Manhattan has so many breakfast options available, from curbside bagel shops to traditional diners to boujee sit down restaurants that it can be so overwhelming to try and pick one.
Breakfast is classed as one of the most important meals of the day, but unsurprisingly it’s the one that New Yorkers choose to miss due to their busy schedules. However, for tourists or resident NYCers who have time to spare or enjoy a leisurely breakfast on weekends, there are some fantastic spots to set the day right.
Whether you’re in town visiting or a New Yorker looking for a new breakfast joint, we’ll be sharing our 11 best breakfast spots in Manhattan that you don’t want to miss out on.
Johnny’s Luncheonette has recently been revamped and brought back to the Upper West Side thanks to the locals delight, but don’t worry it still oozes that decades old diner ambiance that everyone loved originally. Old John’s is a complete jewel and boasts an excellent team of staff, some of whom have been there for nearly 20 years.
The diner is ideal for both sweet and savory taste buds as they have a wide selection of breakfast options from oatmeal, to french toast and exquisite omelettes. Their chocolate chip pancakes served with whipped cream and walnuts is certainly one of our favorite ways to get a Sunday rolling.
Breakfast is served 8 am to 11.30 am and they also serve brunch on weekends between 11.30 am to 3 pm. If you’re dining alone, sit at the bar whilst eating and enjoy wholesome conversation with the staff working and discover some old tales about Old John’s 50 years on the UWS.
Old John’s is incredibly reasonably priced considering it’s history and position within Manhattan and will allow everyone to get fuelled for a big day for under $20.
If you’ve traveled to or from Grand Central, then you may have already come across Pershing Square, a bistro adjacent to the station that has a bright green sign. They have all day breakfast options that include pancakes or waffles with freshly squeezed orange juice and brewed tea or coffee, however, your other breakfast favorites are served 8 am to 11.45 am.
In our opinion, they serve up some of the best fluffy and buttery pancakes in the city and served with sweet maple syrup and your choice of filling, blueberries, chocolate chip, or bananas.
The poached eggs over lentils and quinoa is the perfect breakfast/brunch choice for busy New Yorkers who won’t have time to stop for food come the afternoon.
You’ll find many commuters or business people dining here either for a pot of coffee or wasting some time before heading to the main terminal opposite, so if you’d like a more laid back atmosphere, we’d recommend dining for breakfast on weekends.
Penelope is a rust-chic cafe on Lexington Avenue that will have you feeling like you’re dining in a small town when in reality you’ve got the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life just yards from your table.
Penelope serves breakfast from 9 am to 4 pm so whether you’re an early riser or someone who loves breakfast food right through till noon, then you’ll be able to grab it on Lexington.
Nutella French Toast is one of the most popular choices with tourists and is served with seasonal berries and Vermont maple syrup. Albeit, there are leather choices on the menu such as Steel Cut Oatmeal or Avocado Toast.
Hangover Sundays will be deserved of Penelope’s Hangover Bowl (we’re talking pastrami, potatoes, eggs, and sauce) with cold-pressed green juice to fix you right up.
We’d recommend getting there early to guarantee yourself a seat as it can get super busy during peak times. If you live in the neighborhood then you can add your name to the waiting list in the morning on the Nowait app to reserve a space for when you get there.
If you work or pass through the Tribeca area then you’ll need to pay a visit to the friendly cafe Bubby’s that serves up breakfast 8 am to 4 pm, so whatever your idea is of breakfast, you’ll surely be able to find it at Bubby’s.
The House Smoked Salmon Bagel Plate and the Pancake Flight are some of our go-to options for a satisfying breakfast and paired with a hot coffee it comes to under $30.
If you’re hosting breakfast or brunch at home for guests, then you can also enjoy Bubby’s selection of breakfast plates, platters, and pies ready-made to order or pick up. We would recommend making a reservation as it’s in quite a central location that receives a lot of business from workers in the area.
Little Collins has two locations in Manhattan, one on Lexington and the other just around the block from the Chrysler building, both of which offer friendly and efficient service throughout the morning. The chic, industrial cafe is inspired by Melbourne in Australia and offers an incredible variety of ‘brekkie’ dishes for you to enjoy throughout the day.
The Chorizo Burrito or The Smash have become cult classics with customers, however, other options such as the shishito pepper soft scramble or vanilla bean yogurt panna cotta are not ones to be overlooked.
