There are countless things I’ll miss about living in NYC, but one of the top things on the list has to be the culture of brunch here. Now, I know the concept of brunch isn’t exclusive to the five boroughs, but it’s really more of a ritual than just a meal here. In a city where life moves at a dizzying pace, it’s the one time each week when you can relax, savor the meal and gossip for hours with girlfriends over unlimited mimosas and hash browns.
Having spent years scoping out the countless brunch options in the city, I’ve come to find that my favorites tend to be those that are under the radar. There’s nothing worse than dragging yourself out of bed on a Sunday morning only to wait an hour or more just to be sat.
Below are three of my favorite brunch spots that I recommend trying the next time the hostess at your usual place tells you it’s a 90 minute wait.
Let’s face it, New Yorkers love combining guilty pleasures for maximum gluttony, (cronuts, anyone?) and brunch is no exception. Tacos, guacamole and unlimited sangria is a perfect example. Calle Ocho on the Upper West Side is the go-to for this kind of experience, but another one of my favorite options is Diablo Royale in the West Vilage. $25 gets you a choice of an entree plus unlimited Mimosas, Sangria, Bloody Marys, Margaritas, or the house speciality, a Ricky. Even better than the drinks, however, are the tortilla chips they give you to start- warm, fresh and slathered with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!
Jane is one of the top brunch destinations in Greenwich Village and draws crowds with for their combination of sophisticated decor and no-frills good food (what’s better than chicken and waffles?) My personal choice for a less crowded experience is Philip Marie in the West Village. For $24.95, you have the option of unlimited Mimosas or Bloody Marys plus an entree. Their mouth-watering options include a Crab Cake Benedict or a Chicken and Brie Sandwich, to name a few. They also have great outdoor seating in the summer and waiters who keep the refills coming longer and more often than most places.
Poco is one of the most infamous brunch spots in the East Village, known for its great food as much as its long wait and party-like atmosphere. For a more laid back option when you’re nursing a hangover headache, you really can’t beat Aperitivo in Park Slope, Brooklyn– it’s worth taking a trip over the bridge, trust me! $13.95 includes coffee, unlimited Mimosas, Bloody Marys or Bellinis, and an entree. The deal itself is reason enough to give it a shot, but the food is excellent and the neighborhood is adorable- perfect for exploring and walking off some calories after brunch.