There are plenty of life paths that might have led you to read this guide. Maybe you’re allergic to eggs, or just sick of the way they taste. Maybe you found the movie Chicken Little particularly sentimental. Whatever the reason, being anti-egg doesn’t have to mean choosing between a sad granola bowl and a $14 avocado toast at brunch. All 15 spots on this guide have a range of interesting options that could never be mistaken for a benedict. So when the chickens turn against us, you can feel free to say, “I told you so.” (If you are allergic, of course, be sure to check with your server - these aren't egg-free spots.)
You’re more likely to hang out with the resident backyard quail than you are to make eye contact with a yolk at this Prospect Heights spot. Aside from the draw of new bird friends, you’re here for the excellent (and somewhat experimental) food. Standouts on the brunch menu include the carrot kathi roll, jelly-filled donuts, and house-cured lox with everything crackers. We’d recommend making a reservation ahead of time and/or scheduling your life around the fact that they serve brunch on Fridays.
No offense to your ex-coworker’s wig-required birthday party, but the Japanese set menu at Okonomi will probably be the highlight of your weekend. It takes some effort to get in here, but you’ll be rewarded with a constantly-changing array of fresh fish, little plates of vegetables, and soups. There are only about six tables, and you can’t make a reservation, so the best bet is to arrive before it opens (at 9am).
Kopitiam is an all-day Malaysian cafe on the LES that works for any kind of casual meal. It’s counter-service only, and is usually full of families and groups, but you could easily come here by yourself for a great solo brunch. They do breakfast all day, and start serving the rest of their menu at 10:30am. Try some French toast covered in sugar, or a bowl of pan mee soup that comes with thick, uneven noodles and dried fish (it’s one of our favorite soups in the city).
Take a moment to consider whether anyone you truly trust hates enchiladas. Then, unfollow that person on all social media platforms and go eat brunch at Casa Enrique in Long Island City. This restaurant makes some of our absolute favorite Mexican food, and serves brunch from 10am-4pm on weekends. Make a reservation ahead of time, or be willing to wait.
This Bushwick pizza spot opens at noon on weekends, and the menu is really more of a lunch situation. Which is fine because when you aren’t interested in eggs, the difference between lunch and brunch is just two inconvenient letters. The pies at Ops stand out because of their sourdough crust, and all of your options are really good. Especially the square pie. See, Mrs. Haim’s 9th grade geometry class did come in handy after all.
Bernie’s is a walk-in only American restaurant in Greenpoint that presumably emerged fully-formed from a very large time capsule created back when people thought smoking was good for you. You’re here to sit in a red vinyl booth while you eat a cheeseburger or some onion rings, and on the weekends, they serve “lunch” with a few breakfast options - which should already tell you where their priorities lie.
We love Via Quadronno for its Italian sandwiches, salads, and pastas. And because it’s the kind of place where you won’t look like an a**hole for ordering with the subtle Italian accent you picked up on that trip to Rome 10 years ago. That said, we can’t promise your brunch group won’t make fun of you afterwards when you’re walking to the Met (which is about a block away).
This is a slightly upscale vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options, which means it’s actually harder to find eggs here than it is to avoid them. Like during an Easter egg hunt, or a conference for menopausal hens.
Eggs definitely exist at Upland, but so does one of the top 20 burgers in New York. Besides that, you can get pizza, pasta, pancakes, and some vegetable-focused things like a dish with farro and chickpeas. The spacious dining room here is perfect for a somewhat special occasion - like a family member’s retirement, or finding a group of people who have compatible brunch tastes. Also nice: it’s pretty easy to get a reservation these days.
Barbuto’s chicken with salsa verde is famous. But if you don’t feel comfortable eating an egg’s creator until you’ve definitively established which one came first (let us know), don’t worry. We actually like the pasta here more. Spend your Saturday afternoon in the garage-like space in the West Village, get some gnocchi, and leave very happy.
We can’t give you exact measurements for how big Jing Fong actually is, but we feel confident it could comfortably fit the next Little League World Series. And that’s just one reason why we like it for brunch. Gather everyone you know who’s remotely interested in dim sum, take an escalator up to the restaurant entrance, and proceed to over-order.
Barney Greengrass is an NYC institution, but it feels as low-key as the diner where you’ve been going your entire life (it’s just more expensive). Remember to get cash before you go, and once you’re inside, order a plate of smoked salmon or sturgeon and some bagels.
For a brunch experience that involves eating Southern food and feeling joy, it’s hard to beat Sylvia’s. They have chicken and waffles, but they also do great fried catfish and macaroni and cheese. It’s pretty famous, so things might feel a little touristy (especially during the bottomless Sunday gospel brunch). But, with the exception of the M&M store and the ferris wheel inside of The Mall of America, tourists go to great places for a reason.
If you’re looking for a fun group brunch downtown, Pig and Khao on the Lower East Side is ideal. Especially if your group is interested in talking over Kendrick Lamar songs while sharing some really good Filipino and Thai food. The menu splits approximately 50-50, egg to not-egg, so it’s easy enough to find good options (like the grilled pork jowl and the green papaya salad with chicken). There’s also a $16 bottomless mimosa deal, and a bottomless Narragansett draft for the same price.