For many restaurants, brunch is both an obligation and an afterthought. Eggs are far from perfectly poached and drowned in lukewarm hollandaise, served with mediocre versions of your favorite cocktails 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.
But brunch deserves more respect than that, and thankfully there are an increasing number of chefs demonstrating true skill and creative flair. Their restaurants join the ranks of venerable standbys that have been turning out perfectly cooked brunches for decades, attracting legions of devoted fans in the process. So, 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.
To find the best restaurant for brunch in every state, we took a deep dive into review sites, looking for spots that don’t just serve the best breakfast and lunchtime classics like burgers, but instead are eager to venture outside the box into more creative and innovative territory. Some go the extra mile to offer healthy, gluten-free and vegan-friendly options.
These restaurants pay just as much attention to their brunch menu as their dinner menu (if they’re open for dinner at all), and they serve it in a lively space with just the right amount of celebratory fanfare. If you live near any of these spectacular spots, set aside a leisurely Sunday afternoon and treat yourself.
James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: South, John Currence is the master of the Southern breakfast. His menu at Birmingham, Alabama’s Big Bad Breakfast (which has six additional locations in the South) is chock-full of classic breakfast staples like shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, and flapjacks. If you’re in the mood for lunch, there are salads, a burger and sandwiches including The Screamin’ Demon, which features pickle-brined fried chicken. Biscuits and jellies are made from scratch, and the bloody marys look spectacular.
Going strong in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, since 1998, Snow City Cafe makes just about all of its menu items from scratch, and it’s devoted to using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible while also offering a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. Breakfast is served all day; on the menu you’ll find seven Benedicts (including one made with Alaska king crab cakes), build-your-own omelets, 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; salmon salad with berries; house-made meatloaf with mac and cheese; and a chicken salad BLT with thick honey-cured bacon and house-made herb mayo on toasted walnut multigrain.
Hash Kitchen is a buzzy, upbeat Southwest-inspired destination with two Scottsdale, Arizona, locations, and two others in Chandler and Phoenix. Its menu is loaded with a good mix of traditional brunchtime favorites and outside-the-box creations. Standouts include fried-to-order doughnuts filled with cannoli cream; banana split brioche French toast; a carne asada breakfast burrito; biscuits and gravy with Italian sausage; carnitas hash with Coke-braised pork; pineapple upside-down pancakes; and tamale cakes topped with green chile pork, perfectly poached eggs and green chile hollandaise. It also boasts one of the biggest bloody mary bars in the state, with a wide range of toppings including bacon, olives, celery, cheese, pickles, peppers and egg.
Located in the heart of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, At the Corner uses fresh farm eggs, farm-raised beef and locally sourced organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and honey to create made-from-scratch diner classics. On the weekend, you’ll find a short but sweet menu featuring pancakes, breakfast platters, and biscuits and gravy, but there’s also chicken and waffles, brunch poutine with an egg on top, a hamburger and Mason jar mimosas made with prosecco and fresh orange juice.
Arguably the most renowned resort in California’s Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil offers some seriously 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 eateries of his native Provence, France. Visit the restaurant today for its $75 three-course brunch and you’ll see what all the hoopla has been about — it’s a perfect showcase for seasonal ingredients. Appetizers include celery root soup with brioche croutons, hedgehog mushrooms and sherry; cow’s milk burrata with prosciutto, fingerling potato, almonds and black olive caramel; and onion tartelette with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and watercress. For your entree, choose between items like blueberry buttermilk pancakes; Maine lobster omelet with tarragon, leek and ricotta; duck confit hash with slow-cooked farm eggs; and Sonoma chicken with hand-foraged wild rice.
Sassafras American Eatery has locations in Denver and Golden, Colorado, and its brunch menu of classic Southern fare (with a decidedly New Orleans influence) keeps weekend lines long. Beignets, gumbo, barbecue shrimp, grits, five mac and cheeses, fried green tomato Benedict, chicken fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash … just looking at this menu is enough to make you wish it was Sunday morning. There’s also a massive variety of brunch cocktails including nine different mimosas, 10 bloody marys and mini flights of four for people who can’t choose just one.
