2019 was a year full of unexpected trends, nostalgic ’90s reboots, and questionable viral memes. As we head into a new decade, we’ve rounded up our absolute best brunches of the year. This year, plant-based menus grew more prominent, and restaurants continued to jump on the sustainability bandwagon, supporting local farms to source produce. While there were a few forgettable brunches, there were far more that we’ll be talking about well into the new year.
Best Brunch of the Year: CATCH
The seafood restaurant has been a bustling staple just shy of a decade. It’s not just about their food and drinks though; it’s quite the place for nightlife and spotting celebs. The multi-level restaurant has four floors including a rooftop for dining. We love the elevated brunch experience that CATCH offers without compromising the quality of the food or service. The brunch menu is impressive, including a raw bar, cold selections, hot entrées, sweets, eggs, grains and greens, and breads and spreads. It’s our favorite brunch for catching up with friends, a date or celebrating with a large group. Read the review here.
CATCH, 21 9th Ave, New York, NY, (212) 392-5978
Best Bottomless Brunch: Baar Baar
The contemporary Indian hotspot offers one of the best brunch deals we’ve seen. Most bottomless brunches in New York lean heavily on cocktails, and food seems like an afterthought. Baar Baar serves up a delectable brunch that will leave you satisfied. The $52 prix fixe option includes one main, one side, plus your choice of bottomless mimosas, sangria, or Bellinis for two hours. Baar Baar has live “bolly jazz” as they call it during brunch. A classical Indian singer plays pop Bollywood hits and some oldies. They even take requests, which we loved. The trendy spot has quickly become one of our go-to spots for a lively brunch experience. Read our glowing review here.
Baar Baar, 13 E. 1st St., New York, NY (212) 228-1200
Best Brooklyn Brunch: Modern Love Brooklyn
This chic restaurant offers amazing vegan takes on classic brunch dishes. We loved everything about Modern Love from the cocktails to the entrées to the service. While it may be a vegan restaurant, carnivores will also find this gem delicious and worthwhile. It doesn’t hurt that Modern Love provides generous portions at affordable price points. The interior is chic and inviting with burgundy booths, mirrors, and adorable light fixtures. The spicy agave bloody Maria is a must order. Check out the highlights here.
Modern Love Brooklyn, 317 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY, (929) 298-0626
Best Brunch Ambiance: CoCo J’adore
The charming French bistro radiates Parisian glamour with a New York edge through its art, fashion, and cultural and entertainment influences. As you walk in, you’ll be greeted by beautiful gold walls and accents, faux shearling-lined chairs, and marble tabletops. The restaurant serves up a seriously stylish brunch, and guests dress for the part too. We loved the airy feel and pop hits. It’s the perfect locale to enjoy several cocktails and a leisurely meal in style. Plus we were mad for the burrata with raw tomato coulis. Read about our experience here.
CoCo J’adore, 1 Little W 12th St, New York, NY, (212) 464-7222
Best Brunch to Bring Your Parents: Gran Tivoli
This chic brunch destination specializes in Italian and Mediterranean fare. The stunning interior is timeless, with sleek leather booths and natural tones, while the menu keeps it fresh and unexpected. It’s our best bet for visiting parents. The menu offers traditional brunch items along with trendy healthy dishes like a colorful brain food bowl. The brunch cocktails are strong and sophisticated. Read our review here.
Gran Tivoli, 406 Broome St, New York, NY (917) 714-8832
Best Fast Casual Brunch: Blank Slate Tea
This place channels serious Instagram vibes from vibrant teas, floral print walls, and Millennial pink leather booths. Snagging a table is tough, as there are just a few. Blank Slate Tea serves a variety of hot and iced teas, toasts, salads, and other daytime bites in an adorable setting. While it may be known for tea, the brunch bites are not to be overlooked. Each item has a floral twist, and it’s the perfect place to eat for the Insta. Read about the highlights here.
Blank Slate Tea, 121 Madison Ave #3, New York, NY, (646) 707-0256
Best Indian Brunch: Gupshup
This opulent Indian restaurant is having a moment, plus it’s a feast for the eyes. Gupshup means “to gossip” in Hindi. The opulent space is reminiscent of what a typical Bombay home looked like in the ’70s. From the cocktails to starters and mains, we were truly impressed with the unique Indian items and festive and flavorful dishes. We highly recommend ordering the desi tacos, cauliflower naan, and Malpua pancakes. Don’t forget to try the masala chai – it’s the best we’ve had in the city. Read about our visit here.
