10 places for a boozy brunch in New York City

brunch While the city that never sleeps is full of wild nightclubs, upscale lounges, and rowdy bars, you’re going to need a place to nurse that hangover come Saturday and Sunday morning. Thankfully, New York is also home to a plethora of excellent boozy brunch spots, where they can prescribe you a “Hair of the Dog” remedy with complimentary and unlimited drinks with your meal.

Essex
120 Essex Street, Lower East Side

Essex offers a brunch special for $22.95 that allows patrons to order a meal along with three bloody marys, screwdrivers, or mimosas. Choose from standard fare like french toast with fruit, eggs with bacon, and blueberry pancakes as well as more interesting entrees like chorizo scrambled eggs and onions served with corn tortillas, manchego macaroni and cheese with chicken apple sausage, and potato pancakes covered with salmon caviar, poached eggs, and house-cured salmon gravlax.

Saturday from 11AM-4:30PM and Sunday from 11AM-8PM. Cash only. Meade’s
22 Peck Slip, Financial District

Meade’s is a cozy, laid-back bar and restaurant that offers a $12.95 all-you-can-drink mimosas, bloody mary’s, screwdrivers, and cape cods special with the purchase of a meal. Choose from classic morning favorites like steak and eggs ($11.95), make-your-own omelettes ($8.95), and crepes with banana and nutella served with strawberries ($8). If your hangover is really bad, opt for a greasy but satisfying Tator Pie ($8.95).

Saturday and Sunday, 12-4PM.

brunch Kyotofu
705 Ninth Ave., Hell’s Kitchen

Kyotofu is actually a Japanese dessert bar and bakery that incorporates cooking with tofu into their creations. For those without a sweet tooth, the eatery also offers a unique brunch that offers a complimentary bellini, mimosa, or blood mary with each meal. Choose from items like the chicken and tofu burger with housemade pickled cabbage and sweet potato chips ($15), poached eggs with truffle oil, mesclun greens, and toasted brioche ($10), and mac and cheese made with gruyere and monterary jack cheddar, spicy shichimi panko, and truffle pate ($12).

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-5PM.

Sunburnt Cow
137 Ave C., East Village

The Sunburnt Cow is a fun Aussie-style dive bar where you are guaranteed to get trashed for cheap, even on Sunday afternoon. For $18, diners can enjoy an open bar and unlimited brunch. Choose from items like the Barrier Reef Benedict which includes poached eggs over crab cakes covered in hollandaise sauce, buttermilk banana pikelets, and the Queen Adelaide, a meal of poached eggs, salmon, and avocado on an english muffin that is served with a side of hollandaise. Because it gets extremely crowded, I would recommend getting there early or going with a party of 6 or more so that you can make a reservation.

Saturday and Sunday. Call for specific seating times, which run in 2-hour intervals. Cash only.

brunch Yotel
570 Tenth Ave., Hell’s Kitchen

Yotel is actually a funky and futuristic hotel located two blocks from Times Square that not only features a robot porter, but also an on-site restaurant with an all-inclusive weekend brunch. On their fourth floor terrace and in-door eatery, diners can enjoy unlimited tapas and free-flowing cocktails for $35 per person. In terms of drinks, you can enjoy the standard brunch libations as well as more unusual creations like Bacon Bloody Marys, Lychee Bellinis, and glasses of Passion Plantation Punch. For food, enjoy plates like the wild mushroom omelette with asparagus and cream cheese, halibut sliders with tomato and rémoulade sauce, and house ground meatballs with herbs and kaffir lime-tomato sauce.

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-3PM.

Tre
173 Ludlow St., Lower East Side

Tre is a casual Italian restaurant and the perfect place for a budget-friendly boozy brunch in New York. For $19.95, patrons receive an entree as well as unlimited champagne, mimosas, and bellinis. Choose from menu items like potato pancakes with scallions, sour cream, and sausage, an Angus burger with goat cheese and spinach served with fries, and rigatoni carbonara with parmigiano, Pecorino, pancetta, and cream.

