One of my favorite NYC brunch spots is Clinton Street Baking Company. Unfortunately, it's also a favorite of about a billion other people (which is only a slight exaggeration), and the intersection of Houston and Clinton is clogged ever weekend with everyone else who had the bright idea of going out for brunch. What's one to do?  

Well, I could turn the other way when I emerge from the 2nd Ave subway station and head to the equally busy Soho and Nolita brunch hotspots like Egg Shop and Jack's Wife Freda, or I could show my true grit and dedication to the best pancakes in NYC by sticking it out.

Wait Less, Eat More

My tried and true tips for spending less time waiting then you do in the actual restaurant: one, use the NoWait app. It's free to download and once you register, you can put your name on virtual waiting lists at restaurants once you're within a certain radius. You still have to go check in with the host, but you've already saved yourself a few spots on line.

Plus, once you're on the list, you're free to wander the surrounding area. Caffeinate at a nearby coffeeshop like Abraço, El Rey, or Black Cat LES or drink coffee AND play with the cats at Koneko, the Japanese cat cafe a few stores down.  

Turn Your Breakfast Into a Lifestyle

milk, coffee, espresso, cappuccino, chocolate, cream
Emma Fingleton

CSB serves their breakfast menu all day, everyday. Brunch is more that just the morning and early afternoon hours of the weekend, people; it's a state of mind! With that being said, they also offer lunch and dinner menus that are supposed to be amazing too.  

Butttt, who wouldn't pass up pancakes for dinner? Anyone who thinks pancakes need to be reserved to the morning hours does not deserve to have an opinion or pancakes.

#SpoonTip: Mark your calendars for February's Pancake Month, when the restaurant gets creative with flavors such as German Chocolate and Japanese Pumpkin.  

Breaking Down the Menu

chicken, pork
Emma Fingleton

While you're waiting, look at the menu.  It's pretty extensive, covering all the America brunch basics, eggs and carbs. From omelettes, scrambles, and a Benedict to chicken and waffles, French toast (with caramelized bananas! Not the most photogenic fruit but very delicious) and the trademark pancake stacks.  

The famous pancakes come three to an order, piled high and adorned with your topping of choice: chocolate chunk, banana walnut, or wild blueberry (my personal favorite.) They are accompanied by a side of maple butter that would make literally anything it tops taste good, but don't worry, because the pancakes already stand strong on their own.  

You're Worth It

Everyone deserves to experience a relaxing, delicious brunch. Once you get brunch once, you won't be able to turn back. And if you really want to embrace your inner basic self, make sure you document your food and tag Spoon in your amazing, jealousy-inducing Instagrams!