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Dec 14, 2008 08:29 AM

late breakfast /early brunch union square area or west 40's

HI All,

I'd love a recommendation for traditional breakfast or brunch for 7 -8 people, around 11:30 on a Sunday. I was thinking either near Union Square, so we could walk around the outdoor holiday fair afterwards, or near 10th betw.42 and 43, which is where we will be staying (but I don't know if anything is around there). Looking for moderate prices or lower...not fancy schmancy.

Started gathering names of places ... can someone here help me cull down this list?

Friend of a Farmer
the smith
city bakery
petite abeille
chat n chow
2nd ave deli
blue ribbon bakery
empire diner
clinton st baking
perry street

I have no idea where these are located and if they could seat my size group. Or maybe there is someplace else that I should consider more appropriate for my request, any help would be appreciated!

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  1. When are you having this breakfast?

    > Friend of a Farmer
    Not that big of a place, close to Union Square, not sure it takes reservations

    > the smith
    Within walking distance of Union Square. Solid. American. Takes reservations, a very good choice if you want to go to the holiday market afterwards.

    > city bakery
    IIRC this is a bakery with a buffet style brunch + you seat yourself. Doesn't take reservations. Gets pricey quickly. Very close to Union Square.

    > chat n chow
    Not that good, food-wise.

    > 2nd ave deli
    > katz's
    > sarabeths

    None of these three are even close to Union Square. Katz's is notable for pastrami on rye, I wouldn't go there for eggs/french toast/ etc. Ditto for 2nd Avenue Deli. They are not known for brunch. Sarabeth's is known for brunch but none of the 4 Sarabeth's locations are close to Union Square or 10th and 42nd. And they don't take reservations.

    > jane
    > blue ribbon bakery
    > cookshop

    All three of these are excellent for brunch and take reservations for large groups BUT aren't close to Union Square or 10th/42nd.

    > sarges
    A deli, not really known for french toast and eggs and pancakes.

    > prune
    > clinton st baking

    No reservations. Too small for a group that size. Not even close to Union Square or 10th/42nd.

    > murrays

    You mean the bagel shop? I'm not sure that is what you're looking for (sit down, comfy atmosphere, etc).

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      thanks for clarirying geography, kathryn...

      OK, trying again: sit down, comfy, but inexpensive to moderate priced, for breakfast/brunch/early lunch, on a Saturday or Sunday at 11:00-11:30 or so, near
      A) 10th betw 42/43, or
      B) Union Square.

      No suggestions were made near 10th in the 40's...if none come to mind, then
      is my best bet Friend of a Farmer or The Smith (which looks kind of dark from their website...not what I was hoping for) or someplace else?. My ideal would be a less expensive, less touristy Sarabeth's...does it exist?
      I don't need the world's best food, just decent. After all, how badly can you screw up coffee/OJ/pancakes/eggs/bagel type of fare?


      1. re: ronnie56

        I love Penelope's, but its not easy to get in. It fits your description very well but it's maybe a bit further from union square than you want. If you call, they might be able to make a reservation for a large party.

    2. Bravo to Kathryn's attention to detail!
      Of your original choices, the Smith is quite appropriate. The pictures are darker than the actual room in the day, and ability to reserve is a big plus.
      For a non-brunchy option, I really like Le Pain de Quotidien. It is a chain with 2 locations close to Union Sq, one within the ABC carpet and home building, which itself is worth a stroll through. Excellent bread, good baked goods and tasty sandwiches. I usually go for 2 soft-boiled eggs and bread, and liberally slather on the 3 spreads laid out on the communal tables. No reservations but should not be a problem at 11am.

      1. I've had brunch at HK (39th and 9th) - don't be scared off by the club-like appearance. Not expensive or overly done.

        Union Sq - I would go to Le Pain de Quotidien (but it is more European style, so not your traditional American choices, small portions, and pricey...but great coffee) or Petite Abeille.

        My fave brunch spots (that unfortunately don't meet your criteria) - Prune, Balthazar, Norma's, August, and EJ's.