“Beer, burgers, and bourbon” is the motto of popular Mystic, Connecticut, hangout Engine Room, and its “Proper Boozy Brunch,” served every Sunday, keeps the party going. The menu is heavy on house-smoked meats and is conveniently divided into breakfast and lunch sections. Breakfast standouts include slow-smoked brisket Benedict on cornbread with cilantro hollandaise; slow-roasted steak and eggs; house-made bagels and lox and an egg-topped burger. Lunch options include Nashville hot chicken wings, a veggie burger, slow-smoked pork ribs and a smoked brisket sandwich. There are also some creative brunch cocktails, including an impressive bloody mary with maple-habanero candied bacon, dill pickle, sharp cheddar cheese, celery and a chili-spiced rim.
The Sunday brunch served at popular Newark, Delaware, golf club and wedding venue Deerfield is nothing short of incredible. Offered from late September through early May, this 111-foot brunch spread features a seafood station with crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller and more; made-to-order omelets and breakfast sandwiches; a carving station with lamb, strip loin and salmon; a pasta station; soups and salads; bagels and breakfast pastries; a yogurt parfait station; a kids buffet; a “doughnut wall” and a huge dessert spread. If you want to make your own mimosas, Deerfield will happily supply a bottle of Champagne and juice.
Palm Beach, Florida’s Italian Renaissance-style Breakers Palm Beach has been one of the country’s premier high-end destinations since it was built in 1896. There’s no shortage of fantastic dining options at this luxurious retreat, but for brunch, one rises above every 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). Crab claws, sushi, caviar, baby lamb chops, carved-to-order beef tenderloin, Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, omelets, imported cheeses 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 ($125 per person or $50 for children 12 and under).
At Atlanta’s Buttermilk Kitchen, chef and owner Suzanne Vizethann prides herself on making just about everything on her Southern-inspired menu from scratch using sustainable, local ingredients. Bagels with house-cured salmon, fried chicken biscuits with red pepper jelly and pimento cheese grits, fried chicken and waffles, short rib hash, and a lobster omelet are some dishes on offer. Buttermilk Kitchen doesn’t take reservations, so make sure to get there early, and whatever you do, order the banana pudding for dessert.
Marnelli Joy U./Yelp
You may have spotted chef Lee Anne Wong on Food Network and “Top Chef” (she was a contestant during Season 1 and made a brief cameo in Season 15), but what you may not know is that she also happens to run one of America’s hottest, funkiest brunch destinations in a quiet Honolulu, Hawaii, neighborhood. Koko Head Cafe has a huge menu of baked goods, pancakes, awesome egg dishes and skillets, as well as a lovely assortment of Asian- and Hawaiian-inspired plates including black sesame yuzu muffins; breakfast congee; omelets filled with miso-smoked pork or poke; and breakfast bibimbap.
“Loyal to local” is the motto at farm-to-table Boise, Idaho, hotspot Fork, run by husband-and-wife duo Cameron and Amanda Lumsden. Many of the ingredients are sourced from local Idaho and Northwest farmers, ranchers, bakers, producers and cheesemakers. Start with a trip to the bloody mary bar, and follow that up with a crazy house-baked cinnamon roll with butterscotch sauce and cream cheese frosting; short rib poutine with crispy polenta sticks; cast-iron-seared lamb lollipops; or pork belly banh mi. Save room for the butter cake.
In Chicago, brunch is synonymous with M. Henry. Local and organic ingredients are used whenever possible, and even though you could find yourself waiting for a table for quite some time, this wait is worth it. The seasonal menu is split into two sections: sweet and savory. Some all-star plates include lemon shrimp and corn cake Benedict; soppressata-wrapped baked eggs with creamy polenta, goat cheese, herb-roasted plum tomato and walnut pesto; smoked salmon rotolone; mango-cranberry hotcakes with vanilla mascarpone and brown sugar; and apple-cranberry brioche French toast.
This Indianapolis, Indiana, gem is a must-visit for brunch. Milktooth’s menu is as delicious as it is creative, and it eschews convention every chance it gets. While there is a traditional sweet Dutch baby with lemon curd, cranberries and candied pecans, a Korean version gets mushrooms, gochujang (red chili paste), marinated cucumber, crispy wonton and sesame. The burger is made with blue cheese mascarpone, caramelized onion and coffee-pickled turnip. And porridge is made with ancient grains, coconut milk, pears, hemp seeds and pistachio. Delicious sweets include Key lime sourdough cake doughnuts; griddled house biscuit with roasted squash butter, apple fennel jam and fennel pollen; and chocolate almond twice-baked croissants. The lengthy list of boozy beverages includes a cocktail called the “Florida man,” built with passion fruit rum, alchermes, lime and simple syrup.
