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?!


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!)


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.


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.


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!


  • 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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