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 very best restaurant for brunch in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
For many restaurants, brunch is both an obligation and an afterthought. Eggs are half-heartedly 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 restaurant for brunch in every state, 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. 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.