Although the face of Dumbo has now changed, in the 21st century, Dumbo is modern and sleek, an attractive and sought-after hub for many tech start-ups.
Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, if you aren’t looking to find a job, there are many more reasons to visit – varied performance art such as live theater, chic boutiques, and my favorite reason — the food.
Brunch as an option is a must-have for me regardless of where I am. If you are anything like me, you are on the prowl for new places to get hooked on, or places that will deliver on their promises of great food.
I have discovered that Dumbo is just the place for a diverse set of brunch options, and if you visit a few (or all) of these places listed, I’m sure your decision for brunch in Dumbo will be unforgettable.
- The Migrant Kitchen
- Em Vietnamese Bistro
- Bread and Spread
- Atrium DUMBO
- Al Mar
- Westville DUMBO
- Almondine Bakery
- La Bagel Delight
1. The Migrant Kitchen
Time Out Market, 55 Water St, Brooklyn NY 11201
One of 3 locations in the state, The Migrant Kitchen still operated through charitable donations to health care workers and those who were food-insecure due to the pandemic.
Now, their promise continues by giving back to the community through every meal purchased by donating another to a New Yorker in need.
Founders Nasser Jaber and Daniel Dorado were interested in building a restaurant that not only catered to the best fusions of Latin-Arab foods but that also gave opportunities to those who needed it most by hiring migrant workers.
Your first stop should be to take a bite out of the delectable menu for brunch.
I recommend the popular halloumi chorizo bowl, lamb torta, or at least one of the empanadas that all seem to be packed with flavor.
The crispy chicken sandwich is beloved by all and fattoush salad paired with hibiscus tea may also be a refreshing way to start brunch.
2. Em Vietnamese Bistro
57 Front Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Located between Flora Nails & Spa and Starbucks on Front street, Em Vietnamese offers an exciting array of options for brunch that will keep you coming back for more.
A bowl of slow-cooked steaming pho drizzled in green onions is sometimes what I need to start a late brunch with friends.
The Banh Xeo offers a savory turmeric crêpe by filling it with shrimp, pork belly, and cooked vegetables. Take your pick of frozen cocktails to accompany your dish but don’t limit yourself.
Restaurant owner and trained chef Ly Nguyen who worked on the menu for three years with her husband before launching can now boast of an eclectic selection—from Bun Thit Nuong (grilled pork and vermicelli noodles) to Ngheu Xao Bo (garlic butter clams served with Banh Mi for dipping) and it doesn’t hurt that they have great prices, too.
1 John Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
This Mediterranean-themed restaurant boasts fantastic views with its floor-to-ceiling windows onto the sprawling East River and the iconic Manhattan bridge.
You can choose to dine in and enjoy the clean, crisp environment while being surrounded by lush, green plants that will make you feel transported out of the typical glass and steel feel of the city.
Outdoors, enjoy the fresh air while Celestine specials tantalize your taste buds one dish at a time.
I would, of course, start with their specialized brunch menu. Celestine offers an unbeatable level of authenticity through their Greek-influenced mezze table that consists of savory marinated olives, whipped labneh, or olive oil-infused hummus accompanied by toasty handmade flatbread that kicks off your brunch visit in the right way.
Take your pick of a preferred salad but I would pay special attention to the savory items like the ever-popular smoked whitefish toast accompanied by lovely roasted veggies and eggs.
If not, have a go at the Brisket Smash burger which comes fresh and tasty every time. Celestine will not disappoint.
4. Bread and Spread
147 & 151 Front Street Dumbo Brooklyn NY 11201
Along with the hustle and bustle of Front street, make a stop at the Bread and Spread sandwich shop. Though from all appearances, the simple black and white logo may not catch the eye, the throng of people usually eating outdoors might do so, and yes, they are completely hooked.
While Bread and Spread may be one of the lighter options on this list, a relaxed ambiance can create opportunities for a memorable brunch with friends, co-workers, or even your significant other.
This urban sandwich shop offers a multitude of options that keep customers coming back for more. Sit and sip on a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee after having ordered.
I hope to try everything on their menu eventually but my go-to favorites are the juicy porchetta, short rib sandwiches, or the Pork Banh Mi.
All menu items contain fresh ingredients and produce that is locally sourced and supports surrounding businesses.
5. Atrium DUMBO
15 Main Street Brooklyn NY 11201
Leslie Affre, after having worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in France met with master sommelier Alexander LaPratt who also has a background in cooking to create a modern French restaurant that still draws on American influences to make innovative dishes.
Atrium has captured the fine dining experience for every meal including brunch. Inspired by the traditions of French cuisine, its tasteful decor and airy ambiance make it the it-place for your next brunch visit.
It is located along Main street and the nearest landmark is Pebble beach.
For brunch, the Espresso Martini is a good start, but the fruity Strawberry feels cocktail or non-alcoholic pineapple and coconut Staycation may be more appealing.
The Baked Dutch Baby Pancake coated in powdered sugar or the vegetarian options like the Spring Cacio e Pepe should be considered with add-on options like the savory sunny-side eggs or smoked salmon.
6. Al Mar
111 Front Street Brooklyn New York 11201
Al Mar, an Italian restaurant staple of Dumbo, still offers up some of the best selections and varieties of pasta when I want my money’s worth.
The rustic yet chic decor serves as an inviting background for the classic Italian flavors that make for a perfect brunch.
