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The Best Brunch In Manhattan?

srwellman1 Jul 31, 2006 05:38 PM

What are the best economical, mid-range, and high-end brunches in Manhattan?

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  1. olfashiond RE: srwellman1 Aug 2, 2006 06:52 PM

    The best brunch restaurant in Manhattan: (a) is within 2 blocks of wherever you live; (b) does not entail waiting longer than it takes to scan the front page of the newspaper; (c) does not include "your choice" of screwdriver/bloody mary/bellini in the price; (d) hires waitstaff who do not take it as a personal affront if you are still sleepy/hung over/both; (e) has tables big enough for you to actually read the paper you were scanning while you waited, if it should happen that the rest of your party is similarly still sleepy/hung over/both. The food? Eh . . . it's eggs or pancakes, or sandwiches. Anything fancier and you're asking for trouble.

    2 Replies
    1. re: olfashiond
      theannerska RE: olfashiond Aug 2, 2006 11:31 PM

      These are particularly good points.
      Especially in Manhattan, which is pretty much the land of hungover/ hungry people in need of eggs and similar things.

      I would add that
      (f) the waitstaff are friendly and efficient, and keep pouring the coffee.

      1. re: theannerska
        Odelay101 RE: theannerska Apr 4, 2007 10:52 AM

        And (h) supply LOTS of water IMMEDIATELY. Normally I try not to be impatient with wait staff. But when I go to brunch, more often than not, I am HUNGOVER and need my fluids!

    2. frankiii RE: srwellman1 Aug 2, 2006 11:34 PM

      i enjoyed brunch at the mud house in the east village, stingy lulu's was good but i think it closed. I have heard great things about prune.

      1. t
        tsiblis RE: srwellman1 Aug 2, 2006 11:36 PM

        The buffet brunch at The Plaza Hotel (not cheap) is like being on the best cruise ship (though I've never been on a cruise).

        1. d
          djcohen RE: srwellman1 Aug 6, 2006 06:51 PM

          I may be mistaken, but I think the Plaza Hotel doesn't exist anymore, it's being converted to condos. My husband and I were looking for somewhere that served a buffet style brunch on par with the one the Plaza used to provide. (We'd like to go for our anniversary). So far I've been unable to find a restaurant or hotel in Manhattan that provides such a brunch (Aquavit does provide a buffet brunch, but it's a limited offering of food.)

          Does anyone have any suggestions (price is not an issue here, as this is for a special occassion)?

          3 Replies
          1. re: djcohen
            bxgirl RE: djcohen Aug 7, 2006 02:14 AM

            Scroll down on the Manhattan board, and you will find a thread about brunch. I posted a fairly lengthy post about Cafe Botanica (in the Essex House).Went last Sunday and it was a fabulous Sunday brunch buffet(loads of variety, including an entree cooked to order)in a just gorgeous room.
            It's $65.00 per person, but it was wonderful and I strongly recommend it.It also includes champaign.

            1. re: djcohen
              erikka RE: djcohen Aug 8, 2006 04:17 PM

              No, you're correct. The Plaza is being turned into condos and was dismantled earlier this year.

              1. re: djcohen
                arib12 RE: djcohen Jul 27, 2010 11:53 AM

                Tribeca Grand Hotel has a Sunday brunch buffet for $40.00 per person. However, they only do the buffet from Septmber through May. Summer is only a la carte.


              2. zuriga1 RE: srwellman1 Aug 6, 2006 07:01 PM

                I've moved from the NY area, but Norma's used to be a special brunch place. It's in one of the hotels, but I can't remember which one. I also always enjoyed brunch at Balthazar in SoHo. The food and people watching were both above average. :-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: zuriga1
                  JennS RE: zuriga1 Aug 7, 2006 04:11 PM

                  Norma's is in the Parker Meridien Hotel in midtown. It's not buffet-style but it's fun and the portions are massive.

                  Cafe Botanica at the Essex House would be more on par with what the Plaza used to offer.

                  1. re: JennS
                    baconstrip RE: JennS Aug 9, 2006 05:27 AM

                    I love Norma's! It's hard to get in, especially on weekends. A sleeper place that has good solid brunch (until 3 pm on weekends!) is Wallse in the West Village.

                2. sadie RE: srwellman1 Aug 8, 2006 08:58 PM

                  Yes, Prune is really good -- but you've got to get there well before ten to net a wait-free table. Once in, everything's very well done, the inventive bloody mary menu is fun, and it's much more affordable than at dinner! I far prefer it to Clinton St. Baking Co., which has similar hype and wait.

