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You’ve got everything in place to make this Bacchanal the lit-est yet: You know where you have to be at what time, including where to get your wristbands. Even if you aren’t planning on going to the concert, you still have the day’s itinerary good and ready to go.

There’s only one thing left to plan: the most important meal of the day. No, not breakfast. Brunch. We have plenty of good places around campus, like Community and Artopolis, but those places will likely be packed.

To avoid a super long wait that might interfere with your schedule, look a bit outside the bubble. Here are a couple of good places.

Regional

Regional holds a special place in Spectrum’s heart (this is where we always go when we want brunch), so of course it’s going to be the first one on the list. Regional is just far enough from campus that you probably won’t see a ton of your classmates there and won’t have to wait too long to get seated, but close enough that you won’t have to go too far out of your way. (If it’s not raining, definitely walk—it’s only 15 blocks or so away, depending on where you’re coming from.) The best part? They have bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for brunch—and they are not stingy with the refills.

Location: 98th Street and Broadway

Cost: $$

Menu recommendation: The pandorato (basically a fancy french toast—it’s stuffed with ricotta, strawberries, and honey), bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Friedman's Restaurant

Maybe you tried Friedman’s at one of its other locations (such as in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.), but its expansion into MoHi is relatively new. It has really good food and is a bit more posh than Regional, so the menu is a bit more expensive. However, if you’re looking for things like wild mushrooms, smoked salmon, house-made granola, or pastrami hash over pancakes and waffles, this is the place for you.

Location: 118th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

Cost: $$$

Menu recommendation: The Nova Benny (poached eggs with hollandaise, potato pancake, and smoked salmon), house-made cornbread.

Toast

Toast describes itself as “truckstop gourmet”—it serves high-quality food with a home-cooked feel at a reasonable price.

Toast is ideal if you prefer savory brunches over sweet crepes and pancakes. At Toast, you’ll be able to choose between egg-based breakfasts or items on the lunch menu for brunch.

Location: Between La Salle Street and Tiemann Place on Broadway

Cost: $$

Menu recommendation: Eggs Benedict, toast burger, mac ’n’ cheese cup

The Ellington

The Ellington’s name gives off a super bougie vibe, but it’s actually really homey and relatively affordable. This place is good because it has something for everyone. Want to feel like a kid and indulge in a breakfast that’s more like a dessert? The Ellington’s got you covered. Or are you looking for something a bit more sophisticated to impress your friends and/or date? This spot has got that, too.

Location: 106th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

Cost: $$

Menu recommendation: Blueberry, ricotta, and lemon pancakes, huevos rancheros.

Café du Soleil

This place is a French bistro, so if you’re craving crepes but don’t want to brave the line at Artopolis, definitely take the 10-block trek down here. It is important to note that this spot is not ideal for those with a sweet tooth—most of Café du Soleil’s food, while delicious, is savory (including the aforementioned crepes). However, if you’re looking for a place that, like The Ellington, has a menu that could satisfy either your breakfast or lunch desires while having an all-around very aesthetically pleasing old-timey decor, this café can’t be beat.

Location: 104th Street and Broadway

Cost: $$$

Menu recommendation: Ricotta, tomato, portabello, and fresh basil crepe

Honorable mentions

Flat Top

Always a good option near campus, but because it’s close it’s likely to be crowded. It definitely won’t be anywhere near as packed as Community, but plan on having at least some kind of wait here.

Location: 121st Street and Amsterdam Avenue

Cost: $$$

Menu recommendation: Sausage with biscuit and gravy, Maine lobster roll, blueberry buttermilk ricotta pancakes.

Community

We all know this place is über popular, and for good reason. This is packed on a regular Saturday, so imagine what it’ll be like this weekend. To ensure that you don’t have to wait a million years for a table, start lining up there 15 minutes or more before it opens at 9 a.m.

Location: Between a 112th and 113th Street on Broadway

Cost: $$$

Menu recommendation: Eggs benedict florentine. Also, not on the regular menu but frequently on the brunch specials, a waffle plate with pear and raspberry compotes.

Pisticci

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I don’t usually associate Pisticci as being a brunch place. It does have a pretty good menu (even if it is a little expensive). Good thing about this place though is that it’s far enough away from campus that most people won’t think about it this Saturday, meaning it will probably be wait-free.

Location: La Salle Street and Claremont Avenue

Cost: $$$

Menu recommendation: Lemon ricotta pancakes, uova contadine.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with going to a MoHi staple, such as Community or Artopolis, but if you want to mix things up a little and avoid the long lines, try looking beyond 120th and below 110th.

Have any other brunch recommendations for Bacchanal? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Veronica Grace Taleon is Spectrum’s editor and a Barnard sophomore. She is a big fan of brunch culture, but her wallet is not. Reach her at veronica.taleon@columbiaspectator.com.

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