9 joyous drag brunch restaurants to book this Pride in NYC

Credit: SONA
The drag queen Malai at NYC restaurant SONA

Drag has played a vital and thrilling role in the culture of New York City for decades; from the Harlem Renaissance balls in the 1920s, to the Stonewall Riots in 1969, through the age of disco and punk rock in the 1970s. It was a unifying force during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and remains a cultural touchstone in the era of RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

There is an unstoppable joy to every show, full of glitter and gloss, sequins and stilettos—and, of course, bottomless cocktails when you add brunch into the mix. Whether you go classic at haunts like Lips or visit one of the city’s exciting newcomers like Kween, this guide leads you to the very best of drag brunch at these nine spots.

Lips NYC (Midtown)

Five drag queens standing side by side at NYC restaurant Lips
Lips has been a go-to drag destination in NYC for 28 years. | Credit: Lips

When it comes to Drag, Lips is legendary. Since 1996, New Yorkers have known to head to Lips for its Vegas-level energy and flamboyance. “Drag is just fun, it’s over the top, an exaggeration,” owner and founder Yvonne Lamé says. The Sunday Broadway drag brunch, hosted by Ginger Snapt, is the go-to move here. You can choose between bloody marys, mimosas, Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, and more, but just know that you’ll want to be on your feet most of the afternoon. 

Lucky Cheng’s (Midtown) 

Lucky Cheng’s has been an NYC staple for more than 30 years. | Credit: Lucky Cheng’s

Some of the city’s most beloved drag queens and kings have been thrilling New Yorkers at Lucky Cheng’s since 1993. Come on Saturdays for the flight attendants’ brunch, where queens dressed as flight attendants take your order, or Sundays for Svetlana Stoli’s interactive performances where you can get in on the singing and dancing on stage. Either way, you’ll be able to get bottomless mimosas, French toast, and other brunch favorites for an afternoon you won’t forget.

La Pulperia (Hell’s Kitchen)

Come for Latin American food-fueled drag brunches at La Pulperia. | Credit: La Pulperia

La Pulperia, which takes its name from the general stores found throughout South America, has been a neighborhood favorite for Latin American fare since its 2021 opening. That’s because freshly baked empanadas, dulce de leche-stuffed French toast, and hearty pulled pork tostadas all serve as fuel for the high-octane drag brunches that take place here every weekend.

Kween (Astoria)

Kween has been open a short while, but it’s already a drag brunch favorite in Queens. | Credit: Kween

Kween has only been around since 2022, but it’s already reached drag brunch hall-of-fame levels in Queens. Impressive craft cocktails, chilaquiles, and buttermilk chicken and waffles help kick off a rotating cast of performers each weekend led by queen Freeda Kulo. “We have trans and non-binary performers, and everyone comes,” owner Pedro Alvarado says. Pride weekend (June 29-30) will be especially energetic with three shows each day at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm.

Rise Bar (Hell’s Kitchen) 

This drag brunch comes with a customizable omelet bar. | Credit: Rise Bar

The food is epic at these drag brunches—from the bottomless cocktail packages to a menu of oversize fried chicken sandwiches, a host of Benedicts, and a customizable omelet bar—but it’s the queens on the stage that steal the show each time. Expect a rotating cast for two shows every Saturday and Sunday, with a live DJ spinning music and an energetic crowd that makes you feel like RuPaul may walk in at any time.

The Spot (Hell’s Kitchen)

This Hell’s Kitchen haunt (sister restaurant to Rise Bar) was already one of the city’s favorite gay bars, but campy themed drag brunches have given New Yorkers even more reason to return. Come on weekends for shows like Bacon & Legs, where you’ll sip on bottomless bloody marys and tuck into dishes like a pretzel roll stuffed with scrambled eggs all while watching queens in sky-high heels, glittering corsets, and gravity-defying wigs.

Fresco’s Grand Cantina (Astoria)

Brian Martinez and husband Adrian Suero opened this beloved restaurant as a follow up to their Mexican spot Fresco’s Cantina and to create even more space for the local LGBTQ community. Pride month is electric on the restaurant’s sprawling plant-filled patio, where queens Hibiscus and Catrina LoveLace put on an award-winning show—they’ve won best drag brunch in the city two years in a row from the Glam Awards—as you dig in to chicken parm tacos and icy cold margaritas.

SONA (Flatiron)

Drag queen Malai leads a show beloved by families with young kids at NYC’s SONA. | Credit: SONA

Head to Maneesh Goyal’s Indian restaurant when you want your family to get in on all the drag-performance fun. As a relatively new parent himself, Goyal wanted to create a celebratory space for people like him. “SONA is my first restaurant and it occurred to me that as a gay restaurateur, I have a real opportunity to support the community,” Goyal says. Catch resident queen Malai’s Bollywood-themed show on June 29 over plates of mutton biryani, Malvani prawns, and crab puri with caviar.

Stella 34 Trattoria (Midtown)

This modern Italian restaurant on the 6th floor of Macy’s has unparalleled Empire State Building views and a seriously fun drag brunch. Every Sunday, you can look forward to Taylor Swift and Broadway-themed shows all led by Shuga Cain of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame. Expect dishes like eggs Florentine, croque madame, and lasagna bolognese and special performances celebrating The Rocky Horror Picture Show (June 16) and other queer cultural landmarks in June.

Known for her pioneering food blog, The Strong Buzz, Andrea covers restaurants, chefs, trends, and big picture stories about the intersection of food, business, policy and the law for publications such as The New York Times, Fast Company, Food & Wine, New York Magazine, Eater, and more. She lives, eats, and loads and unloads the dishwasher in Brooklyn. Follow her on Instagram, @strongbuzz_.

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