Let’s do brunch! Whether it’s buffet, a la carte, laid-back or special occasion-worthy, brunch is a proposition most can’t resist. Mostly reserved for the weekends, it’s a treat to cap off the week, made to be enjoyed leisurely among friends and proven to effectively postpone the Sunday scaries.
Brunch has become so popular, narrowing down a list of just 21 recommendations in our region is a challenge. When it comes to everyone’s favorite midday meal, we feel that each of these restaurants stands out for their food, atmosphere and overall experience.
Here’s where to eat brunch in the Northeast.
Nestled in the Boston Center for the Arts complex, The Beehive is an art space as well as an eatery. The decor is decidedly Bohemian, with exposed stone, painted murals and multicolored curtains draped everywhere.
The Beehive is a Boston hotspot for live music. Join the other bees for food and drink at the live music brunch, held every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (music ends at 2 p.m.) While you enjoy the entertainment, try the coffee cake du jour, corned beef hash or eggs shakshuka.
Locations in Boston and Watertown, Mass.
For comfort food (what could be better at brunch?), head over to one of Buttermilk & Bourbon’s two Massachusetts locations. The menu is based on the American South, with a focus on the food and culture of New Orleans. At brunch, which runs on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the menu includes buttermilk-fried chicken and cheddar-bourbon waffles, pulled pork Benedict and freshly fried beignets. For cocktails, order a round of B&B Hurricanes.
If you’re looking for where to eat brunch in Boston, Clink has great food and a great story. The restaurant is in the unique Liberty Hotel, which used to be a prison. You can still see bars from original jail cells and exposed brick walls in the dining room, offset by stylish lighting, an open kitchen and butcher block tables.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you and your friends can enjoy the artisan breakfast sandwich, yogurt parfait, smoked salmon platter and other favorites. The best part is Clink’s self-service bloody mary bar. So long, prison hooch!
Lincoln is a brunch spot every day of the week. Along with breakfast and lunch standards like omelets, salads and sandwiches, you’re sure to be tempted by their wood-fired pizzas, including a breakfast pizza topped with poached eggs, caramelized onions, bacon, roasted tomatoes and hash browns.
Every Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Brunch Test Kitchen menu is offered in addition to the lunch menu. The rotating, ever-changing list of options consists of all the new brunch ideas the Lincoln staff dreams up. Once perfected, favorites make it to the regular brunch menu. It’s how it all started for the Fruity Pebble pancakes with cereal milk anglaise (!).
West Springfield, Mass.
Serving all-day breakfast six days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., there’s a lot to be “eggscited” about (as their menu says) at Sunny Side Up. Highlights at this small but welcoming family-owned and operated establishment include nine types of benedicts, egg sandwiches and breakfast wraps. Lunch begins at 11 a.m., when you can start ordering sandwiches, burgers, melts and a variety of Polish specialties. Try the Polish Platter for a sampling of pierogi, stuffed cabbage, sausages and more.
You don’t want to miss the trailer park brunch at Ogie’s, Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The weirdly wonderful indoor/outdoor dining establishment is decorated to look like a circle of 1950s-style aluminum trailers.
Order your meal at the window of one of the trailers and chow down on delights like breakfast tots, vegan French toast, jalapeno cheddar grits and eggs with bacon lardons and tomatillo sauce, or their version of eggs benny, served on a biscuit with barbecue pulled pork. If you’re not into bloody marys and mimosas or you’ve had your fill of brunch cocktails, bottomless coffee is also an option.
The Salted Slate is a stylish eatery, serving up fresh, local and organic food from nearby New England farms. Though the menu changes frequently, some items you can expect to see include a smoked salmon plate, frittata and lemon ricotta pancakes. Whatever you order, the hands-down best side dish is a bag of warm doughnuts. There’s also a “no fuss, no muss” to-go brunch that includes everything you need for a group brunch at home for $20 per person.
Watch Hill, R.I.
Enjoy a luxurious brunch at Rhode Island’s only AAA Five Diamond Designated hotel to the sounds of jazz, blues and soul from local musician Greg Piccolo. Every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Ocean House’s chefs prepare an a la carte menu of sharable plates of fruit, cheese and charcuterie, local shellfish and more, followed by two courses of elevated brunch fare and assorted desserts.
Garden City, N.Y.
The a la carte spread served every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the AAA Four Diamond Garden City Hotel makes deciding where to eat brunch on Long Island easy. A raw bar selection, eggs cooked any way you like and chef David Burke’s take on classics such as croque madame, lobster mac and cheese and chicken and waffles are a delicious way to treat yourself for special occasions or simply celebrate the weekend.
Hampton Bays, N.Y.
