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new york brunch without a wait

Brunch Without a Wait

6 midday haunts where the focus is on the food and not the queue

Weekend brunch is a quintessential New York experience, and with it comes delectable hangover-quenching food, free-flowing morning booze and, unfortunately, long lines. Indeed, at the most sought-after brunch destinations, you either need a little bit of luck or a lot of patience as securing a table often involves a wait in blocks-long lines or on an hours-long wait list. Certainly these famous stops have a lot to offer—see the French toast at Balthazar, the Bloody Mary at Prune and those famous Clinton St. Baking Co. pancakes—but there are plenty of equally good options available to those who don’t want to wait. To get your brunch on in a timely and tasty fashion, check out these six delicious and, thus far, under-the-radar brunch spots across New York.

Edi and the Wolf’s bar and dining room

Edi and the Wolf
Brunch hours: Sat and Sun 11:30am to 3:30pm

Run by the Austrian duo Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban, this quaint East Village restaurant is known for its seasonal spin on Viennese cuisine with heritage pig-laden schnitzel and a rotating spätzle, but what it’s less famous for is its delectable brunch. With little buzz comes little to no wait for a table in the cozy, woody dining room with rustic touches such as rope and dried flowers. For a unique take on the standard scramble, try the version with Austrian pumpkin seed oil, chives and pumpkin seeds. Those who prefer sweets won’t want to miss the kaiserschmarrn, a sweet mess of caramelized pancake bits, poached pear and an elderflower and candied walnut ice cream. All dishes are $16 and include an artisan bread basket and coffee. The good news is that with all the time you saved not waiting in line, you’ll have time for more than one of the house-mixed Bloody Marys or fresh-squeezed mimosas at $8 a piece. 102 Ave. C, 212-598-1040,

Molyvos’ dining room, and lamb and egg (Photos: Paul Johnson, Arnisio Bifteki)

Brunch hours: Sat and Sun 11am to 3pm

There aren’t many standout brunch spots in Midtown, and all the well-known ones seem to have hour-plus waits—we’re talking to you Sarabeth’s with your infamous wraparound queues. Thankfully, the ever popular Molyvos added brunch to its repertoire in 2012 and has given a Greek twist to typical morning delights. The white linens and fine-dining service uphold its elegant reputation, but if you go with the $24 prix fixe deal, which includes an alcoholic drink, appetizer and main course, it’s also accessible. So, take a seat at one of the many roomy tables, order a pink peppercorn- and mastic-laced Bloody Cretan and feast. High on the list of must-haves is the ouzo-cured salmon, which comes on chef James Botsacos’ version of a sesame bagel with yogurt and red onions on the side. Equally appealing is the restaurant’s version of French toast, called Greek Toast, made with orange-scented Easter bread and macerated strawberries. 871 Seventh Ave., 212-582-7500,

Ed's Chowder House

Ed’s Chowder House’s dining room and lobster roll

Ed’s Chowder House
Brunch: Sat and Sun 11:30am to 3:30pm

With Metropolitan Opera House matinees and the proximity of Central Park and the Time Warner Center, the area around Lincoln Center crawls with weekend brunch-goers. This means you might have a hard time nabbing a table at newer spots, such as the uptown branch of The Smith. The bright and nautical-themed Ed’s Chowder House, however, is right across the street in the Empire Hotel, and impresses with a seafood-heavy brunch menu. Prices skew higher here, with some dishes tipping past $20, but nobody said seafood or the Upper West Side was cheap. Choose from among chef Ed Brown’s rich smoked salmon Benedicts with dill hollandaise, the shrimp and scallion frittata, or a bowl of the flavorful Manhattan Style Blue Crab Chowder paired with fresh cornbread and jalapeño biscuits. Don’t miss the lengthy cocktail menu, which includes a spicy, house-mix Bloody Mary for $14 that can be ordered with a jumbo shrimp on the side for an extra $3.75, or the Bloody Caesar with fresh clam juice at $13. 44 W. 63rd St., 212-956-1288,


Barraca’s huevos rotos con tocino and bar with mimosas and gazpacho Bloody Mary

Brunch: Sat and Sun, 11am to 4pm

In the brunch-happy West Village it’s hard to escape notice, but that’s exactly the case at Jesus Nunez and Hector Sanz’s lauded Spanish restaurant, where its weekend brunch menu has remained on the down low. Its lack of publicity is your gain as the hearty plates of huevos, bocadillos and cocas (sweet flatbreads) are perfect for the weekend warrior. The charming space becomes more so in the daytime when sunlight pours in from large windows and onto the exposed brick walls and beams, which are styled after a classic Spanish theater. The Spanish influence translates into pancakes with pumpkin and orange zest marmalade, doughnuts with hot chocolate and cream and plenty of eggs decked out with Manchego cheese, raisins, pork belly, chorizo, peas and piquillo peppers. With a few exceptions, most brunch items are less than $15, and there are five inventive types of sangria for $10 a glass or $35 a pitcher, or $12 and $42 in the case of the floral Penedés, which combines cava, peaches and lavender. 81 Greenwich Ave., 212-462-0080,

Parish Hall

Parish Hall’s soft-boiled egg in squash blossom, tomato, purslane, and farro

Parish Hall
Brunch: Sat and Sun, 10am to 4pm

When George Weld opened up Egg in Williamsburg in 2005, he never envisioned the brunch hit it is today. Even after all these years, prime brunch-time tables at Egg usually involve an hour wait. However, head a few blocks away to Weld’s Parish Hall, opened in 2012, and you’ll find the same fresh organic ingredients from its own Goatfell Farm without the wait. The Southern-inflected plates—roast porchetta and egg sandwiches, duck hash with kale and apple and Johnny cakes with cranberry compote—come for less than $14. And cheeky cocktails such as the Winnie Palmer made with bourbon, black tea, lemon and mint blend for $9, show off the place’s inventive side. As a bonus, the large, open dining room with stark white walls and mellow tunes help ease you in or out of the weekend without a riot of color or chaos found at busier establishments. 109a N. 3rd St., Brooklyn, 718-782-2602,


Angolo’s fettucini rigate alla carbonara (Photo: Daniel Krieger)

Angolo SoHo
Brunch: Sat and Sun 11am to 4pm

Though it’s located near the main Canal Street drag­ and just off the Broadway shopping scene, this light-filled SoHo Italian joint is just enough off the main drag that there’s no wait for brunch. Executive chef Michael Berardino, formerly of dell’anima and The Cannibal, whips up plates of Anson Mills polenta with poached eggs and ricotta pancakes with chestnuts and pears, with most dishes falling below $18. Though not the brunch norm, the fettuccini rigate alla carbonara turns out to be the perfect breakfast pasta given its ingredients of pancetta, eggs and cheese. Bright orange chairs punctuate the narrow, high-ceilinged space with dark wood accents and a long community table that helps to alleviate crowding. And to dull the pain or lubricate a shopping adventure there are $10 morning-approved cocktails such as the peach Bellini and a Bloody Mary made with a secret recipe. 331 W. Broadway, 212-203-1722,

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