Peacock Alley: A Waldorf-Astoria Brunch Fit For A King

New York's Waldorf-Astoria is synonymous with high-end amenities and high-class people, so it's only fitting that the hotel's Sunday Brunch, served at Peacock Alley just off the lobby, would be upscale and decadent. But nothing prepares you for the sheer level of opulence that this brunch buffet offers: it's truly spectacular, and very well might be the city's best.

First of all, Peacock Alley is a spectacular room in and of itself; it's refined, old-school, and comfortable. And it's a cocktail bar first and foremost (it expands out into the lobby to give the serving stations room), so you know that the drinks are going to be good, and guests receive a complimentary libation with their meal.

But the real draw here is the food. Breakfast buffets tend to have a reputation for being dreary and boring, but this one is anything but. There's a huge raw bar with lobster, littleneck clams, Long Island oysters, shrimp, five varieties of house-smoked salmon, and four varieties of caviar; breakfast selections include pancakes, breakfast potatoes, thick-cut bacon, and made-to-order eggs Benedict; rotating hot entrées include braised short ribs, pan-seared fish, pastas, and quiche; and roasted leg of lamb and beef Wellington are carved to order at carving stations. Make sure you save room for dessert, though, because more than 20 items are available, including made to order Baked Alaska "lollipops," a dark chocolate fountain, Norman Love truffles, croissant bread pudding, and Limoncello tiramisu.

Offerings focus on seasonal and local products as much as possible, and plenty of items include "Top of the Waldorf Honey," which is made right on the roof. Mixed greens and other herbs come from the rooftop garden as well.  It's clear that a lot of care goes into each item served here, and the $98 price tag ($65 for children), while steep, is certainly justified when you're enjoying a meal like this in the heart of one of the world's most famous hotels.