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NYC Brunch -- Upper West Side

Updated on April 30, 2014

This is your neighborhood for the best brunches in NYC

Anthony Bourdain's comments in Kitchen Confidential put me off brunch (it's for suckers & sissies, he says) for about 5 minutes. Then I went right back to loving my long, leisurely late-morning meals out. I am a brunchaholic, never ever tiring of creative approaches to eggs, and have found there is no better place to enjoy a great brunch than New York City. The Upper West Side in particular is a goldmine, offering some of the best NYC brunches you'll find. Here, a list of Upper West Side restaurants known for brunchy goodness.

(photo credit: stormwarning. via photopin cc ~ cropped for shape)

upper west side brunch sarabeths
upper west side brunch sarabeths

NYC brunch: Sarabeth's West

423 Amsterdam Ave. (between 80th & 81st)

Sarabeth's West is one of the first places I ever brunched in NYC. That was about 20 years ago, so this place has stood the test of time. Even more than the delicious green and white eggs (scrambled eggs with scallions and cream cheese), I remember the kind staff who saw my legroom usurped by a giant bag of H&H bagels (lesson learned: wait 'til AFTER brunch to go bagel shopping for back home) and stored it while we ate. Sarabeth's outposts pepper the city and are -- speaking of treats to take home -- known for gourmet preserves.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 8 to 4

Takes reservations? Not for brunch. (yes for breakfast, lunch & dinner)

I'd order ... green & white eggs, lemon ricotta pancakes

(photo: Shannon Clark)

NYC brunch: Popover Cafe

551 Amsterdam Ave. (between 86th & 87th)

Named for the fluffy, puffy rolls they serve fresh from the oven with strawberry butter, Popover Cafe is a homey spot that draws big brunch crowds. Except for the potential waits, this place is terrific for families, as picky kids can get by on just the pillowy popovers.

Brunch served: Sat. and Sun. starting at 8:30

Takes reservations? No

I'd order ... Kobe corned beef hash, coconut-almond French toast

NYC brunch: Good Enough to Eat

483 Amsterdam Ave. (between 83rd & 84th)

Good Enough to Eat was so crowded when we visited, I never did get to try the place Kevin Bacon counts as a favorite "neighborhood joint." Three decades of brisk business speak volumes about GETE's high-end comfort food and country-cottage atmosphere, complete with white picket fence.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 9 to 4, Mon.-Fri. 8 to 4

Takes reservations? No

I'd order ... Gramercy omelette with apple & white cheddar, farmhouse breakfast with dill-onion toast

ouest upper west brunch nyc
ouest upper west brunch nyc

NYC brunch: Ouest

2315 Broadway (between 83rd & 84th)

Zagat-recommended Ouest offers a '40s supper-club vibe with curved booths and classy comfort food.

Brunch served: Sun. 11 to 2

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... grilled ham & swiss sandwich, omelette "souffle"

(photo: Peter Bond)

NYC brunch: Isabella's

359 Columbus Ave. (at 77th St.)

I'd eaten dinner several times at Mediterranean-influenced Isabella's before catching up with a friend over their yummy brunch. People-watching from the sidewalk seats is to die for, so if the weather's fair, get your name on the list.

Brunch served: Sun. 10 to 4:30

Takes reservations? Not for brunch (just lunch & dinner)

I'd order ... crab benedict, chocolate hazlenut crepes

Poll: What do you munch at brunch?

What's your favorite thing to order at brunch?

See results

NYC brunch: Nice Matin

201 West 79th (at Amsterdam Ave.)

Imagine yourself on the Cote d'Azur with a sidewalk seat at Nice Matin, a French-Mediterranean spot with great people watching.

Brunch served: Sat. 10:30-3:30, Sun. 10:30-3

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... pan bagnat, spicy lamb sausage & eggs

upper west side brunch cafe lalo
upper west side brunch cafe lalo

NYC brunch: Cafe Lalo

201 West 83rd

Instantly recognizable to fans of the film You've Got Mail, Euro-style Cafe Lalo can make all your fancy-coffee dreams come true and offers more than 100 cakes, pies & tarts.

Brunch served: Sat. and Sun. 9 to 4, Mon.-Fri. 8 to 4

Takes reservations? No

I'd order ... Swiss Breakfast with fruit & granola, Dutch Breakfast with steamed eggs & gouda

(photo: Rob Young)

NYC brunch: Le Pain Quotidien

50 West 72nd St. (between Columbus Ave. & Central Park West)

With 10 locations in NYC, including the Upper West Side, super casual Le Pain Quotidien is a Belgian bakery-cafe chain serving fresh, wholesome food at communal farm tables. I always grab a bag or two of their granola (not too sweet, plenty of coconut) to take home to Chicago.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. starting at 8, Mon.-Fri. starting at 7:30

Takes reservations? No

I'd order ... baker's basket, organic granola parfait

NYC brunch: Sunburnt Calf*

226 West 79th Street (between Amsterdam & Broadway)

If a boozy brunch is up your alley, look no further than the Sunburnt Calf, known more for its cute Australian waitstaff and drinks, drinks, drinks than its food. An all you can drink brunch for 20 bucks in NYC? Not sure how they pull it off, but if I were 20 years younger & childless, I wouldn't care.

Brunch served: Sat. and Sun. 11 to 4

Takes reservations? Depends on size of your group

I'd order ... Moomosas, Moo Marys...

*Update! This place is now Burke & Wills ... still Aussie, still serving brunch, now with a $15 "first class drink ticket" on offer in place of the unlimited system. Worth exploring.

More options: NYC Brunch -- Times Square / Theatre District

Where's your favorite NYC brunch spot on the Upper West Side?


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    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 4 years ago

      Great selection of spots to have brunch. Thanks for a fun and informative read.

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 5 years ago

      I love brunch! So I love your lens too.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 6 years ago from Australia

      Blessed! Are you getting the impression that I'm a foodie!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      enjoyed my visit on your lens tonight.