Max Brenner menu

Max Brenner: Chocolate By The Bald Man | New…

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Self-proclaimed as the ultimate experience for chocolate lovers around the globe, Max Brenner boasts a dessert menu bursting with sweet concoctions, like crepes, sundaes and fondue. For those less-inclined towards their sweet-tooth—don’t fret—Max Brenner has a brunch and savoury menu.

Headquartered in New York City, Max Brenner boasts 50 global locations, including Australia, Singapore and the Philippines, with eyes on Russia. Most locations outside of America host Max Brenner Chocolate Bars as opposed to restaurants. The bars are more Starbucks-esque, having only sweet options. Here, you order over the counter and seat yourself.

Rumour is Max Brenner is opening in Toronto. Until then, I snatched the opportunity to indulge in some chocolate goodness while in New York City for New Year’s Eve.

First hearing about it from friends, who exclaimed I had to dine there, to Max Brenner’s enticing Instagram feed, my sisters and I detoured to Max Brenner instead of claiming early spots at Times Square for the New Year’s Eve event. The air was frigid. The thought of entering Times Square at two pm and staying there until midnight seemed like a preposterous idea. The morning Statue of Liberty cruise already had me enveloped in cold-like symptoms.

We rushed inside a Starbucks down Manhattan’s 8th Avenue, our faces covered with thick wool scarves. I used the WiFi to make 3:30 pm reservations on Max Brenner’s website and book an Uber there, while my sister ordered a chai latte. Our Uber took us to Max Brenner just in time for our 3:30 reservation. And thank goodness for that reservation. The lineup to receive seating was huge. It wasn’t even a lineup—just a mass of people standing around the inside entrance. Fortunately, the hostess had us walk right past everyone, to our table.

The Staff

The hosts and servers mostly consist of students, dressed somewhat professional (think dress pants with a casual top). They were friendly, relaxed and not overly professional.

The Menu

Dessert was the motivation.

I ordered the chocolate chunks waffle consisting of chocolate hazelnut spread, milk and white chocolate chunks, chocolate drizzle, mixed berries and vanilla ice cream. My sister ordered the strawberry hazelnut crepe, consisting of chocolate hazelnut spread, sliced strawberries and powdered sugar, with chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. My other sister settled with an Oreo latte.

For drinks, I ordered white chocolate chai and my sister had the Kangaroo Cup, a coffee cup with a melting chocolate pouch, which allows chocolate to melt and swirl into your coffee.

Kangaroo Cup
Kangaroo Cup

Dessert Review

The strawberry hazelnut crepe was delicious. I was surprised to see the waffle plate arrive with two waffles—I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it. The waffles looked dissimilar to the waffle image on the menu. They were overdone, in my opinion, to a crisp, dark brown. I like my waffles soft and fluffy. I gave the white chocolate chunks waffle to my sister, which she ate alongside her Oreo latte.

Strawberry hazelnut crepe
Strawberry hazelnut crepe

Drinks Review

The Oreo latte was amazing. It’s topped with whipped cream and Oreo crumbles and has a slightly sweet, warm taste.

The Kangaroo Cup was bitter, and undrinkable (for my sister at least), which was surprising as she has a penchant for bitter foods like black coffee and dark chocolate.

The white chocolate chai was heavenly. It comes in a canister, enough for two to three people and the infusion of white chocolate ganache is a delicious touch.

Oreo latte
Oreo latte

Menu Prices

The prices are slightly more expensive than the chocolate restaurants I frequent. For instance, my waffle was USD $14.25. Now convert that to CAD, and it really hits your pocket. Since it was my first and probably last time visiting Max Brenner (because there isn’t one in Toronto yet), I didn’t mind the prices.

Chocolate chunks waffle
Chocolate chunks waffle

The Service

Our server quickly arrived at our table and took our orders, likely due to the huge line up of people waiting to be seated. She was friendly and knowledgeable. Our orders came unexpectedly quick, much to our delight, and a little suspicion on the freshness of the food placed in front of us. I forget if our server returned to ask how the food was, we were so immersed in conversation, we didn’t notice.

At the end, we waited ten minutes to receive our bill. Although, when we asked for separate bills, our server appeared slightly annoyed (perhaps she should’ve asked before bringing our bill?). What I found odd was the bottom of the bill where the most expensive tip option was circled. I’m unsure if this is an American thing, but it’s unlike something I’ve seen in Canada. I do usually tip, however, the amount is based on my experience with my server, the food and the overall vibe of the restaurant. However, I have heard about the low wages of American servers.

