Big Bad Breakfast, Birmingham, Ala. from The Best Brunches in America
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The Best Brunches in America
For many of us, there’s no meal more sacred than brunch. Not only is it a celebration of the leisurely weekend afternoon, it’s a time to get together with friends, shake off the events of the night before, and consume far more calories than should be socially acceptable. In honor of the only meal that successfully combines two meals, we tracked down the 35 best restaurants for brunch in America.
For many restaurants, brunch is both an obligation and an afterthought. Eggs are halfheartedly poached, drowned in lukewarm hollandaise, and served with a weak mimosa and a side of apathy to diners who’ve spent far too long waiting for a table. Brunch isn’t the moneymaker that dinner is, so it’s no surprise that it often doesn’t receive the same culinary care and attention.
Brunch deserves more respect than that, but thankfully there are an increasing number of chefs who are demonstrating some true culinary skill and creative flair on their brunch menus, and their restaurants are joining the ranks of venerable standbys that have been turning out perfectly cooked brunches for decades, attracting legions of devoted fans in the process.
In order to track down the absolute best restaurants for brunch in America, we looked for restaurants that don’t just serve spot-on versions of all the breakfast and lunchtime classics (Benedicts, pancakes, burgers, and the like), but instead are eager to venture outside the box into more creative and innovative territory (healthy, gluten-free, and vegan options are also nice). These restaurants pay just as much attention to their brunch menu (or their brunch buffet spread) as their dinner menu (if they’re open for dinner at all), and brunch is served in a lively space with just the right amount of celebratory fanfare. And because brunch is such a broad category, we’ve decided to present them in alphabetical order instead of ranking them.
If you live near any of these spectacular brunch spots, you owe it to yourself to set aside a leisurely Sunday afternoon to treat yourself. One thing to keep in mind, though: You’re probably going to have to wait for a table.
Arnaud’s, New Orleans
Since 1918, Arnaud’s has been one of the grand dames of Creole cuisine in New Orleans, and its Jazz Brunch is nearly as legendary as the restaurant itself. A Dixieland jazz band plays while diners enjoy traditional Creole items including their famous shrimp remoulade, turtle soup, seafood gumbo, grillades and grits, eggs Sardou (with artichoke, creamed spinach, and hollandaise), eggs hussarde (with Canadian bacon and tomato on French bread crostini with hollandaise and marchand de vin sauces), crabmeat cheesecake, Gulf fish meunière, oysters en brochette, and chicken Pontalba. For dessert, don’t miss the bananas Foster. Wash it down with a café brûlot, spiced and spiked coffee flamed with brandy. It’s the quintessential Creole New Orleans brunch.
Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, Calif.
Arguably the most renowned resort in the Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil offers no shortage of spectacular dining. In fact, the resort got its start as Napa’s first fine dining restaurant back in 1981, when restaurateur Claude Rouas set out to open a restaurant that resembled the sun-drenched eateries of his native Provence; the inn and spa came later. Visit the restaurant today for its $75 three-course brunch and you’ll see what all the hoopla has been about; it’s spectacular, and a perfect showcase for seasonal ingredients. Appetizers include sunchoke soup with almonds, curry, and a crispy oyster; poached wild shrimp with butter lettuce, avocado, and orange; onion tartlette with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and watercress; and sautéed foie gras with pineapple pain perdu, cashews, and ginger ($15 supplement). For your entrée, choose between items like blueberry buttermilk pancakes; Maine lobster omelette with tarragon, leek, and ricotta; duck confit hash with slow-cooked farm eggs; Sonoma chicken with hand-foraged wild rice; or mint and lemon risotto with wild shrimp and bacon. The bad news is that it’ll be nearly impossible to decide what to order. The good news is that no matter what you decide on, it’ll be delicious.
