As soon as the clock strikes midday on Saturdays and Sundays, New Yorkers come out in droves to congregate for their cherished ritual: brunch. Yes, some worship at the altars of Locanda Verde or Maialino, while others belong to the sects of Cookshop and Freemans; and there are even new-wave practitioners converting Brooklynites to Okonomi and Four Horsemen.

For the most devoted, the proceedings are interminable and can unfold over the course of an entire afternoon. Sins from the night before must be confessed, discussed in great detail and repented for. Bread must be broken and wine must be poured. Lengthy sermons are delivered (by whichever member of the congregation feels most strongly about Trump). And, depending on the place of worship, the event can even culminate in singing and (tabletop) dancing.

In ode to the religion of brunch, we’ve selected our most sacred spots across New York City, guaranteed to evangelise even the most strident atheist.

New Yorker-approved brunch spots you need to try this weekend

Buvette

Bringing Parisian countryside charm to the West Village, Buvette is one place that’s worth the wait. Be prepared to queue (it doesn’t take reservations) and go carb crazy – ordering a croque is a must. Post feed, walk it off in the direction of Bleecker Street.

Sunday in Brooklyn Williamsburg

The name hits the nail on the head: Sunday in Brooklyn is, unsurprisingly, a very good place to spend a weekend afternoon. While the aesthetic feels like something dreamed up on a millennial’s mood board (white marble countertops, sleek mid-century furniture and splashes of colour by way of leafy green palms) the food stands on its own. The menu items are pretty zeitgeisty – think charred avocado toast with wheatgrass, toasted barley grain bowls with spicy vegetables and sambal, egg brioche sandwiches with gochujang aioli – but they manage to deliver on taste as well as Instagram potential. And in a city where brunch can be a surprisingly expensive ordeal, Sunday in Brooklyn is relatively affordable.

Jack's Wife Freda

For a casual post-yoga brunch that will prolong those healthy Sunday morning vibes, head here. The neighbourhood-style eatery serves our favourite morning medley: the Mediterranean breakfast with two eggs, salad, avocado and pita is a godsend. (The cantaloupe mimosa is the preferred pairing for weary revellers who didn’t quite make it to yoga).

Le Barricou

Pancakes at Le Barricou take about 30 minutes (they have to bake) but to say they’re worth the wait is the understatement to end all understatements. It’s impossible to polish them off on your own; recruit a couple of chums come Saturday for a lazy, gluttonous start to your weekend.

Miss Favela Williamsburg

For many, weekend brunches are a thinly veiled excuse to day drink. If this applies to you, then Miss Favela is your spot. The rustic Brazilian food served here may not exactly be described as “gourmet” (though pao de queijo, grilled steak and rice may be exactly what you’re after) but what Miss Favela lacks in Michelin stars, it more than makes up for with live samba music, pitchers of caipirinhas and a very lively crowd. We recommend that you don’t make ambitious post-brunch plans…

ACME

This French-meets-Italian restaurant serves up food of which the fashion set (ACME’s predominant clientele) firmly approve. Spend a lazy Saturday curled up in one of ACME’s plush booths and sample everything from sesame-seed-flecked avocado toast to pancakes with ricotta, apples and mint.

Sadelle’s Soho

You’d be remiss if you visited New York without sampling a good old-fashioned cream cheese bagel. And while there are plenty of on-the-go options for this, Sadelle’s is perfect for when you want to kick your quintessential New York breakfast into high gear. Consider this Manhattan’s answer to tea at Claridges; except instead of quaint pastries you get towers of fresh bagels, smoked salmon and a multitude of savoury accoutrements (including caviar, should you be feeling fancy). Expect a hefty price tag – but no regrets.

Santina

A hotspot in the Meatpacking District, plotted right under the High Line and just down the street from the Whitney Museum, this is a great place to fuel up on a Saturday morning before an afternoon of exploring. Its signature chickpea crêpes topped with avocado are sublime.

Vinegar Hill House Brooklyn

Considered by many to be the perfect date spot in New York City, the rustic and romantic charm of Vinegar Hill House is equally appealing for peaceful Sunday afternoons. Tucked away on a quiet street in Dumbo, the restaurant is home to one of the best al fresco dining places in the city. Given its somewhat out-of-the-way location, we probably wouldn’t make the trip here if we weren’t eating on the courtyard patio, so make the request when you reserve in advance. Much like the restaurant, which has remained a failsafe over the years, the food at Vinegar Hill House is classic with side of eccentricity. Our favourites are the sourdough pancakes and crab cakes eggs benedict.

Bubby’s

For small town vibes but big-city taste head to Bubby’s. Serving Southern comfort food in the heart of Tribeca – think freshly baked, buttery biscuits, lashing of bacon and lethal bloody marys – this restaurant is likely keep you full for much of the day. The chocolate-chip pancakes are serious crowd pleasers too.

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