Lately, social media has been teeming with posts of tipsy brunchers since the bottomless brunch trend has hit New York hard (and with its fare share of detractors, with The Guardian calling brunch life in the city “unbearable,” and a hoax about the illegality of bottomless brunches earlier this year. And while Yelp now has a page devoted to “drunch,” the New York Hospitality Alliance is trying to Prohibit Unlimited Drink Specials. Where else we can get the most bang for our buck? This question reveals the glutton (and freeloader) in all of us. And when you opt out of TGI Friday’s unlimited appetizers deal, you find other unlimited deals on some great food and drink in NYC.
1. Raymi: Peruvian Kitchen & Pisco Bar
Image via RaymiNYC
Unlimited: Ceviche and Pisco Sours
Where: 42 W 24th street (Manhattan)
Raymi is a fun Peruvian restaurant in the Flatiron District that flaunts a “Ceviche Bar” with a bunch of different kinds of seafood. Their Pisco options are far from few as well, with 30 house-infusioned Pisco variations to pick from. The decoration is modern-Latin and the guests stay for hours Latino-style as well.
Tip: Get there for an early dinner on a Monday and enjoy as much raw fish as you can. Then when you have to tap out, stay for the Pisco sours.
2. Ashiya: Sushi
Image via Ashiya Sushi
Unlimited: Sushi, beer, and sake
Where: 167 1st Ave (Manhattan)
Ashiya Sushi is one of the great sushi and sashimi spots in NYC, but is set apart from the others for its friendly atmosphere and sushi options for everyone from connoisseurs to picky eaters.
Tip: Don’t come here for a quiet evening– Unlimited “Sake Bombs” usually help to increase the volume of conversations.
3. The Cottage: Chinese
Image via The Cottage
Where: 33 Irving Place (Manhattan)
The Cottage is a decent replacement for the New York City classic, Silk Road Palace which really gave the unlimited box wine and Chinese food a stronghold in New York City. The Cottage is by no means a gourmet Chinese restaurant, but the food is fine and the free unlimited wine is passable. They will keep bringing you jugs (white or red) without asking until the end of the meal.
Tip: No one raves about the food–basic to regular Chinese food–but no one complains about free boxed wine with dinner, either.
4. Mercadito: Mexican
Image via Mercadito
Where: 179 Avenue B (Manhattan)
Mercadito actually has locations in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, and Chicago in addition to their NYC location, but eating there definitely does not feel like being in a chain restaurant. There are 11 different tacos to pick from, and you can actually eat all of them when the unlimited deal is going on.
Tip: Ask for jalapeño in your margarita and they will be thrilled to make you their favorite spicy drink.
5. Clemente’s: Maryland Crab House
Image via Flickr: George Zhao
Where: 3939 Emmons Ave. (Brooklyn)
Definitely go to Clemente’s if you’ve always wanted to break a crab with a mallet and then eat it. They also have a Tiki Bar and an outdoor Raw Bar right on the bay with a view of the Venice Marina. Although the fresh seafood is not from the nearby Sheepshead Bay– thank goodness– it’s brought up fresh from Maryland and the Carolinas.
Tip: All you can eat Maryland crabs in New York on a Monday or Tuesday? Worth it.
6. Ten Degrees Bistro: Moules Frites
Image for 10 Degrees Bistro from CBS Local
Unlimited: Mussels and fries
Where: 131 Avenue A (Manhattan)
Around the corner from the original Ten Degrees Bar, the newer Ten Degrees Bistro features a much larger menu for brunch and dinner. This cozy East Village Brasserie has great food, a fun happy hour, and $1 oysters.
Tip: Watch out for the unlimited fries; they’ll fill you up and not leave enough room for the mussels!
7. Poco: East Village Brunch
Image via Burger Conquest
Unlimited: Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or Sangria
Where: 33 Avenue B (Manhattan)
If you’re not going to Poco for the boozy brunch, you would probable enjoy the Spanish-style tapas bar in the evening. The atmosphere is fun– loud music and happy people– and during the warmer months, there’s a good chance you can be seated outside. The service is great and the friendly manager will check up on you to make sure you’re happy with your meal.
Tip: We recommend making a reservation as this has quickly become one of the trendiest brunch spots in Lower Manhattan.
8. Hill Country: Texas-style BBQ
Image via The Daily Meal
Unlimited: BBQ chicken, brisket, spare ribs and sides
Where: 345 Adams St. (Brooklyn)
Brooklyn’s Hill Country BBQ, one of several in the city, is a haven for meat lovers. The unlimited option not only includes chicken, brisket, and pork spare ribs but Texas-style sides like corn pudding, mac and cheese, cole slaw, sweet potato bourbon mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and Texas black-eyed caviar. They also have a stage with live music where local Brooklyn bands get to play right where Americana scene has its roots.
Tip: Before you go, watch the video from Al Roker’s 60th Birthday BBQ Extravaganza (NBC Today’s weather anchor).
9. Charles Country: Pan Fried Chicken
Image via Wendy Eats and Drinks
Unlimited: Fried chicken and soul food
Where: 2839 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (Manhattan)
There’s some pretty tough competition for best fried chicken in Harlem, and while we’re not picking favorites The Village Voice’s 10 Best Fried Chickens in NYC named Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken #1. Walking into Charles’ really teaches a New Yorker about “Southern Comfort” where making good food is clearly the highest priority.
Tip: This is one of the few unlimited offers available for lunch as well as dinner. You’ll have to walk by several other friend chicken places to get here, but keep walking– we promise it will be worth it.
Read more about the Top 10 Hidden Restaurants in NYC.