Brunch at Max Brenner

It’s a snowy day here in NYC — not as snowy as we’d expected, but snowy enough, and because mass transit was shut down last night and is only slowly getting back to normal, it’s a work at home day for most of us. So while we’re all hopefully cozy, let me share an experience I had this weekend that will make you hope you have hot cocoa in your cupboard.

It was Sunday morning and my friend and I were meeting in Union Square. We were headed to a matinee performance of “Into the Woods”, but first we needed brunch. We didn’t have a set place to meet, so when I texted her that I had just gotten off the subway, she texted back to say she was walking up from the Strand, and did I have any interest in brunch at Max Brenner, since it was right near Union Square.

I’d never eaten at Max Brenner, but I’ve walked past it dozens of times over my years in NYC. And I knew one thing about it: It’s all about chocolate. My answer, of course, was yes.


We settled in at our table and took a glance at the decadent menu. There were breakfast items like waffles and pancakes that sounded intense, and I opted to keep things simple: mac n’ cheese, and a hot chocolate with marshmallows.


My friend got hot cocoa too, and they came in these funny little handle-less mugs. I loved the plates they were sitting on, too!


By the time our lunches came I was too hungry to remember to take pictures of it, but my mac n’ cheese was delicious. Not my favorite — that still, weirdly enough, belongs to Panera — but still pretty good.

As we wound down after eating and chatted, I kept snapping photos of the decor. There were stacks of giant chocolate bars sitting along the backs of the booths.


And on the walls you might spot inspirational chocolate messages, like this one.


The hot chocolate machine behind the bar looked amazing — I want one for my apartment!


When our bill came, it was in this awesome tin.


And when it was time to leave, we took a detour to check out the chocolate shop.


We managed to leave without buying anything… this time. The meal was pricey, even for NYC brunch, but it was a fun experience and I’d go back again — maybe just for dessert. Bet they have a wonderful chocolate cake on that menu…



  1. this looks amazing- a chocoholic’s heaven!!

    • Sarah (Noted in NYC)

      January 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      It really was! I think the decor was a huge part of the experience — a friend mentioned that she’s been before and thought the food was only so-so. I’d have to go back and try something else to have more of a say about that, but I definitely enjoyed myself as it was! Of course, good company always helps, too!

  2. I love Max Brenner but really crowded on the weekend! Their savory food is pretty tasty and their chocolate items are fabulous, like the pizza! Glad you went in to give it a try!!

  3. Oh I spied that place for the first time just a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea it was tucked away just below Union Square. And even better… it’s right by my office ;)

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