsemen
295 Grand St., 11211 New York
$$$$ · American

This chic and convivial wine-focused spot is as minimalist as their succinct menu, designed by Chef Nick Curtola. This neighborhood gem is laser focused on wine varietals, so if their wide-ranging selection has you atwitter, fret not; they also feature half-glasses for abundant sampling.

Inspector notes: "Slices of sweet Bosc pear and salt-baked onion augment beautifully crisped and properly rendered Long Island duck."

Rule of Thirds
171 Banker St., 11222 New York
$$$ · Japanese

A meal here is delightfully untethered by tradition. The cuisine is essentially Japanese, albeit with a perceptible dash of urbanity. The simple, shareable plates are most cherished and include vegan items, like house-made chilled silken tofu with soy milk, okra, ginger and black garlic.

Inspector notes: "Almond miso soup is velvety, while hamachi collar is brushed with miso butter and grilled until slightly blistered for a particularly satisfying dish."

Russ & Daughters Cafe
127 Orchard St., 10002 New York
$$ · American

From white-jacketed servers to that pristine counter, this updated yet model LES café channels the very spirit and charm of its mothership, set only blocks away. The adept kitchen follows suit, taking the original, appetizing classics and turning them on their heads to form an array of proper and profoundly flavorful dishes.

Inspector notes: "Caramelized chocolate babka French toast is crowned with strawberries for a sweet-savory treat; and “eggs Benny” with salmon, spinach and challah never fails to peg a bruncher."

Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave., 11249 New York
$$$ · American

With all due respect to Monday through Saturday, the best day may be "Sunday in Brooklyn." A breezy vibe, old-school tunes and stirring sips encourages lingering. Add that to the fact that all baking is done on-site, and it's no wonder this is such a bit hit.

Inspector notes: "Begin with crusty sourdough and creamy beer butter or warm and sticky buns."

Superiority Burger
119 Avenue A, 10009 New York
$$ · Vegetarian

What began with a handful of seats and vegetarian burgers has evolved with a new location and new menu. Brooks Headley's first-come, first-served spot, with vintage diner vibes, is squarely in the middle of the East Village and the new menu is equal parts quirky and contemporary, and fully vegetarian (even sometimes vegan).

Inspector notes: "Cabbage filled with sticky rice and oyster mushrooms has plenty of character, and the burger crafted from quinoa, chickpeas, carrots and walnuts is how they made their name."

Yellow Rose
102 Third Ave., 10003 New York
$$ · Tex-Mex

Sorry Texas, this "yellow rose" belongs to the bustling East Village and announces its arrival via a striped awning and bright green sign. Inside, it's quaint and vintage in every way—with a takeout window and set of saloon doors that lead to the main dining room. Amidst this setting of weathered wood and stained glass chandeliers, diners can be found devouring Tex-Mex food with a focus on tacos and inspired cocktails.

Inspector notes: "Flour tortillas are made in house daily and feature in a myriad of deliciously dressed-down creations—from the migas tacos with simmered tortilla chips to the more hearty carne guisada."