For many of us, the weekend isn’t complete unless there’s at least one brunch on the agenda. In fact, this luxurious meal is one of the best parts of living in NYC and—just because you have kids—doesn’t mean you have to give up that favorite meal of the day. Best of all, plenty of restaurants around town truly do want you and your gaggle of kids to stop in for an omelet, stack of pancakes and, yes, even a mimosa (or two). Read on for our favorite spots for NYC brunch with kids!
For a Cozy Brunch on the Upper East: The Penrose
Brunch may be a sport on the Upper East Side but The Penrose doesn’t disappoint with is French toast sticks, mac and cheese bites, delectable crispy herbed home fries and fried chicken and waffle plate. The whole place oozes calm and you’ll want to kick back in this cabin-like space all day. Best of all, brunch starts at 9:30 on both Saturday and Sunday so parents can beat the massive crowds that start streaming in way later.
1590 Second Ave.
To Make the Brooklyn Brunch Scene, Williamsburg Edition: Sunday in Brooklyn
Want to experience full-on Brooklyn with your brunch? Head to this mega popular spot not far from the new Domino Park for noshing and people watching. (How serious are they about brunch? It's served all week long.) But be forewarned: plan ahead and make a reservation; it's not uncommon for a wait of two hours to occur. The buzzy and casual main dining room hums with energy as favorites like decadent malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline, and brown butter; cheddar scramble, and yes, avocado toast (with whipped ricotta, sprouts, and toasted seeds) emerge from the kitchen. Dishes offer a sophisticated twist on breakfast favorites new and old, and a serious, inventive and funny cocktail menu will please those who want to sample some spirits. Hanker for some bone broth on a weekend morning? (Who doesn't?) They serve that too.
Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave.
For a High-Energy Times Square Treat: Junior’s Restaurant
Grits are fan faves at this citrus-orange spot—the newest of this mini-chain of deliciousness—perched right on the edge of Times Square. They’re authentically buttery and add a perfect accessory to omelets in endless varieties. And okay if you’re steering clear of eggs, you’ll find griddle cakes, cheese blintzes and oatmeal served in massive portions. Bonus: The griddles begin heating up at 6:30 AM seven days a week, which is perfect for parents who have forgotten what it’s like to sleep in!
For Bacon as a Main: Bar Bacon
There’s no specific kids menu at this Hell’s Kitchen COB (capital of bacon), which sizzles up 1,000 pounds of bacon a week, but the bacon French toast with hickory sugar, cookie crumble, cinnamon sugar, bacon maple butter and fresh berries should do the trick for even the fussiest of little ones. Brunch is served here from 11 AM to four PM which gives you plenty of time to check out this incredibly inventive menu. Just be sure to leave room for the Bar Bacon ice cream sundae, a sweet-salty combo that’s sure to leave your mouth watering.
836 Ninth Ave.
For a Walk Back to Victorian Times: Lillie’s
There’s no shortage of atmosphere at Lillie’s, an inviting space that harkens back to Victorian times. We’re talking furnishings acquired from a Belfast mansion, stained glass from Milan and an antique marble bar. What’s on the ‘elevated American pub fare’ menu is equally appealing. Your kids will go nuts for the buttermilk pancakes (available without gluten, FYI) and you’ll love the eggs benny and guac toast.
249 West 49th St.
To Make the Brunch Scene in Brooklyn, BoCoCa Edition: Buttermilk Channel
Another brunch hotspot for Brooklynites (read: lines can get long), Buttermilk Channel is probably not the place to go if you're trying to watch your waistline. This place excels in sweet and salty elevated comfort food, making it an ideal place for some weekend indulgence. Brunch offerings include Pecan pie French toast, the benedict-like eggs Huntington (made with a biscuit), a house-cured lox plater, and egg scrambles with toast, hash, and salad. (Plus house-made granola with yogurt, buttermilk pancakes, and meatier fare.) Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; if you need more, come back for the Monday night $40 three-course meal. Either way, make a reservation or expect a wait.
524 Court St.
For Comfort Food Early: Good Enough To Eat
At this local go-to, the early bird clearly gets the worm. This Upper West Side mainstay (it opened its doors in 1981) starts serving yummy treats at 9 a.m. on weekends, so plan to join the line as early as 8:30 a.m. to score a table. While there’s no dedicated kids menu, the sides, such as macaroni & cheese are ample enough for a little one. If your family tends to have big appetites, the Banana Walnut Pancakes are sure to keep your kids full ‘til dinner.
Good Enough to Eat
520 Columbus Ave. (at 85th St.)
For a Fish Feast in Battery Park City: Seamore’s
If you’re trying to get your kids to eat fish, the colorful cheery Seamore’s, located at Brookfield Place, might be just the place. It’s the largest of the six Seamore’s, and, with a kids menu featuring fish sticks as well as such beloved kid picks as chicken quesadilla, mac and cheese and pasta with butter, there’s something for everyone. Moms and dads will be pleased to dine here too, thanks to the yummy fish tacos, lobster benedict and breakfast burritos.
250 Vesey St.
For a Classic New York Brunch in Central Park: Tavern on the Green
No trip to Central Park is complete without a visit to the historic Tavern on the Green, a restaurant that has captured the spirit of New York City since 1934. In 2014, co-owners Jim Caiola and David Salama (previously of Beau Monde and L’Etage in Philadelphia) re-opened Tavern with a completely redesigned space and menu and here’s what’s cool: The duo live around the block from the restaurant with their own kids so you can bet they wanted to make the restaurant a welcoming and fun place for families. We approve of the fact that brunch service starts at 9 AM on both Saturdays and Sundays, just in time for that much-needed second or third cup of coffee for exhausted parents. Kids will love the Brioche French Toast with fresh strawberries and vanilla whipped cream. The restaurant also always offers custom kid’s prix fixe menu for all holiday meals.
Tavern on the Green
67th Street and Central Park West
For a Classic Diner and Tons of Character: Tom's
Is it gourmet? No. But it is beloved, and with good reason. A classic diner that's been around since the 30s, Tom's is a neighborhood institution well on its way to becoming a city treasure. Serving classic diner food, including cherry lime rickeys and crab cakes, Tom's is packed with both quirky decor and people. (You will probably have a short wait when you go, but the crowd is jovial and staff often pass out orange wedges to help fend off any hunger pangs.) Hot tip: Tom's is within walking distance of the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, so it's a good choice for before or after a visit. And breakfast is served all day! Note: It's cash only, but there is an ATM on site.
782 Washington Ave.
For Dim Sum and Then Some: Red Farm
Brunching is sport at the Upper West Side location of Red Farm which packs in local families who are eager for to munch on the restaurant’s legendary Katz’s Pastrami Egg Roll, Spicy Crispy Beef, Pac Man Shrimp Dumplings and Soft & Crunch vegetable fried rice. Get there right when the restaurant opens at 11 AM to beat the crowds and just think: You may make this a weekly tradition!
Upper West Side