This video showcases a small group of New Yorkers and why they choose particular places to brunch. It highlights how personal the choice is, how different things appeal to different people. And notice how no one hesitates at all when asked the question ‘Where do you choose to Brunch?’ Because brunching is such a New York thing, everyone does it or used to do it until things started to change.
For a long time brunch has been a hallowed meal, something a New Yorker would do on their own or with 1 or 2 friends on a Saturday or Sunday. It was characterized by being laid back time for eating familiar comfort foods, drinking great coffee and with perhaps a glass of wine or champagne to finish. A meal you lingered over while you read a book or a newspaper and unwound from the rigors of the week. It was a time and space where everything felt good and you finished up feeling rejuvenated.
But a great deal has changed. Brunch can now go on all day, with gallons of alchohol involved and as a consequence far from being quiet, it has become a time for loud and boozy carry-on which leaves the participants feeling wrecked.
How has this happened? Well it’s become much, much more popular than it ever was before. Virtually every cafe and restaurant in all 5 boroughs offers brunch now and many compete to bring in the most customers by offering more and more endless mimosas or whatever the popular drink of the day is. and they cram in any many people as they can. The drunker brunchers become, the more they behave without civility towards staff and each other and the whole idea of having a quiet time of connection and community is out the window.
So the first answer to whether brunch has become too horrible in NYC really depends on the type of person you are. If you like wild and woolly brunches then cast your eye around on Saturday and Sunday for all those NYC eateries with a long line out the door from about 11am onwards and join the queue. You will find most of those long lines lead into big spaces of some kind with big tables for everyone to sit around.
If you want a quiet, nurturing brunch make sure you pick a small eaterie where the number of people who can get in is limited, preferably a place you are already familiar with. Wedge yourself into a corner on your own or with a good book or a newspaper and let the friendly servers look after you as they will do willingly no matter how long you stay. You can have a great NYC brunch experience if you know what type of brunch you’re after because there are very different kinds of brunch expereinces out there for you.
Here’s a great article that has the best list of brunch ideas I’ve seen, some of them for quiet brunches, some of them for the wild and woolly sort Time-Out, Best NYC Brunches