Looking for a great Drag Brunch? If you’re in New York for World Pride (and chances are good as the city braces for 4 million global revelers to descend on Manhattan) then you’re probably searching for a few laughs, a good nosh, and a maybe a cocktail or two. There are few better ways to spend a morning or early afternoon drinking away last night’s cobwebs than at drag brunch with bubbly mimosas, crispy bacon, and a few very sassy queens. These lively, boozy brunch affairs hosted by the city’s best (and funniest) drag queens have become a staple in (and out) of the queer community, and if you’ve never been, there’s no better time than Pride!
Drag superstar and Houston native Alyssa Edwards has hosted and performed at many a brunch over her legendary career and as much as she loves going to drag shows, “there is nothing quite like a drag brunch,” she tells me. “It’s just a pure celebratory moment and all out good time.” Edwards will be in New York this week helming the Smirnoff Vodka float dressed as Lady Liberty herself and implores anyone visiting the Big Apple to find a great brunch and support some local drag queens.
Related Reading: Five Gay Restaurants to Check Out in June (Pride Month)
When asked what the secret recipe is for a great drag brunch, Edwards says “a consistent and fabulously energetic host who is the life of the party, some kind of adult cocktail, like a classic Smirnoff martini with rainbow olives or strong Bloody Marys, and of course people excited to be alive, and ready to share smiles.” Plus maybe a few good reads…
Here are the best drag brunches in New York to check out during World Pride 2019. We’d suggest making reservations early and don’t forget a few dollar bills.
Lips New York (Midtown)
Lips Restaurant is the only dedicated drag restaurant in New York hosting Drag Brunch as well as weeknight shows like Twisted Broadway with Ginger Snap. While many drag brunches are hosted by one queen, at Lips you’ll likely see a full roster of performers. Popular for birthdays and bachelor/bachelorette parties, Lips is great for large groups and while the food is nothing too special (standard pub fare), the drinks are strong and the kickline of sassy queens is always on point.
Related Reading: The Best West Village Eats Near Stonewall for Pride
Ritzy Bitz at La Pulperia (Hell’s Kitchen)
This is more of a local hangout and hidden gem up in New York’s (very gay) Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Ritzy is the drag queen of record delivering clever mashups of pop music interspersed with hilarious reality TV monologues, and stand-up comedy bits. Never a dull moment when Ritzy’s on the mic and the Latin-inspired food and drinks at La Pulperia are of a higher quality than your average drag brunch. The red sangria, steak sandwich, and tostada are just a few fan favorites. And don’t forget to snag unlimited cocktails for $30.
Electro Brunch at Intermezzo (Chelsea)
One of the longer-running drag brunches in New York, Intermezzo Electro Brunch in Chelsea is definitely a staple on the scene. The roster of queens who host on Saturdays and Sundays has changed over the years, and includes local legends like the opera-trained Shaquida Hall. The very solid food menu includes classic brunch items like smoked salmon omelets and French toast, with a few heartier Italian mains mixed in, and an option for unlimited cocktails for $25.
Why Drag?, $37.50 on Amazon
Magnus Hastings photographs the world’s best queens and asks them each one question: Why drag?
Oscar Wilde’s (Flatiron)
One of the most elaborate bars to land in New York in recent memory, this sprawling venue is a feast for the eyes and love letter to Oscar Wilde, the iconic queer writer who penned “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and countless witticisms. Speaking of wit, the hilariously sharp Jasmine Rice (House ofLaBeija) has been hosting Saturday and Sunday Drag Brunch through the month of June with the final edition (for now) happening this weekend.
Voss Events (Various Locations)
Nightlife impresario Brandon Voss and his Voss Events are the most star-studded of drag brunches in New York with shows featuring “Drag Race” winners and favorites like Katya, Trixie Mattel, Yvie Oddly, and many more. Plastique Tiara is hosting a special World Pride drag brunch but Voss’ drag shows happen frequently, and all over the country, so check their website for the latest.