The Master Brunch List

15 Dec

It’s about time I sat down and put all my top brunch specials down on one post…

My Top 5 Brunch Spots (mapped out below):

1) Essex (LES: Essex/Rivington) – for $22.95 you get at least 3 included brunch drinks (bloodies, mimosas, screwdrivers).  You can make a reservation, big plus.  Food/vibe is GREAT – it truly is the quintessential brunch spot. Menu is here (My fave dish is the Mexican Matzo Brei – YUM). Know before you go: Brunch is cash only!

2) The Sunburnt Cow (E. Ville: Ave C btwn 8th/9th Sts) – for $18 bucks you get fosters, bloodies, mimosas, screw drivers, greyhounds for 2 whole hours.  Service is great, the scene is awesome, just bordering on crowded.  Food is pretty good, but it’s mostly about the experience, in my book. Menu is here (Go with a Greyhound: Grapefruit juice + vodka = YUM).  Know before you go: Cash only. They only take rezzies for 6+ ppl.  Be prepared to wait, but it’s such a meet market, it may be worth it to hang at the bar for a while…

3) Mercadito Grove (W. Ville: 7th Ave S/Grove St) – for $25 you get AYCD Sangria, flavored Mimosas and Beer (cheladas) for 2 hours.  The outdoor location is perfect for warmer weather.  Menu is here (The Guacamole Granada is so creative and the Huevos Rancheros are AWESOME).  Know before you go: They accept reservations!  But before forewarned, the inside dining room is small, if it’s not nice enough to sit outside.

4) Tapeo 29 (LES: Clinton/Stanton) – for $20 you get your brunch entree (or tapas) + 2 bloodies, mimosas, or screwdrivers.  The bar/resto scene makes it a great hang atmosphere.  The egg dishes are great, particularly the Eggs Benedict and the inclusion of tapas in the special gives more diverse options for those who don’t love b-fast food.   Know before you go: they take reservations so make one for sure.  Also, if you want more than 2 drinks, additional cocktails are only $2 each or $5 for a pitcher!

5) Macondo (LES: Houston – Allen/Eldridge) – Brunch entrees are $7-18 and an extra 9 bucks gets you AYCD mimosas of several flavors (Orange+Vanilla is best) – the scene is very low key. Menu is here (start with the Yuca fries, they are GREAT). Know before you go: get a less expensive entree, it’s a better value, and also – if you’re there with singles – ask to sit at a communal table to meet new people.


Some other VERY good notables:

*Agozar (NoHo: Bowery btwn 1st/2nd Sts) – Unlimited Sangria with any brunch item ($9-14).  The party vibe and food is great, but I prefer to have more drink options.

*Diablo Royale Este (E. Ville: Ave A btwn 10th/11th Sts) – for $22 you get AYCD red/white sangria + mimosas. Service is awesome, vibe is great. Menu is here (The Huevos Rancheros w/cheesy grits on the side – wow).  Know before you go: If you want a bloody mary, there’s a “make your own” bar a la carte @ $5 each.

*Double Crown (NoHo: Bowery/2nd St) – 2 Options, both include an entree +tea/coffee; for $20 you get 1 Bloody Mary, for $32 you get unlimited Bloodies.  There’s a make your own Bloody Mary bar, very cool. Menu is here (The Crispy Pork Belly is a major standout). Know before you go: make a reservation to save yourself the wait!

*Philip Marie (W. Ville: Hudson St/W 11 St) – for $24.95, you get 90 mins of brunch drinks (Saturdays-Mimosas, Sunday-Bloodies).  The food is good, the scene is lower key fun… but the wait can be little much for only an hour and a half of hang time.

*Poco (E Ville: Ave B/3rd St) – For $22 you get 3 bloodies/mimosas.sangrias (sometimes more!)  It’s a total party scene, and the food is great. Menu is here (The truffled mushroom omelet was out of control).  Know before you go: with the party vibe comes the noise factor.  Also, for larger parties you can get a 3 hour unlimited brunch for $28.

*PS 450 (Murray Hill: Park btwn 30th/31st Sts) – $13 gets you an entrée and and 1bloody, bellini, or mimosa; $25 will get you unlimited.  Food is good, the menu is limited though.  More fun if you’re bringing a big group.

*Vamos! (Gramercy: 1st Ave btwn 20th/21st Sts) – add $6 to get unlimited frozen margaritas.  Food is good and the outdoor seating is great but some more drink variety would be nice.

*Yerba Buena (E. Ville: Ave A btwn 2nd/3rd Sts) – add $12 to any entrée and get an hour of unlimited cocktails.  A little pricier, but more of an upscale resto. Cash/Amex only.

Make sure to call in advance to check if any policies/specials have changed!

6 Responses to “The Master Brunch List”

  1. cathyanderson December 17, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    The Film Center Cafe in Hells Kitchen is OUT OF CONTROL! SO Super fun!! I went there with a HUGE group of friends and we had the B-E-S-T time! Music is playing so it’s super fun and when Beyonce “Single Ladies” came on she legit, stopped serving, and did the ENTIRE DANCE (exactly like Beyo) and it was amazing!!! While Sunburnt Cow will always be the best place for brunch in Manhattan in my book…Film Center Cafe took a CLOSE second to the best brunch experience ever!


  2. Sarah M Shaker December 31, 2010 at 3:45 pm #

    So many of my favs!!

  3. East Village Eats April 21, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    No Back Forty??? What about Northern Spy Food Co. & Esperanto.

    • Rhea Recommends April 21, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      This list is really just for the boozy brunch spots… no hate to those neighborhood faves, just gotta keep it real and on a budget!

  4. Mimosa Maven May 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Some of these are my faves too! Love LOVE Poco! I highly recommend Garage in the East Village (Live Jazz music during Jazz Brunch) too..


  1. The Master Party List « Rhea Recommends… - February 21, 2011

    […] Best B-Day Brunch: No birthday is complete until you’ve met with your friends the next day to rehash the idiocy of the evening prior, and brunch is the perfect venue. For full on debauchery, I’d say Sunburnt Cow is the way to go, but if you’re looking to class it up a bit, you can always go with Essex… or, any of the excellent options I’ve laid out for you here. […]

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