Best Breakfast in NYC: 15 Perfect Morning Spots

Whoever claimed that breakfast was the most important meal of the day probably lived in New York.

They probably didn’t even need energy but simply loved bagels with egg and cheese, pancakes with maple syrup drizzling from the edges, hot coffee, and pastries. The city indeed has some of the most substantial and flavorful breakfast options in the country, essential for starting the day sunny-side-up.  

Overhead shot of breakfast items on a table including pancakes, eggs Benedict, toast, and two glasses of orange juice, with a pair of sunglasses in the center
No matter what you’re craving, New York has the perfect morning meal. Photo credit: Vincent Rivaud

New York is the city that never sleeps, and maybe it’s actually because the day starts so early rather than ends late. When the sun rises, many New Yorkers tend to rise along with it, ready to start working and being productive.  

It isn’t much different for visitors – there’s so much to see in the city that you need to be up early to enjoy it all. So, with that in mind, here are 15 places with the best breakfast in NYC for you to indulge in sweet and savory combinations and lots of caffeine. 

Barney Greengrass (Upper West Side) 

Barney Greengrass is a traditional Jewish deli and smoked fish shop on steroids. It was established in 1908 and has been an Upper West Side brunch staple for a very long time, serving large plates of scrambled eggs, fresh and bright nova (a type of salmon), and latkes, those famous fried potato pancakes. There’s plenty of space to sit and eat, but it gets crowded—so arriving early is a must! 

Cream cheese and lox bagel on a plate beside a pickle and a lemon slice
Barney Greengrass serves straightforward and delicious deli fare. Photo credit: Edsel Little

Sullivan Street Bakery (Hell’s Kitchen) 

The bread from Sullivan Street Bakery is a favorite in New York, sold to many restaurants around the city. So imagine trying it right at the source, warm and freshly baked.  

Now, go for the prosciutto and soft eggs inside a brioche paired with a large cup of coffee, which you get from counter service and can eat at their little tables. Any bread and egg combo here is guaranteed to grant you a fantastic start to your day.

Chocolate almond croissant on a white plate
The incredible chocolate almond croissant from Sullivan Street Bakery. Photo credit: Garrett Ziegler

The Blue Dog (Hell’s Kitchen) 

Get ready to eat the best fried-chicken waffles of your life, where the maple syrup is infused with jalapeño and the mayo perfectly breaks the fattiness of the crispy chicken thighs. Create your own omelet and drink hot cocoa with Baileys or amaretto.  

The environment at Blue Dog elevates your classic brunch scene with dark walls and dim lighting, a well-equipped bar, and small, cramped tables. It is elegance at its finest, both on the menu and the atmosphere. It gets crowded on weekends and don’t take reservations, so put your name on the list and wait for a unique experience.  

Buvette (West Village) 

Buvette is always packed, so don’t be frustrated if you have to wait a few hours after putting your name on the list.  

This small French restaurant is worth the wait, and once you’re seated—eating the fluffiest eggs of your life—you’ll understand why. The brioche French toasts are also praised here, as is pretty much any other dish on the menu. 

Overhead shot of cured meats, scrambled eggs, and toast on a white plate
Fluffy eggs and French charcuterie on toast? Yes, please. Photo credit: Buvette

Jack’s Wife Freda (Soho, West Village, & Chelsea) 

Jack’s Wife Freda is probably the trendiest breakfast place in New York, serving Mediterranean food that always impresses. They elevate every dish and work with flavors that you never thought would go well together—like prosciutto and duck, as just one example.  

They also serve breakfast classics like eggs Benedict and French toast, but go for the unique dishes like the shakshuka with eggs and halloumi or the rosewater pancakes.  

Cooked eggs in a green sauce in a dish on a white plate beside two pieces of toast
Delicious eggs in tomatillo sauce at Jack’s Wife Freda. Photo credit: photo-gator

Atla (Noho) 

Atla is perfect for brunch lovers who already want to go straight into lunch dishes. It’s a Mexican restaurant that serves fantastic chicken soup, sea bass with thin cucumber slices, shrimp tacos, aguas frescas, moles negros, and many other creative interpretations of traditional Mexican food paired with other Central-American influences. It is a bit pricier than average, but the food is well worth it.

Golden Diner (Chinatown) 

Here, classic breakfast foods always have a unique touch. Maybe that’s why there’s always a line on weekends.  

Golden Diner combines American breakfast staples with Korean, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese culinary influences. The result: breakfast sandwiches on milk buns with tuna melt or lots of eggs and cheese on the inside. Maybe even salt and vinegar chips on rye.  