Balthazar, New York City
Since opening in 1997, Balthazar has become a quintessential New York restaurant, a bustling brasserie that’s somehow sustained its momentum for more than 20 years, raking in on average more than $20 million annually. One bite of the steak frites in restaurateur Keith McNally’s legendary Parisian-style dining room will show you why it’s been so successful, but you haven’t really experienced Balthazar until you’ve had brunch there, when daylight streams through its front windows and servers deliver warm goat cheese and caramelized onion tarts, caramelized banana and Nutella tartines, decadent scrambled eggs in puff pastry, brioche French toast, and eggs Florentines to its stylish, Ramos fizz-lubricated clientele. Plenty of Balthazar classics, like grand shellfish plateaus, French onion soup, and the aforementioned steak frites are still available, along with a variety of fresh-baked pastries. There are a seemingly infinite amount of brunch options in New York, but none ace the formula quite as perfectly as Balthazar.
Big Bad Breakfast, Birmingham, Ala.
James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence is the master of the Southern breakfast, and his menu at Big Bad Breakfast (which has another location in Oxford, Mississippi) is chock full of classic breakfast staples like shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, and flapjacks. And if you’re in the mood for lunch, there are salads; a burger; and sandwiches including The Screamin’ Demon (pickle-brined fried chicken, Duke’s mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, American cheese, and comeback sauce). Biscuits and jellies are made from scratch, and the Bloody Marys are spectacular.
Birch and Barley, Washington, D.C.
The husband-and-wife team of Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac are serving one of the most creative and luxurious brunches you’ll find anywhere at Birch and Barley. While there are a few of straight-ahead breakfast options on the menu (Greek yogurt with apple and granola; biscuits with half-smoke gravy; bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel), it’s the lunchtime fare that really puts it over the top: expect New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp, a porchetta sandwich with ‘nduja and Asiago, a decadent burger, smoked bucatini cacao e pepe, and carbonara pizza. Be sure to start with one of the city’s best meat-and-cheese boards.
Brennan’s, New Orleans
One of the most famous restaurants in New Orleans, and one of the most influential restaurants in the history of breakfast, Brennan’s has been going strong since 1946, and by introducing some items not usually associated with breakfast to its menu it essentially invented brunch as we know it. It’s serving a wide variety of classic Creole breakfast and brunch dishes with just the right amount of fanfare, washed down with classic New Orleans cocktails like brandied milk punch and Cajun-style Bloody Marys. Spins on eggs Benedict like eggs hussarde (house-made English muffins, coffee-cured Canadian bacon, hollandaise, and red wine sauce), eggs Owen (red wine braised short rib, crispy fingerling potatoes, poached eggs, hollandaise, and red wine sauce), and eggs Sardou (crispy artichokes, creamed spinach, and tomato-spiked béarnaise) are nothing short of legendary, but the deliciousness doesn’t stop there: Barbecue lobster with Creole-spiced butter (an instant classic introduced by current chef Slade Rushing); baked apple with oatmeal pecan raisin crumble; house-made huckleberry blintzes; bacon and egg risotto; country fried rabbit with creamed collards and eggs over easy; and vanilla-scented French toast are groan-inducingly good. And should you feel the need to sample one of the restaurant’s most famous dinner entrées — steak Diane, topped with brandied mushroom reduction and flambéed tableside — it’s been kindly added to the menu, served with two eggs any style. Now that’s a brunch dish we can get behind.
Buttermilk Kitchen, Atlanta
At Buttermilk Kitchen, chef/owner Suzanne Vizethann prides herself on making just about everything on her Southern-inspired menu from scratch, and guests at her weekend brunch are the lucky beneficiaries. Bagels with house-cured salmon, buttermilk pancakes, Southern white bread French toast with pure maple syrup, biscuits and gravy fried chicken biscuit, red pepper jelly and pimento cheese grits, fried chicken and waffles, short rib hash, and a lobster omelettes are just a few of the absolutely mouthwatering dishes on offer. They don’t take reservations, so make sure to get there early, and whatever you do, make sure you order some banana pudding for dessert.
City Grocery, Oxford, Miss.
