No one does brunch like New York City, a fact that is readily apparent in the waterfront Queens neighborhood of Astoria. Well-known for its stellar Greek fare, the area has steadily gained a reputation as a haven for foodies. Gather your crew and prepare for an afternoon of bottomless Bloody Marys and overstuffed bellies, and if the weather allows, make sure to leave time to walk off your food coma in Astoria Park.
Mom’s Kitchen and Bar
If your ideal brunch is deep-fried, sugar-coated, or comes in a flamingo floatie, Mom’s Kitchen and Bar is the place to be. This comfortable bistro serves outrageous all-day brunch options such as mac & cheese pancakes and a pancake burrito, with omelets and avocado toast available for the less daring. The cocktails bear names like Hot Girl Summer and Get Out of my Swamp, and are all endlessly Instagrammable.
Bench Flour Bakers
Those who prefer intimate conversation and an egg-and-cheese sammy to an extravagant all-day affair will want to gravitate towards Bench Flour Bakers. This quaint bakery has folks in the neighborhood lining up out the door every weekend, waiting to get their hands on fresh baked goodies and loaded breakfast sandwiches. There’s no shortage of creativity in the confections of this bakery, and the care they take to source their ingredients locally and seasonally shines through in the quality of their food.
Between the Bagel
This hole-in-the-wall bagel shop has become a neighborhood staple in Astoria, gaining notoriety for bringing about a fusion no one knew they needed: good old bagels and Korean food. One of the more popular options here, the Seoul Meets Bagel, is a bagel topped with egg, cheese, kimchi, homemade Bulgogi, and gochujang mayo. Owner Ben Suh is always tinkering with a new gastronomic invention, so depending on the day, you might be able to try strawberry Oreo pudding or homemade bagel chips.
Walking into Sugar Freak, you’ll question whether the streets you just stepped off are those of Astoria or the French Quarter. This Creole establishment looks like they just finished decorating for Mardi Gras, with multicolored beads hanging from light fixtures and the din of large tables sharing crawfish boils and jambalaya. Brunch here with a big group for the loud music, strong cocktails, and high-energy atmosphere.
This moody restaurant and bar is the epitome of a Big Apple brunch: hip, New American, and heavily into sustainability. The interior sits somewhere between cozy and industrial, and every scrap of furniture from the chairs to the rafters is made from recycled materials. Their signature cocktails and local brews round out the menu comprised of items ranging from green eggs and ham to a classic benedict.
Any menu headed with the bold-faced title “The Royal Brunch” had better be prepared to live up to its claim, and at the Queen’s Room, it does. This chic brunch spot serves up everything from watermelon halloumi salad to shakshuka, along with a selection of decently-priced cocktails – a rarity for the city. For servers that treat you like royalty, an upscale atmosphere, and consistently bright and flavorful fare, Queen’s Room is the place to brunch.