This classic Des Moines, Iowa, restaurant draws crowds during the week for its stellar steaks, shared plates and signature pizza pot pie, but Americana really shines on the weekends when it unveils its Bombshell Brunch Buffet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 40 items are available for the taking, including all the classic breakfast dishes, a grilled cheese station, mashed potato bar, build-your-own breakfast taco station, a ton of desserts and bottomless bloody marys and mimosas. Plenty of gluten-friendly items are available as well.
Fresh, seasonal ingredients are used just outside Kansas City at Urban Table in the preparation of an outstanding and wide-ranging, rustic brunch menu. The weekend offerings here are decidedly outside-the-box and downright delicious. Chilaquiles; egg and cheese waffle sliders with sausage and bacon praline syrup; an egg white omelet with roasted turkey and avocado; a quinoa burger and breakfast tacos stuffed with delicious scrambled eggs, chorizo, potatoes, avocado, pico de gallo, radish and white cheddar are just some of the brunchtime possibilities. Even better, some specialties can be made gluten free.
At night, Louisville, Kentucky’s Butchertown Grocery is one of the city’s hottest cocktail bars. But on the weekends, the sleek restaurant with cozy banquettes and exposed ceiling beams becomes the best brunch destination in the state. Chef and owner Bobby Benjamin has crafted a creative, fun menu that revolves around local ingredients. Look for dishes like fresh blueberry scones with lemon curd and bourbon barrel sugar; eggs Benedict with pork belly on an English muffin with truffle bearnaise; and a prime beef burger with green goddess, goat cheese, arugula, bacon and pickled red onion.
Since 1918, Arnaud’s has been one of the grand dames of Creole cuisine in Louisiana, and its jazz brunch is nearly as legendary as the restaurant itself. A Dixieland jazz band plays while diners enjoy traditional Creole items including the eatery’s famous shrimp remoulade, turtle soup, seafood gumbo, grillades and grits, eggs Sardou (with artichoke, creamed spinach and hollandaise), and eggs Hussarde (with Canadian bacon and tomato on French bread crostini with hollandaise and marchand de vin sauces). For dessert, don’t miss the bananas Foster. Wash it down with a cafe brulot, spiced and spiked coffee flamed with brandy tableside.
Bayside (formerly Bintliff’s) in Portland, Maine, is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. serving some of the finest dishes you’ll find anywhere. In the breakfast department, there’s homemade corned beef hash, Gulf shrimp scampi scramble, custom omelets, a house-smoked salmon platter, and Maine blueberry and cinnamon bun pancakes. For lunch, there’s an awesome butter-poached lobster roll, a house-braised corned beef Reuben, a burger with bourbon honey mustard and fried shallots, and a killer Caprese BLT.
Miss Shirley’s has three Maryland locations, and it’s nothing short of legendary around these parts. It’s open for breakfast, brunch and lunch every day of the week. It’s been run by chef Brigitte Bledsoe since opening in 2005, and the menu is creative and absolutely massive. Specialties include panko-fried deviled eggs filled with fresh mozzarella and topped with marinara sauce, basil pesto and shredded parmesan; benne seed fried chicken and cheddar green onion waffles; shrimp or salmon and grits; crab cake and fried green tomato eggs Benedict; and jumbo lump crab mac and cheese. There’s also adventurous cocktails like the Wake Up Call with espresso-flavored vodka, iced coffee, coconut milk, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and mint.
This family-friendly Boston restaurant is all about food that makes you feel at home. Diners at Milkweed can enjoy a wide variety of imaginative comfort foods, like the Cinnamon Toast Crunch muffin or barbecue tater tot breakfast casserole with cherry tomatoes, pulled pork, fresh scallions and sliced avocado. Breakfast foods, including the steak and cheese scramble with shaved sirloin, cheese, caramelized onions and parsley, are available until 4 p.m. The lunch menu boasts barbecue steak tips with mashed potatoes and pan-roasted Brussels sprouts, buttermilk fried chicken with chicken sausage bourbon gravy, mac and cheese with sirloin (an unexpected ingredient that goes great with the dish), fish and chips, and delicious Buffalo wings with blue cheese crumbles.
