10 Brunch Spots in Midtown Manhattan, New York City

Ling Tang / © Culture Trip
Ling Tang / © Culture Trip
Photo of Jeanine Guzman
11 February 2020

In New York City, it’s safe to say brunch is an institution. There’s nothing like kicking off a relaxing Saturday or Sunday with a delicious late-morning meal, and Manhattan’s Midtown has myriad options. From the French variety to down-home Southern fare, farm-to-table eats and more, we profile the 10 best brunch spots in the city’s center.

The Crooked Knife is a good spot for that boozy brunch | Courtesy of The Crooked Knife

The NoMad Restaurant New York

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Offering discerning diners an elegant space composed of several rooms situated around a glass atrium, The NoMad is located at the hotel of the same name. The menu is filled with mouthwatering options such as the roasted broccoli with lardo, parmesan and lemon, and the suckling pig confit with white asparagus, English peas and potato rissole. Plus, the roast chicken is talked about the world over.

Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien New York

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Folks who are serious about brunch should experience the sleek setting and quintessential hotspot that is Norma’s at Le Parker Meridien New York. The utmost professional service by a friendly, prompt staff is only one reason this premier brunch spot is a cut above the rest. With servings that are huge, clever takes on traditional plates (foie gras brioche French toast, for example) and fresh fruit smoothies, Norma’s is definitely worth multiple trips.

Lexington Brass

Bistro, Brasserie, Restaurant, American, $$$
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Astride the business backdrop of modern Midtown, Lexington Brass is a new-age American brasserie, which uses seasonal produce to create a menu of hearty, tasty dishes. The people behind Abe & Arthur’s in the Meatpacking District are responsible for this 100-seat restaurant, which features a selection of raw oysters, tuna tartare tacos and pumpkin spice gluten-free waffles. With vegan items in addition to the gluten-free options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Sarabeth’s Central Park South

Restaurant, American
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You can never go wrong with Sarabeth’s, one of New York City’s classic brunch spots with multiple locations around the city. Arrive early, as Sarabeth’s reputation precedes itself, and they don’t take reservations for Sunday brunch. Come for expert gourmet spins on the classics, from eggs to pancakes, French toast and more, plus a full bar with specialty cocktails.

Penelope

Restaurant, Market, American, $$$
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Penelope, New York
Courtesy of Penelope
With an atmosphere that feels like a New England country kitchen, Penelope is a brightly painted amalgam of a bar, café and bakery. The decor and ambiance, which resemble a little cottage, are refreshingly out of place for New York City. Operating under the supervision of chef Matthew O’Loughlin, Penelope offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch. Providing a delightful selection of brunch options for everyone, opt for the prix fixe menu and dine on Nutella French toast, a farmer’s market omelette or the brunch burger with a cocktail. Alternatively, their à la carte menu features salmon-wrapped poached eggs, a chorizo and egg sandwich and homemade granola.

44 and X Hell’s Kitchen

Restaurant, Diner, American, $$$
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Within walking distance of Broadway and Theatre Row, 44 & X features American classics perfected by chef Julio Fauce. A Hell’s Kitchen go-to spot, waiters serve popular brunch food with a theatrical flair perfect for before or after the play. Soak up some sun with outdoor seating and a great cocktail menu.

The Crooked Knife

Bistro, Gastropub, Pub, Irish, $$$
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This rustic bistro-country kitchen took its name from the Dutch expression that became ‘Gramercy‘ in English, for the curved brook that once ran through the neighborhood. The Crooked Knife is the perfect place for a boozy brunch – two hours to chow down on your choice of entrée and limitless bloody marys and mimosas? We’ll take it.

The Chester

Diner, Restaurant, American, $$$
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The Chester Eatery Bar, New York.
© Dedo Luka / Alamy Stock Photo
The Chester is an all-American restaurant, bar and private event space known for its stylish decor and lively atmosphere. From the one and only Sam Hazen, renowned chef at Tao and Veritas, the spot offers a casual yet sophisticated place to eat, drink and celebrate good times. Enjoy a selection of artisanal pizzas, East and West Coast oysters and a hearty short rib hash.

The Wayfarer

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Two blocks south of Central Park is the Quin Hotel, home to The Wayfarer, an American steak and seafood restaurant. At 11am, brunch is served to diners on two floors. Breakfast staples such as challah French toast, buttermilk pancakes and huevos rancheros are among the options, in addition to a raw bar and sushi selections.

The Smith

Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, American, $$$
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The Smith Restaurant, New York.
© Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo

The Smith is a farm-fresh and creative bistro that proudly supports local purveyors, sourcing the majority of its ingredients from small local businesses. The Sunday brunch menu includes a raw bar alongside poached eggs, Maine lobster salad and vanilla bean French toast. Pair your meal with a cocktail like a traditional bloody mary or a bellini, or opt for something a little different and try their Barnstormer (bourbon, Aperol, Italian bitters, grapefruit and prosecco), or What’s Up Doc? (aquavit, carrot-ginger-tarragon shrub, tangerine, lemon and dill).

Alex Wexelman contributed additional reporting to this article.

These recommendations were updated on February 11, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.