The Absolute Best Brunch in Brooklyn

In the early afternoon, this is the borough’s loveliest dining room. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Below, the very best places to get brunch — the much-maligned, though still totally worthwhile midday meal — in Brooklyn, as judged by both the quality of the food and the overall pleasantness of the experience (read: you won’t find any bottomless brunches here).

2. Okonomi
150 Ainslie St., nr. Lorimer St., Williamsburg; no phone

This is not your traditional Brooklyn brunch. There’s no hollandaise, the main attraction is a Japanese omelette called tamagoyaki, and there’s no bacon in sight. The Williamsburg restaurant’s set multi-course meal includes roasted local seafood like bluefish, a duo of mild pickles, and the tamagoyaki, a soothing miso soup, and austere brown rice. If you like, you can also luxe up your meal with supplements like sea urchin and a poached egg, but there’s something endearing about a room full of people all eating the same breakfast, one that happens to be among the most thoughtful, and interesting, in town.

3. Vinegar Hill House
72 Hudson Ave., nr. Water St., Vinegar Hill; 718-522-1018

This seasonally focused secluded restaurant on a quiet street near Dumbo hits all of the farm-to-table must-haves — buttery grits, luscious Red Wattle pork, poached eggs aplenty — but during weekend brunch it also surprises by taking standard-issue hangover helpers and improving them. That means sourdough pancakes with seasonal-fruit fillings, biscuit sandwiches with mortadella and hot honey, or even a side of home fries with pickled jalapeños.

4. Tom’s Restaurant
782 Washington Ave., at Sterling Pl., Prospect Heights; 718-636-9738

The home-style diner Tom’s is, really, much better than it has to be. The endearing and long-tenured Prospect Heights institution draws long lines of eager customers no matter what, and could easily coast on its reputation. Instead, the egg creams are solid, the beef sausage is crisp and juicy, and the lemon-ricotta pancakes are even fluffier than you might hope. The coffee is diner-style, and infinite, and the service is friendly, efficient, and fast but never frantic.

5. The Long Island Bar (Sunday only)
110 Atlantic Ave., at Henry St., Cobble Hill; 718-625-8908

This refurbished Cobble Hill diner turned cocktail bar is particularly relaxed during the weekend brunch. The menu is short but effective: a brunch burger, chilaquiles with textbook salsa verde (the Texas-born chef trained at Uchi and Alinea), as well as rösti-style hash browns — greaseless, well-fried squiggles of shredded potato — served with runny fried eggs and creamy breakfast gravy. To drink: a spicy Bloody Marijke, made with horseradish vodka and caraway-infused aquavit, or the Manmosa, a shockingly excellent mix of beer and orange juice.

The Absolute Best Brunch in Brooklyn