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Longest brunch line/wait in NYC?

Hey Chowhounders!

I'm doing some research for an article on the longest lines and/or wait times for brunches in NYC. You seemed like the folks with the inside scoop on the matter. :)

Can anyone offer up some names? Who has the worst brunch lines in the city?


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  1. On weekends clinton st bakery is easily an hour and change. (I only did that once!)
    Cafe mogodar is anywhere from an hour (normal) to nearly two- my patience isn't what it once was and we often end up elsewhere.
    I know Shopsins is crazy weekends but I've never been brave/stupid enough to go for brunch

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ttrockwood

      More like 2-3 hours at Clinton on weekends.

      1. re: kathryn

        Why would anyone do that? Is it really worth it? So if you want to eat brunch at, say, noon you'd better start lining up by 9 or 10? Wow! Not for me.

        I waited 30-45 minutes a couple of times for Lanksky's (now defunked) all you can drink drunk brunch and I though that was pushing it!

        1. re: gavspen

          It's in tons of guidebooks, and especially popular with international visitors.

          1. re: gavspen

            "Why would anyone do that? Is it really worth it?"

            Herd mentality, FB photo op, maybe the pancakes...

            1. re: gavspen

              2 hour wait a few weeks ago.. on a Monday. Still never made it. 30 mins pretty much is my limit.

              Like Kathryn said its in every guide book. Same tourists who travel to Midwood, Brooklyn and wait an hour for 2 slices of pizza.

              1. re: Ziggy41

                Make that 2 hours or more. My last visit to DiFara was a 2.5 hour wait, on a Wednesday, 6PM..... They told me it would probably be an hour. I wish.

            2. re: kathryn

              Yes, the line at Clinton seems INSANE no matter what the hour. I've never been because I don't think I can stomach it—and I'm willing to do an hour or an hour and a half, no problem.

          2. Good Enough to Eat could be a contender. although, i don't know what it's like these days after they moved.

            2 Replies
            1. re: coasts

              It's still like that and every time I walk by, I have to stop myself from asking those people why in the h*ll they're standing outside in the freezing cold. I've only been there once for lunch and paid $35 for a decent salad and pretty crappy glass of wine.

              1. re: coasts

                I used to see the lines at their old location and marvel at how long people were willing to wait--in the cold, sleet, and all kinds of unpleasant weather--for food that, as the name say, was good enough to eat, but that's it, just barely. I always felt like saying, "Give me five bucks and I'll make pancakes for you."

              2. Sarabeth's on Central Park South

                1 Reply
                1. re: darren425

                  Nobody actually waits in line though, more like ladies who their name down and get some shopping or spa in.

                2. Clinton St Bakery has really, really long waits on weekends

                  1. Clinton St, Prune, Peels (sometimes), Ippudo (not traditional brunch, but still..)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Barcelonian

                      I've been quoted 3 hour waits at Ippudo for lunch... I walk to Momofuku noodle and just sit and eat. Do not have the time to wait 3 hours for lunch.

                      1. re: Barcelonian

                        You're right about prune- we waited just over an hour this past summer, their bloody marys are soooo goood.....!

                        1. Thank you for all the fabulous suggestions so far! :)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TheGreenCarnation

                            Are you looking for pain, or ways to avoid it?

                            1. re: Veggo

                              That's a good question! :) I suppose it could be either, depending on how you read the article. Personally I prefer to avoid it, but I'm sure some of our readers are gluttons for punishment who would rather say they braved the lines and ate at somewhere trendy and famous.

                          2. Friend of a Farmer? does that still have a huge, puzzling line?

                              1. I walked by serendipity 3 today on e60th st- it was a disaster area of tourists and such- i overheard some chatting saying the wait was two hours..... (At 2pm on a sat)

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                  Waiting...for what meal? I recall the original Serendipity, but I wouldn't wait 2 hours in line for free money. I play the front 9 of a golf course in less time - walking, no golf cart.

                                  1. re: Veggo

                                    I guess for overpriced sundaes and frozen hot chocolate....?? The yelpers reference a movie it was in, but couldn't tell you what that was. And it was featured in an episode of gossip girls at one point....i mean, or so i heard ;)

                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                      Serendipidity III was used in the movie Serendipity with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale and One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer. the desserts are giant and not really overpriced, albeit not that good either. some things are okay, like the carrot cake and the chocolate fudge cake sundae. they're not delicate or refined or even high quality, but the place has atmosphere and some sense of old world charm. from the breadsticks on the table, to the giant oversized menu, to the tiffany lamps, to the kitschy garb in front, the place is entirely unique. unsure what veggo means by "the original". pretty sure they've been in the same location since the start. the III refers to the three partners.

                                      1. re: coasts

                                        I don't recall the III when I lived nearby in its inception. But I am an ageing Veggo II, with a little veggo in Mexico, photo on the left.

                                        1. re: coasts

                                          I believe the original was on E 58th St...

                                      2. re: Veggo

                                        Then go into the club house and have a hot dog and a beer and call it a great day!!

                                    2. Penelope, Clinton, Cafe Modogar. Crazy

                                      1. Momofuka Ssam and The Spotted Pig both boast epic brunch waits, as does Balthazar and ABC Cocina.

                                        1. Just found this posted on taskrabbit, someone who wants to hire a person to wait for them at clinton st!!

                                          3 Replies
                                            1. re: TheGreenCarnation

                                              Kinda smart, right?? But $8 to risk freezing to death isn't anything i would sign up for....!

                                            2. Prune.

                                              Also, anywhere that takes cell numbers, so you can't even tell how many people are ahead of you, or if they've made an error and seated people before you unfairly. The other side of it is waiting around to get notified by cell, and they never contact you. Awful.