                  Although, for my money, eggs and novie at Barney Greengrass with a toasted bagel is still the ultimate NYC brunch!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sadie
                    serious RE: sadie Aug 23, 2006 10:36 AM

                    agree - Barney Greengrass is unique experience, the best.

                  2. c
                    curve12 RE: srwellman1 Aug 24, 2006 07:39 PM

                    For the sheer gluttony of it I love Ulysses on Stone street. Around 20 bucks for a buffet with oysters, shrimp, clams plus all the other stuff carving station eggs,... and a free bloody, Guinness or mimosa

                    1. y
                      yalechk RE: srwellman1 Aug 25, 2006 03:03 AM

                      I like Jane on Houston and Public in SoHo

                      1. b
                        breadnchocolate RE: srwellman1 Aug 25, 2006 04:24 PM

                        what about dim sum in chinatown? tons of places to choose from - and also much more bang for your buck compared to 12 dollar eggs...

                        1. f
                          foodcandy RE: srwellman1 Aug 25, 2006 09:02 PM

                          Lovely Day in SOHO. Love that place.
                          Sunburnt Cow - 15$ brunch with drinks included.

                          1. b
                            bronwen RE: srwellman1 Feb 28, 2007 01:12 PM

                            I like the Water Club buffet. It's about $50 or so but it's the only meal you'll need all day and the view is fantastic.

                            1. LFeinberg RE: srwellman1 Mar 21, 2007 01:55 PM

                              The Stanton Social

                              1. c
                                christinaemcc RE: srwellman1 Mar 25, 2007 09:23 PM

                                High End: Norma's (Le Parker Meridien, 57th and 6th??)...Sarabeths (92nd & madison)... Atlantic Grill (3rd & 77th)
                                Mid Range: Blue Ribbon Bakery (west village. somewhere) - Alice's Tea Cup (cute place, very girly... several locations)
                                Econ: Around the Clock Diner (East village, off St. Marks and 2nd i think?)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: christinaemcc
                                  Pan RE: christinaemcc Mar 26, 2007 02:43 AM

                                  Around the Clock is on Stuyvesant St. between 3rd Av. and 9th St. [sic].

                                  What do you like there?

                                2. e
                                  eve RE: srwellman1 Apr 3, 2007 03:35 PM

                                  Artisianal. About $25 for a beverage, appetizer and entree. Best hot chocolate in NY-hands down. Book ahead.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: eve
                                    dayzzd RE: eve May 3, 2007 09:00 AM

                                    five points and norma's are absolutely the best IMHO

                                    1. re: dayzzd
                                      brooklyn1966 RE: dayzzd Feb 17, 2008 08:10 PM

                                      I'll second Five Point.

                                  2. m
                                    marlie202 RE: srwellman1 May 7, 2007 01:57 PM

                                    Sara Beth's west side w.83st.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: marlie202
                                      mdavis RE: marlie202 Mar 9, 2008 07:44 AM

                                      I have found Sara Beth's east and west side so different as to be different restaurants. I have had breakfast often at both and the west side restaurant seems to reflect the very worst of west side dining: quantity vs. cost. If you order, for instance, the market breakfast at both, you get entirely different ingredients: the east side, all sorts of light fresh veggies; on the west side, heavy sometimes unidentifiable ingredients. I have done this at least half a dozen times at each restaurant, so it is no artifact.

                                      1. re: mdavis
                                        uws81 RE: mdavis Feb 19, 2009 09:21 PM

                                        Sara Beth sold the east side location a few years ago and only is affiliated with the one on the west side.

                                    2. j
                                      jsilver227 RE: srwellman1 Feb 20, 2009 05:30 AM


                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jsilver227
                                        hkhungry RE: jsilver227 Feb 20, 2009 08:52 AM

                                        I would recommend CookShop down in Chelsea... some of the best brunch food in the city (just make a reservation since it gets busy) and it is a little pricey but the food is excellent. I also like Half King which is nearby and really like their vegy chili and the price is good and includes a drink.

                                        1. re: jsilver227
                                          jackieparis RE: jsilver227 Feb 20, 2009 08:57 AM

                                          Isn't it hard to get into Shopsin's for brunch? They have so few tables. I've always wanted to try it but wonder if we would get a table. There are only two of us. I wouldn't dare bring in a party of 5 if you know what I mean:-)

                                        2. j
                                          jenndow1 RE: srwellman1 Jul 26, 2010 12:14 PM

                                          Best brunch I had was at Macondo on W. Houston. YUMMO!!!!

                                          157 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                                          1. k
                                            kathryn RE: srwellman1 Jul 27, 2010 01:25 PM

                                            Do note that this thread is four years old and some places mentioned have closed whereas others aren't mentioned because they didn't exist yet.

                                            See also

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