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"Quintessential" NYC brunch experience - downtown, sunday, not TOO boozy, 20 year olds

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I have a friend in town from DC and want to show him a really "New York" brunch experience. Price isn't a huge object - but no need to break the bank (ie, would like to stay sub $40 if possible).

He's not interested in a massive booze fest (ie - Essex, Sunburnt Cow etc) but we'll likely each have a cocktail or a beer a piece. Looking for good food and atmosphere.

I live in the EV and would prefer to stay south of 14th Street...was initially thinking either Prune or Five Points but wanted to see if anyone had any other ideas? Just not sure either of those really nail the "only in NYC vibe" or are a super unique experience? Maybe I'm setting the bar too high though.

Was also considering Shopsin's, but the wait can just be brutal.

Five Points
31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

The Sunburnt Cow
137 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

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  1. If you are 20 you wont be drinking alcohol unless you want to be thrown in prison

    1. Also at Shopsin's I've seen the chefs picking boogers and eating them

      1. Oops - meant to say 20 "something" year olds - we're 25/26 ;) and of legal age!

        1. I'd also consider Clinton St Baking Co., Minetta Tavern, Locanda Verde, maybe Maialino if you are willing to go a tiny bit north, Blue Ribbon Bakery.

          Best breakfast and brunch:

          Minetta Tavern
          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

          Blue Ribbon Bakery
          33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

          1. hmm...it might help if you define what "only in new york" means to you. i think the long waits and squished space at prune must be unique to new york. the wacky, super long shopsin's menu alone is also a unique experience. and though it's not a sit down space, the exquisite quality stuff at russ and daughter's is a nyc highlight.

            1. Although it's uptown, Barney Greengrass is definitely quintessential NY and some of the best appetizing to be found.

              Barney Greengrass
              541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

              1. I have been a fan of the pulinos brunch these days. Great drinks also, but ala carte, so not like you will just be slamming endless bloodies.

                1. Stanton Social has an excellent Brunch.

                  Stanton Social
                  99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                  1. Little Giant on Orchard and there is Heche en Dumbo if you are in the mood for Mexican. Back forty in East village is a good choice as well.

                    Union Square Cafe maybe? not really brunch but they do lunch.

                    Little Giant
                    85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

                    1. Maybe too touristy but Pastis is surely the most NY brunch you can get...

                      9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                        1. re: Nancy S.

                          Peels can be a long wait too, they only do reservations for parties of 6+

                          Locanda Verde's brunch is fantastic!

                          Locanda Verde
                          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                          1. re: cowbunny

                            They changed their reservation policy a few months ago -- they told me parties from 2 to 200.

                            1. re: kathryn

                              I know Locanda Verde can do reservations for a party of 2..

                              I was at Peels last Sunday and was told they do reservations for 6+

                              Locanda Verde
                              377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013