How To Host A NYC Brunch (And Still Sleep In)

Brunch is probably my favorite meal of the day…and when you combine brunch + summer?  I mean, does it really get any better than that?!

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While there’s certainly no shortage of places to brunch in NYC (some for a very decent price!), there’s something special about gathering a group of your favorite people and breaking bread in your own little apartment.  (…assuming the AC is working and all.)  We hosted a small summer brunch last weekend, and here’s a few tips on how to make it a success, without waking up at 5am to do the prep work.

1. Set The Table The Night Before

Whether you’re doing a seated brunch or a super casual grab-and-stand brunch, it will save you a solid amount of time the morning of to make sure everything is out and ready to go the night before.

2. Skip The Fancy Dishes, Use Paper

Okay, okay, I know I’m not winning points with my environmentalist friends here, but in order to avoid a ton of time hunched over the sink afterwards, I totally say paper is the way to go for brunch.  It’s a much more casual affair than a dinner party, and you can still load up on cute paper goods from discount stores in the city (I got this strawberry motif set from Flying Tiger for way cheap!)

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3. Make Ahead

Stick with dishes you can make/bake ahead so you won’t be scrambling around in the kitchen the morning of.  For our brunch, we were able to prep everything ahead of time, save the egg/sausage scramble.

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4. Mimosa Bar

As a hostess, the pressure to make sure everyone’s drinks are filled to the rim can take away from the socializing aspect of brunch.  Instead of running around with a champagne bottle, set up a simple display of your juice + chilled champagne so that guests can easily serve themselves.

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5. Don’t Feel Like You Need To Make Everything

We live in NYC…home to the best bakeries and pastry shops in the world.  So when hosting a brunch, take advantage of them!  Instead of stressing in the kitchen over a super complicated recipe, stop by and pick up a box of croissants or muffins, and display them on a pretty dish.  Super simple!  Also, feel free to delegate roles to your guests…have some bring bottles and other sides.

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Happy brunching, and be sure to share your tips below!

p.s. tips for hosting a dinner party!

8 Comments

  • Really cool tips here. I live in Berlin and I love a good brunch and quite frankly, it’s easier. And cheaper! To go out instead. However, if I have guests from out of time or from abroad, then brunch at home is a must. I’m a horrible cook so point nr. 5 “Don’t Feel Like You Need To Make Everything” is really good advice and point nr 4 – for guests to help themselves with the drinks LOL!
    Happy brunching!

    • Used York City says:

      So glad you liked the tips! Agree, it’s definitely more convenient and (depending on where you go) cheaper to go out with a group!

  • Agness says:

    Mniam mniam to the fruit salad!! Blueberries and strawberries mixed together are so so delicious!! :-) By the way, what places for fresh smoothies would you recommend me in NYC?

    • Used York City says:

      Mmm, NYC is HUGE on smoothie/juice culture right now! For smoothies, I love Jamba Juice, and for fresh pressed juices with a kick, Juicy Cube and Juice Press are my favorites!

  • I am def all for using paper plates and cups as I am not a fan of washing up.

  • Tamara says:

    I so hear you about using paper goods. It’s not ideal but sometimes it’s the only way around here!
    I’d love a NYC brunch!

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