New York’s brunch scene usually gets all the attention, but there’s something that feels extra-special about going out for breakfast. For those dining out before work (to treat a friend on their birthday or to meet with a client) or getting some grub after an early-morning workout, we’ve compiled a list of the best spots to get your fix of freshly squeezed juice and eggs benny.

Start your day right at NYC’s best breakfast spots

Lafayette

A bright, spacious restaurant on the street of the same name, Lafayette is a NoHo classic and beloved by students with visiting parents, power lunchers and socialites alike. Despite its charged reputation, the atmosphere here will transport you straight to a bistro in Le Marais. There’s a bakery at the front for grab-and-go coffee and some of the best baguettes and croissants in the city, and the menu is exactly what you’d expect of a French restaurant. Omelette with ham and brie de meaux, soft scramble with truffle and salmon gravlax on an everything brioche are some of the staples, so come here with someone you’d like to impress. The juices are also a delight, with combinations such as blood orange, yuzu and grapefruit to put a spring in your step.

Dimes

A tucked-away Canal Street locale, Dimes is beloved by the cool kids of the Lower East Side. The low-key interior design exudes chilled California vibes and is the perfect place to go when you need to slowly come back to life after a late night. Affordable by NYC standards, it serves delicious açaí bowls smothered in almond butter to keep you full until lunch and original takes on porridge with sweet potato purée and pistachios. For something savory, order the scrambled egg tacos with tomatillos and spicy mango salsa or the hefty brekkie sandwich with cheddar and avocado. There’s also an in-house deli for on-the-go smoothies and smoked salmon bagels.

The Smile

A favourite of Emily Ratajkowski and co., The Smile’s Bond Street location is a fun place to start the day with a couple of friends (and to do some celeb-spotting). Kick things off with a workout at Box & Flow across the street before drifting down the restaurant’s front steps for some grub. There’s an abundance of healthy options here, so if you want to keep things going after your workout, opt for the homemade almond butter on multigrain toast, steel-cut oat porridge made with coconut milk or fruit salad topped with Greek yogurt. If you’re looking for something slightly more filling, the folded-egg sandwich with ham, gruyere and caramelised onions on a Montreal-style bagel from the nearby Black Seed shop is our top pick.

Cafe Gitane

Beloved by the French and Italian students of NYU who sip on espressos at the outdoor tables with their puppies by their side, Cafe Gitane is a chic alternative to the overcrowded restaurants of Nolita. The Moroccan-style restaurant serves up baked-egg skillets and a killer organic egg sandwich with roasted tomato and merguez sausage on a brioche bun. For a sweet weekend brekkie, make sure to get the fluffy strawberry-topped orange blossom waffle or the crunchy home-baked granola (one of the best we’ve ever had), chock-full of seeds, walnuts, oats and coconut oil. On a sunny day, sit out on the terrace and enjoy Gitane’s freshly squeezed watermelon or orange juice.

Le Coucou

Renowned for its extravagant candlelit dinners, Le Coucou is one of New York’s most chi-chi dinner destinations. For breakfast, however, the menu becomes surprisingly more reasonable while remaining just as delicious. The best part? Hardly anyone knows about this hidden gem for an early-morning meal, so you’ll have the excellent staff’s attention all to yourself. Bring your mum here for a fancy brekkie or your best friend for a birthday meal and go all-out with the “comme un clafoutis” – a fluffy blueberry pancake in a skillet topped with a cloud of crème fraîche. Even if you’re just heading to the office afterwards, you’ll feel like you’re on holiday (and be extra smug knowing that you started the day off with more than just a coffee).

Five Leaves

The wood-lined interior at Five Leaves will make you feel as though you’re on a weekend away in the countryside rather than in Brooklyn. The baked goods here are fresh, with our top picks being the banana and chocolate-chip muffin and blueberry friand paired with a warm mug of milk and honey. For heartier fare, the green tea noodles with a boiled egg are great for something new, and you can’t go wrong with the ricotta pancakes topped with honeycomb butter. Those on a health kick can opt for the brûléed grapefruit or overnight oats with tart cherry and chia seeds.

Egg

This Williamsburg spot does all things Southern, and is one of the best places to visit when you’re craving old-fashioned biscuits and gravy. Its organic produce is all farm-to-table, as the place owns Goatfell Farm in upstate New York’s Catskills region, so you can bet the side of kale with your grits and eggs is the best you can get. For something hearty, Amy’s brioche French toast with Vermont maple syrup or the country-ham biscuit (also straight from the farm) with homemade fig jam and Grafton cheddar are guaranteed crowd pleasers. The minimalist space is as Brooklyn as it gets, so come here to fuel up for a day of shopping around the neighbourhood or before setting up shop at a nearby co-working space.

  • +1 718 302 5151
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  • 109 North 3rd Street
    Brooklyn
    NY 11249

Buvette

The absolute cosiest of breakfast options, Buvette is every West Village local’s hideaway. This bistro has a bar, small tables and an adorable terrace to stop by with friends for a quick bite or to while away the hours with a good book. The French menu is appropriately tiny, with a few classic egg dishes as well as Belgian waffles and a croque madame topped with gruyère. In typical French style, almost everything is sourced from local bakeries, cheesemongers and farms close to the city so each dish is at its freshest. Coming here for early-morning breakfast is key, as brunch time can get hectic and often requires queueing.

Clinton St Baking Co. & Restaurant

While snagging a table at Clinton St for a weekend brunch is next to impossible, getting weekday breakfast here is the way to go. This isn’t the place to come for a healthy bowl, though – whether you’re prepping for a big day of walking around the city or having a fun morning out with your flatmates, it’s a must-try in the city for anyone with a sweet tooth. The brioche French toast with caramelised bananas and buttery roasted pecans is the best we’ve ever had, and we also highly recommend the buttermilk biscuit sandwich or the chicken and waffles. If you’re here, order big or go home.

The Bean

While this branch of The Bean not a table-service restaurant, it has one of the most extensive lists of juices, smoothies and bowls (with options for açaí, pitaya, coconut and green bases along with plenty of toppings) in the city. For something more substantial, there is a massive selection of baked goods including lemon poppy seed scones, cinnamon coffee cake muffins and bagels. This is the perfect place to start the day, and a great spot to get some work done if you have your laptop in tow.

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