Lots of places serve brunch, but not all have outdoor seating. These are the best spots that have both.Less
These days, there are only a few of the East Village’s Ukrainian, Slovak, Hungarian, and Polish businesses left. Veselka, a Ukrainian diner that opened in 1954, is one of the best-known, and it still somehow retains the magic of an old-school neighborhood joint. There are unlimited coffee pours, and the service is remarkably fast. Our favorite approach is to come early, grab a seat at one of the many outdoor tables along 9th Street, and order some potato pierogi, stuffed cabbage, or an omelette.
Ruta's spicy and partially-soggy chicken chilaquiles in salsa is one of the best we’ve had. If you're in Astoria but can't quite find this place, just look for the hard-to-miss hot pink covered outdoor patio. Come here when you want to catch up with a friend, or bring a group around 2pm and drink a bunch of mezcal cocktails. If you can’t make it on a weekend, know that Ruta serves their daily brunch until 4pm.
Brunch at Win Son Bakery in East Williamsburg involves food that's more exciting than your usual Saturday morning short stack, and they have a long, covered porch for eating outdoors. This counter-service Taiwanese cafe from the people behind Win Son (across the street) has fan tuan, mochi doughnuts, and one of the city's best BECs on the menu.
Since Atla is in a corner space in Noho, there are a lot of outdoor tables set up along both sides of the restaurant. This place is a great choice for brunch that behaves more like lunch than breakfast. And that lunch-y brunch will probably cost you more than you'd spend at your average neighborhood brunch spot. So save this place for a special occasion or the next time you want to have a religious experience with chicken soup. This all-day Mexican restaurant also makes a great shrimp taco.
Leland Eating & Drinking House sits on a quiet corner in Prospect Heights, and it's where you should go with a group when you can’t decide on one cuisine. The weekend brunch menu is full of dishes found all across the Eastern Hemisphere, from a crispy squid sandwich and babka french toast to pork sisig and a grilled flatbread with marinated chickpeas. There's a sidewalk patio and a few outdoor shacks called “cozy cabins” out front.
The brunch date is something that should happen more often. If you’re not sure how things will go, it can be a quick meal with eggs and coffee, or, if you’re already planning to co-parent a dog with this person, it can be a big feast. For the latter, head to Kimika in Nolita and request one of the tables surrounded by tall plant stands for a little privacy. Expect options like a pastry bento box, matcha mochi french toast, and a breakfast calzone stuffed with scrambled eggs and ricotta.
Station House is a tavern-style bar near Forest Hills Stadium that serves high-quality pub food, and they have both covered seating and a few tables set out on the sidewalk. Their entire menu is available during brunch, which means you can get breakfast-y things like steak and eggs and also something called the Decadent Burger. It’s appropriately named, since it comes topped with brisket, fried onions, and Boursin cheese.
Miss Lily’s is a fun Caribbean spot that’s somehow just as appropriate for your 7-year-old nephew as it is for your day drinking shenanigans. We like mixing and matching things here, and we suggest you combine the curry sauce from the cod fritters with the rice and beans or get some festivals to go along with the oxtail stew. When you sit outside, you can look at all the people doing activities in Tompkins Square Park while you remain stationary with your third rum punch.
Guevara’s, a vegan cafe and specialty foods store from the people behind Mekelburg’s, is where you’ll find some of the best plant-based brunch food in the city. They serve a breakfast torta with king trumpet mushroom bacon as well as plant-based lox bagels, picadillo empanadas, coconut ceviche, and posole—and nothing costs more than $15. We recommend hanging out all morning on their pleasant patio and grabbing some conchas to go on your way out.
If you’re going to brunch outside at Jacob’s Pickles, bring a handful of Tums and a big group of friends—then order a bunch of heavy Southern comfort food with reckless abandon. They have french toast and omelets, but what you come here for are the otherworldly biscuit “sandwiches” that are really just huge piles of food that happen to include bread on the top and the bottom. You won’t have room for anything else, but not getting something pickled here would just be disrespectful.