White chocolate chai
White chocolate chai

The Ambiance

The restaurant is geared towards anyone—families and couples alike. The dining area looked crowded under the semi-bright yellow lights. Probably because it was filled to the brim with people. It’s an intimate setting with everyone else dining at Max Brenner. The tables are placed close to each other. Once seated, there was no space to back out of my chair without bumping the person sitting at the table behind me. It’s typically noisy, which does drown out the conversations of people around you. And it does look relatively clean.

The Chocolate Shop

The New York City location has a Chocolate Shop attached to it. Here you can browse the shelves filled with Max Brenner’s chocolate-y creations. Most of the chocolate available in the Chocolate Shops are Kosher Dairy. There is a wide range of chocolate bricks, colourful bonbons, caramelized nuts and crispy wafers.

Overall…

As with most restaurants that claim a certain unique-ness, Max Brenner restaurant wasn’t one of them. It has good dessert options, but it’s a doppelganger of Toronto’s Cacao 70, Dunk’n Dip or any other dessert restaurant that serves ice cream, waffles, crepes and fondue, alongside a savoury menu. Despite most menu items hitting home for me, it’s one of those places to visit once, feel satisfied you’ve tried it and then move on to explore the next dessert restaurant. Although, if you find yourself in New York City, craving something sweet, I would recommend Max Brenner. Just make reservations beforehand.

Have you been to Max Brenner? If not, what’s your favourite dessert restaurant?

Samah
Samah is a Toronto-based freelance writer, digital marketer and former public servant. Needing more creative inspiration, she purchased a camera for motivation to travel and explore. You can catch her hiking or roaming urban landscapes, camera slung over the shoulder, with an iced chai latte in one hand and checking Instagram in the other.
0 COMMENTS
  • Iulia
    Reply

    Being a foodie myself, I was impressed with your thorough of this place. To tell you the truth, I haven’t heard of this place in Europe and I can assure you I am a chocolate lover from tip to toe ☺️ I share you’re taste in waffles, they absolutely need to be soft and fluffy and if they’re not, they are most likely not fresh. I believe that most of the places who are very touristy (you mention the line up) are not that great. I always prefer to eat where the locals eat, that way you are certain you get the best thing! Safe travels!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      I don’t believe they have a location in Europe yet, but they are eyeing Russia 🙂 I agree, the waffles looked pre-made and then reheated before served .

  • Anne
    Reply

    This experience sounds both good and bad. The food looks and sounds delicious. However the seating doesn’t lend itself to a nice intimate vibe although I like the fact you can queue jump by booking. The tipping system in the US is a real annoyance to me though. I always tip where service warrants it but being dictated to, as you were, just makes me less inclined to leave a tip at all. After all, they have chose to accept the job on a low wage.

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Yeah, I’m not a fan of the American tipping system. Companies relying on customers to pay their employee wages, like really?!

  • Lisa
    Reply

    I’ve been to Max Brenner a few times and can’t get enough! In fact, I’ll be returning when I go to NYC in April! Your waffle looks incredible, and I can just taste the chocolate through the screen!

  • Yukti
    Reply

    Oh …. I was not knowing about Max Brenner when I visited NYC in summers. I am really a chocolate lover and would love to go through this place in my next visit. Oreo latte and waffle looks tempting. Thanks for sharing yummy post!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it, Yukti.

  • Mimi
    Reply

    Oh lord that chocolate chunks waffle makes us drooooools! Never heard of the place but sounds like a good little spot to stop by and indulge. NYC has so many places, it would be hard to chose a specific place though!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      There are way too many restaurants! Max Brenner is pretty popular though.

  • Suzanne Bhagan
    Reply

    To be honest, I never even heard of Max Brenner restaurants. It certainly sounds like a chocoholic’s dream destination. I would love to try the waffles and crepes!

  • Lois Alter Mark
    Reply

    I love Max Brenner! I’ve eaten thousands and thousands of calories there, and I wish they would open one in San Diego!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Haha, if they opened one in Toronto I would defs check it out.

  • Abigail Sinsona
    Reply

    I have heard so much and read many blogs about Max Brenner. As a hardcore chocolate lover, I was highly intrigued about it! I wish I could go. I would hunt this down when I go to NYC one of these days!

  • Dada
    Reply

    Although the dessert looks and sound delicious I am sorry to hear that Max Brenner was not as good at the expectations! The white chocolate chai is something I would also order but I must say almost 15$ for a waffles is expensive…says someone who lives in Switzerland. And yes it was very odd that they circled on the bill the part about tipping. Almost rude. Perhaps the servers do that there when they notices a tourist?!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Maybe, or maybe that’s just how it is in America (I think you are expected to tip).