They don’t take reservations, so you’ll need to get up early to grab a table with a group of friends, or you can choose to order through Seamless or Grubhub to be picked up or delivered to your door.
Russ & Daughters Cafe has been serving true New York food to its customers since 1914 and has gone through 4 generations of the Russ family since its opening on the Upper East Side. Within that time, the cafe has expanded locations out to Brooklyn and now has 3 separate locations within Manhattan.
The cafe is open 8 am through to 3 pm and has seating availability inside or provides the flexibility to take your breakfast for take-out to enjoy whilst exploring the city. The classic cream cheese and lox bagel are not to be missed despite being a lot pricier than your average curbside bagel store, but you do pay the price for dining in such a traditional venue.
Russ & Daughters serves up some classic Jewish plates such as babka loaf and marble halvah which you can order as an individual portion or as a whole serving to take home with you.
The staff at each of the locations are well-informed on menu options and will be more than happy to recommend some popular choices on your next visit.
Just up the street from Tompkins Square Park is The Wild Son, a bohemian bistro that’s incredibly popular with residents in the East Village.
Their breakfast menu is not that extensive but does include some absolute gems such as the gluten-free chickpea flour buttermilk pancakes and good morning sunshine sandwich. Their creative menu options and the flexibility to order a few bloody marys before noon makes it a popular choice amongst tourists especially during the summer months.
There is both indoor and outdoor seating to choose from, however, outdoor seating cannot be reserved and is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Opening hours at The Wild Son vary throughout the year so give them a message on social media or ring the bistro to check when their daytime opening hours are before you turn up and get disappointed.
Jacob’s Pickles launched on the Upper West Side back in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since, becoming a popular breakfast spot for both residents in the neighborhood and visitors to the city. The restaurant is committed to bringing good food to good people and is passionate about creating a warm and welcoming community for diners.
They serve Southern-accented comfort food (with plenty of pickles on the menu) all day long and serve a breakfast/brunch menu earlier on in the day.
Their portion sizes are very generous and will have you fuelled up until dinner, especially when combined with their freshly brewed coffee. The biscuit gravy and eggs sandwich are one of the most unusual yet mouthwatering options on the menu that will leave you lusting after Southern cuisine for weeks to come.
The venue is definitely more of a weekend joint than one to come to before heading to work in the city.
Veselka is an iconic 24-hour Ukrainian diner in the East Village that has been serving authentic food since the 50s. The brand now also has a venue in Essex Market on the Lower East Side.
The diner on Second Avenue has outdoor dining but does not take reservations so it’s recommended to arrive early if you’d like to eat in for breakfast. However, breakfast is served all day, every day, so if you’re not an early riser then you’ll still be able to grab your Veselka brekkie favorites at 3 pm.
They open their doors at 8 am, so those hoping to grab a bite to eat and a good coffee before work can do so here. If you prefer dining out on weekends, then you can enjoy their brunch/breakfast menu from 9 am which includes traditional Ukrainian dumplings, a Kozak bowl, and also a luxurious mimosa or prosecco on the side.
The challah french toast and raspberry pancakes always go down a treat when we bring friends in town here although there are plenty of hot savory items on the menu for those without a sweet tooth.
Our penultimate recommendation for dining out for breakfast in Manhattan is Westway Diner, a classic New York diner serving breakfast treats to light healthy options for dining in or taking away.
Westway is open from 8.30 am Monday through Sunday and serves breakfast all day with quick and efficient service that will never come without a smile.
Their vast selection of omelets and breakfast specialties makes it one of the best joints in town for breakfast fans from all around and is a popular choice amongst returning tourists who could not get enough after their first visit.
Butcher’s Daughter has two venues within Manhattan and one of the most popular cafes in town for cold-pressed juice, celebrity spotting, and snapping a pic of your avo on toast for the gram.
The restaurant is completely plant-based and produces and serves healthy dishes all day long with breakfast just being one of their menu offerings.
Despite the interior of the restaurant being so Instagrammable and a hit with celebrities and influencers, they’ve kept their breakfast prices relatively reasonable for everyone to enjoy midweek to weekend whatever the occasion.
One of our favorite light options from the breakfast menu is the acai bowl that comes with delicious crunchy homemade granola and seasonal berries.
Butcher’s Daughter also serves brunch picnic baskets for a takeaway which includes coconut yogurt parfait, avocado toast, assorted pastries, a butcher’s bowl with 2 poached eggs, and a juice all within a homemade basket for $50.