Duck and Waffles
Brunch is so much more than just a meal. It’s the perfect way to gather with friends, get dressed up, have drinks, listen to music and catch up on the latest goings-on in your circle. Brunch is more than a place, it has become an event, a social scene, an institution, not only in the U.S. but around the globe.
Traditional brunch fare includes classics like eggs Benedict, avocado toast and specialty pancakes, but many of the world’s top brunch restaurants are expanding their palates. Innovative spots are incorporating cultural influences, multi-course meals and Michelin-worthy plates. As the concepts around brunch evolve, so does the occasion, and every major city has spots to see and be seen at.
Grab your Mimosa or Bloody Mary! The team at ICONIC LIFE shares our picks for the world’s best brunch places with the most coveted weekend reservations, the most legendary spots for bites and bubbles, and the most deliciously decadent places to grab brunch around the world.
Traditional brunch fare includes classics like eggs Benedict, avocado toast and specialty pancakes, but many of the world’s top brunch restaurants are expanding their palates.
Situated in a historic 1929 building in the heart of LA, Republique has a storied past and a bright future. This spot boasts a gastronomic, French-inspired menu by Chefs Walter Manzke and Margarita Manzke. Republique has one of the longest wait lists and hardest-to-score reservations, so be sure to plan ahead!
Blu Jam Cafe
BLU JAM CAFÉ
Specializing in breakfast, Blu Jam has been referred to as the best breakfast in LA, and one of the best brunch places. All six locations across LA are packed every weekend. Go during the week for a more tranquil brunch experience or bring your best pals to indulge in your favorite brunch foods—sans preservatives and corn syrup. Blu Jam is farm-to-table fresh!
This decadent patisserie and restaurant have been a staple of LA dining for years. The Italian American blend of brunch dishes is the perfect accompaniment to the regal decor and buzzing atmosphere of downtown Los Angeles. The real reason to come to Bottega Louie for brunch is their world-renowned pastries. Grab a box of macarons or a chocolate eclair to go!
Could it get any more ICONIC than Balthazar for brunch in NYC? The quintessential New York bistro is one of the most well-known best brunch places; it has been around for decades and is always bustling with guests. Indeed, this destination is the real-life laboratory that proves super models DO eat—we’ve seen it! The extensive menu has something for everyone. We suggest the quiche, which sells out daily paired with a classic chilled Bellini. If you are planning to carry brunch late into the day, stop at Cipriani where the ICONIC Bellini was invented.
Jack's Wife Freda
JACK’S WIFE FREDA
This quaint concept boasts three NYC locations, each of which is packed during weekend brunch. The American-Mediterranean fusion establishment has been referred to as a “brunch institution.” The green shakshuka is a don’t miss with two eggs baked in. a green tomatillo shakshuka with challah toast. Isn’t it ironic? The couple who owns this spot met while working together at Balthazar.
In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw refers to Pastis as “the only restaurant that seemed to exist.” This French bistro classic is one of the best brunch places and was recently revived in the meatpacking district of NYC, with all of the brunch staples that locals and tourists crave. We love the server’s crisp white jackets. Order the Gruyère Omelette because it’s oh, so French. Order chilled oysters for the table with spicey horseradish, and don’t miss the legendary moules frites. Grab your girlfriends and a glass of bubbly for brunch at Pastis. Watch for our publisher; if she’s in NYC, she’s at Pastis having a pan au chocolate and a cappuccino at the least.
Duck and Waffle
DUCK AND WAFFLE
Teeming multiple stories above the city, Duck and Waffle is one of the highest restaurants in London. Come for the breathtaking view, stay for the delectable food and buzzing atmosphere of this top brunch place. Be forewarned, this is one of the most coveted reservations in London, so be sure to book early and opt for the signature dish this restaurant was named after.
One of the most Instagram-worthy spots in all of London, you definitely don’t have brunch at Sketch and not post about it. The ICONIC decor in this pink palace is both retro and futuristic, and certainly one of a kind. Created by French chef Pierre Gagnair and restauranteur Mourad Mazouz, this is a destination for food, art and music with hand sketches covering the walls. Check out the tomato burrata salad, with grape-size tomatoes and house-made burrata—beautiful. The immersive experience truly makes a meal at Sketch unlike any other—macaroons a must.
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It doesn’t get more timeless and classic than the champagne brunch at Claridge’s in London. The ICONIC hotel has a historic past and an enchanting foyer where afternoon tea is served. Late brunchers can opt for the high tea, complete with all of the traditional tidings of miniature pastries and finger sandwiches. When searching for the world’s best brunch places, Claridge’s is never one to forget!
This swanky bistro serves up classic European brunch dishes, honoring traditional French gastronomy with a modern twist. Buvette has been referred to as the best brunch in Paris, and it has remained so popular that they now have locations in New York, London, Tokyo and Mexico City as well. We love the fresh waffle, fried egg and crispy bacon sandwich, the croque monsieur, and we suggest you pair it with a craft cappuccino with beautiful foam designs by the barista.
LA NOUVELLE SEINE
La Nouvelle Seine is all about location! This restaurant is actually on a barge floating on the Seine gazing up to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Can you imagine anything more romantic? Besides the scenic views of the City of Love, this spot offers some of the best brunch dishes in Paris including a plate of charcuteries and fromage, filet de boeuf and. The barge also features a small theater area, so you might be lucky enough to enjoy brunch and a show.
