Best Brunch Spots for Eating Alone

By Serena Solomon on September 29, 2012 1:02pm | Updated on October 2, 2012 6:53am

NEW YORK CITY — Dining alone for a weekend breakfast need not be the territory of outcasts.

Many restaurants and cafes put you in the center of the action, or up at the bar, to create an atmosphere where you can either strike up a conversation with another patron or just soak up the buzzing atmosphere.

Take a magazine, newspaper or your electronic companion of choice, and get out of the house, because DNAinfo.com New York has compiled a list of brunch spots that are ideal for dining solo.

Mudspot Café

Address: 307 E. 9th St., East Village, Manhattan

Phone: 212.228.9074

Hours: Monday to Friday is an all-day breakfast from 7:30 a.m. until midnight. Saturday and Sunday brunch is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Good for a solo brunch because: The intimate bar area with seating for six puts solo diners right in the action as fashionable servers prepare coffee and chat with customers.

"It is great because it is loud and there is something going on, but I don’t particularly have be involved," said Keith Thomas, 33 who was alone having Huevos Rancheros recently. “I feel like I am in a social environment.”

Thomas, who now works at the café on weekends after first becoming a regular as a lone patron, sat enjoying the East Village atmosphere.

Best to eat: Huevos Rancheros at Mudspot is a simple dish of rice and beans layered with a crunchy tortillas and topped with two fried eggs, avocado and sriracha sauce ($9.95).

The brunch menu is "not too fancy" according to Mudspot general manager Yasmina Palumbo. The dishes range from a classic breakfast with an omelet where you choose the content, to more lunch-oriented items such as sandwiches and salads.   

Jeffrey's Grocery

Address: 172 Waverly Pl., West Village, Manhattan

Phone: 646.398.7630

Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Good for a solo brunch because: The two bar areas at this busy restaurant have seating for about 20 people making Jeffrey's Grocery ideal to meet new and interesting neighborhood folk or, for those feeling less sociable, to read the communal magazines offered.

"There is always something going on," said solo bruncher Irene, who declined to give her last name. "It feels lively."

For the West Village resident of 10 years who works in marketing, brunching alone often means bypassing the hour or so wait for group tables at Jeffrey's.

"That is the advantage of [being] one, you get in right away," said she said.

The best seats for singles are towards the end of the bar where the shucking of oysters by the friendly kitchen staff provide more entertainment than many brunch dates.

Best to eat: Braised brisket sandwich with red beet and horseradish slaw and Muenster cheese on toasted sourdough, ($15).

The Standard Grill

Address: 848 Washington St., Meatpacking District, Manhattan

Phone: 212.645.4100

Hours: Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m and breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. seven days a week.

Good for a solo brunch because: The sunlit room at the Standard Grill is always abuzz as busy bartenders prepare crafted cocktails for the restaurant and beer garden, and because the venue is part of the Standard Hotel and beneath the High Line, a lone bruncher can always blend in with travelers and tourists.

This restaurant attracts an eclectic crowd of fashion industry workers or others in high-flying professions who will draw you into an interesting conversation, turning a lone brunch into something of a meet-up group.

If socializing is not on your menu, then the friendly bar staff, who often know their regulars by name, make the solo diner feel comfortable whether they are in the mood for people watching or tapping on their iPad.

Best to eat: While intricate brunch dishes are offered, a simple signature item is two poached eggs with olive oil, cracked pepper, sea salt and grilled sourdough ($11).

Tipsy Parson

Address: 156 9th Ave., Chelsea

Phone: 212.620.4545

Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Good for a solo brunch because: The atmosphere of this neighborhood joint is always buzzing with local residents either in groups or as solo brunchers, filling out the bar and tables. 

Why bother with a brunch partner when the southern-inspired grub at Tipsy Parson will satisfy you with "belly-filling goodness," as per the restaurant's mantra.

The restaurant hangs its menu on hearty meals such as the Pig in a Poke or mushroom toast grilled potato bread, herb ricotta, wild mushrooms and soft scrambled eggs.

It's flooded with natural light, and its decor, including fresh flowers and full bookshelves, is like the sunroom you wish you had.

At the bar or lounging by the sidewalk windows, Tipsy Parson is a darling of Chelsea-dwelling foodies who are on the lookout for a lone brunch (or for a group with plenty of tables as well as a backroom).

Best to eat: Pig in a Poke with grits, andouille sausage and poached eggs with a side of salad and toast, all for $15.

Extra Virgin

Address: 259 W. 4th St., West Village

Phone: 212.691.9359

Hours: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Good for a solo brunch because: Reflecting the feel of the West Village, Extra Virgin draws an artistic crowd of painters, musicans and designers so there are plenty of people to meet, according to manager Rain Moises.

The throngs of people waiting outside Extra Virgin every Saturday and Sunday for years is an undeniable sign that this restaurant is doing something right.

"We do have a lot of regular people who love to come in and see certain servers or bartenders," said Moises.

While many singles sit at the bar, according to Moises, a front porch with numerous tables allows a place where customers can people watch, read a book or use their iPads.

Newspapers are also provided along with a small and subtle T.V. for sport fans, giving the solo bruncher plenty of entertainment.

Best to eat: Banana French Toast with caramelized bananas and whipped mascarpone at $14.

More stories on brunching in the neighborhoods here.

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