Popular Downtown Detroit, Michigan, brunch destination Dime Store has been going strong since a trio of longtime friends opened it in 2014. You’ll find a spectacular variety of traditional favorites and innovative creations on the menu, with just about everything being homemade with high-quality ingredients. Key items include brioche French toast with Michigan maple syrup and fresh fruit, a duck Reuben, cheesesteak eggs Benedict and some of the city’s best mac and cheese. One visit and you’ll be coming back again and again.
Chef Gavin Kaysen left his gig as executive chef at New York’s renowned Cafe Boulud to open his rustic-chic, French-inspired Spoon and Stable in an old Minneapolis carriage house, and it quickly rose to prominence as one of the city’s must-visit restaurants. Its brunch menu is upscale and nothing short of fantastic. Start off with a Corpse Reviver (with gin, lemon, Cocchi Americano and a Mexican anise liqueur called Xtabentun) and follow up with the bison tartare with harissa aioli; duck egg omelet with smoked trout; spinach and caramelized onion quiche; or Tennessee hot schnitzel with a sunny-side-up egg.
City Grocery opened in the Mississippi town of Oxford in 1992. Not only does it serve the state’s best brunch, but it also is one of the best places to celebrate a special occasion in America. Wait for a table at brunch and 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; a spicy fried chicken sandwich or an open-faced roast beef po’boy? Or you can opt for something fancy, like pan-roasted snapper; tomato and cashew-braised chicken thighs; or shrimp and parmesan grits with mushrooms, scallions, white wine, lemon juice and bacon. The choice is yours, and every option is a winner.
Since 1980, The Corner has been serving breakfast and brunch seven days a week, but it’s only open until 3 p.m. daily. The crowds line up on weekends, and it’s become a Kansas City, Missouri, destination. As many products and ingredients as possible are sourced from local suppliers and the menu changes regularly, but expect country-inspired offerings like biscuits with sausage gravy, and customizable three-egg scrambles. Libations include a bourbon “pear-tini” with Laird’s Applejack, rosemary, pear puree and cardamom syrup.
*This slide was updated on 2/20/20 to remove the name of a chef no longer with the restaurant
Since 2012, chef Ben Harman has been raising the bar for the Billings, Montana, dining scene at The Fieldhouse, where he’s serving scratch-made dishes using fresh seasonal ingredients. As for his Saturday and Sunday brunch, it’s astounding. The menu is small and may come across as a bit aloof (the breakfast plate with eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes is simply described on the menu as “boring”), but don’t let that fool you — Harman takes his cooking seriously. The menu boasts a short rib Benedict with salsa and bearnaise; a tartine with duck confit, Gruyere, egg and cherry chutney; and a meatloaf sandwich with gorgonzola, Brussels slaw and huckleberry barbecue. In the market for an adult beverage? Share a mimosa bucket, made with sparkling wine from Italy and orange juice.
“The early bird gets the pancake” is the motto at this Omaha, Nebraska, brunch spot — and there are a lot of pancakes on the menu. Some creative options include the “cereal killer,” which comes with sweet vanilla glaze over your choice of childhood breakfast favorites including Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Cocoa Puffs. There’s also s’mores, pecan pie, blueberry, chocolate, cinnamon roll and PB&J varieties. Can’t choose? Go for a flight of three flavors. The menu at Early Bird also boasts breakfast nachos; lavash flatbread topped with scrambled eggs, chorizo, jack cheese, green chilis and spicy hollandaise; six types of eggs Benedict; and “the Bob,” the restaurant’s famous gargantuan glazed doughnut. Thirsty? How about an extra-large bloody mary garnished with a chicken sandwich and tater tots?
The Sterling Brunch is one of the most expensive in Las Vegas at $125 — and it’s available only on Sundays beginning at 9 a.m. — but it has been the city’s finest brunch offering for more than 30 years. Hosted at BLT Steak inside Bally’s, the best way to describe it is to simply list off what’s available: unlimited Perrier-Jouet and Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, lobster tails, Alaskan king crab legs, American sturgeon caviar, filet mignon, prime rib, oysters, sushi, made-to-order desserts and small plates like lobster bisque, eggs Benedict and BLT Steak’s famed chopped salad. It’s the ultimate in luxury.
