30) Simpatica, Portland, Ore. from The 30 Best Brunches in America (Slideshow)

The 30 Best Brunches in America (Slideshow)

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Flickr/ Sarah Gilbert

30) Simpatica, Portland, Ore.

Trivia question: what restaurant commands the longest wait time for a reservation in Portland? That would be Simpatica, a full-service catering company that’s only open for four-course dinners Friday and Saturday evenings and for Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., reservations required. Committed to working with local farms and purveyors and showcasing the best of the Pacific Northwest, you can expect to find items like fried chicken and waffles with kumquat syrup, a frittata with greenmarket vegetables, brisket hash with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts, and a bavette steak with crushed potatoes, sautéed kale, chili butter, saba, and a sunny side-up egg on the ever-changing menu. 


29) Toro, Boston

Ken Oringer is one of Boston's leading chefs, and while a Barcelona-style tapas restaurant might not be the most obvious place you'd look for a great brunch, along with chef Jamie Bissonnette he's done just that. Items like tortilla Española and huevos con salchichón (eggs with maple sage sausage) perfectly lend themselves to brunch, but it's the dishes like roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and lamb shoulder marmalade; smoked eggplant with onions, peppers, and tomatoes; Jamon Serrano-wrapped dates; and, of course, churros con chocolate that will have you rethinking the definition of brunch.

The Good Fork

28) The Good Fork, Brooklyn

The brunch menu at The Good Fork lures New Yorkers into the out-of-the-way Red Hook neighborhood to dine on favorites such as steak and eggs Korean style, chicken and waffles, or huevos rancheros with chilaquiles. 

Foreign Cinema

27) Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

San Francisco is a haven for great midday weekend dining, but the appeal of Foreign Cinema in the Mission District can be summed up in three words: homemade Pop-Tarts. Their handcrafted take on the childhood favorite is made from organic fruit such as apple or pluot. The restaurant’s atmosphere is on par with the food. The independent movies screened in the outdoor courtyard and dining room fireplace make Foreign Cinema ideal for Sunday lingering.

Holeman and Finch

26) Holeman and Finch Public House, Atlanta

The centerpiece of chef Linton Hopkins’ brunch menu is also one of the most coveted food items in Atlanta: his grass-fed beef double cheeseburger, which we rated the best in America last year. If you can’t snag one at 10 p.m., when only a handful are made available, you can also chase any trace of a hangover away with one during brunch hours. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, every other item on the small brunch menu — a seasonal salad, deviled eggs, a fried oyster po’boy, chicken liver pâté, and a crock of plantain hash with Benton’s bacon and a sunny side up egg — are delicious. 


25) Ataula, Portland, Ore.

One of Portland’s hottest restaurants launched brunch late last year, and chef Jose Chela’s take on breakfast tapas has won over legions of fans. A simple tortilla de chorizo is deceptively delicious, as are croissants filled with serrano ham and tomato jam, eggs with blood sausage and Catalan beans, and churros con chocolate; and a Sunday brunch paella with bomba rice, chicken, chorizo, bacon, and eggs is one of the most comforting brunch dishes you’ll ever eat, anywhere. 

flickr/ thisbossi

24) Ted's Bulletin, Washington, D.C.

Brunch is the name of the game at this D.C. favorite with locations on Capitol Hill and 14th Street. One of the most comfortable and inviting restaurants you'll ever visit (thanks to Art Deco touches, deep booths, and TVs playing classic films), the menu (especially the all-day breakfast) will keep you coming back again and again. They keep it classic here, with menu items including pancakes, thick-cut French toast, corned beef hash, and biscuits smothered in sausage gravy, but don't miss the Ted's Ultimate Breakfast Sammy (with fried eggs, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, and cheddar on Texas toast), or the Walk of Shame Breakfast Burrito (with sirloin steak, scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheddar, and green chile sauce).


23) Jam, Chicago

For the adamant follower of the brunch ritual, Jam is Mecca. The Chicago restaurant doesn’t just give careful attention to brunch — they’ve focused their entire restaurant on this one meal. At Jam it’s not just brunch, it’s "the art of brunch." Their dedication shines through with unique dishes like their malted custard French toast or braised antelope with polenta cake.

