Brace Yourselves: The New York Brunch Buffet is Back

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The New York brunch buffet is back. And we’re not talking about your average cruise ship fare. We mean blow-out, stuff your face, elegant brunch spreads worthy of some of the best appetites in the world. In Midtown, the Waldorf Astoria’s Peacock Room, Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room and Plaza Athenee’s Arabelle make Sunday morning special. From countless types of smoked salmon to raw bars, charcuterie, sushi and carving stations, a lavish brunch buffet is nothing to scoff at.

At Peacock Alley, reservations must be made two to three weeks in advance for a table at Sunday brunch (though procrastinators can probably find a seat at the bar on Sundays). A live pianist welcomes in brunchers, who are offered complimentary Illy coffees and Harney & Sons teas, followed by a browsing of stations including a salad bar, smoked fish bar, caviar bar, omelette and Benedict station, carving table, raw bar with Maine lobster claws and tail as well as king crab legs and poached shrimp, as well as several trays of hot prepared food. If that sounds overwhelming, just wait for dessert.


Forfeiting a last bite of crab ravioli in sage and lavender sauce may be wise in order to enjoy fresh fruit dipped into the chocolate fountain, freshly charred baked Alaskas and a large assortment of tasty pastries, though a savory brunched may choose to fill up on crispy Canadian bacon and tobiko.

While Peacock Alley offers an intimate, soothing morning experience, the Rainbow Room wakes you up with a top of the world feeling in the big city. Atop 30 Rock, diners can nosh on yet another brunch spread. Sunday options include a plethora of baked goods, savory warm dishes, freshly sliced ham iberico and charcuterie as well as a magnificent sushi station.

As restaurant critic Steve Couzzo said in a recent New York Post piece””Manhattan has not had a sky-high dining experience since 9/11. The new Rainbow Room celebrates the grandest occasion of all — New York’s rebirth, revealed in its radiant, heart.” Couzzo recommends the mini pot pies, after surveying the 9,431 brunch buffet items. If you want to start Sunday feeling like a Rockefeller, brunch under the magnificent chandeliers at this New York centerpiece is perfect.

Rainbow Room_Brunch Sushi Bar_Photo Credit Bill Milne


At Arabelle, help yourself through a three- course pre-fixe brunch. Enjoy a starter like a warm bowl of quinoa porridge, a hearty entree like steak and eggs and a sweet finish — you can’t leave without tasting the creme brulee flight! The dining room at the Plaza Athenee Hotel is set up to look like a fine apartment, so you can feel right at home with exquisite service and an abundance of food at this brunch.

To drink, the Athenee Mary truly stands out. Made with seasoned tomato juice, Grey Goose Vodka, dijon mustard with a dash of steak sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and shaved horseradish and garnished with a cornichon and pickled carrot, you’ll need this drink to chase down all the food!


Sunday means one thing: serious brunching. Prepare yourself, those plates don’t fill themselves…

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