One of the 101 best restaurants in America also serves the best brunch in Mississippi. New Orleans-born chef John Currence opened up City Grocery in the tight-knit town of Oxford in 1992, and not only does it serve the state’s best brunch, it’s among the state’s best restaurants, period. Wait for a table at brunch at you’ll be handsomely rewarded, but good luck trying to figure out what to order: toasted English muffins with house-made cheesy sausage, eggs Sardou, biscuits and gravy, red eye gravy and shaved country ham, fried chicken sandwich, a stellar burger, or an open-faced roast beef po’boy? Or you can go upscale and opt for sunburst trout amandine, pan-fried quail, or spot-on shrimp and grits; the choice is yours, and everyone’s a winner.
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 one of 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, when a roaming jazz band creates a fun and festive atmosphere.
Dime Store, Detroit
This insanely popular downtown Detroit brunchtime destination has been going strong since a trio of longtime friends opened it up in 2014. You’ll find a spectacular variety of traditional favorites and creative creations on the menu, where just about everything is scratch-made with high-quality ingredients. Standouts include Samoa-inspired waffles; a chorizo-spiced burger with Cheddar, pico de gallo, and homemade guac; carnitas breakfast nachos; spicy pork belly Benedict on a homemade biscuit; house-made sausage or duck confit hash; brioche French toast with fresh fruit; build-your-own omelettes; pork rinds with white truffle oil and sriracha; some of the city’s best mac and cheese; house-confit duck leg sandwich; Korean barbecue sandwich with shaved steak and pickled vegetables; a killer cheesesteak; and several creative salads. One visit and you’ll be coming back again and again.
On the weekends, this perpetually-packed brunchtime hot spot specializes in picture-perfect pancakes and French toast, pillowy homemade biscuits topped with pork gravy or stuffed with country ham, duck confit hash, homemade pork sausage and grits, and (of course) perfectly cooked eggs. The owners work with local purveyors and strive to highlight seasonal ingredients, so the menus change slightly every day. Egg is comfort food at its finest, and the ultimate hangover-buster.
Farmshop, Los Angeles
Eggs are never just eggs, at least not when cooked by chef Jeff Cerciello at Farmshop in Los Angeles; the Thomas Keller alum creates thoughtful brunch dishes such as poached eggs with house-made pastrami and English peas, a frittata with mushrooms and goat feta, or coddled eggs with smoked salmon and mushroom conserva. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg; he uses seasonal ingredients to craft perfect brunch dishes like a salad of green asparagus and heirloom quinoa with shaved almonds and breakfast radishes, avocado hummus with pistachio salsa verde and za’atar lavash, and brioche French toast with strawberry rhubarb marmalade and local bacon.
“Loyal to local” is the motto at this hip farm-to-table Boise hotspot run by the husband-and-wife duo of Cameron and Amanda Lumsden. Many of the ingredients are sourced from local Boise and Northwest farmers, ranchers, bakers, producers, and cheese makers, and the end result is an brunch menu that highlights fresh ingredients from local farmers markets. Start with a trip to the Bloody Mary bar, and follow that up with a house-baked cinnamon roll, Dungeness crab scramble, braised short rib hash, local corn-crusted trout with poached eggs and polenta, daily tacos on local tortillas, a wide variety of locally-sourced salads, Double R Ranch Prime ribeye sandwich, a Cuban sandwich, and a custom-ground burger. Save room for the butter cake!
Holeman & Finch Public House, Atlanta
The centerpiece of chef Linton Hopkins’ brunch menu at Holeman & Finch 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 show up at noon on Saturday or Sunday, when brunch service begins, you have a shot of grabbing one of the 24 that will come off the grill before dinnertime (or you can just go to H&F burger, where you can snag one at any time). If you miss the burger boat, however, there’s still a huge array of comforting Southern fare to choose from, including spot-on pimento cheese, roasted bone marrow with fresh ciabatta, Royal Red shrimp toast with andouille and Creole cream cheese, chicken terrine nuggets, confit sunchokes with fennel and mustard vinaigrette, and johnnycakes with poached eggs and seared foie gras. The same menu is served during dinner service, but there’s just something about a sunny weekend afternoon that really makes it sing.
