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Mar 7, 2009 06:13 AM

East Village brunch

Looking for suggestions for my favorite meal of the week in the East Village. It seems everyone is offering brunch these days, but who in particular is worth trying? Especially interested in places that don't have a ridiculous wait (a lot to ask, I realize).

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  1. Heya insatiable_one, I can't think of any great brunch places on my mind that don't have insane waits. Well wait, I can say 7A is good and so is Yuca Bar next door; they are excellent without an enormous wait. I accidentally missed the 'short wait' preference before I started writing, which these two following places don't adhere to (Westville East sometimes, but it can get busy). Nevertheless if you desire to turn to the dark side (long waits), here's some reviews:

    Clinton Street Bakery -- The longest wait for weekend brunch downtown, hands down. It is fantastic, however, if you choose to wait. Their pancakes are divine, their Cuban Sandwich is glorious, and their specials are delightful. Again, extremely busy on the weekends (2 hour waits are common). But if you reaaally want great brunch, this is a great start. It's technically in the Lower East Side, but right on the boarder of the East Village.

    Westville East -- this is a good neighborhood one, particularly if you like vegetables. This also can get busy, but not as long of waits as Clinton St. Their salads are solid, eggs with potato hash is good too. Great Turkey burger. I personally like going to lunch for one dish alone: their grilled lemon marinated chicken with 2 choices of veggies--does well for health points and taste. It generally has a fun, youthful atmosphere. For a neighborhood spot, it's solid.

    1 Reply
    1. re: silencespeak

      We love Clinton Street too. But we had our longest wait this past weekend (1.5 hours), and I have to say it was NOT worth that wait. If you don't have to wait it's a very enjoyable place. But waiting that long for pancakes is absurd. They're very good but not THAT good. My girlfriend got the bacon and egg biscuit sandwich, as usual. It was as good as ever, but, again, not worthy of that sort of wait out in the cold.

    2. The Smith is fine--a little greasy but big portions and fun atmosphere. Cafe Orlin is pretty solid and offers interesting brunch choices. There is usually a wait though but not too ridiculous.

      1. Prune (long wait)
        Public (not EV but very close if you live by Houston/Bowery edge)
        The Smith (pretty good, but popular)
        Westville East (some what of a wait)
        Ciao for Now (more of a coffee shop, but super cute)
        Belcourt (though I think their chef just left)
        Caffe Emilia (mostly egg stuff and panini, like Taralluci e Vino or 'ino/'inoteca, but done very well)
        Cafe Mogador (some middle eastern dishes, too)
        Cafe Orlin (cheap, tasty, good home fries)
        Veselka (Ukranian, good, cheap, crowded)
        La Palapa (inexpensive pre fixe)
        Grape and Grain (on my list to try)
        Flea Market Cafe (have only been for dinner, seems serviceable but not extraordinary), Stage Restaurant (old school diner style)
        B&H Dairy Vegetarian Restaurant (same)
        Tree (on my list to try)
        Back Forty (on my list to try)
        Chinatown Brasserie (dim sum, technically Noho)
        Pinche Taqueria, Downtown Bakery, Puebla (breakfast tacos and burritos)
        Five Points (love this spot, technically Noho)
        Double Crown (great atmosphere, not too crowded)
        Momofuku Ssam Bar (egg dishes only)
        Pylos (and you can get some stuff off the regular menu, too, they have amazing pita bread)
        Sunburnt Cow (known for their bottomless drink specials)

        Newish: Simon Sips, JoeDoe, Arlo & Esme, Mercury Dime, Yerba Buena, Absinthe.

        Best brunches:

        7 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Also, Ciao for Now has moved from its previously wonderful space on E 12th to the back of a store selling organic products on Ave. A. Bummer.

          1. re: sara333

            Really? I thought the cafe inside that store was simply a 3rd location.

            1. re: kathryn

              The 12th st location is still there, and when I walked past it, it seems they are either expanding or moving to a shop right across the current place.
              Kathryn, Caffe Emilia is closed and gutted last time I walked past a couple days ago.

              1. re: xigua

                I live on the same block as Ciao For Now, and they moved from their location at 504 E 12th Street to a larger space at 523 (?) E. 12th Street, on the north side of the street. Don't worry, they're still there.

                1. re: xigua

                  D'oh! Oh, well. A lot of places on that avenue aren't doing so hot.

            2. re: kathryn

              Belcourt,...The didn't leave in the end. Matt was made a partner and is staying on.

              1. re: kathryn

                I went to Ssam bar on Sunday at 1pm and didn't have to wait, we were a party of 4. I was amazed. They had three egg dishes and a special as well.

                1. re: sadiemulcadie

                  Prune is pretty good. They have a page in their menu dedicated to a variety of bloody mary's. It's also probably the only place in NYC where you can get a "real" monte christo. Phenomenal. Five Points is pretty good as well.

                  1. re: sadiemulcadie

                    Well, he said he was going to leave...and then he came back. So there you have it.

                  2. Paprika is hands down my fav brunch place in the EV. It flies under the radar, so its never too crowded.

                    Belcourt is also great, as well as Pylos

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ExFlexitarian

                      I agree! There is never a wait at Paprika and brunch is very decent! Pylos is one of the greatest places in the East Village, I love the dinner and I am sure brunch is great although I've never tried it, I've also never had anything at dinner that wasn't wonderful. Belcourt's brunch is fantastic.

                      1. re: ExFlexitarian

                        Totally agree. One of my favorites. The green eggs are tremendous.

                        110 St. Marks Place, New York, NY 10009