Three Monkeys Cafe

22) Three Monkeys Cafe, Philadelphia

In 2005, three friends from Northeast Philly took over an old Victorian mansion and opened Three Monkeys, one of Philadelphia’s most popular neighborhood spots. Their brunch is nothing short of legendary: the bacon, egg, and cheese eggroll; lobster mac n’ fries (replacing macaroni with home fries); home fries “stuffed” with bacon, cheese, scallions, ham, and sour cream; and a brunch burger topped with bacon, a fried egg, and home fries keep the crowds coming back every weekend for a fun and gut-busting hangover-blaster. 

Chad Robinson

21) Bar Tartine, San Francisco

Tartine Bakery bakes some of the finest breads you’ll find in San Francisco, and no restaurant showcases them better than the attached Nordic-inspired eatery, Bar Tartine. Start with sliced bread accompanied by an assortment of butters, spreads, and dips (order “all of the above”), and move on to small shared plates like potato flatbread with garlic and dill or sprouted lentil croquettes with kefir and coriander. Large plates include smoked brisket and sauerkraut toast and smørrebrød, or open-faced sandwiches, come topped with beef tartare with egg and horseradish, cured rainbow trout with peas, or kale and sunflower tahini. Don’t forget to take a loaf of bread to go. 

Sitka and Spruce

20) Sitka & Spruce, Seattle

Seattle’s Sitka & Spruce specializes in creating dishes that elevate local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest region. Their brunch menu is no exception. Seasonal specialties include dishes such as yogurt with delicata squash, pumpkin seed, and honey; or juniper-cured steelhead trout. Most of the vegetables and eggs come from the restaurant’s own farm.

Birch and Barley

19) Birch and Barley, Washington, D.C.

The husband-and-wife team of Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac are serving what very well might be the best brunch deal in Washington at this craft beer-oriented Logan Circle gem. For $30, diners can get freshly fried doughnut holes, two brunch cocktails (try the Brunch Punch, with coconut rum, peach vodka, pineapple, grapefruit, and peach schnapps), an entrée (selections range from fried chicken and waffles to house-brined corned beef hash, seasonal quiche, and ricotta cavatelli with apple roasted pork), and bottomless iced tea or coffee. Now that’s how you start a weekend. 

Evan Sung

18) The Dutch, New York City

The wizard behind this SoHo favorite is chef–owner Andrew Carmellini, who might just be serving the best brunch dish in New York right now: hot fried chicken with baked-to-order biscuits doused in honey butter. Available during dinner service when the restaurant first opened, it was relegated to the lunch and brunch menu when diners stopped ordering all the other menu items. If you go there once, try the chicken, but if you go there twice, try the shrimp and kimchi fried rice, cornmeal flapjacks, or the crispy waffle with apple, maple-bourbon, and pecans, and make sure to start with the pastry board. 

Biltmore Hotel

17) The Biltmore, Miami

For some, brunch is a meal best enjoyed with a hangover and a side of grease. For others, brunch is an occasion in itself. Those who prefer to do it up at brunch should head to The Biltmore in Miami. Their champagne brunch is a lavish spread of everything from prime rib to caviar, rounded out with live music in the courtyard.

The Publican

16) The Publican, Chicago

This Chicago landmark is best known for heaping quantities of pork eaten at long banquet-style tables, and that sense of fun and adventure certainly carries over to their Sunday brunch. A play on the Brazilian stew feijoada teams pork confit, lamb and pork belly sausage, and beef tongue with black beans, rice, salsa verde, and a poached egg; red wine poached eggs are served with La Quercia prosciutto, sourdough, and Bearnaise; maple-smoked pork loin partners with roasted pumpkin ricotta, pickled squash, farro, and a fried egg. If you're looking for a real gut-buster, go for the breakfast sausage corn dog fried in waffle batter, with chocolate persimmons and lemon whipped cream. 