Outside on the deck or lawn, Cowfish brunchers can relax with the view and breezes off the Shinnecock Canal (which also makes it easily accessible by boat). On the menu, you’ll find the likes of braised pork Benedict, filet tournedos – a classy take on steak and egg made with filet mignon, potato hash and bearnaise sauce, fish entrees and sandwiches. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
New York, N.Y.
Jacob’s Pickles, of course, has perfected its pickle game, so be sure to sample a few – or all – of their nine pickled items. It’s also known for its biscuits, sizeable craft beer list and laid-back atmosphere. If that doesn’t tick off every item on your brunch checklist, the breakfast and Southern biscuit sandwiches ought to do it. The Southern-inspired menu is all about comfort. Yes, please, sausage gravy-smothered fried chicken on a biscuit.
New York, N.Y.
Wondering where to eat brunch with a view? This Jean-Georges Vongerichten waterfront gem is located at Pier 17 in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport District, complete with outdoor dining and an unobstructed look at the Brooklyn Bridge.
A nod to the area’s history and former home of the Fulton Fish Market, the seafood-focused brunch menu is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features a caviar selection, raw bar, variety of eggs Benedict, casual sandwiches and opulent mains, including Maine lobster with scrambled eggs.
It doesn’t have to be Sunday; Sunday in Brooklyn serves brunch and dinner seven days a week. With its outdoor seating, rooftop and rustic chic décor, it’s exactly the kind of hip and trendy restaurant you would except to find in Williamsburg.
The Sunday Pancakes with hazelnut maple praline and brown butter, avocado toast, shakshuka and biscuits and gravy are among the menu standouts. The black cod pastrami also gets lots of love from reviewers. Cocktails, like the Honeybear on Holiday, presented in a repurposed honey bear bottle, are a lot of fun.
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Waffle towers, donut stacks, pancake tacos and milkshakes with every conceivable topping balanced on top – Elm Street Diner leans into their Instagram-worthiness hard. Stop in for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and choose from the many imaginative creations, from Oreo Belgian waffles and churro French toast to chicken and waffles Benedict. And don’t forget to share @ElmStreetDiner!
This dreamy indoor/outdoor greenhouse space has everything you need for a relaxing afternoon. Brunch is offered daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. And afterwards, you can shop the home and garden boutique.
Both the atmosphere and the food are light and fresh, making Terrain one of the most idyllic brunch places in Connecticut. Choose a grain bowl, sandwich, salad or breakfast item from the seasonally influenced menu, all made with ingredients sourced from local farms and purveyors. Pair your meal with a specialty coffee, cocktail or non-alcoholic drink from an impressive list of concoctions.
Located in a restored Lathrop Marine Engine building, this industrial-cozy restaurant does brunch every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. When the weather is nice, patio dining is available with views of the Mystic River.
On the menu, selections include a breakfast sandwich made with Jersey pork roll, a crepe of the day and the Engine Room’s specialty hamburgers. Try the Hangover Burger topped with barbecue flourishes and a fried egg and wash it all down with one of the sixteen craft beers on tap.
West Hartford, Conn.
While the locally fresh menu does not disappoint, it’s the setting that makes this brunch spot special. Part of the historic Elizabeth Park Conservancy, diners are treated to beautiful garden views. After brunch, explore the formal gardens and walking paths. Both the restaurant and grounds are open year-round, so you can enjoy the changing landscape through the seasons. Brunch is available 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Locations in Montclair, Red Bank and Asbury Park, N.J.
Open seven days a week, this cozy spot serves comfort food for breakfast, brunch and lunch all day, every day. The sweet offerings like carrot cake pancakes and bananas Foster French toast are not to be missed. Their mantra is “peace, love, pancakes,” after all. If you’d rather go savory, try the lobster cobb salad, smoked salmon omelette or the Brookdale cheese steak.
Mt. Holly, N.J.
The historic and picturesque Robin’s Nest Restaurant has Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Make sure to get your hands on their French toast martini or their Pickled Mario bloody mary as you sit down to order. The brunch sampler and egg tacos can satisfy any midday muncher, and the pork roll melt is the ultimate Jersey brunch pick.
Situated in a series of refurbished brownstones, this Jersey favorite provides the perfect atmosphere for a weekend-making brunch. From eggs to burgers to pasta, there’s something for everyone. Pair your meal with Amanda’s homemade focaccia and a Bellini and you’re all set. Offered Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Catch brunch service at Haven on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Inside or out on the patio, the view of the Manhattan skyline in unbeatable. You can choose to have brunch a la carte or go with the prix fixe option, which includes your choice of brunch item and two mimosas, bloody marys or Bellinis.
Remember, if you plan on enjoying a few drinks with brunch, be sure to designate a driver.
Find more AAA Diamond Designated restaurants near you.
What’s your favorite brunch spot? Tell us in the comments below.