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We’ve all been seduced by the promise of pancakes and Benedicts… only to be burned by a mile-long wait list. Throw a party of five or more into the mix and you have to plan so far ahead that it leaves little room for spontaneity. And trying to accommodate your whole family or host a daytime celebration over mimosas? Nearly impossible—but not totally. We’ve mapped out the top places to book for brunch if you’re rolling deep, no reservations or gruesome wait times required.

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lafayette restaurant nyc
Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz

Lafayette

This trendy all-day French café and bakery in NoHo feels cozy and intimate but can seat up to ten guests without a special reservation. The brasserie-style spot gets an early-bird rush between 9 and 10 a.m. and another wave between 12 and 1 p.m., but the main dining room seats 150 inside, plus bar and counter seating. Enjoy your smoked salmon Benedict, lemon pancakes or croque madame on the 70-seat patio when the weather is agreeable.

380 Lafayette St.; lafayetteny.com

the smith nyc baked eggs
Courtesy of the Smith

The Smith

With four locations across the city (East Village, NoMad, Midtown and Lincoln Square), the Smith has long been a secret weapon of brunch-seeking posses. The weekend menu features highlights like breakfast potpie with a cheddar biscuit top, Sicilian baked eggs with spicy tomato sauce, house-made hot potato chips with blue cheese fondue and more. Whichever location you land on, you’ll find a spacious dining room with big windows and ample space for walk-ins.

Multiple locations; thesmithrestaurant.com

cookshop nyc brunch cocktails
Courtesy of Cookshop

Cookshop

Buzzy yet down-to-earth Cookshop welcomes crowds with open arms (er, seats). It draws a trendy mix of locals and artsy tourists who clamor for the refined but approachable farm-to-table American fare in an open-air space. Think a pecan cinnamon bun with cream cheese icing, a grass-fed burger or a spinach and cheddar scramble alongside an appealing brunch cocktail menu (like the Beach Ball, with Lillet rosé, watermelon and basil). Its High Line–adjacent location means a steady stream of diners all day, but with 110 seats inside and 60 outside, large groups and walk-ins are sure to snag a spot.

156 Tenth Ave.; cookshopny.com

maison premiere nyc garden
Melissa Hom

Maison Premiere

This James Beard Award–winning restaurant and bar may be best known for its killer absinthe cocktails and oyster selection, but did you know it also serves a mean brunch? Executive chef Jacob Clark cooks up a Cajun-style menu each Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring such offerings as dirty rice and eggs, shrimp and grits, duck confit hash and house-made biscuits and gravy. Peak brunch hours are roughly from noon to 2 p.m., and the space can typically accommodate parties of up to six people (particularly in the warmer months, when it gains an additional 35 seats in the garden).

298 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; maisonpremiere.com

bocce usq restaurant nyc
Molly Tavoletti

Bocce USQ

If your brunch group is large and in charge hangry, Bocce USQ has you covered. Located in the historic Union Square Pavilion, the pizza-focused eatery can seat 99 inside and 62 outside, and most tables are reserved for walk-ins. Brunch specialties include a breakfast calzone, the Farm pizza (topped with mozz and green garlic) and a lemon-ricotta Dutch baby pancake.

20 Union Square West; bocceusq.com

seamores nyc fried avocado benedict
Courtesy of Seamore’s

Seamore’s Brookfield Place

Michael Chernow’s seafood-centric hot spot draws major brunch crowds—so it’s lucky for us that its newest location in Battery Park City is also its largest. The space is complete with an outdoor patio and vintage Airstream that serves as a cocktail bar. Brunch highlights include a fried avocado Benedict and an LBLT (an open-faced toast piled with lobster, pork belly and heirloom tomato).

250 Vesey St.; seamores.com

vinateria nyc patio
Courtesy of Vinateria

Vinateria

No need to squeeze your party of six into a booth meant for four: Head to Vinateria, located on a historic stretch of Harlem, where groups can spread out on the 40-seat wraparound patio or inside at communal wood tables with room for 60. The menu is market driven, seasonal and locally sourced when possible, in dishes like black spaghetti with octopus and bread crumbs, grilled hanger steak and eggs, and bacalao (cod) croquettes.

2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd.; vinaterianyc.com

tavern on the green nyc
Eric Medsker

Tavern on the Green

A Central Park staple since 1934, the historic tavern is the perfect stop before or after a weekend stroll around Sheep Meadow. And with a whopping 270 seats inside and 230 outside, you won’t have to fight tourists for a table (even during peak brunch time, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Groups of any size can feast on classic dishes like roasted figs with honey, goat cheese, bresaola and arugula, or smoked bacon and scrambled egg flatbread.

67th Street and Central Park West; tavernonthegreen.com

baar bar dish
Courtesy of Katie June Burton

Baar Baar

Beautiful and spacious (it seats 180), this East Village “Indian gastro bar” celebrates the cuisine through a New York City lens. Weekend brunch is a turned-up affair, with a DJ on Saturdays and live music on Sunday afternoons. Must-haves from the menu include the masala jackfruit tacos, green pea and goat cheese kulchas, and brioche toast topped with tandoori mushrooms and a fried duck egg. And don’t miss the Indian-influenced cocktails like a Bellini with blood orange and cardamom or a Bloody Mary spiced up with potli masala.

13 E. First St.; baarbaarnyc.com

norman restaurant nyc
Evan Sung

Norman

This Greenpoint restaurant-bakery-café, from New Nordic heavyweights Claus Meyer and Fredrik Berselius, resides in the massive A/D/O warehouse turned creative space. Seat yourself at one of the many tables and explore Scandinavian morning delights like kanelsnurrer (a cinnamon roll–esque pastry), smoked salmon with pickled beets on rye, or farro porridge with wild mushrooms. With high ceilings, huge windows overlooking the street and a seating capacity of 88, the dining room never feels too crowded, even during peak brunch hours (noon to 1:30 p.m.).

29 Norman Ave., Brooklyn; restaurantnorman.com

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