Angelina always draws crowds as one of the best brunch places, and for good reason. In 1903, the confectioner Anton Rumpelmayer founded Angelina with his son René, a tea house at No.226, Rue de Rivoli, named after his daughter-in-law. The pastries attracted the likes of Proust, Coco Chanel and the biggest French fashion designers in the famous tearoom. The belle-epoque style salon has a restaurant, patisserie and cafe market, so if you enjoy your brunch pastry you can take extras to-go. The lavishly decorated brunch spot is famous for amazing hot chocolate, so make sure to come with a sweet tooth.
This upscale French bistro is one of the top places in DC to go people watching. The name is fitting, not only because of its location; Le Diplomate is frequented by some of the nation’s top political families and media figures. They have all of the classic French staples for an authentic experience. There is almost a month-long waitlist for the best brunch place so be sure to make reservations far in advance!
Don Riddle / Four Seasons Resorts
Seasons is the acclaimed restaurant within the Four Seasons Hotel in DC. It boasts the most expensive brunch in town, but this isn’t your typical brunch fare of pancakes and eggs. Their elevated dishes include braised short ribs and even a whole fresh seafood bar. Their seasonally rotating menu means there will always be something new and different to try. These might be the crispest white linens we’ve ever experienced.
In an upscale yet laid back atmosphere, Path has found a sweet spot—both literally and figuratively speaking—in Tokyo’s restaurant scene. Located next to Yoyogi Park, Path is the perfect place to drop in for brunch after a morning stroll. Their signature dish is a Dutch pancake-style pastry, topped with burrata, cured meat and drizzled in maple syrup.
This unique concept restaurant began as a one-dish wonder. Now opening for brunch, OUT has (slightly) expanded their menu to a selection of three dishes. Although the three dishes change every week, they always incorporate elements of a European or American style brunch, something that is hard to find in the bustling streets of Tokyo, making OUT one of the most popular brunch places in the city.
You can’t mention weekend brunch in Australia without mentioning Bill’s. This four-location concept has been open since 1993. It is known not only for inventing the most ICONIC brunch dish of all time—avocado toast—but has also won the distinction of the world’s best scrambled eggs by The Times of London. It’s safe to say that you would be remiss not to visit Bill’s if you are looking for the best brunch in Sydney.
Yellow’s take on the traditional brunch scene has an unexpected twist—a fully vegetarian menu. With many vegan options to choose from as well, this fine-dining establishment has something for everyone. The upscale format in which all of their dishes are presented makes Yellow a highly coveted spot.
Situated in the Mandarin Oriental, La Mar elevates the brunch experience with south-of-the-border flavors, courtesy of its Peruvian-inspired menu. While the price tag for this brunch experience is on the higher end, you will certainly get your money’s worth with all-inclusive drinks and bites. Overlooking the water below, La Mar has one of the best brunch views in the city as well.
If fine-dining brunch is what you are looking for, then the Michelin-starred Marchal is the ultimate experience. Located in the Hotel D’Angleterre, Marchal offers a fusion of flavors of French and Nordic cuisine. It was named one of the world’s most luxurious brunch locales by Architectural Digest—and now us, so it is definitely worth checking out.
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The Westin Dubai
The Bubbalicious Brunch at the Westin in Dubai is practically a full day of festivities. The three top restaurants at the hotel all merge together for this spectacular brunch event, featuring dishes from a variety of international cuisines. A long-standing favorite of vacationers, the multicultural flavors of Bubbalicious simply cannot be beat as one of the world’s best brunch places. And yes, as the name implies, there is free-flowing bubbly!
Francine – The newly appointed “It” spot for brunch in the Arizona valley is none other than Francine, a French Mediterrannean concept by renowned restaurateur Laurent Halasz. Bright, flavorful, and From their extensive brunch menu to their imaginative cocktails and impeccable decor, you can’t go wrong with Sunday brunch at Francine.
Brandon Berkson, founder of Hotels Above Par, gave us his bite-size recommendations for his best brunch faves that are under the radar. Here’s what this well-traveled expert is loving.
THE BEST DECOR
The Pink Cabana at the Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells near Palm Springs is blueprinted head-to-toe by Martyn Lawrence Bullard. This restaurant was designed to be a modern take on the ICONIC tennis and racquet clubs of Palm Springs during the 1950s and 1960s. When brunching here, I like sitting on their open patio, which peers out to the pool and the all-pink exterior of the hotel. The food is nice and light, with many dishes inspired by both the Mediterranean and Morocco.
THE BEST PANCAKES
As someone who is a brunch enthusiast, Bubby’s in New York is one of my favorite places. It really is a Big Apple staple, especially for locals. It’s away from the bustle of Manhattan, in the quiet neighborhood of Tribeca. They have this Pancake Flight, which is phenomenal! It includes three James Beard pancakes — one with caramelized banana & toasted walnuts; one with blueberry; and one with Nutella, mixed berries & whipped cream.
THE BEST EGGS
Eggbreak in London serves the best eggs I’ve ever had in my life—it’s a MUST try when visiting the UK capital. I like the Breakybab, which is made with flatbread, aubergine tahini, fried egg, sesame, Mediterranean feta and pomegranate seeds. Those looking for some protein can add a lamb merguez sausage to the mix. Located in the Notting Hill neighborhood, the space is extremely charming and inviting.