Davelle (Lower East Side) 

Davelle is a Japanese-style café perfect for comfort foods like spaghetti and fried chicken. Their minimalistic environment highlights the elegance of the food served, and the cozy atmosphere invites everyone who would like to try an espresso and soju cocktail topped with milk and cinnamon. Breakfast toast sets, which can come with toppings like cheese curry or honey lemon, only cost $9.  

Kopitiam (Lower East Side) 

Ever considered having Malaysian cuisine in the morning? After visiting Kopitiam, it will become your newest go-to breakfast food.   

Try an egg noodle dish called tok tok mee, which comes with fried shrimp and pork wontons, or go for the nasi lemak, rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves. If you have a sweet tooth, the French toast with chocolate and condensed milk will be perfect for you. 

Here everything is extremely affordable, and you’re guaranteed to have a unique breakfast.  

Several Malaysian dishes on a table with a plate of white rice and vegetables in the foreground.
No need to go all the way to Kuala Lumpur to find incredible nasi lemak. Photo credit: is Azfar Ahmad

Russ & Daughters (Lower East Side) 

Known for its deli-like appearance and fresh seafood, this is a classic breakfast venue in New York.  

Russ & Daughters has been around since 1914, serving their house-specialty horseradish cream cheese that goes perfectly with salmon bagels for breakfast. They are famous for their enormous platters, ideal for those who like to share. And although they may look pretty casual and laid-back, they serve one of the most Instagrammable meals on this list.  

Front of Russ & Daughters deli in NYC with a green and red sign above the doorway.
Russ & Daughters has been a fixture of the Lower East Side for over a century. Photo credit: ajay_suresh

Shopsin’s at Essex Market (Lower East Side) 

The vast menu from Shopsin’s can be a bit confusing if you’re not a house regular, but we guarantee you will find your way around.  

Here, breakfast starts at 10 a.m., and the place gets crowded up with locals and tourists who want to try the banana pecan brown sugar pancakes. The “greenie” is a crowd-pleaser, an egg-stuffed avocado with cilantro salsa and chorizo. Sunny-side-up eggs come on top of everything in the “Blisters on my Sister” menu category.  

Three pancakes with glazed pumpkin, peanut butter, and pistachio on a white plate
Incredible glazed pumpkin, peanut butter, and pistachio pancakes at Shopsin’s. Photo credit: Veronica

Daily Provisions (Union Square) 

Daily Provisions works mainly as a takeout spot, where you can grab your breakfast and eat it at the square.  

Here you will find different varieties of house-baked loaves of bread, from rye to French baguettes, and dozens of pastries, including crullers with cinnamon or original glaze. Breakfast gougeres (small balls of eggs, ham, and spinach) are also available. The crullers are legendary and trying one is a must.  

Pershing Square (Midtown East) 

Pershing Square is the best breakfast in NYC for pancake lovers. Their flapjacks have a fluffy, buttery buttermilk base and fillings like chocolate, blueberry, or banana. Pour the side butter over your stack and drizzle maple syrup over it, let the butter melt, and turn your breakfast into a New Yorker wonder.  

The other items on the menu follow the traditional breakfast-dinner menu—not fancy, but highly pleasing.  

Brightly lit diner with green fluorescent letters reading Pershing Square under an overpass in an urban area
Pershing Square’s unconventional location under the Park Avenue ramp near Grand Central. Photo credit: Joe Benjamin

Veselka (East Village) 

Veselka is probably the most popular option on this list of spots serving the best breakfast in NYC. This establishment serves traditional breakfast foods from Hungary, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Poland, including pierogis and strawberry-cheese blintz, something like a small rolled pancake. Omelets with kielbasa sausage and stuffed cabbage are also part of the menu.  

It is one of the few Eastern European establishments left in the East Village, and the bottomless coffee and fast service are only a few of the reasons it’s been standing since 1954. 

Crepes dusted with powdered sugar beside a small container of a red berry topping.
Veselka’s Ukrainian-style crepes filled with semi-sweet farmer’s cheese. Photo credit: seventyoneplace

Clinton St. Baking Company (Dumbo) 

Clinton St. Baking Company is known for its stack of blueberry pancakes, so trying them is necessary. Now, pair that with latke eggs Benedict or egg sandwiches, and you’ll have one of the most beloved and best breakfasts in NYC. The venue is located inside the TimeOut food market and is known to be the best after-party hangover treat in the entire city. 

Stack of blueberry pancakes on a white plate beside a small cup of syrup.
Clinton St.’s famous blueberry pancakes. Photo credit: Wally Gobetz