Midtown is one of Manhattan’s most iconic districts, famous for its interesting buildings, tourist attractions, shopping, and plenty of fine dining. Midtown got into the swing of things in the 1920s, when Grand Central Station put this New York City district on the map. Suddenly, Midtown was the place to be, both for business and pleasure.
Today, you can marvel at Grand Central Terminal, check out its famous clock, and marvel at its architecture. It’s truly one of the most interesting buildings that I’ve ever seen, and no trip to New York City is complete without checking it out.
Additionally, if you find yourself in Midtown, make sure that you visit the Rockefeller Center. Although it’s most famous for it’s winter skating rink, the Rockefeller Center is great to visit at any time of the year. Midtown is also home to the MoMA, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Plan to spend a good part of your afternoon there.
Of course, with all of that sightseeing, you’re bound to get hungry. If you’re looking for the best brunch in Midtown, I’ve got you covered! Try one of these 11 great lunch spots next time you’re in the city.
- The Crooked Knife
- The Smith
- Mom’s Kitchen and Bar
- Blank Slate Coffee + Kitchen NoMad
- Parker & Quinn
- Victor’s Cafe
- The Blue Dog
- Le Pain Quotidien
40 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
Right near New York’s famous oasis, Central Park, Sarabeth’s is a fantastic place to get brunch and relax in the heart of the city. Although everything at Sarabeth’s is truly top-notch, I’m a personal fan of their pancakes and French toast. Both classic breakfast options are fresh, fluffy, and have just the right amount of sweetness.
Since Sarabeth’s tends to get really busy, you should make a reservation, especially during their peak mid-morning hours on Saturday and Sunday. Check out Sarabeth’s honey grilled cheese with soup if you’re in the mood for lunch food rather than breakfast fare. Make sure that you wash it all down with a fresh cup of their signature coffee.
29 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016
The Crooked Knife is just a few blocks away from famous Madison Square Park and offers hearty portions to hungry brunch lovers. You’ll find plenty of comfort food on the Crooked Knife’s menu, including omelets and classic brioche French toast. One of my personal favorites is their short rib hash with two perfectly prepared poached eggs, crispy home fries, and fresh hollandaise sauce.
You can also get avocado toast with tomato, eggs, and fresh black pepper. Or the famous CK breakfast platter with home fries, toast, and bacon. Their mimosas are on point, as are their signature cocktails and wine selection.
956 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022
The Smith specializes in elevating traditional food with beautiful presentation and unparalleled service. It’s just a few blocks away from the East River in New York City’s midtown, so it’s a great place to stop for brunch before exploring the city. Although their food is incredible, their cocktails really take the cake. The smoke and fire cocktail is exceptional and one of my favorites.
Tuck into brunch specials like shrimp and grits, steak and eggs, or sample The Smith’s spin on eggs benedict. They also make a great burger prepared to your liking. Their portions are big, their service is excellent, and the location is superb.
Friedman’s has multiple locations all throughout New York City and is a local haunt for excellent breakfast and brunch fare. They do tend to get busy on the weekends, so you might have to wait for a table, but it’s completely worth it, trust me. Their coffee is piping hot, fresh, and delicious. Their simplest offerings, eggs, bacon, and BELTs (BLTs with eggs), are crafted with care from fresh ingredients.
Friedman’s also offers salads and grain bowls for those who want a lighter meal. I prefer both their green salad and their potato latkes with salmon and egg. It’s my go-to order at Friedman’s.
159 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
Penelope is another excellent brunch spot just a few blocks away from Madison Square Park. This conveniently-located eatery is big on the ambiance, and its friendly staff will address any questions you might have about the menu. The decor at Penelope is painted wood paneling and cozy seats. It reminds you of a small-town cafe, just with a gourmet menu in the heart of Manhattan.
Try their breakfast sandwiches, French toast, and BLT. I love their blueberry pancakes. Every bite is bursting with berry flavor, and they are not overly sweet. The sides at Penelope are good too. Try their home fries, and make sure that you double up on the bacon.