Hominy Grill, Charleston
Richard R./ Yelp
A Charleston must-visit, this comfortable and inviting 22-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 grits come topped with your choice of roasted mushrooms and leek cream, slow-smoked pork belly, or sesame-fried catfish with Geechee peanut sauce. Other brunchtime standouts include heirloom buckwheat pancakes with peach syrup and sorghum butter, an heirloom cornmeal waffle with hot chicken thighs and strawberry syrup, and some of the finest fried green tomatoes on Earth.
Chicago’s beloved Jam 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." Along with the classics like pancakes, shrimp and grits, a turkey club, and hot chicken and waffles, their dedication shines through with unique offerings like malted custard French toast with stonefruit and lime leaf cream; a pork shoulder and egg sandwich with ricotta salata and plum preserve; braised beef mole rojo with hominy and sunnyside eggs, pork belly eggs Benedict with ramp hollandaise; and a wild boar bacon BLT.
Koko Head Café, Honolulu
You might have spotted chef Lee Anne Wong on Food Network and Top Chef (she was a contestant in the first season and made a brief cameo in the most recent season), but you might not know that she also happens to run one of the hottest, funkiest brunch destinations in Hawaii, in a quiet Honolulu neighborhood (quiet, that is, until brunch rolls around). Koko Head Café has a huge menu of baked goods, pancakes, egg dishes, and skillets, as well as a lovely assortment of Asian- and Hawaiian-inspired dishes including black sesame yuzu muffins; breakfast congee (with bacon, Portuguese sausage, ham, soft-poached egg, and Cheddar); omelettes filled with miso smoked pork or poke; Wong’s spin on loco moco; and breakfast bibimbap. When brunchtime arrives, Koko Head throws a party that’s always worth attending.
Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse/Yelp
The Rittenhouse is one of Philadelphia’s most luxurious hotels, perched in a perfect location overlooking Rittenhouse Square. Its Sunday brunch buffet, served at its fine dining gem Lacroix, is nothing short of spectacular, with more than 50 offerings, each of them demonstrating some serious attention to detail and culinary know-how. The expected breakfast dishes are all there, but everything’s kicked up a few notches: Scrambled eggs are soft and pillowy, house-made chicken sausage is studded with chunks of apple, bacon is thick-cut and perfectly crisp, and pancakes are delivered to your table on demand. Standouts include foie gras s’mores; branzino crudo with passionfruit, buttermilk, and coriander blossom; Spanish octopus with bok choy, pea leaf, and fried shallot; gochujang fried chicken bao bun with pickled onion aïoli; khachapuri with caramelized onion, goat cheese, and quail egg; mini buttermilk biscuits with pork roll, piperade, and comte; Oaxacan shakshuka with black bean, tomatillo, and queso fresco; and grilled Rhode Island squid with sweet corn and red miso spaetzle. At the carving station you’ll find Scottish salmon with lavender mustard; a grilled sausage made from diver scallops; porchetta with green tomato kimchi; roasted leg of lamb with gooseberry glaze; and a slow-roasted Sichuan-spiced wagyu brisket with broccoli and ginger relish, a dish inspired by beef and broccoli that I was told took more than a year to perfect. And that's not even including dessert — don't miss the sticky buns and chocolate fountain!Many of these dishes would be right at home on the menu of a Michelin-starred restaurant, but at Lacroix they’re all just a part of the buffet.
Loveless Café, Nashville
In business since 1951, this legendary Nashville restaurant serves what very well might be the best biscuits in the world (not even exaggerating), based on a recipe created by founder Anne Loveless herself and closely guarded to this day. And best of all, every breakfast plate comes with a side of them. But a great brunch needs more than just great biscuits, and Loveless Café delivers on all fronts. Country ham with red-eye gravy, pit-cooked barbecue pork, fried pork chops, and country fried steak all benefit from a couple fried eggs; three-egg omelettes are available with a wide variety of fillings; and other spot-on breakfast favorites include French toast, sausage or country ham on a biscuit, hash brown casserole, and (of course) biscuits and gravy. Breakfast is served all day, but at 11 o’clock lunch and dinner options like a pimento cheese and bacon burger, fried chicken, fried catfish, and meatloaf join the party. Family-style breakfast and supper is also available for parties of four or more.