  • Soraya
    Reply

    Oh my goodness! This place sounds like absolute heaven!!! Max Brenner is in Australia and oh gosh the line ups just to dine here are incredible…and for good reason. I totally had no idea they were headquartered in NYC. Ohhh the crepes look amazing… I am so hungry now. Only thing is the price of the place is a bit on the high side – but for a good quality chocolate dessert, it is worth it!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      The food looks amazing – just wish my waffles were fresh!

  • Aisha
    Reply

    All. The. Yum! I absolutely HAVE to check this place out next time I’m in NYC. I visit once every couple years and try my best to dine at new places every single time. This has made the list for my 2019 trip!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Yay! You’ll love it, I’m sure.

  • Maggie
    Reply

    This is my favorite dessert place anywhere! When I lived in Jersey, we would hop on the train and come for dessert at least once a month. There used to be one in Vegas, but somehow they didn’t do well and it closed down. You’re really making me want to go visit family just so I can have some of their awesome desserts!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Great to hear, Maggie!

  • Dan
    Reply

    It’s a shame about the cold, oh well, I guess you have to wrap up super warm in NY. I was there in Jan 2015 and almost got stuck in the airport. But $14.25 for a waffle… it’s a little extreme but it does look amazing. I’m glad you enjoyed it and being immersed in conversation is always a good thing. Congratulations 🙂

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Deep conversations over dessert is always a good thing!

  • Bailey
    Reply

    The desserts look absolutely to die for! I am hungry now just looking at those crepes. I am heading to New York soon, and will definitely be making a pit stop for some sweets here! Thank you for opening my eyes to some indulgent foods.

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      No problem, Bailey! Enjoy!

  • camilla
    Reply

    these desserts look absolutely delicious as well as beautiful. I would like to try them so much but I live in Italy. Anyway i really love this article! good job 🙂

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Hey, I know Italy has no shortage of delectable desserts! You’re not missing out haha

  • Melanie
    Reply

    That looks yummy, but $14.25 for a waffle..geez. I’ve not heard of Max Brenner until now, but all the sugar options look great.

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Yep, it’s a bit pricey, but the food does look good!

  • Sarah
    Reply

    This all sounds so indulgent! Love the idea of a Kangaroo Cup!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      I thought it was quite novel as well

  • Vrithi Pushkar
    Reply

    I can’t wait to try the White chocolate chai! I am sucker for a good cup of chai. I am visiting New York this May and will make sure to head to Max Brenner. I will make sure to make reservations like you said!

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      The white chocolate chai was a favourite! New York in May sounds exciting, hope you have a blast, Vrithi!

  • Cat
    Reply

    Max Brenner is one of my favorite places in THE WORLD! I have been to most of their locations – NYC, Singapore, and Las Vegas (which is closed one, I believe). The Kangaroo Cup looks delicious! Too bad with the service – I’m not sure why the most expensive tip option is circled, I don’t think that’s the American thing though, it’s probably just that server…

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Maybe it was just that server, I’m not sure. Nice to know you’re a Max Brenner fan. I wonder how the menu differs across countries…

  • Doreen
    Reply

    It sounds like a little Belgium…crepes, waffles, chocolate :-). If I am ever in New York, I will check it though its pricey..14+ dollars for a waffle is ridiculous though.

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Yeah, the prices are a bit hefty. But it’s okay to try once if you’re going to be in NYC.

  • meg
    Reply

    This all sounds so wonderful. Next time I visit my brother I’m going to get that beautiful cup of coffee

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Sounds good, Meg!

  • Valerie
    Reply

    You had me at "chocolate." It looks like an interesting place. Did you find the crowd took away from the atmosphere at all? I’ve never been there but I’ll look for it next time I’m in the area.

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Not really, although crowded, you don’t pay much attention to other people. It’s a social atmosphere. It might get a little tight though since the tables are so close to each other.

  • Medha
    Reply

    I haven’t heard of Max Brenner but if you say they’re located in 50 countries then I am pretty sure they have a branch in Dubai, will have to check that. I have a sweet tooth and I love trying dessert places. Even if you don’t think it stood apart in any way and you may not look back and return here, I’d love to give it a shot sometime if I’m around one! Thanks for this review.

    1. Samah Khan
      Reply

      Dubai has everything! Many places that aren’t in Canada, that I was excited to try once I saw. Glad you enjoyed this post, Medha, I do recommend giving it a try!

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