Brunch at The Birch on Elm runs all day every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and it’s boozy. If you work in the restaurant industry, you can get 30% off your meal, which might include General Tso’s cauliflower; crispy pork belly with baked beans and caramelized onions; lobster gnocchi; or crispy duck breast with maple glaze, sweet potato, vincotto and burrata (a cheese that everyone needs to try). Wet your whistle with a variety of cocktails, or channel your inner dive bar antics and go for the ol’ $8 shot and beer.
In New Jersey, legendary East Newark institution Tops Diner has risen to the top. Established in 1942, Tops opens at 7 a.m. daily and serves a menu that keeps regulars coming back again and again. All the expected diner classics are on offer here, expertly prepared, but everything’s been elevated to levels of greatness. Eggs are local and cage-free, and standouts include the breakfast burrito; steak and eggs with an 8-ounce char-grilled sirloin; crab Benedict; and French toast with Taylor ham, two fried eggs and American cheese. If you’re in the mood for lunch, you can’t go wrong with the massive array of salads, sandwiches, burgers, near-perfect pasta dishes and even ribs.
In business since 1948, The Pantry is one of New Mexico’s most famous restaurants, and it’s also home to the state’s best brunch. There you’ll find traditional New Mexican regional specialties and a wide variety of lunch and dinner options. Eggs any style with bacon, ham, sausage, chorizo or carne adovada; blue corn cinnamon cakes; thick-cut French toast; huevos rancheros; chile relleno omelets; enchiladas; and house-made meatloaf (a dish that’s certainly stood the test of time) are just a handful of the down-home, scratch-made offerings. This is Southwestern brunch at its finest.
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. 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. That’s when 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 Florentine. 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 number of brunch options in New York, but none ace the formula quite as well as Balthazar.
Chef Ashley Christensen has done more to put Raleigh, North Carolina, on the culinary map than just about anybody else thanks to her many restaurants, including Poole’s Diner. Poole’s has actually been in business since 1945, and today it maintains that retro-chic charm with a double horseshoe bar, red leather banquettes and a large blackboard displaying the day’s menu. The offerings change weekly (and sometimes daily) based on what’s fresh and in-season, but should you go for brunch, rest assured that whatever you order will be absolutely exceptional. Expect dishes like seasonal hotcakes; biscuits and gravy; a Benedict with a house-made English muffin and house-cured pork shoulder; Carolina shrimp and grits; and cinnamon sugar doughnuts.
Kroll’s was established in 1972 and now has four North Dakota locations (the one in Fargo is open 24 hours). The rich and hearty breakfast menu — served all day — is sure to warm you up: three- or six-egg omelets (try the one topped with homemade chili and shredded cheddar); 6-ounce steak and eggs; country fried steak; and skillets served with two eggs and your choice of pancakes, toast or a biscuit and gravy. The restaurant’s German influence comes through in its knoephla, a thick and creamy chicken and potato soup with dumplings that’s the one food you need to try in the state, as well as in the fleischkuechle. These deep-fried pastries are filled with breakfast sausage, American cheese and eggs and are served with hash browns and country gravy.
The quaint and charming Blue Door Cafe & Bakery has been acquiring legions of fans since opening as a bakery in 2009, and since then it’s branched out to serve the best brunch in all of Ohio. Each ingredient is sourced responsibly and the end result really is something special. So what’s on the menu? A croque-madame with rosemary ham and Gruyere; a Nueske’s bacon and egg croissant; New York strip steak and eggs with bordelaise and red flannel hash; New Zealand smoked salmon and eggs; and fried organic chicken and jalapeño cheddar waffles. Make sure you check out the rotating specials.
Located inside one of Oklahoma City’s most historic buildings, Kitchen No. 324 is a seasonally inspired cafe that’s about as low-key as it gets. The bakers arrive daily at 4 a.m. to start making cinnamon rolls, danishes, croissants, cookies and kolaches, and guests arrive starting at 7 a.m. Along with baked goods, Saturday and Sunday brunch specialties also include fried green tomato Benedict, a classic French omelet with fine herbs and creme fraiche; double-smoked pastrami and eggs; scratch-made biscuits with chorizo gravy; fried chicken pot pie; and one of the finest hand-carved French dip sandwiches on earth.
Portland, Oregon, isn’t hurting for amazing brunch restaurants, but Screen Door rises to the top. The Creole-inspired menu is offered from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week. Specials include a three-egg mixed mushroom omelet with caramelized onions, kale and goat cheese; an organic vegetable hash; and huevos rancheros. Some of the menu highlights include lemon ricotta fritters; buttermilk biscuits and gravy; fried oyster Benedict; bananas foster French toast; and fish camp eggs (crispy fried catfish, grits, buttermilk biscuit, remoulade sauce and two eggs any way). Just don’t leave without trying the bacon. It’s smoked and caramelized with toasted pecans, brown sugar and cayenne.
Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse/Yelp
The Rittenhouse is one of Pennsylvania’s most luxurious hotels, perched in a perfect location overlooking Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square. Its Sunday all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, served at its fine-dining gem, Lacroix, has more than 50 offerings, each of them demonstrating some serious attention to detail and culinary know-how. The familiar breakfast dishes are all there, but everything’s kicked up a few notches. Standouts include foie gras s’mores; buttermilk fried chicken with swiss chard and honey; lamb shoulder with carrot cavatelli and carrot pesto; Vietnamese beef broth with quail egg; buttermilk biscuits with pork roll, piperade and comte; and shrimp cake with orange marmalade. At the carving station, you’ll find Scottish salmon with pastrami spice; sausage made from diver scallops; porchetta with orange glaze; brisket with bearnaise and sorrel; and dijon rosemary-crusted lamb leg.
Nick’s on Broadway in Providence, Rhode Island, focuses on seasonal, local ingredients and has forged relationships with local producers, from which the restaurant sources all of its eggs and chicken. The brunch menu here is served Wednesday through Sunday and includes plates like house-made pickled vegetables; eggs Benedict with lemon-herb hollandaise on a buttermilk biscuit; cassoulet with pork, beef, beans, over-easy eggs, sour cream and grilled pesto bread; and Vermont cheddar polenta with eggs, pea greens, herb pesto and pecorino.
Magnolias has been a standard-bearer for true Lowcountry cuisine in Charleston, South Carolina, since 1990, and it’s one of the city’s most acclaimed Sunday brunch destinations. The menu is full of down-home country dishes like house-made pimento cheese; blue crab bisque; shrimp and scallops over grits with lobster butter sauce; and blackened catfish with kielbasa and andouille. This is one of those places where no matter what you order, it’s bound to be delicious.
This old-school restaurant may have that retro malt shop vibe, but the food served here is no gimmick. Crowds flock to Phillips Avenue Diner in Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on a daily basis, but the wait for a table gets especially long on the weekends. Select from a wide variety of breakfast specials including house-made corned beef hash, berry-topped Belgian waffles, banana bread French toast, a huevos rancheros burrito, house-made biscuits and gravy and multiple omelets. The lunch and dinner menu features fried cheese curds, a pot roast dip sandwich, a hot mashed potato and fried chicken wrap, six burgers, meatloaf, chicken and waffles, and chicken-fried steak. Diners don’t get much better than this, folks.
In business since 1951, this legendary Nashville, Tennessee, restaurant is one of the most historic in America and serves what very well might be the best biscuits in the world, 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 Cafe 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 omelets 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 a.m., lunch and dinner options like a pimento cheese and bacon burger, world-class fried chicken, fried catfish and meatloaf join the party. Family-style breakfast and supper is also available for parties of four or more.
The debut restaurant from “Top Chef” winner Kristen Kish is an Austin favorite, and its brunch menu is a Texas masterpiece. Arlo Grey’s brunch really offers something for everyone, from the super-healthy (a wild rice and quinoa bowl with fermented baby vegetables, miso and a soft-cooked egg; mixed fruit smoothie with kale, agave and coconut milk) to the decidedly decadent (French toast with coconut, cardamom, passion fruit and rum syrup; croissant bread pudding with pomegranate seeds and candied citrus). Rounding out the offerings are smaller plates like chickpea fries with house-made ricotta, tomato, green relish and fried garlic; a stellar burger with whipped aligot potato, pickle, caramelized onion and mayo; and a full-on breakfast platter of eggs, meat, hash browns, toast, juice and great coffee. It also happens to be a simply stunning-looking restaurant, with huge amounts of natural light streaming in and unobstructed views of the Colorado River.
A quintessential Utah destination since 1984, The Park Cafe serves a brunch menu that’s simple and essentially perfect. Omelets with a wide and creative variety of fillings; steak or pork chops and eggs; its signature pork potatoes scrambled with eggs, cheddar, sausage, mushrooms, onions and peppers; biscuits and gravy; cheeseburgers; deli sandwiches; homemade soup and chili … nothing here really jumps out as blazing any new ground, but that’s exactly what makes The Park Cafe so good. It sticks to the classics, and it does them really, really well.