M. Henry, Chicago
In Chicago, brunch is synonymous with M. Henry. Local and organic ingredients are used whenever possible in its vegetable-heavy menu, and the massive brunch menu really does have something for everyone (and yes, it’s really worth the wait). For those just looking for a bite, you can always order The Intercontinental, a fresh muffin, scone, or baguette with fresh fruit salad, fresh-squeezed juice, and coffee or tea. If you want something sweet you can order cinnamon roll French toast, blackberry hotcakes, or lemon-raspberry brioche French toast. Big eaters can opt for the Home Comfort Brunch Plate (two eggs, polenta, hoisin-glazed shredded pork rib, roasted balsamic glazed greens, and Brussels sprout hash) or breakfast bread pudding. And vegans have plenty of options, like the Veritable Vegan Epiphany, with tofu scrambled with rapini, sweet onions, and a house spice blend, served with tempeh strips or vegan sausage, sliced avocado, and fruit salad or sliced potatoes. There are also quiches, Mexican-inspired options, Benedicts, and quite possibly the most delicious-sounding brunch dish in existence, mango blueberry cinnamon roll French toast topped with vanilla crème and crunchy granola. Make sure to drop by the bakery for a pie or flatbread to go, and remember, it’s BYOB.
Magnolia Pancake Haus, San Antonio
Are the buttermilk pancakes served at San Antonio's Magnolia Pancake Haus 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, pulled pork hash with eggs, peach and pecan waffle, and an authentic (and huge) Munich-style apple pancake; if you’re in the mood for something more lunchy, the burgers, fried chicken sandwich, and chicken and German dumplings are stellar.
Magnolias has been a standard-bearer for true Lowcountry cuisine in Charleston since 1990 (it played a large role in igniting the city’s still-burgeoning culinary renaissance), and it’s one of the city’s most acclaimed Sunday brunch destinations. The brunch menu is full of down-home country dishes like house-made pimento cheese, ham cracklin biscuits, she-crab bisque, shrimp and scallops over grits with lobster butter sauce, crab cake with hoppin’ John risotto, country fried steak, and house-made biscuit with sausage gravy; but it’s also not afraid to think outside of the box: Just look at the apple fritter poppers with cinnamon cream cheese mousse, a duck confit omelette with roasted mushrooms and goat cheese, huevos rancheros with braised short ribs, and banana pudding-stuffed French toast with peanut butter syrup and bacon. This is one of those places where no matter what you order, it’s bound to be delicious.
Prune, New York City
This New American institution from James Beard Award-winning chef Gabrielle Hamilton is one of the city’s most renowned restaurants, and crowds pack into the small space weekly for its wonderful, varied menu of perfectly-executed brunchtime classics. The Monte Cristo, spaghetti a la carbonara, Dutch pancake, steak and eggs, and potatoes rosti are among the finest you’ll find anywhere, but there are also a few surprises hiding in Hamilton’s menu, including a “youth hostel breakfast” of fish pastes, liverwursts, landjaegers, and grainy breads; grilled homemade lamb sausages with oysters on the half shell; spicy stewed chick peas; and a fried oyster omelette with remoulade. But starting your meal with a shared platter of smoked fish from the renowned Russ & Daughters and following up with a simple plate of soft scrambled eggs with parsley, bacon, potatoes rösti, and a toasted English muffin in a bustling dining room is a perfect (and perfectly New York) way to start your day.