Since ingredients are both fresh and seasonal, the fish or lasagna of the day will not disappoint.
For antipasti, the freshly imported stracciatella with mortadella and truffle caviar will make your mouth sing, or a classic pasta like the lemon linguine or the fettuccine alla bolognese will more than suffice.
There are many more options than Al Mar can provide while making brunch a satisfying experience.
126 Front St, Brooklyn NY 11201
More than 20 years into the food business, the Superfine restaurant outlines a streamlined approach by bringing farmers’ produce straight to the table.
The queer-owned business located on the corner of Pearl and Front street near the Thea Grant jewelry story has an eclectic selection for brunch that can’t be missed.
I often get bored by seeing a menu with no changes for months on end. At Superfine, the neighborhood staple offers ever-changing menus that recently for Sunday brunch include classics such as huevos rancheros, grass-fed flank steak, and eggs, or enchiladas suizas.
A sip of a fizzy mimosa or tangy bloody Mary seals the deal.
8. Westville DUMBO
81 Washington St, Brooklyn NY 11201 USA
For the next brunch visit, consider Dumbo’s own Westville, one of a chain of restaurants in New York that offer traditional American meals.
Their slogan “something for everyone, every meal, every day” can be reflected in the diversity of the menu.
More recent specialties include the Breaded Shrimp Po Boy or the Vegan Crispy Quinoa artichoke burger.
Or spice up with the Mediterranean sirloin steak rice bowl and the wide selection of drinks that can accompany the many more dishes Westville has to offer.
66 Water Street New York 11201
On Water Street, when I am looking for seafood for brunch, Seamore’s is the place to go.
Founded originally by Michael Chernow and Jay Wainwright, one of six locations, this is a Dumbo-favorite eatery with ample space to bring your brunch group to and to accompany the seafood dishes, take your pick of wine, cocktails, and or even beer.
For weekend brunch, between 12 and 4 pm, take advantage of brunch cocktail pitchers for the group.
The daily catch of oysters served on ice and seared fish abound or a simple egg scramble with fontina, creme fraîche, and chives on toast can start you off.
The lobster benedict is my number one recommendation. The Baja Fish tacos or Maine Lobster rolls both pack a punch of flavor alongside kale salads.
10. Almondine Bakery
85 Water Street Brooklyn New York 1120
Almondine Bakery on Water Street would make for a unique brunch opportunity. French patisserie specialist Herve Poussot brings his years of experience to this local hit in 2004.
There is something starkly honest about the place – no fluff, just high-quality options. For brunch, try one of the delectable quiches or maybe one of the carefully made melty Croque Monsieurs.
The Parisien offers ham, butter, and swiss cheese on a freshly made, steaming slice of a baguette but looks out for the lunch special between 12 and 3 pm which gives a sandwich, soup, and green salad with options for dessert.
At least for me, dessert here can be anything, from the long, chocolate-filled pain au chocolat to the crispy flaky tarts, Almondine brings the French charm straight to Dumbo on a platter.
40 Water St Brooklyn NY 11201
Butler has been making its mark in New York and the Dumbo location on Water Street maintains the high standard of bakeshop goods and cafe specials that it is known for.
Michelin-starred pastry chef Ryan Butler with co-founders Rod Colorado and Hugo Murray has been able to transfer the fine dining experience for the casual cafe eater with elevation through innovation.
Brunch at the naturally lit space feels both exciting and insta-worthy.
For brunch, this is a place that enjoys unique takes while infusing sophistication to these baked goods like the peach toffee babka or the savory herb and chili scone.
An acai bowl comes drizzled with pistachios, the truffle aioli egg sandwich melts in your mouth and the mushroom toast on sourdough bread keeps the ball rolling.
Coffees like the americano and Scordato await while lattes like turmeric ginger, chai, seltzers, and sparkling juices are not far behind.
12. La Bagel Delight at Dumbo
104 Front Street Brooklyn New York 11201
La Bagel Delight, just like many others on this list, is one of many brunch staples in Dumbo.
Though their menu may not offer a specific brunch menu, it does provide a wide selection of both breakfast and lunch options (yes, not just bagels) which, when combined, make for a great brunch combo.
Play around with options like the hand-rolled sesame or poppy bagels that can be spread with your choice of scallion cream cheese, sun-dried tomato, jelly, or bacon & cheddar.
Platters include the Kitchen Sink (an omelet with bacon, sausage, and french toast) that can be paired with quesadillas, wraps, or even specialty salads.
The service is quick and efficient and with this range of options, you are sure to be back at La Bagel in a jiff.
For brunch, whether it is a plan with friends, family, or even coworkers, check these places out in the heart of Dumbo that will make your next brunch meet-up one that will not disappoint.
I would suggest picking at least 3 that you may not have been to that have popped up on the list so you can discover something you haven’t before.
Dumbo is the place that will allow you to explore your palette unlike before. Within a few blocks, you can try Arab-Latino-infused dishes, classic seafood, rustic Italian, or modern French.
Dumbo is the right slice of New York, showcasing different cultures and talents, the bringing together of different histories that allow locals and visitors to explore what it means to live there.
If you happen to be close by and like this list, be sure to keep it handy and refer when you need to, and share this article with others so they can benefit from the great food options listed here. Like and leave a comment below!