Gupshup, 115 E 18th St, New York, NY, (212) 518-7313
Best Vegetarian Brunch: West~bourne
The bustling, LA-inspired cafe offers a number of dairy-free milk alternatives and an all day plant-based menu. You’ll feel good about giving back to the community with their charitable mission program. Enjoy healthy and hippie-style bowls from “center your chia” to “over the rainbowl.” The “mushrueben” sweet potato smash and gluten-free pastries are must-orders. Read the full review here.
West~bourne, 137 Sullivan St., New York, NY , (347)-534-3050
Best Chill Brunch: Wilfie & Nell
It’s one of our favorite after-work bars, but Wilfie & Nell also serves a solid brunch to combat the worst hangovers. Reservations aren’t required which makes it our best bet for a laid back meal. Enjoy reliable service and comforting brunch dishes in a cozy setting after a wild night out. Tufted emerald seating and exposed brick make for an inviting and elevated experience. Read about our brunch experience here.
Wilfie & Nell, 228 West 4th Street, New York, NY, (212) 242-2990
Best Group Brunch: Shuka
Enjoy an overindulgence of pastries and mezzes. Shuka is sure to be a hit for everyone in your party thanks to the diverse and delicious menu. With Indonesian and Italian influences, Shuka is one of the hottest restaurants in New York right now and for good reason. The brunch cocktails pay homage to the Middle East, with beverage options including a Tunis cocktail with tequila, lime, lemon shrub, and tonic, and a delicious Pomegranate Haifa. If you can’t decide between baklava cinnamon rolls, olive oil cake, and the chocolate pastry twists, order a sampler to enjoy all three. Read the review here.
Shuka, 38 Macdougal St, New York, NY, (212) 475-7500
Best Buffet Brunch: Gallow Green
The lush rooftop garden located atop McKittrick Hotel is still one of the best buffet brunches in the city. The Bitches re-visited this year and were pleased to see Gallow Green still maintains an amazing brunch. Enjoy sweeping views of the city and live music while you brunch. For a $50 prix fixe, diners can eat and drink to their hearts’ delight, choosing from fruits and salads, carving stations, and made-to-order omelets. Read about the latest experience here.
Gallow Green, 542 W.27th Street New York, NY, (212) 564-1662
Best Brunch Date: Nai Tapas
Tapas are perfect for sharing on dates, and Nai Tapas takes it up a notch. The restaurant will even pair wines with each course for an unforgettable meal. If you’re looking to truly impress your date and show off your sophisticated palate, this is the place. Dedicated to Basque culture and cuisine, Nai Tapas prepares a Spanish feast for the senses, incorporating unique ingredients and cooking techniques. Read about our incredible experience here.
Nai Tapas, 85 2nd Ave, New York, NY, (212) 677-1030
Best Last-Minute Brunch: Ciao, Gloria
With its fresh and delicious food and casual atmosphere, Ciao, Gloria is the perfect spot to pop into after a workout, between shopping stops, or for a last minute catch up with friends and family. Though it may look like an Instagram-worthy coffee shop, Ciao, Gloria’s food – and freshly made baked goods – outshine the fab ambiance. Check out the review here.
Ciao Gloria, 550 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (716) 666-2426
Best Brunch-to-Happy Hour: Silver Light Tavern
In addition to its unique and innovative brunch options, Silver Light Tavern is a great place to grab a drink. That’s thanks to the giant U-shaped bar, impressive cocktail menu, and an owner with a history of launching neighborhood favorites (such as The Bonnie and Sweet Afton). Good food, strong drinks, and a killer playlist make it easy to stay awhile. Read the full review here. Silver Light Tavern, 689 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718)-963-0384
Best Fancy Pants Brunch: Classic Harbor Line Brunch Cruise
This two hour and 45-minute brunch cruise is set up like a supper club, with banquette seating around the perimeter and buffet stations in the center as you set sail. The four-course brunch buffet is offered at $108. Brunch includes bagels, lox, DIY waffles, salads, dessert, carving station and much more. Catch some rays outside between courses to take in the stunning cityscape. Classic Harbor Line offers brunch cruises from spring to fall. Read about our amazing brunch experience here.
Classic Harbor Line Brunch Cruise, 62 Chelsea Piers Pier 62, New York, NY (212)-913-9991