Republique, Los Angeles
Chef Walter Mantzke’s 4-year-old Los Angeles showstopper showcases local ingredients in a unique Spanish-style building originally built in 1929. Regulars will tell you that the best time to drop by is brunch, when natural light streams in from the high ceiling and a massive variety of expertly-prepared classic brunch fare with an international slant is offered. Fresh-baked bread with French butter and jam, a daily-changing quiche, a Belgian waffle made with locally-milled whole grains, a spot-on French omelette with Gruyère and fines herbes, a pupusa with squash blossoms and Oaxacan cheese, mushroom toast with house-cured ham and Gruyère, pork adobo fried rice, shakshuka, vegetable tikka masala, a croque-madame, and a spot-on fried shrimp po’boy are just a handful of the dishes on offer. You’ll be plotting your return visit before you even get the check.
Sitka & Spruce, Seattle
Seattle’s Sitka & Spruce specializes in creating dishes that elevate local ingredients from the Pacific Northwest region to spectacular new heights, and the brunch menu is no exception. Simply-prepared seasonal specialties include dishes such as yogurt ,mint, stewed cherries, and buckwheat streusel; toast with stracciatella, grilled asparagus, and spring onion; and a quiche with green garlic, ham, and Cheddar. Most of the vegetables and eggs come from the restaurant’s own farm, and charcuterie is house-made.
Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Chef Gavin Kaysen left his gig as executive chef at New York’s renowned Café Boulud to open this rustic-chic French-inspired restaurant in an old Minneapolis carriage house, and it quickly rose to prominence as one of the city’s must-visit restaurants. Honestly, even if it only served brunch it still would be one of the hottest restaurants in town, because its brunch menu is upscale and nothing short of spectacular. Start off with a Corpse Reviver (with gin, lemon, Cocchi Americano, and a Mexican anise liqueur called Xtabentún) and follow it up with a charcuterie platter; Thai-inspired crab salad; bison tartare with harissa aïoli, socca chips, and cilantro; red wine poached eggs with wild mushrooms; a perfect croque-madame with house-made ham; sausage and biscuits with bratwurst scallion gravy; or a buttermilk waffle with poached pears and vanilla cream. Make sure you get an order of house-made bacon on the side.
Sqirl, Los Angeles
Yes, chef Jessica Koslow’s insanely hip Los Angeles restaurant is the must-visit (and must-Instagram) hotspot, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it; it’s really that good. Its menu is loaded with healthy, unique, well-composed, and stunningly beautiful dishes, many of which have already begun to influence menus nationwide. Try the sorrel pesto rice (with preserved Meyer lemon, lactofermented hot sauce, watermelon radish, French sheep feta, poached egg, and house-made bacon); The Mosca Breakfast Sandwich (with a sheeted egg, chicken sausage, Turkish-style tomatoes and peppers, green herbs, and halloumi on a nigella whey brioche bun); long-cooked chicken and rice porridge (with dried lime, ginger, turmeric, cardamom ghee, frizzles onions, cilantro, and a poached egg), and one of the various toasts (avocado, house-made ricotta) and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Snow City Café, Anchorage, Alaska
Going strong in downtown Anchorage for 20 years, Snow City Café makes just about all of its menu items from scratch, is devoted to using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible, and offers a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. Breakfast is served all day; on their menu you’ll find seven Benedicts (including one made with Alaska king crab cakes), build-your-own omelettes, a breakfast burrito with chorizo and green chile, Mandarin orange cream cheese-stuffed French toast, pancakes, and house-made granola. Lunch options include homemade cream of tomato soup; quinoa or kale and beet salad; house-made meatloaf with mac and cheese; and a chicken salad BLT with poached chicken breast tossed with apples and grapes, thick-sliced bacon, lettuce, and tomato with house-made herb mayo on toasted walnut multigrain.
Sterling Brunch, BLT Steak, Las Vegas
The Sterling Brunch is one of the most expensive in Las Vegas, at $85, and is only available on Sundays beginning at 9:30 a.m., but it’s nothing short of a wonder to behold, and has been the city’s finest brunch for more than 30 years running. Held at BLT Steak inside Bally’s, the best way to describe it is to simply list off what’s available: unlimited Perrier-Jouët and Mumm’s Champagne, whole lobsters, Alaskan king crab legs, caviar, filet mignon, truffles, prime rib, rack of lamb, oysters, sushi, and made-to-order desserts; small plates like lobster bisque, eggs Benedict, and BLT Steak’s famed chopped salad. It’s the ultimate in luxury.
