Cheap Eats: Brunch Hot Spots (NYC Edition)

3 Nov

NYC is undoubtedly the culinary capital of the world, no offense to London, Rome, Paris, Istanbul and other noteworthy culinary centers around the globe but NYC is where it’s at.

While living in NYC, brunch on Saturdays and Sundays was a weekly ritual for the family. In Manhattan alone there are multiple options for brunch, however, some end up being quite pricey! After exploring many brunch options in the city, we now present to you the ones that make it to the Top 5 without putting a huge dent in your wallet.

1. L’Express

This French bistro is a family favourite that we have visited countless number of times and entertained family and friends visiting from Detroit to Dubai. Although it is mostly very busy, the tasty brunch options and the generous portions are worth the wait. There are weekly specials in addition to the regular brunch menu that feature mango pancakes, french toast stuffed with cream cheese and fruits and a variety of thick, hearty soups. The omelettes particularly stand out and are served with a choice of house fries or potato wedges. If you are lucky you may even have some celebrity sightings!

Cons: Long waiting times, noisy

Price range: $10-15

249 Park Ave S

2. Cafeteria

This hip Chelsea spot serves what NYMag refers to as “amped-up comfort food” and we couldn’t agree more. The menu consists of the usual suspects – eggs benedict, range of omelettes, blueberry and ricotta pancakes but even though there is little innovation on the menu, everything is yummy. They also serve a to-die-for Spinach and Artichoke Dip but only after 6 pm, which is well worth an early evening visit for a snack. Oh, and there is also plenty of eye candy to go around as well.

Cons: No Reservations, Very long waiting times at peak brunch hours

Price range: $10-15

119 Seventh Ave

3. The Crooked Tree

Tucked away in Alphabet city this quaint little hole-in-the wall has some of the best sweet and savory crepes the city has to offer. There is a variety of sweet crepe fillings to choose from ranging from classics like Lemon, Belgian Chocolate to mixed fresh fruits and unusual ones like Crème de Marron (chestnut cream)! The best part is that you can customize the crepe according to your liking and have whatever filling you want or mix up the flavors. All the crepes are freshly prepared and the portions are generous. The savory options are a bit more limited such as goat cheese, mozzarella, mushrooms and spinach. The menu is not very varied and doesn’t include Brunch classics like omelettes or french toast but if its crepes what your craving then this is the place to go!

Cons: Limited seating, Limited Menu

Price Range: $4-$10

110 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A

4.Esperanto

Also located in Alphabet City, Esperanto serves brunch with a Latin American flair, think huevos rancheros, Spanish omelette and quesadillas. I visited it for the first time when college friends from Boston came to NYC for the weekend in April. They offer a $9.99 brunch special that includes a brunch entree served with coffee and choice of cocktails such as guava mimosas, bloody mary. They have outdoor seating which is perfect for the late spring and summertime.

Cons: Slow service

Price Range: $ 9.99 brunch special

145 Avenue C

5. Max Brenner – Chocolate by the Baldman

Located in the bustling Union Square, Max Brenner is home to chocoholics and tourists in search of satisfying their sweet-tooth. An unlikely “Brunch” option this Dessert Mecca actually has an elaborate sweet and savoury brunch “therapy” menu. Besides their ” Egg’s Corruption” to “Optimistic Sweet Breakfast” menu they also have an array of Bagels, Salads, Pizzas & Burgers to choose from. My personal favorite in their Optimistic Sweet breakfast section are the white chocolate cheesecake crèpes – a decedent bite of heaven served with toffee bananas, a dark caramel drizzle and whipped cream.

Cons: Crowded, Chocolate-overload (!!)

Price Range: $11-20

841 Broadway (Union Square)

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6 Responses to “Cheap Eats: Brunch Hot Spots (NYC Edition)”

  1. Jen November 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM #

    love it! bookmarking this one for sure 🙂

    • Food Across Borders November 13, 2010 at 5:30 PM #

      hope you enjoy these places when you check them out! let me know what you think.

    • Dina May 17, 2017 at 3:53 AM #

      Heck yeah this is exlctay what I needed.

    • mccurry motors May 24, 2017 at 12:51 PM #

      I’m grateful you made the post. It’s cleared the air for me.

  2. Nadia November 12, 2010 at 12:00 PM #

    Yay – I’ve been to three of these places with you guys! Will have to check out the other two.

    • Food Across Borders November 13, 2010 at 5:30 PM #

      remember our 3 AM indulgence at Cafeteria?!?!

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