Burlington, Vermont’s popular Penny Cluse Cafe, which was founded in 1998, opens at 8 a.m. on weekends, and you’re going to want to get there early to avoid the massive lines for a table. This is the kind of place where just about everything on the menu looks delicious: buttermilk, buckwheat or gingerbread pancakes; biscuits and gravy; house-made banana bread; eggs with grilled polenta, black beans and salsa ranchero; chorizo and egg tacos; and home fries with melted cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onions and eggs. Make sure you order a glass of fresh Vermont apple cider.
This bright and charming Clifton, Virginia, destination is an upscale and elegant retreat run by the husband-and-wife duo of Stefan and Victoria Trummer. Executive chef Jon Cropf’s innovative tasting menus (and the largest wine cellar in the Mid-Atlantic) keep the dining room crowded at night, but the lesser-known Sunday brunch menu is easily worth the trip. Trummer’s on Main’s menu changes seasonally, but standouts include a fresh-baked pastry basket; cinnamon-sugar beignets; oysters; smoked salmon Benedict on brioche with lemon hollandaise; ricotta gnocchi with butternut squash and aged parmesan; and pork schnitzel with peppercorn gravy. Make sure to save room for chocolate bourbon pecan pie.
Jason Wilson, who won a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northwest, runs this Bellevue, Washington, fine-dining farmhouse concept, which spotlights produce from local growers and farmers, local seafood and meat, and handmade pasta. Warm ancient grain cereal with steel-cut oats; cocoa coffee flour pancakes with blueberries and yogurt; Dungeness crab and avocado Benedict; squid ink tagliatelle with green curry, clams, mussels and Spanish octopus; and a Wagyu beef burger with cheddar, mushroom conserva and roasted garlic aioli make this brunch menu one of the most “cheffed-up” you’ll ever encounter. But the kitchen also has no problem serving a plate of two eggs any style with chicken sausage, bacon, fried potatoes and local spinach.
The super-luxe Four Seasons Georgetown is home to Seasons, where power brokers rub shoulders with regular folks in search of Washington, D.C.’s finest brunch buffet. Diners can enjoy a selection of meat, fish and game (grilled lamb chops, Maryland crab cakes, seafood gumbo); seafood (shrimp cocktail, oysters, house-smoked salmon, snapper ceviche); omelets with many fillings; assorted cheeses and charcuterie; and an astounding selection of house-made desserts. Bring your appetite.
This popular farm-to-table Charleston, West Virginia, comfort-food spot has a relaxed, 1920’s-era vibe, and its menu is primarily sourced from farmers in West Virginia and Appalachia. Bluegrass Kitchen’s brunch is all about the comfort food: potato skins filled with scrambled local eggs, Vermont cheddar, local bacon and scallions; house-cured, grass-fed corned beef atop a potato cake with peppers, onions and gravy; eggs Benedict with local ham; shrimp and grits; homemade biscuits and gravy; and a breakfast burger topped with local bacon, smoked Gouda and eggs. Any dish you choose will help start your day on the right foot, especially alongside the $12 mimosa offering, which gets you a bottle of bubbly and a carafe of orange juice.
When a restaurant is called Mimosa, it had better have a killer brunch menu. Thankfully, this Franklin, Wisconsin, hotspot (located just south of Milwaukee) hits it right on the head. Steak and eggs (with garlic shrimp if you like), house-made corned beef hash, chicken and waffles, crepes, churro French toast stuffed with cream cheese, creative skillets, several Benedicts … this place has all the bases covered, and it does it right.
Cultivate Cafe serves organic ingredients exclusively, and although the menu skips greasy breakfast classics, it still leans toward comfort. In addition, every plate is gluten, soy and sugar free, and vegan with the possibility of adding animal protein, cheese or wheat bread. Favorites include the cowboy scramble with farm-fresh eggs or chickpea scramble with cheddar or vegan mozzarella, spinach, ancho chili sauce and vegan garlic aioli served open-faced; waffles topped with housemade jam, matcha coconut cream and maple syrup; and build-your-own smoothie bowls. There’s lots of coffee and juice options at Cultivate Cafe, but if you like to have a cocktail or three with your brunch, you can track down the very best bottomless brunch deal in every state.
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