A Brunch of Places to go
Literally every week, I get at least 2-3 “JoJo where can I brunch for my birthday text” from friends, family, and a few friends of a friend. I decided to stop being selfish and share my favorite brunch spots and even included a few honorable mentions. Just because spring hasn’t sprung yet doesn’t mean we can’t still brunch. P.S- The list below is in no particular order) Enjoy.
Agave (West Village) – Although I’m pretty sure I am banned, Agave will ALWAYS be one of my favorite Brunch spots for various reasons. I celebrated my 29th birthday last year at agave because of the amazing food and even better drinks. Their margarita is divine yet packs a punch so please be careful; you’ve been warned. Although it has a chill vibe, they have a semi-private room that you can rent out, provide your own music, and fits up to 45 people. DJ AK unfortunately burnt out their speakers causing the manager to go out and purchase new speakers for my party. Brunch is roughly $32.99 which includes any item w/bottomless choice of mimosa, wine, or frozen margarita, and for larger groups, the price is $39.99. The final price is around $55 with tax and gratuity.
Libations (Lower East Side) - I have been to two birthday celebrations at Libations. This two-floor restaurant offers a 10-person or more family style brunch where the host chooses a few brunch items off the menu, that is passed around and shared by the guests. For less than 10 people, brunch is $50 per person which includes unlimited mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as well. My favorite aspect of Libations is the lit ass DJ playing everything from hip-hop, R&B, top40, and afro beats.
Zengo- (Midtown East) Another favorite of mine, Zengo has the biggest brunch venue on the list even with Libations being two floors. This soaring three-level restaurant with a creative Asian Pan-Latin flare and a downstairs tequila lounge offers a $45 per person pre- fix brunch which includes unlimited plates and free-flowing brunch cocktails. I just want to add that Zengo has 8 brunch cocktail options, which you can interchange during your two-hour limit, which includes a guava mimosa, a sake sangria, and my favorite a lychee mimosa. The only reason you won’t catch me at Zengo every weekend is that this is a more chill vibe with lounge music opposed to other brunch venues being discussed.
IL Bastardo (Chelsea) - If you’ve ever brunched in the city, I'm pretty sure you’ve either been to Il Bastardo champagne brunch or know someone who has. IL Bastardo gained a lot of buzz summer 2016/2017 with its Brazilian carnival theme brunches that showcase samba dancers, obnoxiously loud music, and provides each party brunch goers with an individual 750ML champagne bottle. This restaurant offers an exciting daytime club experience with a $75 pre-fix menu which includes one entrée and a personal bottle of either champagne, rose, mimosa, or Bellini. Fortunately for me, I went to IL Bastardo before the hype and when it was only $40 to experience the great music and mediocre food.
Bagatelle(Meat Packing)- If I'm not at Agave, you can find me at what I call the A-listers brunch. This party brunch isn’t for everyone. This A-la-carte restaurant is not for the frugal as you will be spending over $100 per person. Bagatelle is an experience because at 3 pm the brightly lit restaurant turns its lights off and transforms into a Vegas-style party with an electric drummer, throbbing house music, and waiters flying in the air with Dom Perignon bottles and sparklers. Reservations to Bagatelle should be made from 2 weeks to a month as the restaurant is always booked.
PS 450 (Midtown)- This place is the OG of brunches since most brunch-goers start at PS450. I'm pretty sure this was where I became a Mimosaholic and was coined “Brunch Queen” by my friends. PS450 is literally everything you’re looking for in a brunch. Great food, free-flowing/unlimited drinks, and a great DJ who will literally have you dancing while eating. Brunch is $50 & includes one brunch entrée and your choice of mimosas, Bellini’s, Bloody Mary’s, or beer (bud light or shock top).
Sofrito (Riverside)- In May 2015, I invited 55 girls to Join me at Sofrito for my birthday brunch. Everyone had an appetizer, entrée, & unlimited mimosas/sangria for $39.95. For parties of 6 or larger, the appetizers are served family style including fried empanadas, calamari, and pork chops. Sofrito, like PS 450 offers everything you would want in a brunch which includes delicious food, great drinks, and well as a DJ playing top 40/party vibes catering to the audience. With the restaurants' new location facing the water on Riverside, Sofritos offers an amazing and well-rounded brunch experience.
Woodland (Brooklyn)- Simply worth it. Now let me start by saying this, I wrote off Woodland when I tried to have my birthday brunch there last year. I called the restaurant and was pissed when they refused my reservations even when I told them I could guarantee 60 guests. I don’t understand restaurants that don’t allow reservations of any party size. I finally gave up my battle and asked my cousin Bobby and a few friends to join me in Brooklyn for brunch at a later date. We got there around 1 PM and were told it was a 2-hour wait. My friends, Lashawn and Stephany went across the street to get pizza, while Bobby and I hung out at the bar. Let’s talk about this Dee Jaaayyyyy!!!!! I think he was my favorite part of the experience other than the chicken and red velvet waffles (heart eyes emoji) Bruh I need him at my wedding. Brunch is a la carte but one can add bottomless mimosas for an extra $20 which is beneficial when not everyone in the party drinks.
- Beauty & Essex
- Sons of Essex
- Rooftop 360
- Le Reve
- Union Bar & Kitchen