Weekend To Do List:

  1. Pick up prescriptions at Duane Reade.
  2. Schedule ConEd payment.
  3. Plan brunch.

It is a widely popular phenomenon across the globe, and brunch in New York City is no different. It is a staple. After a beautiful brunch cruise this past Saturday with The Man, I wanted to take a look back on my brunch experiences in the Big Apple.

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The Man making waffles aboard the Manhattan II

When I first moved to the city, I quickly realized that this is a place where much of your social circle revolves around food and alcohol. That makes brunch the perfect weekend happening. You get to enjoy food and beverages in a relaxed environment.

Over the course of the last seven years, the locations I frequented for brunch have evolved with me as a human and the relationships in which I find myself. Here’s a look back on some of my favorite NYC brunch spots.

My Quiet Brunch Spot
Phebe’s Tavern – 359 Bowery, East Village, Manhattan
When I was introduced to the brunch scene, I was living alone. It all started with my need for adventure, and getting up early on weekend mornings. I would walk around my Chinatown area, and end up at Phebe’s where it was a great, albeit not bottomless brunch space. The french toast was delicious, and it was a quiet restaurant ideal for relaxing and reading a book!

The Girlfriend Brunch Spot
Cu 29 Copper – 232 N. 12th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn – It has since closed
I started going to this place after being introduced to a couple who lived in the neighborhood. My girlfriend and I would arrive as soon as they opened at noon, and stay for hours. We would order multiple courses, and enjoy the $12.95 honestly bottomless mimosas.

This place was great for girly gossip, catching up, venting about the men in our lives, and enjoying a meal with friends. Afterward, we would often wind up lying around on a blanket at McCarren Park, or dancing around a girlfriend’s nearby apartment all afternoon.

The Family Brunch Extravaganza
La Fontana – 95 S. Broadway, Nyack
Outside of New York City, my big family and I have a regular brunch spot. Just a little ways from the edge of the Hudson River lies La Fontana, where we have been going for more than a decade.

This set up is a buffet-style with a bottomless mimosa option, which has always been good for our big group. The options are plenty, and we have always had a great time. Plus, there is an outdoor patio section, which is beautiful in the spring, when it’s not too hot in the summer, and the fall.

The Decadent Brunch Spot
Sugar Freak – 36-18 30th Ave., Astoria, Queens
While I was working at Lockwood in Astoria, I had the fortune of meeting a frequent shopper. She would come in, talk to me about her husband, her need for retail therapy, and her health. We formed a bond over surviving thyroid cancer. Then, it was unearthed that she is the owner of a damn-good restaurant in the neighborhood.

The Man and I ventured over one day to Sugar Freak, where the crowds were seemingly unending, and the food was amazing. Two things you must know about me: I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and I will order the bananas foster meal, drink, side, topping, or whatever every. single. time. So, all I have to say to you is Bananas Foster French Toast.

My Perfect Date Brunch
Classic Harbor Lines, The Manhattan II – Chelsea Piers, Pier 62, Manhattan
Getting The Man gifts is nearly impossible. Throughout our relationships, he is vocal about exactly what he wants, so I buy it, and the thrill fades quickly. Or he just goes out and purchases the item on his own.

So this past Christmas, I decided that instead of getting him some boxed gift, I would take him out for a day of things that he enjoys. Unfortunately, with his schedule, the first available weekend that he had was the weekend that Jonas, the snowstorm, hit. We rescheduled for this past weekend and it was amazing.

Three hours of cruising around Manhattan with all of the great and expected views of the skyline, bridges, the Statue of Liberty, and much more. But what made this trip truly special was the fact that it wasn’t an overbooked, crowded experience. It was literally six other couples, plus us. The food was great, the champagne was flowing, it was warm despite the 16 degree temperature outside the cabin, and the service was involved enough to let us know we were taken care of while staying distant enough to make it feel like it was only The Man and I.

 

As we continue living and growing in this New York, we will undoubtedly keep brunching! It’s so great to be in a place that offers brunch venues that cater to your every whim and desire. What are some of your favorite brunch spots in your city?