Flickr/ Larry

15) The Griddle Café, Los Angeles

If you're the type of person who prefers a sweet brunch to a savory one, then this 14-year-old restaurant is for you. How do red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting sound? Or maybe Oreo pancakes? Or peanut butter crunch French toast? If you're looking for something different, there's a wide selection of tacos and Tex-Mex egg dishes, but when given the opportunity to eat Chips Ahoy-crusted French toast, you go for it. Be on the lookout for a second location, opening Labor Day in the SLS Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Michael's Genuine

14) Michael’s Genuine, Miami

This Design District farm-to-table gem gives brunch the small plate treatment, and this is one of those menus where literally everything on it sounds delicious: pork biscuit with roasted garlic, fried farm egg, and red eye gravy; crispy rice cake with chorizo, rock shrimp, chili aioli, and egg; Florida shrimp and grits with heirloom tomatoes, chorizo, and escarole; lemon ricotta pancakes with berry compote. Whatever you do, don't miss the house-smoked bacon and creamy deviled eggs.

Flickr/ Infrogmation of New Orleans

13) Dante’s Kitchen, New Orleans

Brunch at chef Eman Loubier’s uptown restaurant is quickly becoming the stuff of legend, and its first come, first serve policy all but guarantees a long wait time. Hang in there, because it’ll be worth it. Brunch here is a gut-busting celebration of New Orleans’ culinary heritage, dishing up perfect renditions of classics including bacon praline cinnamon sticky buns, skillet corned beef hash and eggs, grilled shrimp and grits with Andouille red eye gravy, bread pudding French toast, and a buttermilk biscuit topped with debris (shredded roast beef), poached eggs, and demi-glace hollandaise. You’re welcome.


12) Egg, Brooklyn

This perpetually-packed brunch hot spot mercifully moved into a larger space earlier this year, but that did little to shorten the amount of time the hungry masses wait for pillowy homemade biscuits topped with pork gravy or stuffed with country ham, duck leg hash, and homemade pork sausage and grits. Get there after 11:30 a.m. on weekdays or after 3 p.m. on the weekends and you can dig into their lunch menu, which includes killer fried chicken, house-smoked pulled pork, and chorizo and egg sandwiches. Egg is comfort food at its finest, and the ultimate hangover-buster.

One Eared Stag

11) One Eared Stag, Atlanta

Chef–owner Robert Phalen knows how to make friends at his tiny Atlanta eatery: Take four insanely delicious brunch dishes from his menu and serve them all on one giant silver platter, with a can of Schlitz, and call it the “Chef’s Breakfast.” His high-end interpretations of classic Southern brunch dishes result in menu items like cured Virginia ham with fried grits and honey mustard; shrimp and grits with sofrito, pickled okra, ham, and a poached egg; vanilla pancake stack with powdered duck liver butter, cane syrup, and bacon; and what must be one of the country’s single most intriguing menu items: “Meatstick, fries.” 

Melissa Hom

10) The Breslin, New York City

Chef April Bloomfield is a wizard in the kitchen — take her thrice cooked chips, which we just named the best fries in America — and brunch at her funky gastropub is one of the heartiest you’ll find. Start with the selection of freshly-baked pastries, then follow up with shrimp and grits with house-smoked ham and parsley, a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich with bourbon and vanilla, a full English breakfast, or their renowned lamb burger. Wash it all down with a couple of cask ales, and you’ll be ready to face the day. Or just go back to sleep for a couple of hours. 


9) Rooster, St. Louis, Mo.

At this perpetually-packed St. Louis European-style café, it’s all about the crêpe. You can get yours filled with breakfast items like egg, Emmenthaler cheese, and creamy spicy slaw; in savory varieties like pulled pork with apples and fontina; or German sausages with spiced apples and cheddar; or sweet preparations like s’more or peanut butter cup. The Finnish pancake, served with syrup and house-made jam, is also a standout. Eggs are free-range, meats are farm-raised, and any crêpe can be ordered gluten-free or, in a serious game-changer, as an omelette. 

Flickr/ Ryan

8) Tasty N Sons, Portland, Ore.

One of Portland's most popular and eclectic restaurants, Tasty N Sons serves brunch daily until 2:30 p.m. and keeps some of the favorites on the menu through dinnertime. The lively restaurant seats everyone at communal tables, where they can bond over chef–owner John Gorham's spectacular globe-trotting creations like North African sausage with couscous, Middle Eastern shakshuka; an omelette with boudin blanc, asparagus, Dijon, and truffle cheese; Burmese red pork stew; and a chocolate potato doughnut with crème anglaise.

