Brunch (n): the socially acceptable time frame to drink alcohol, and eat fried chicken and sliders before noon.
But did you know it actually was not legal to drink before noon on Sundays in New York until 2016! The NYC brunch hour usually runs from 10am to 2pm with noon to 1pm being the peak, making your wait time very long at many locations.
Brunch menus almost always have an alcoholic beverage component. The best brunch deals are determined by their specials and whether they charge you a small fee for unlimited drinks for 2 hours (max), i.e. $32 for your entree and unlimited mimosas for 2 hours.
I chose to do a little bit of research on this popular activity and learned that "brunch" was actually introduced by the British who described it as "a Sunday meal for Saturday night carousers."
Since there are so many places to choose from, the secret to brunch is a good recommendation.
Halifax at the W Hotel
Looking for a cheap brunch with a large group? Halifax takes reservations, accompanies large groups with ease, and offers the best brunch special; $32 for a bottle of champagne and unlimited food. The food options vary from poached eggs and pancetta, challah french toast, to beef sliders.
Lower East Side
I've never been one to frown my nose up at diner food, especially for the breakfast/ brunch hour. Remedy's vast menu will have you choosing a meal for days and then leave you completely satisfied once you do. The fried chicken and waffles meal is a brunch staple and Remedy is doing it just right by serving an nontraditional version of the American classic.
Lower East Side
Sunday is the best day to go to Dirty French for brunch; there is a high possibility you will be seated right away and you can enjoy a live jazz band all morning. The music tone was low enough that you could still have conversations with other guests without having to yell to each other. This is one of the more pricey options on Brunch with Sam, but it is worth every penny. It's a good place for when you want to treat yourself or have someone else treat you.
If you want to have pasta before noon, you can very well do that at Aurora. This Latin-owned, Italian fare has the most beautiful outdoor patio and rustic architecture. Aurora's alluring decor and charming atmosphere make a great location for a date, just remember to stop at the ATM first - it's cash only. With so many delicious options and homemade pasta dishes, there is no way you could leave Aurora feeling an ounce of hunger.
Sometimes I wake up on a Saturday or Sunday and really have the urge to dress up for brunch. You know, ditch the sweats and sneakers. If you feel the same then Grey Lady is a good place to do that. Yes, for the interesting interior, but the outside give you the best backdrop for an outfit photo. The menu at Grey Lady is one of my favorites. I appreciate that they spice up the traditional brunch options, making you feel like you're not actually ordering the same thing you always do every weekend. The Cajun shrimp and grits is my preferred option there.
Peaches Hot House
Peaches Hot House is a classic southern breakfast house nestled into the historic brownstone neighborhood, Stuyvesant Heights. Peaches Hot House features a smaller space and shorter menu and located just a 5-7 minute walk from its sister location, Peaches. Ditch the menu and just order the Hothouse Specialty: Crispy, Fried, Extra Hot Chicken. When you take a bite of Peaches' Nashville Fried Chicken, you're hit with the crunch of the skin before the heat from the chilis, both so savory and delicious.
Normally I would say that the best table at Lasagna Restaurant is outside, since Winter is coming I think inside will be just fine. The restaurant sits right on the corner of 23rd and 6th Ave. Lasagna is on my list for Most Affordable Brunch in Manhattan right now. For just $11 extra you can make your beverage bottomless! The scallops and shrimp frittata I had was pretty average and I would not order it again, but I know people have had better experiences. Besides, I would probably only return for the brunch beverage special anyway.
Jack's Wife Freda
The menu at Jack's Wife Freda has a large influence from the Middle Eastern and South African cuisines with dishes like Poached Eggs with Grilled Tomato and Haloumi, Chicken Kebab, and Malva Pudding. Like most NYC restaurants during brunch hours, Jack's Wife Freda only accepts reservations for parties of 6 or more and even that list has limited availability since they rely solely on walk-in parties. The restaurant seats only 20 so I advise you get there before the peak if you don't want to wait a minimum of 45 minutes.
This chic, 24-hour NYC staple should be on everyone's brunch bucket list. The first time I ate there I ordered "normal food" like green eggs & ham, then was told that I ordered wrong! Their core menu items are great, too, but apparently the Mac Attack is their specialty dish. It features one cup of the truffle oil mac & cheese, one cup of the bacon & gouda, and one cup of gouda & fontina. All three are amazing and super filling! I advise you order it to share with a friend.