Saturday and Sunday, 12-4PM.

scottadito osteria toscana Scottadito Osteria Toscana
788 Union St., Park Slope, Brooklyn

Scottadito Osteria Toscana is a traditional Tuscan restaurant that also serves a delicious and booze-infused brunch on weekends. For $17.95, you get a meal as well as unlimited champagne and mimosas. Choose from entrees like a ham and ricotta cheese omelette, french toast topped with fruit, organic maple syrup, and powdered sugar, and homemade ricotta and spinach gnocchi with sage and butter. This venue is also suitable for families, as there is also a children’s brunch which includes pancakes, french toast, or eggs with roasted potatoes and soda or juice for $10.

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-4PM.

Arte Cafe
106 W. 73 St., Upper West Side

Arte Cafe is a homestyle Italian restaurant that offers a $16 unlimited drink special with the purchase of a brunch meal. Choose from items like the broiche French toast with apple cinnamon sauce ($9.50), a prosciutto omelette with potatoes and onions ($10.95), ricotta and spinach stuffed ravioli in vodka sauce ($15.95), and chicken parmesan with spaghetti ($16.95).

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-4PM.

brunch Braai
329 W. 51 St., Hell’s Kitchen

Braai is a South African wine and food venue with authentic decor that will transport you to another country. On the weekends, you can take in jungle-inspired furnishings while also taking in unlimited champagne, mimosas, bloody marys, screwdrivers, and bellinis for $15 plus the price of an entree. Meal selections include fare like a spinach and goat cheese omelette ($8), grilled chicken with tomato, lettuce, and mayo served on warm focaccia ($9), and farfelle salmon in a pink sauce ($11.50).

Saturday and Sunday, 11AM-3:30PM

Yerba Buena
23 Ave A., East Village

Looking for some Latin American fare? Yerba Buena serves $12 unlimited sangrias, mimosas, margaritas, and house cocktails for an hour plus the price of a meal. Entree selections include fare like short ribs with fried eggs, congri, and salsa ($14), fish tacos with rice, beans, cabbage, and spicy coleslaw ($12), and Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon churros ($9). Yerba Buena also has a West Village location at 1 Perry Street.

Saturday and Sunday, 11:30AM-3PM.

[photos via missmeng, jasonlam, Yotel, Braai]

New York City: 5 best restaurants for affordable brunch

Brunch in New York City is a classic weekend experience, but ordering $20 eggs benedict at Jean-Georges’ Nougatine or $18 brioche French toast at Pastis doesn’t fit into everyone’s travel budget. Here are five affordable brunch alternatives to help start your day off right.

1. Le Pain Quotidien, Central Park

I know Le Pain Quotidien is a chain, but it’s not like its Belgian Waffle dusted with powdered sugar ($4.95) is settling for an Egg McMuffin. There’s even a Waffle Window at the Central Park location, which opened in May near Sheep Meadow. The Central Park location will be open until November and then re-open in the spring.

2. Cafeteria (Chelsea)

An oldie but goodie, Cafeteria delivers solid brunch options at reasonable prices. The Silver Dollar Pancakes ($10) come with fresh berries and sweet Chantilly cream. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, this Chelsea favorite also draws a late-night crowd.3. Mile End Delicatessen (Boerum Hill, Brooklyn)

Communal tables are part of the fun at Mile End, a tiny restaurant that opened in January. Located just a few blocks from an A/C subway stop, there’s a take-out window for people who don’t have the patience to wait or for those who just want to pick up an iced Stumptown Coffee ($2.50). Be warned: the restaurant often runs out of its signature smoked meat by 3 p.m., but that’s also when the place tends to clear out and you can easily grab a seat at the counter. The Breakfast Sandwich ($6) looks deceptively simple, but the bread, egg, and cheese are just an excuse to devour a slab of the Meat Hook Canadian bacon. The restaurant switches to a dinner menu at 5:30 p.m.

4.
Alice’s Tea Cup (Manhattan)

Alice’s Tea Cup is as much about experiencing the over-the-top girlie vibe as the food. Expect lots of little girls having tea with their mothers (fairy wings are standard), gaggles of bridal showers, and the like. Even with two locations on the Upper East Side and one on the Upper West Side, prepare to put your name down on a waiting list (or leave your phone number and come back). At Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II location, choose from pancakes ($7), crepes (from $8), and more. Other decadent options include finger sandwiches, gigantic scones, and cookies served on a three-tiered stand. You can also skip the line and order the scones ($3) to go. Pumpkin, chocolate chip, blueberry — it’s tough to pick just one.

