NYC Brunch Spots- Switch it Up

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.

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Photos courtesy of Calle Ocho and Diablo Royale 

 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!

See the Menu Here 

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Photos courtesy of Jane and Philip Marie 

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.

See the Menu Here 

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Photos courtesy of Poco and Aperitivo 

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.

 See the Menu Here 

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NYC Bucket List Part II

As our big move looms closer each day, there’s a growing sense of panic about all of the experiences I’ll be missing out on here in NYC. After five years in this city, it’s incredible to think of all of the things I never made the time to do.

With that in mind, Joe and I spent our weekend pretending to be tourists, checking more things off our NYC bucket list. It was cold and windy, the lines were long and the screaming children were obnoxious, but all in all, it was an amazing day.

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View from the Ellis Island Ferry. 

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The Registry Room on Ellis Island- unfortunately, most of the building is still closed due to reconstruction after Sandy.

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Downtown view.

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 Deserted on a cold day.

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The site of our first date- we bought sandwiches and brought them to Battery Park because we were poor college students. 

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I could not be more furious with myself for never making the time to go to Shake Shack before this weekend. I never had the patience to wait in line for that long, although I now realize how worthwhile it would have been. Luckily, In-and-Out is in our near future…

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Just looking at this picture makes me drool all over again. 

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World Trade Center Memorial. I always knew it would emotional, but I didn’t anticipate the chills that crept up the back of my neck upon entering the site. Not only is the memorial itself incredible (photos don’t do it justice), but observing the raw emotions of others at the site is a really powerful experience. 

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Looking up at the new WTC. 

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View from the Empire State Building- a site I pass nearly every day on my way to and from work. It was ironic to finally engage with the rabid ticket salesman on the street, rather than my usual eye roll that says “Do I look like a tourist?! Stop bothering me.” 

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 “Look that’s my building! That’s where I work!”

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I asked him to remove the dorky audio tour equipment from around his neck, but he refused.  

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 See you soon, West Coast! 

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So windy!

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View from the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. For those of you who may not know, The View bar rotates to give you 360 degree views of the city. By a pure stroke of luck, we sat down just in time to catch a gorgeous sunset. 

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Perfect ending to the day. 

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NYC Bucket List

We’ve lived in this city for over five years, and I have discovered my favorite unlimited brunch spots, the best and dingiest hole-in-the-wall bars, the cheapest nail salons and the kitschiest thrift shops. I can step out of a subway station and orient myself without pulling out a map, and I can always find dollar slices at 3 a.m.

If you had asked me a month ago, I would have confidently told you that I know this city inside and out. And yet now that we’re counting down the days to our big move, I realize there’s so much in this city that I haven’t done, things I’ve been meaning to get to for years but have always put off for another day.

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NYC skyline

 

With that in mind, Joe and I have started to check things off our NYC Bucket List. First on the agenda: walking the Brooklyn Bridge. Admittedly, this is something I did many years ago, but Joe has never done it, and I really didn’t appreciate it at the time.

 

Wise words scribbled on the side of the bridge

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day

 

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Reflections

 

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Wise words scribbled on the side of the bridge

San Francisco

San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every house a poem, every dweller within immortal. (William Saroyan)

Photo from our trip in 2011

Photo from our trip in 2011

It’s been about a year since I last blogged, but with a recent major upheaval in my life, I thought it was an appropriate time to jump back into it. Joe got a great new opportunity on the West Coast, and with little to no notice, I’m going along for the ride!

It’s a bittersweet feeling. There is an incredible excitement in being able to drop everything and start a new life in a new city. At the same time, New York is a city one can never be done with; leaving always feels like closing a book before you read the ending.

This blog is the story of our move to the West Coast, and eventually, our new life in San Francisco.