New York: Best Brunches and Eats (Manhattan and Brooklyn)

Hopefully you enjoyed Part I on New York’s best rooftop bars, if you haven’t already read it you can check it out here. Now for New York’s best brunches and eats; I am so excited to share with you all of the fantastic places I have eaten at whilst in New York.

Like London and many other international cities in the world New York has it all; from chilled and quirky coffee shops, to outrageous daytime brunch parties and elegant rooftop dining spots, there is literally something to tantalise your taste buds every minute of the day in the big apple.

All the brunches and eats below are listed via district as I think this will be most useful to you when exploring Manhattan and Brooklyn. I have also created a list on Google Maps, so you have all the places when you are ready to explore!

Meatpacking District

Bagatelle // @bagatellenyc

Bagatelle NYC is a world class restaurant with restaurants also in London, Ibiza, Miami, Mykonos, St. Barths and France. If you want the ultimate lively brunch whilst at New York, whether it is for a celebration or if you simply want to go wild with your friends, then Bagatelle’s brunch party that starts every Sunday from 2pm onwards is a must. (Remember to reserve a table a good 4-6 weeks in advance as brunch spaces are limited and fill up fast).

Bagatelle NYC offers a mix of French Mediterranean style food with many amazing drinks on the menu. Be aware, the food and drinks are not cheap – their pizzas and sandwiches start from around $30 and their giant sharing fish bowls are around $160. However, the beautifully decorated bistro, vibey music, photo booth and drinks which are also served in the toilets are all a part of the fun.

I would highly recommend going if you have anything special to celebrate with your friends or loved ones – it won’t disappoint and the memories will last forever, but your purse might feel much lighter by the time you leave.

Sugar Factory  // @thesugarfactory

Just around the corner from Bagatelle, the Sugar Factory is a particular favourite with America’s rich and famous. The Sugar Factory is every child’s dream (and maybe every adult’s too). From the moment you step in, it is sweets galore with the entrance decorated in an array of M&M’s in every colour. 

Their food and drinks menu screams candy land heaven with Sugar Factory Signature Goblets starting at $40, to Bubba Bubba gum martinis and cocktails which are slightly less. The menu also serves general dishes for kids, as well as salads, sandwiches, food on the grill and pasta, but let’s face it, if you have come all the way to Sugar Factory NYC it would be rude not to order the best sweet treats in town. From classic waffles and French toast, to pancake stacks, banana split crepes and fried chicken and waffles this is the best place if you are craving an indulgent brunch.

Midtown Manhattan

Lavo Italian Restaurant // @lavony

Lavo New York which is located in midtown Manhattan (just around the corner from central park) is not only notorious for its amazing meatballs, but also for its Saturday daytime brunch parties. Lavo restaurant has an industrial-chic feel with a small sized, intimate, nightclub on the bottom floor where many DJs and celebrities perform throughout the year.

Their Saturday brunch party is nowhere near as expensive as Bagatelle’s Sunday Brunch Party and is definitely more affordable for people in their early to mid 20s.

Their signature event includes an indulgent brunch menu, along with a long list of drinks and champagne and amazing music to keep the party going. After you have finished your brunch the restaurant transitions into an afternoon of bottle-popping and confetti explosions. This is a great spot to drink and dance the afternoon away before venturing on to more of Manhattan’s nightclubs.

Eataly // @eatalyflatiron

If you are a foodie you will love Eataly, no matter what time of the day you visit. This vibrant Italian market styled shop has everything from exquisite Italian products to fresh breads, meats, fruit, vegetables and coffees. The shop includes an array of cafes, fresh deli style counters, restaurants and a cooking school which makes it a fab place to eat, shop and learn. Whether you are strolling by the neighbourhood and are picking up breakfast or want a relaxed lunch or dinner, Eataly will fulfil your needs. La Rosticceria serves the most delicious and famous slow-roasted and oven-cooked meats and Caffe Lavazza serves the perfect Italian cappuccino. It is definitely worth stopping off here whilst exploring mid-town Manhattan.

Blackbarn Restaurant // @Blackbarnrestaurant

Blackbarn is a refined and rustic restaurant located opposite Eataly on the upper side of Madison Square Park. If you are a meat lover, this locally sourced, upscale American cuisine served in a farmhouse and barn inspired setting will not disappoint. Many of their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, ranchers and artisans and are paired with the best international wines. Their summer seasonal favourites including their Watermelon Salad and their Buttermilk Friend Chicken will leave you wanting to come back for more. The restaurant also has a couple of private areas which is great for large groups of around 8-10 people. If you’re craving great tasting American meat in a casual dining setting, this is the one.


Jack’s Wife Freda // @jackswifefreda

Jack’s Wife Freda is a lively all day bistro that serves American-Mediterranean dishes with a unique Israeli and South African twist and classic cocktails, in a modern, bistro setting. The first of its restaurants to open was the bistro on Lafayette Street, Soho, which of course has a very trendy vibe to it. On the breakfast menu you will find everything from Shakshuka to Rosewater Waffles with Lebanese yogurt, to Greek salads and Portuguese steaks. The staff are also super friendly and the music inside makes this a lively spot for brunch.

