Top 10: Brunch In Harlem
Updated March 23, 2019
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines brunch as "a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch". So for the record, it says nothing about bottomless mimosas or bellinis. This meal tradition was birthed in England and made it's way to the U.S. around the 1930's, and became widely popular. My Top 10 brunch spots in Harlem are my go-to's and narrowing it down to this many was a struggle. I have included everything from a place to take your parents when they are visiting, the turn-up spot, and your neighborhood gems.
This cozy space located on Lenox serves up REAL soul food, and I am a tough person to please when it comes to soul food. This husband and wife duo with roots in the south have food so good I had to call my mom, and let her know she has a competitor. My personal favorites include the buttermilk breakfast sandwich, fried chicken, and French toast. This is not a bottomless spot and therefore making it a great place to bring parents when they are in town visit or a more relaxed setting.
With being the home of the famous Fried Chicken and Eggnog Waffles that beat Bobby Flay on The Food Network be ready to wait on a table at this spot. I typically opt for the bar to avoid the long wait times. Southern favorites on the menu include fried catfish, shrimp & grits, and smoothed chicken. Melba's does not have a bottomless option, but they do offer a full bar with reasonable pricing.
The owners of this establishment who happen to be sisters that decided to pay homage to their British and Jamaican heritage through their menu. Their menu includes items such as shrimp & grits, coconut fish burger, plantain crusted crab cakes, and jerk chicken caesar wraps. This restaurant is first come, first serve but if you have a party of 5 or more, they encourage you to make a reservation. There is no bottomless brunch option, but the food will make up for it.
This Italian restaurant has been capturing the hearts and stomachs of Harlemites in the neighborhood for six years. The Executive Chef that is creating their seasonal menus is Serena Bass, and has a long standing career in the culinary industry. She prides herself on making simple but yet delicious foods that she would serve in her own home. This restaurant does offer bottomless options and my personal favorite on the menu is the omelet featured below.
This chic French-African restaurant has a large menu that includes items such as omelets, crepes, pancakes and my personal favorite - Lobster BLT. This establishment is a great spot to grab brunch with bae or a great place to catch up with an old friend. This place does not really draw the turn up due to no bottomless options, but they do have some excellent sidewalk seating for warmer months.
This charming and inviting East Harlem restaurant has a bar for dining and coffee, exposed brick, an open kitchen, and large windows which is great for food photography (and people watching). The great thing about Yura's even if you miss brunch hours they have breakfast every day and all day! Their fluffy Blue Ribbon pancakes, perfectly rolled omelets, and seasoned homefries are perfect places to start for ordering.
Located on Restaurant Row this establishment has a large space is perfect groups or their patio can provide you with an al fresco dining experience you are looking. I encourage staying tuned to their Instagram for updates on coming brunch day parties. I mean honestly who doesn't want to wobble after a plate of shrimp and grits?
Red Rooster is a staple in the Harlem community and the vision of Marcus Samuelsson. Located near the iconic 125th street shopping district this restaurant is known for serving comfort food with a flair. One of my go-to dishes is the Mac & Greens (don't forget to add lobster), but let's not forget about their Hot Honey Yardbird, or Shrimp & Grits. I highly encourage making reservations to avoid a long wait.
This uptown sexy space has beautiful chandlers, perfect ambiance, carefully crafted and smooth signature cocktails, and a food menu where presentation and taste match one another. The Row has a very mature atmosphere where you can sip on some of the finest cocktails while hearing Anita Baker playing in the background. The icing on the cake is this is a black-owned business as well.
Looking for a lituation for a brunch. I highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for good music, Carribean food, and being surround by good people and vibes. Their 90 minute bottomless includes their Barcardi rum punch, mimosa, and sangria.