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NYC Brunch -- Times Square / Theatre District

Updated on June 29, 2014

The best Times Square restaurants for brunch

Naysayers claim Times Square restaurants are subpar compared to other NYC neighborhoods. They may have a point, but if you're looking for a great brunch in NYC, these New York restaurants deliver the goods. You'll even find arguably the best brunch in NYC just outside commonly acknowledged Theatre District borders, at Norma's (scroll down for details) -- a personal fave that have visited at least five times (my kids love this as an ultra-splurge brunch too - luckily I only take one child at a time to visit their aunt in NYC!). Read on for 10 yummy options.

(photo credit: Dinner Series via photopin cc ~ cropped for shape & size)

NYC brunch -- Above

234 West 42nd St. (between 7th & 8th Ave.) -- in the Times Square Hilton

Dine in the clouds, 21 floors above Times Square, at the Hilton's Above restaurant. Other spots may have more imaginative food, but not this view.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 12-3

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... bagel with salmon, oatmeal + berries

nyc brunch bar americain
nyc brunch bar americain

NYC brunch -- Bar Americain

152 West 52nd St. (between 6th & 7th Ave.)

Get your celeb-chef fix at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, known for bold flavors and a convivial atmosphere.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 11:30-2:30

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... shrimp & grits, smoked chicken pot pie

(photo: mastermaq cc)

NYC brunch -- Blue Fin

1567 Broadway (at 47th St.) -- in the W Hotel Times Square

Count on W Hotel restaurants like Blue Fin for stylish, sexy design and a big-city vibe.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 11:30-4

Takes reservations? Appears to take them for breakfast, lunch & dinner but not brunch

I'd order ... jumbo egg sandwich with black forest ham, chocolate ricotta pancakes

2014 New York City Restaurants (Zagat Survey New York City Restaurants)
2014 New York City Restaurants (Zagat Survey New York City Restaurants)

I love this little book so much that my sister-in-law in Manhattan gives me the updated version every Christmas, even though I live in Chicago! Loaded with diner comments, it's fun & funny to browse for foodies like me and helps with those tough where-to-dine decisions on my Big Apple visits. So many NYC restaurants, so little time...

 

NYC brunch -- BXL Cafe

125 West 43rd St. (between Broadway & 6th Ave.)

Where else in the U.S. but NYC can you find not one but several different well-regarded Belgian restaurants? BXL Cafe would be my pick for a Belgian brunch. I haven't been to this branch yet, but I did brunch with my son and sister-in-law recently at BXL East, which offered a nice prix fixe brunch full of sweet and savory options. Only problem? Too early for me to order their house Belgian beer :)

Brunch served: Daily, starting at 11:30

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... Belgian waffle, truffle & cheese croquettes

NYC brunch -- Cielo at the Mayfair

249 West 49th St. (between Broadway & 8th Ave.)

Fair prices and relatively few tourists are draws at Cielo, serving Northern Italian fare.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 11-3:30

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... sweets & cappucino

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NYC brunch -- Ellen's Stardust Diner

1650 Broadway (at 51st St.)

If you want a bit of theatre with your meal, try Ellen's, known more for its singing waitstaff than its food, although the retro sweets sound tasty.

Brunch served: limited breakfasty options served all day

Takes reservations? No

I'd order ... apple strudel & a milkshake (it's New York ... you can walk off anything)

(photo: Luiyo cc)

NYC brunch -- Marseille

630 9th Avenue (between 44th & 45th St.)

I met a friend once for brunch at Marseille and enjoyed not only the meal but the ability to converse in a lively but not deafening envrionment. A Yelp reviewer's characterization of this place as "Pastis without the hype" was pretty spot-on. (I'd brunched before with the same friend at Pastis, and we found it tasty and Parisian feeling -- always a plus :) -- but also cramped and conversation-challenging.)

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun 11-3

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... Moroccan omelette, frittata verde

nyc brunch times square norma's
nyc brunch times square norma's

NYC brunch -- Norma's

119 West 56th St. (between 6th & 7th Ave.) -- in the Parker Meridien hotel

Breakfast is all they do at Norma's, and for my money, it's the best brunch in NYC -- or at least the best I've tried. The biggest problem you'll have here, besides paying the tab (admittedly, it ain't cheap), is choosing from the vast, super delectable menu options. This is breakfast food on steroids, or "brunch porn," as Zagat's has colorfully called it. Book ahead and make this your big meal of the day.

Brunch served: Mon.-Fri. 7-3, Sat. & Sun. 7:30-3

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... the flat-as-a-pancake crabcake is an obsession for me, but seriously, I could eat the whole incredible menu -- you've gotta see it to believe it

(photo: Mith Huang cc)

NYC brunch -- Thalia

828 8th Avenue (at 50th St.)

I had the pleasure of brunching at Thalia once with a friend from Brooklyn and really enjoyed it. Not a huge number of breakfasty dishes, but what they had was nice, and so was the drink they threw in with entrée.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 11-3

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... lobster benedict, brioche French toast

NYC brunch -- Toloache

251 West 50th St. (between Broadway & 8th Ave.)

On trips to Mexico I've fallen in love with Mexican egg dishes, so I'd welcome a brunch at the classy Nuevo Mexicano Toloache.

Brunch served: Sat. & Sun. 11:30-3

Takes reservations? Yes

I'd order ... huarache, huevos motulenos, chilaquiles

Have you found the best brunch in NYC? Where? Any Times Square / Theatre District tips?

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    • profile image

      agent009 5 years ago

      I hate Times Square for being too touristy but I'm sure there's some gems there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I agree there are options to be found in the Theater District. NORMA's in particular is great :)

    • profile image

      seosmm 5 years ago

      Great suggestions. Nice lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      enjoyed the material.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Wow! What an extensive list! I hope hope hope I can try your recommendations later this year!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Wow! What an extensive list! I hope hope hope I can try your recommendations later this year!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      There are quite a few, but I think it gets better from 8th Avenue towards Westside Highway. Its being a while so I can't give you specifics.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great list!

    • kuadal profile image

      kuadal 4 years ago

      if i have job in new york i will hangout in this place ... nice lens

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      Some great recommendations for the next time I'm in the Theatre District. Thanks for sharing!

    • Classical LM profile image

      Classical LM 4 years ago

      Can't stand the chaos in Times Square. I particularly enjoy Harefield in Brooklyn. Cheap brunch with possibly the best bloody mary I've had.

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      I hear the Blue Fin is great!

    • moneymaker1008 profile image

      moneymaker1008 4 years ago

      Good lens! Another great (and totally affordable) place in the area is Gossip on 9th ave. They have the best french toast I've ever had and they just started offering unlimited brunch cocktails.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 4 years ago from Chicago area

      @moneymaker1008: Yup, that unlimited cocktail idea is dangerous! With the proper self-control, it would make for a lovely late-morning meal with friends :) Thanks for the tip; I will have to check that place out!

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Your lens will be featured on our NEW Tumblr page this weekend.

      http://whats-cooking-at-squidoo.tumblr.com/

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      The omelette at Norma's is whetting my appetite!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Thanks for this very informative lens. I am planning a trip to New York sometime this year so this is extremely helpful.

    • verymary profile image
      Author

      Mary 3 years ago from Chicago area

      @smine27: Lucky you! Have fun!

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