Lower East Side

Beauty & Essex // @beautyandessexnyc

Beauty and Essex is a stunning restaurant hidden in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The entrance to the restaurant looks like a pawn shop, but as you go through the doors you enter into a huge sophisticatedly styled restaurant with dim lighting and glamorous décor. As with most restaurants in New York, I’d advise making a reservation before you go as the place is busy most evenings. In the evenings, their sophisticated lounge area upstairs is a lively place to enjoy cocktails with friends and dance the night away.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Neighbors Café // @1hotels

Whilst walking from Brooklyn Bridge over to Brooklyn Heights I came across a delightful little café called Neighbors which is located in the lobby at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. The café is bright and spacious, and has a picnicky feel to it with seating available both inside and outside which makes it a local hot spot for the neighbourhood and for hotel guests. They offer everything from coffee to fresh pressed juices and seasonal salads which makes it’s a great little eatery.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria // @grimaldispizzeria

Grimaldi’s opened back in 1990 in the borough of Dumbo beside the Brooklyn bridge. Since then, the Brooklyn-based pizzeria has taken off and is popular amongst all New Yorkers. Their coal-fired, brick-oven pizzas and traditional pizza-making methods makes their signature pizzas like no other. Grimaldi’s only does takeaway pizzas, which makes it’s a great choice for ordering a pizza back to your hotel, or for eating a slice as you walk through the beautiful Brooklyn Heights. The queues for this place can be long (as with most takeaways) – you can expect up to an hours wait over the weekends, so be prepared to wait if you want the finest pizza in town.

SUGARCANE raw bar grill // @sugarcanerawbargrill

SUGARCANE raw bar grill is a glorious escape from Manhattan’s hustle and bustle. Located on the waterfront in Dumbo, the restaurant offers some of the most stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge with a lively ambience inside and a stunning outdoor seating area. The restaurant is inviting, friendly and warm and offers a delicious seafood inspired menu. Their miso-marinated salmon, beef short ribs and speciality sushi rolls will all have your mouth-watering. Their happy hour which runs every day of the week is an added bonus too – if you’re visiting Brooklyn late on in the afternoon, I would highly recommend stopping here for dinner.

Time Out Market // @timeoutmarketnewyork

Time Out Market New York which is located in Dumbo, Brooklyn is another delightful find. Luckily, it’s located right beside the SUGARCANE raw bar grill, so as you stroll the promenade of Dumbo you can pop by this brilliant food market. Time Out Market has all of New York’s best chefs, drinks and cultural experiences under one roof so you will really feel like you’re in foodie heaven when you enter this place. From takeaway pancakes and finely filled sandwiches to chicken & waffle platters, poke bowls and ice creams there really is something to satisfy your cravings under one roof.

Coffee Project // @coffeeprojectny

Nestled in downtown Brooklyn, Manhattan and Long Island City, Coffee Project is the ultimate dream for all coffee lovers. Their cafes are quaint with an industrial feel inside and are set up so that you can observe the baristas in the moment when they are making your coffee. One of my favourite coffees was their “deconstructed latte” – everything from the presentation, to the experience and the taste was wonderful and I would highly recommend visiting if you are a coffee lover.

McCarren Park

Sauvage // @sauvage_nyc

Sauvage is located near to the border of North Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn, overlooking McCarren Park. Sauvage is inspired by the outdoors, naturalists, botanists, farmers and wine producers which is reflected inside with its floral and tropical neo-bistro. Their brunch menu offers many exquisite dishes filled with heritage meats, grains and local specialities; expect sweet tasting dishes filled with cornbread, fennel, spinach and bacon jam and delightful classic cocktails.


Pies and Thighs // @piesnthighs

Pies and Thighs has got to be one of my favourite restaurants in New York. It isn’t sophisticated and it isn’t chic, but what it is, is a quaint restaurant serving the best comfort food in the city. The restaurant takes inspiration from American, Mexican and Californian cuisines. If you love fried chicken, then make this place on top of your list to visit. Pies and Thighs serves world-famous fried chicken and pie in Brooklyn. My favourite dish was their fried chicken, macaroni cheese and burnt baked beans and not to forget, their amazing award-winning banana cream pie for dessert. If you want to experience true American food inspired by the southern states, then visit here and I guarantee you will be in a food coma by the time you leave.

Planning a trip to NYC?

Like the sound of the rooftops above? Be sure to favourite my New York: Best eats, bars and brunches on Google maps so you have all the locations when you are ready to explore.

Follow @iki.guides on Instagram

Published by Iki-Guides

I'm a digital marketer based in London. I love travelling and doing photography in my spare time. Hopefully, I will inspire you with my online travel guides. Follow me on insta @iki.guides & @jennycrossley_

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