5. Aurora Ristorante (SoHo & Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

The prix-fixe brunch menu at Aurora has great value. For $15, you can get coffee, a brunch entree (normally $10), and either a bellini, mimosa, Bloody Mary (regularly $8 for breakfast cocktails) or fresh orange juice. I’m a fan of the apple compote-stuffed brioche French toast with candied walnuts and mascarpone.

Got any other budget-friendly brunch spots in New York City? Feel free to share.

[Photos by Amy Chen]

Daily Pampering: Chocolate Bar reopens in Boston’s Langham hotel

September starts a new season of all things savory, including Boston’s two best culinary indulgences – chocolate and Sunday brunch. The Langham, Boston welcomes the return of Boston’s two favorite decadent buffets – the Chocolate Bar and the City Brunch.

The Chocolate Bar at The Langham is entering its 22nd year as a Boston staple. Pastry Chef Jed Hackney’s innovative creations featuring salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and savory flavors will delight any chocolate lovers palette. Desserts include Stuffed Soft Pretzels, Raspberry Filled Beignets, White Chocolate and Lemon Meringue Tart, and Chocolate Almond Financier. Several old favorites will also return including the legendary Langham Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding, Cotton Candy, and Whoopie Pies.

If you want something more substantial for breakfast, try the City Brunch on Sundays, which feature a variety of stations and buffet items. Executive Chef Mark Sapienza offers a variety locally sourced and produced foods, in addition to house-made items. Chef Sapienza has a direct relationship with local farmers and artisan food purveyors to offer the best meat, seafood, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

The cost of this indulgence? Visit the Chocolate Bar in Café Fleuri every Saturday for $38 for adults/$25 for kids. Enjoy Sunday brunch at $48 for adults and $25 for children.

Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.

A tale of two brunches: Two of Chicago’s finest brunches

Here in Chicago we take our brunches seriously — perhaps because our winter nights are long and we need something to shake the cobwebs of sleep from our weekends, or perhaps because we just need a good hangover cure. From Lincoln Park to Bucktown to Pilsen each neighborhood has its favorite haunt, Midwest sized stacks of French toast heaped on top of hashbrowns and bacon in a mountain of carbohydrate bliss.

The downtown hotel scene has done well at tapping into and emulating the thriving city brunch scene. Two of our favorites are only a stone’s throw away from the Magnificent Mile, making them well-accessible to locals, visitors and tourists alike.

Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave), part of Marriott’s Blackstone Hotel, hosts an excellent Spanish-inspired brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings featuring a dazzling array of paella, tapas and sangria. Rolled across a sprawling, high ceilinged ballroom (pictured above,) the mood at Mercat is hip, laid back and inexpensive; one can get in and out of the restaurant for between $20 and $30 per person.

Just up the street in the Park Hyatt (800 N. Michigan Ave), NoMi‘s brunch is more of a high minded affair. With a main dining room that gazes over the Watertower square, the selection, service and dress code are nothing short of opulent. Custom ordered sushi or garden rolls from the in-house Japanese chefs? No problem. Hand cut roast from the carving station? They’ve got that too.

Sunday brunch at Nomi will run up to $55 per person with Saturday brunch an a la carte affair. For a real treat try NoMi on Mother’s Day, when a multi-course, no-holds-barred brunch will set you back over $100 each.

Daily Pampering: Champagne brunch at Arabelle Restaurant at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York

Arabelle Restaurant
Everyone likes a champagne brunch, but it’s infinitely better when you’ve got champagne surroundings, as well.

Arabelle Restaurant (above) at Hôtel Plaza Athénée in NYC is offering a Sunday brunch you’re likely to treasure well into the following week. The brunch, described as “lavishly presented,” features a buffet with Steamed Lobster, Chilled Gulf Shrimp, Smoked Salmon, and Charcuterie, which you enjoy while you wait for your entrée of Plaza Athénée Eggs Benedict, Roasted Tomato and Asparagus Omelet, Vanilla Brioche French Toast with Fresh Berries, Blueberry Pancakes With Chantilly Cream and Warm Maple Syrup or the Chef’s daily special. A dessert table with pastries, tartlettes, cakes, fruit and, of course, coffee and tea, awaits you at your leisure.

This indulgent, Upper East Side Sunday Champagne Brunch is $69.00 per person and includes a glass of house champagne. The brunch is only served from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, so be sure to call ahead (800-447-8800) for reservations.

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