Over Easy

Over Easy Café, Phoenix

Doors at the Over Easy Cafe open at 6:30 a.m., and folks pile into this 50s-style diner for down-home classics like omelettes filled with bacon, sausage, onion, and Swiss; strawberry and cream waffles; brioche French toast with powdered sugar; and chicken-fried steak with country gravy. What sets this restaurant apart (aside from their claim to fame, "waffle dogs," or three breakfast sausages dipped in dipped in waffle batter and deep-fried) is the sourcing: eggs are local and farm-fresh, brioche is from a bakery up the street, and everything is made from scratch.

Spencer Lowell

6) Farmshop, Los Angeles

Eggs are never just eggs, at least not when cooked by chef Jeffrey Cerciello at Farmshop in Los Angeles. The Thomas Keller alum creates thoughtful brunch dishes such as shirred eggs with chorizo and sweet pepper stew, or coddled eggs with smoked salmon and mushroom conserva. The country-style cooking expertly balances comforting simplicity with gourmet techniques.

Noah Kalina

5) Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City

America’s best Asian restaurant launched brunch late last year, and as expected it’s everything we hoped it would be. The famous pork belly steamed buns have been joined by ones stuffed with smoked salmon, horseradish, egg, and sesame; country ham from four different farms is available; the famous bo ssäm large format feast is still available, and new menu items include Carolina shrimp and grits; fried duck and waffles with maple, sorrel, and mascarpone; duck bacon tacos with tomatillo, cilantro, and sriracha; and an out-of-character (yet insanely delicious) biscuit sandwich with Edwards ham, eggs, red eye gravy, and chicharron. David Chang, you’re officially our hero. 

The Magnolia Pancake Haus

4) Magnolia Pancake Haus, San Antonio

Are the buttermilk pancakes served at San Antonio's Magnolia Pancake House the best in the world? Owners Robert and Sheila Fleming are convinced, and you won't find many who've eaten there who disagree. The batter is made from scratch throughout the day and includes farm fresh eggs, real butter, cream, half-and-half, and buttermilk. The menu is massive (pancakes come in blueberry, bacon, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip, pecan, and bananas Foster varieties), and other can't-miss specialties include a jambalaya omelette, crab cakes Benedict, peach and pecan waffle, and an authentic (and huge) Munich-style apple pancake. 

Flickr/ Erin and Ben R

3) The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

President Obama has been known to dine at The Bachelor Farmer, and this acclaimed Minneapolis restaurant raises the bar on brunch as well. The Bachelor Farmer draws inspiration from Minnesota’s Nordic heritage, and the brunch menu carries on this tradition with Smørrebrød, or Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches with toppings such bacon confit or oyster mushrooms. Other dishes draw inspiration from fresh, local ingredients, and the cocktails are equally exceptional.

Hominy Grill

2) Hominy Grill, Charleston, S.C.

A Charleston must-visit, this nearly 20-year-old landmark showcases the classic Lowcountry cooking of chef Robert Stehling as well as his dedication to using only the finest ingredients available. Stehling is taking the best aspects of Lowcountry cuisine — grits, biscuits, she-crab soup — and bringing them to new heights: Shrimp and cheese grits are kicked up with scallions, mushrooms, and bacon; biscuits are stuffed with fried chicken and cheddar and topped with sausage gravy; and fried green tomatoes are the highlight of a B.L.T along with ancho chile lime mayo. Other standouts include salmon potato cakes, an omelette filled with Charleston red rice and shrimp gravy, and housemade banana bread. 

Commanders Palace

1) Commander's Palace, New Orleans

New Orleanians do brunch best, and the jazz brunch at Commander’s Palace, which opened in 1880 and has been serving brunch almost as long as New Orleanians have been sipping mid-afternoon milk punch, is our pick for the finest in America. James Beard Award-winning chef Tory McPhail’s jazz brunch includes live music and beloved classics such as turtle soup, Creole gumbo, carrot cake flapjacks, praline rum lacquered quail, and Louisiana shrimp and grits. One of America’s most legendary restaurants, Commander’s could have sat back and rested on its laurels years ago, but instead they’re constantly looking to raise the bar for Creole fine dining. And there’s no better way to experience the restaurant in all its majesty than to pay a visit during its renowned jazz brunch. 

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The 30 Best Brunches in America (Slideshow)