Best-of Guides New York

Best Breakfasts in New York City

9 Restaurants
For weekdays when you want brunch but at 8am, we've rounded up eight NYC restaurants serving bagels, towering stacks of pancakes, and eggs all ways, in settings refined and relaxed.
Updated on 25 December 2022
Barney Greengrass
541 Amsterdam Ave., 10024 New York
$$ · Deli

Barney Greengrass is an institution, complete with the requisite Formica-clad counters and beloved-but-blunt servers. Cured and smoked fish, as well as deli items may be the classic order, but they also serve a terrific breakfast. Start your day off on the right foot with a Nova scramble sided by a bagel and cream cheese. The menu offers a roster of all-time favorites: homemade chicken liver, smeared on a toasted bialy, with hard-boiled egg and caramelized onions is always a good bet.

Cafe Sabarsky
1048 Fifth Ave., 10028 New York
$$ · Austrian

This Museum Mile kaffeehaus is so authentic it may as well be set along Vienna’s Ringstrasse. This gorgeous ground-floor den is clad in dark-stained wood with diners seated along a banquette covered in Otto Wagner fabric. In the mornings, tables fill with hefty Austrian breakfasts—sausage and a pretzel if you dare, or the lighter smoked trout crepes. The cakes and pastries are the stuff of dreams. Linzer torte and Sachertorte are as classic as they are extraordinary. Feuilletine may be described as a chocolate mousse cake but it is anything but simple with its luscious, well-executed layers.

Mile End
97A Hoyt St., 11217 New York
$ · Deli

Boerum Hill’s tiny, bodacious deli serves up killer smoked meats among other treats whose caloric content rivals a week’s worth of eating. This is Montreal Jewish fare, the stuff comfort food dreams are made of. Before 11am, it's smoked brisket, with potato, caramelized onions, fried eggs (or bagels). At lunch and dinner, thin slices of corned beef piled high, topped with kraut and Russian dressing, blanketed in melted Swiss and wedged between toasted pumpernickel. 

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

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. 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.

The Clocktower
5 Madison Ave., 10010 New York
$$$$ · English

This space inside hotel the Edition, typically full to the brim, showcases a refined decorative style, with high ceilings, handsome wood-paneling, and every inch of wall space covered with framed pictures of the good and great. There’s an elevated and contemporary British accent to the menu too. Over a cup of English breakfast, tuck into (American) pancakes or an English breakfast complete with fried bread and baked beans. 

Community Food & Juice
2893 Broadway, 10025 New York
$$ · American

As part of Columbia University’s sprawl, this address is a godsend for students, faculty and locals from morning to night. Although it’s spacious with plenty of outdoor options, the popular spot doesn’t accept reservations—and has the lines to prove it. Executive Chef/partner Neil Kleinberg (also of downtown fave Clinton St. Baking Company) turns out joyful fare, and the weekday blueberry pancake special is just one reason why this place gets so much love.

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

In contrast to its rustic bar downstairs, this stalwart now boasts a second floor dining room, with palm trees and whitewashed walls. Begin with crusty sourdough and creamy beer butter or warm and sticky buns. The kitchen also excels in smoking fish and fermenting vegetables. Don't miss the market for irresistible pastries.

80 Spring St., 10012 New York
$$$$ · French

As ageless as its beautiful patrons, the brassy and mirrored Balthazar should be called “quintessentially SoHo” because it invented the term. One of the benchmark brasseries from serial restaurateur Keith McNally, the attractive space is housed in a former tannery. Those whiffs of leather have been replaced by red awnings, scents of pastries and an excellent oyster-filled raw bar completing its Parisian transformation.

367 7th Ave., 11215 New York
$$ · American

This bakery-café headed by the talented Daniel Eddy is an exceptionally perch for bread fans. Nestled in a semi-commercial strip in Park Slope and flanked by restaurants, stores and verdant Prospect Park, it boasts a "winning" location and culinary repertoire. Regulars know to get here early to score Pastry Chef Ali Spahr and team's house-made goodies. Correspondingly, freshly baked English muffins, baguettes, and boules turned out by master baker Kevin Bruce will have you begging for more.