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Jul 31, 2006 05:38 PM

The Best Brunch In Manhattan?

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

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  1. 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

      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

        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. 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. 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. 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

            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

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

              1. re: djcohen

                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. 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

                  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

                    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.