1. At the Tick Tock Diner and Grille, which connects directly to the lobby of the historic New Yorker Hotel, you can pretty much get breakfast all day (the diner stays open 24 hours). But on a weekend, the brunch crowd is a lively mix of locals and hotel guests, all enjoying the midtown bustle from cozy, retro-style diner booths that look out onto 8th Ave. Try the aptly-named 34th Street Traffic Jam—two potato pancakes, two eggs, two sausage patties with melted muenster cheese, $9.45, or indulge in the Banana Nutella Cookie Crepe, $8.45, which is made with crumbled ladyfinger biscuits, and is large enough to feed two.
481 Eighth Ave at W 34th St; 212-268-8444
2. You'll battle through a sea of baby strollers to get there, but once you sit down, Tribeca's Locanda Verde is very much the place to be. The restaurant is as fancy as Greenwich Hotel (both co-owned by Robert DeNiro), and, thank goodness, the food doesn't disappoint either. Consistent with its name, the menu is divided into traditional Italian categories like gusti, antipasti, colazioni, and secondi. But don't worry if you don't know what any of that means—just look at the descriptions ("Sheep's Milk Ricotta with truffle honey and burnt orange toast, $12; Crispy Polenta Waffle with marsala cream and apple syrup, $14; Hazelnut-crusted French Toast with Sicilian citrus salad, $15) and begin salivating.
377 Greenwich St between Franklin and North Moore Sts; 212-925-3797
3. Built in the 1920s as a haven for professional women belonging to national Greek-letter college sororities, the 380-room Beekman Tower Hotel is a dramatic and glamorous chunk of New York City architecture. Luckily, you don't have to be a guest to enjoy weekend brunch at the Top of the Tower, a windows-galore lounge restaurant with stunning panoramic views of the city. A Continental Breakfast Buffet ($15 per person) includes yogurt, fruit, juice, coffee, tea, and pastries. Alternatively, you can try the Beekman Breakfast ($18 per person), which offers a full continental buffet plus eggs with home fries and sausage or bacon.
3 Mitchell Place at First Ave; 212-355-7300
4. In addition to its prime riverside location and forbidden ballroom, another asset of the infamous Jane Hotel is Cafe Gitane, a pale-hued, airy restaurant that gives the feel of a rustic European villa. Guests can make late-night visits to enjoy a candlelit glass of wine, but the place really picks up during brunch on the weekends. Try a basket of Balthazaar-baked breads that come with a choice of butter and jam, honey, vegemite, or freshly ground peanut butter, $3.25. For heartier fare, a popular choice is the baked eggs with Merguez sausages, $9.25, which goes great with a glass (or two!) of the watermelon mimosa, $9.50—you won't find another like it.
113 Jane St at West St; 212-924-6700
5. As historic New York hotel lobbies go, few come close to the grand old Waldorf-Astoria. A small, upscale eatery known as Peacock Alley takes its name from the alley which connected the original two hotels when they were separate entities (the Waldorf, and the Astoria), and every Sunday, from 10am to 2pm, Peacock Alley takes over the entire lobby in order to serve a high-end buffet. For the somewhat steep $95 cover, you can indulge in a raw bar (lobster tails, caviar, Alaskan King crab), cheese fondue, a carving station (leg of lamb, beef Wellington), an omelet station, salads, pastas, and dessert. Enjoy a complementary signature cocktail like the Bloody Bunny (a carrot juice spin on the brunch classic), which is made fresh at the bar.
301 Park Ave at E 49th St; 212-872-4900
Got a great suggestion for hotel brunch in NYC? Drop it in comments below!