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Old Major
Photograph: Courtesy Old Major

Where to eat the best brunch in America

From scrambled eggs to fluffy pancakes and mimosas, these restaurants serve the best brunch in America

By Lauren Rothman

Love it or hate it, it’s hard to argue against the diversity of brunch: after all, at what other meal can you dig your fork into perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, dip your spoon into a creamy dessert while tasting fluffy pancakes and sip on a boozy mimosa, all at the same time? We, personally, love brunch: whether we’re attacking the best burgers in America, inhaling the best pies in America or sipping on the best brunch cocktails, you can find us doing so between the hours of 11am and 3pm on a Saturday or Sunday at any one of these 20 spots, all serving the best brunch in America.

Best brunch in America

The Dutch
Photograph: Courtesy The Dutch

11. The Dutch in Philadelphia, PA

Restaurants Dutch Dickinson Narrows

The moniker of this sweet South Philly cafe has two meanings: firstly, it serves all manner of Dutch food, and secondly, it specializes in Dutch babies—those puffy, oversized pancakes that are sizzled in a cast iron skillet in plenty of melted butter. Both of the restaurant’s options—the pancake is available savory or sweet—are exemplary, the former studded with smoked sausage and scallions, and the latter doused with lemon juice and powdered sugar. Other brunch-time favorites include a rich steak-and-eggs Benedict and a fluffy waffle draped with creamed chipped beef.

Carrollton Market
Photograph: Courtesy Carrollton Market

12. Carrollton Market in New Orleans, LA

Restaurants East Carrollton

New Orleans is such a brunch-rich town that it’s hard to pick just one favorite mid-morning spot. When hard-pressed, we’ll name this Riverbend gem from chef Jason Goodenough (and trust us, his plates are more than good enough). Rich, expertly prepared brunch dishes include a standout poutine strewn with cheese curds, crispy bacon, sausage gravy and fried eggs, and a “biscuits and debris,” cornbread biscuits smothered in juicy braised oxtail and spicy hollandaise. For sweets-lovers, there’s an insane cream cheese-stuffed French toast served with blueberry jam and powdered sugar.

Photograph: Ashlyn Allison

13. Freedmen’s in Austin, TX

Restaurants West University

BBQ is the name of the game when eating in Texas and brunch is no exception to the rule. Pack it in at this laid-back Austin smokehouse, which serves up brisket, spare ribs, house sausages and pulled pork. At the Sundays-only brunch, dig into the Barbecue Benedict, a buttermilk biscuit generously stuffed with your choice of meat, draped in rich hollandaise and crowned with two poached eggs. On the side, spoon up jalapeño cheddar grits and sip on the absolutely redonculous Bloody Mary, an entire quart of whiskey stirred with smoked tomato juice and garnished with a skewer of brisket, sausage and ribs.

The Fancy Biscuit in Richmond, VA
Photograph: Courtesy The Fancy Biscuit

14. The Fancy Biscuit in Richmond, VA

The anchor of this sweet cafe’s brunch dishes is its phenomenal biscuit: a giant, buttery, burnished specimen that gets its lightness and tang from buttermilk. In the Black Dog, that biscuit gets split open and draped with creamy shrimp and grits, to be finished with a peppery tasso ham gravy; in the Big Apple, it’s filled with crisp fried chicken, funky blue cheese and a fresh apple slaw. Craveable sides include fried green tomato slices sandwiched with pimento cheese, and deviled eggs spiked with bacon and green onions.

Old Major
Photograph: Courtesy Old Major

15. Old Major in Denver, CO

Restaurants American Highland

Lauded Denver chef Justin Brunson helms this New American restaurant, serving elevated farmhouse cuisine that tastes great at any time of day or night. We happen to love the brunch menu, which features inventive plates that swing both savory and sweet. In the former category, there’s an exemplary seafood omelette stuffed with blue crab and shrimp and topped with avocado and salsa verde; in the latter, expect a decadent cinnamon French toast drizzled with fruit preserves and candied nuts.

Hola Arepa
Photograph: Courtesy Hola Arepa

16. Hola Arepa in Minneapolis, MN

Restaurants Latin American Lyndale

Originally a highly popular food truck plating perfectly executed Latin fare, Hola Arepa’s decision to open up a brick-and-mortar store in 2014 came as no surprise. The restaurant shines at brunch, when the kitchen sends out excellent tostada chilaquiles moistened with tomatillo salsa and piled with black beans, queso fresco, pickled onions and fried eggs; and, of course, breakfast-leaning arepas, those addictive Venezuelan corn cakes, like one stuffed with chorizo, eggs and cotija cheese.

Tune-Up Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jeff J.

17. Tune-Up Cafe in Santa Fe, NM

This cozy Santa Fe spot is a favorite among locals, offering solid brunch choices that feature yummy local ingredients like Hatch chiles and pinto beans. The corned beef hash, made with tender meat cured in-house and topped with two poached eggs, is perennially an excellent choice, as is the Southwestern favorite of huevos rancheros, served with red or green chile sauce and blanketed under a melty layer of Jack cheese.

El Buen Comer
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/David K.

18. El Buen Comer in San Francisco, CA

Restaurants Glen Park

Brunch is now available on Saturdays and Sundays at this Bernal Heights hideaway helmed by Mexican-born chef Isabel Caudillo, and the whole menu is full of home-cooking gems to please any palate. Superb house-made tortillas bolster favorite dishes such as red or green chilaquiles, potato and chorizo tacos and cheesy enchiladas, and the house guac is superbly creamy, accented by chunks of fresh, salty cheese.

Photograph: Courtesy Ambar

19. Ambar in Washington, D.C.

Restaurants Small plates Capitol Hill

This Balkan restaurant, serving Central European dishes such as cheese and meat pies and fresh parsley-flecked salads, offers a killer brunch deal: unlimited plates of food for $34, as well as $.25 mimosas, Bloody Marys and other brunch drinks. Specialties include an enormous fresh-baked flatbread tiled with sausage and topped with a runny fried egg and fluffy sourdough fritters rolled in cinnamon sugar, served atop a schmear of creamy Nutella.

Bagatelle Miami
Photograph: Courtesy of Bagatelle

20. Bagatelle in Miami, FL

Restaurants French South Beach

Brunch is a true highlight at this French-style bistro with outposts across the country. But brunch is a misnomer for what happens at Bagatelle between noon and 6pm on Sundays. It’s more like a dance party with bottle service meets a very dimly lit meal set to a bumping soundtrack. And we like it that way. Big parties looking to celebrate special occasions over giant, shareable drinks fare well here, as do smaller groups craving authentic French cuisine or an out-of-this-world burger served on a brioche bun and topped with a fried egg. If arriving hungry, make sure to order early before your booth becomes a dance floor.


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