Going to the city on holiday, and my girl friend loves Sunday brunch i don't want to break the bank but we love local hot spots, or some thing out of the ordinary.
There are many on the Upper West Side - Vynls, Popovers ( a personal favorite), Good Enough to Eat, and Sarahbeth
Ocean Grill is a favorite on the Upper West Side (on Columbus behind Natural History) - excellent food, service, and ambiance at reasonable pricess!
I like the Hudson Grill on 3rd Ave which is Midtown East - but that's an ignorant out of towner;s suggestion!
I live in the east 30s and Banc Cafe (3rd ave. around 31st or so) has a nice brunch, for a local place that's nice and fun.
If you're willing to dive, try The Sunburnt Cow on the lower east side. It's an aussi bar that'll set you back $15-$20 depending on what you order, with all you can drink mimosas and bloody mary's. A young, mixed crowd and pretty small, but certainly some neighborhood flavor.
I really enjoyed the brunch at CraftBar. It's not expensive at all but the food is really tasty---especially their brioche french toast. Mmmmmm
Also my brother and sister-in-law are obsessed with the brunch at Bourough (right down the street from their apartment in the Flatiron District). Apparently their hot chocolate french toast is amazing. They also have other fare....the whole idea is to take from various cuisines you find all over NY. Kind of a neat concept. I don't think its too expensive either.
Also, even though its a little pricier my absolute hands down favorite brunch experience in NY is at Barney Greengrass. Has a very NY feel and if you liked smoked fish at all then you will feel like you died and went to heaven (amazing white fish salad, lox, smoked fish etc) with nice bagels and fresh cream cheese. Wonderful NYC experience for out of towners. (Which I am!)
Borough Food & Drink has hot chocolate french toast...? Like, the toast is dipped in hot chocolate? Or hot chocolate is poured over it? Tell me more!
541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
Borough Food and Drink
12 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010
900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Manhattan has lots to choose from. Specifying a neighborhood may help you get more appropriate recommendations. My recommendation at the moment is North Square on Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village.