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 Moroccan chicken hash, shakshuka, patatas bravas, polenta with ragù, house kimchee, and Burmese red pork stew; regional American specialties like chile pork Colorado, Hangtown fry, and a Nashville hot chicken sandwich; and other flights of fancy like a roasted apple with bacon lardons and Tillamook Cheddar, rice pudding with blueberry compote, and a Dutch baby with lemon curd and raspberry jam. No matter where this culinary voyage takes you, you can rest assured that you’re enjoying the best brunch in the state.
The Breslin, New York City
Chef April Bloomfield is a wizard in the kitchen — take her thrice cooked chips, which are up there with America’s best fries— 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 banana sourdough pancakes, an oven-baked three-cheese sandwich, seafood sausage with beurre blanc and chives, the city’s best full English breakfast, or the renowned feta-topped lamb burger. Wash it all down with a couple of cask ales, and you’ll be ready to face the day. Or maybe to just go back to sleep for a couple of hours.
The Circle, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Fla.
The Italian Renaissance-style Breakers Palm Beach has been one of the country’s premier high-end destinations since tycoon Henry Flagler had it built back in 1896 (the current incarnation was completed in 1926). There’s no shortage of spectacular dining options at this luxurious retreat, but for brunch one option rises head and shoulders above the rest (and above every brunch option in the state): Sunday Brunch in The Circle’s splendid and opulent dining room (think ocean views, 30-foot frescoed ceilings, and oval murals depicting Renaissance-era landscapes) — a tradition for more than 25 years. Alaskan king crab legs, sushi, caviar, smoked fish, lamb chops, carved-to-order ham and beef tenderloin, Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, fresh-baked pastries and muffins, omelettes, cheeses, pâté, and more than 30 desserts are all for the taking, with a harpist strolling from table to table to boot. The Champagne, mimosas, and Bloody Marys are free-flowing. Come hungry, and it’ll be well worth the expense.
The Griddle Café, Los Angeles
If you're the type of person who prefers a sweet brunch to a savory one, then this nearly 20-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.
The Lakehouse, Bellevue, Wash.
James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson’s fine dining Northwest farmhouse concept spotlights produce from local growers and farmers, local seafood and meat, and handmade pasta. So it’s not too difficult to extrapolate that out to one of the most stunning and forward-looking weekend brunches in the country. Ancient grain porridge with almond milk and fruit; vanilla brioche French toast; cocoa coffee flour pancakes with blueberries and yogurt; rigatoni with roasted peppers, octopus, local clams, and beans; grilled ahi tuna and quinoa bowl with baby potatoes, soft-cooked egg, Moroccan-spiced carrots, and fennel; Dungeness crab and avocado Benedict; house-made pasta with foraged mushrooms, Reggiano, soft-cooked egg, and green garlic pesto; and a wagyu burger topped with mushroom conserva, kale pesto, and white Cheddar make this brunch menu one of the most “cheffed-up” you’ll ever encounter, but the kitchen also has no problem cooking a plate of two eggs any style with chicken sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, and local spinach. Be sure you order a side of goats’ milk yogurt; you’ll never think of yogurt the same way again.
The Pantry, Santa Fe
In business since 1948, The Pantry is one of Santa Fe’s most famous restaurants. You’ll find everything you could ever possibly want for breakfast here, as well as a bunch of traditional New Mexican specialties and a wide variety of lunch and dinner options as well. Eggs any style with bacon, ham, sausage, chorizo, or carne adovada; blue corn cinnamon cakes; thick-cut French toast; huevos rancheros; chile relleno omelette; steak, chicken fried steak, or house corned beef and eggs; chili, sandwiches, and burgers; enchiladas; brisket tacos; and house-made meatloaf are just a handful of the down-home, scratch-made offerings. This is a Southwestern brunch at its finest, and the best spot for brunch in the state.
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