701 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Mom’s Kitchen and Bar is really close to Midtown’s Clinton Community Garden and is famous for its excellent prices, good location, and great service. I love their chicken and waffles. The chicken is perfectly seasoned, tender, and moist. The waffles are crispy, doughy, and the ideal counterbalance to the chicken. Better still, the portions were definitely made for sharing.
Mom’s Kitchen and Bar is famous for its whimsical menu. Their Bedrock pancakes have Fruity Pebbles baked right into the batter and come with fresh berries. If you like whimsical, themed drinks, definitely give this place a try. Their Maple Bloody Mary is an excellent take on this classic brunch drink.
121 Madison Ave #5, New York, NY 10016
Just a few blocks away from the Empire State Building, Blank Slate Coffee + Kitchen has a varied menu with something for everyone on it. You’ll find standard breakfast and brunch fare, as well as innovative sandwiches and new twists on old favorites. If you’re dining with a group, consider getting a lot of small plates to share.
You’ll find artisan teas, gourmet coffees, and plenty of local craft beer and wine at this restaurant, plus phenomenal dishes like Brussels sprouts and eggs, granola, yogurt, and roasted berries, and mushroom and spinach scrambles. It’s good, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare that will hit the spot before a long day of exploring the city.
64 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
Parker & Quinn is relatively close to Bryant Park and specializes in serving excellent food and cocktails in an old-school-style restaurant. You’ll feel immediately at home the second that you walk through the door. Additionally, the staff at Parker & Quinn is extremely helpful and can take your dietary concerns and needs into account.
One of my favorite things to get at Parker & Quinn is their burgers. They are juicy, cooked to perfection, and sizable. There’s a good chance that you’ll be full all day! I also love their blood orange and beet salad and lobster macaroni and cheese. They serve a pretty mean plate of pancakes too.
236 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019
If you’re near the August Wilson Theatre and craving brunch, check out Victor’s Cafe. This restaurant specializes in Latin American cuisine, and their cocktails are incredible. I like their signature champagne Sangria, a bubbly, celebratory take on traditional Sangria. I also love their shrimp with Creole sauce and roasted adobo chicken breast. You can get it with a light watercress salad, mojo vinaigrette, and flavorful potato puree.
Their desserts are delicious too. I love their guava cobbler. The presentation is familiar, but the guava puts a whole new spin on it. I felt like I was in the tropics with every bite.
308 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019
The Blue Dog is very close to the 50th Street subway station and focuses heavily on local ingredients and new takes on traditional American cuisine. Their menu fluctuates seasonally, features healthy options like cold-pressed juices, and celebrates local farmers. I love the pumpkin stuffed french toast. Unlike many pumpkin-flavored dishes, it wasn’t overly sweet. It tasted just like fall with a bit of spice.
Their fried chicken sandwich is a good option, too; perfectly seasoned and served on fresh bread with plenty of fixings. However, if you want something more traditional, their eggs benedict is a good bet, and their coffee is strong, fresh, and some of the best in the city.
There are multiple Le Pain Quotidien locations all throughout the city, and they all have something in common; excellent baked goods. You’ll find authentic, flaky croissants and hearty homemade muffins at any Le Pain Quotidien that you visit. If you’re looking for something more substantial, check out their breakfast sandwiches and omelets. Both options will fill you up nicely.
I personally like their silver dollar pancakes and fresh coffee. You can also get bakery items to go. Pick up some baguettes for home. Their locations tend to get a little busier during the weekends, so you might have to wait for a table.
If you’re looking for the best brunch in Midtown, any one of these restaurants would undoubtedly fit the bill. From traditional fare like eggs benedict and breakfast sandwiches to flaky, homemade bakery items, Midtown has something for every taste and appetite.
Try whimsical pancakes made with your favorite childhood breakfast cereals, or dig into fiery Latin American cuisine with a side of champagne Sangria. There’s no shortage of options in Manhattan’s most happening district.
Looking for other great places to eat? Check out our ranking of the top restaurants in Midtown here.
Did we miss any incredible Midtown brunch spots? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for reading!
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