Brunch is a sacred pastime – let’s be honest, it’s almost like going to church. From the pancakes and the eggs Benedict all the way to the cinnamon rolls and crispy bacon, when your brunch really hits the spot, all is well in the world. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Everyone gets that craving for brunch on the weekends, and more often than not on Sundays. It’s the perfect way to completely ignore the fact that the following day is Monday (ew). Surround yourself with friends, satisfy your hangover cravings, and maybe even treat yourself to a mimosa or two.
Especially when you’re on the go, finding that perfect spot isn’t always easy by just googling. You really need some thorough research or an insider’s eye to know what’s hot and what’s not. And when you’re on the move and discovering a new place, this all-important meal becomes even more mandatory – nobody wants a hangry travel companion.
That’s why I decided to put together a list of my picks for 20 of the best brunch locales in Europe and North America. I’ve done all the dirty work so you don’t have to. As a brunch-lover myself, I will admit that it’s Wednesday and I’m already wishing it was the weekend with this list in hand... Now lay back, relax, and allow me to save your Sunday with this damn delish lowdown on some of the best brunch spots the world has to offer.
Not too many years ago there wasn’t really a true brunch scene in the Netherlands’ capital. Flash forward to today and you’re basically spoiled with the number of options there are. One of the best who were early on the scene is Bakers & Roasters, a cute little brunch spot originally opened in De Pijp neighbourhood run by a New Zealander and Brazilian expat duo.
Yes, there can usually be a wait, but their menu totally makes up for it.
Plus, they recently opened up another location close to Central Station. Go for the traditional ‘Kiwi Brekkie’, New Zealand’s take on a Full English, with spinach and creamy mushrooms to boot, or try the ‘Vege Brekkie’, also with poached eggs and grilled halloumi (omg yes!). You can also funk it up with other dishes like ‘Navajo Eggs’ with pulled pork, eggplant and feta savoury pancakes, or the classics like huevos rancheros and eggs Benny/Florentine. You seriously can’t go wrong here. If you want to head a little further afield, try The Breakfast Club, with four locations throughout the city and equally delicious menu items. For something sweetly different, try the Matcha pancakes with mascarpone, raspberry lime jam, pecans and white chocolate!
Right in America’s heartland is where hearty, homestyle cookin’ happens. So you better be prepared to have giant portions of all the best breakfast things. Venture to Mad Social, an ultra-swanky spot with a Mad Men style feel with wooden interiors and plush leather chesterfield couches. Definitely try their ‘Short Rib Benedict’, featuring Korean short ribs, toasted pretzel buns, poached egg, brussel sprouts, kimchi, hollandaise, other Asian spices and house potatoes (whoa). You can even treat yourself to some fancy mac & cheese for breakfast here, because that’s how the Midwest does it. Try Gather for some seriously great brunch options like their chicken and waffles with ‘whipped miso butter and smoked maple syrup’. If you’re looking for something sweet, add on an old fashioned donut with dulce de leche glaze or a sticky bun to satisfy your sweet tooth. Another great spot is Flo where they declare they’re a ‘fresh take on New Mexican cuisine’. They serve breakfast every day, but their weekend options are especially interesting – a ‘Chorizo-Tamale Hash’ topped with poached eggs and cheddar, or the ‘Pulled Pork Frittata’ with hatch green chile and queso fresco. They’ve got inventive pancake picks too, like their Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles encrusted stacks.
Even though you might be hittin’ the tapas hard, if you’re in Madrid for a couple days you can definitely squeeze a brunch in there somewhere. Make your way to the new Plenti café in the Las Letras neighbourhood. This charming newbie offers super affordable small bites, open-faced sandwiches and delicious baked egg dishes – try the one with spicy tomato, refried beans, peppers and guacamole. If you’re looking for some all-American grub, head to Roll Madrid. They do lunch/dinner too, but their brunch is my favourite meal they offer, available from 11 am to 5 pm. Start yourself off with a flat white, or just go straight for their beermosa (Founder’s Centennial IPA w/fresh squeezed orange juice) or a michelada, a typical Mexican drink with tomato juice, beer, spices and lime. Choose from platter options with a mix of everything, or go for ‘Rancheros Eggs’ or ‘Chicken with Waffles Benedictine’.
There are plenty of hearty options to go along with your beverage of choice.
You can also go for a more European-style brunch at Brunch Club with healthier options like fruity yogurt bowls and smashed avocado on toast, or mix it up with ‘The Breakfast Salad’ with spinach, avocado, bacon and a poached egg.
Just like their southern neighbours down in Seattle, Vancouver locals love the farm-to-table movement, and it’s easy to see why. One of the city’s favourites is The Twisted Fork Bistro, open for brunch every day from 8 am to 3 pm. It’s popular so there can be a wait, but it’s totally worth it. Try their house smoked gouda baked eggs with a rosti, baked beans, bacon and sourdough toast. They’ve even got a Croque Monsieur or poached eggs served with ratatouille, ‘honey lager pork sausage’, salad and toast. If you love any of their house made sauces, just ask – they sell them to take away. If you want to mix it up, try La Mezcaleria on Saturday or Sunday, offering fresh takes on Mexican traditional dishes like ‘Migas Vegeterianas’ with corn tortilla crisps, cherry tomatoes, oyster mushrooms, green onions and baby with two free range eggs, served with black refried beans, queso fresco and arugula. There’s also The Red Wagon, dishing up breakfast every day of the week. Some of their best options include pulled pork pancakes and their house-made BBQ brisket, served with two eggs, jalapeno corn bread and home fries. Treat yourself and get an extra pancake on the side.
Rome is another spot with some culinary masters in the world of cooking, so they’re really no strangers when it comes to taking on the challenge of inventing brunch in true Roman style. Get over to Coromandel to enjoy some classics like scrambled eggs, home fries and (Italian-style) sausage and beautiful pancakes like the option with ‘Gianduja chocolate, banana and chopped almond’. Ready to get your bagel on in this romantic capital? Head to La Portineria for some seriously good fresh bagels with options like the ‘South Spicy’ with chicken, caramelized pepperoni, jalapenos, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and salsa honey BBQ – you might forget you’re in Italy! They’ve also got some great scrambled eggs or pancake options, as well as full American or veggie breakfasts. To see a little more of a clearly Italian take on brunch, try Oliver Glowig's with a 5-course set menu.
They only do brunch on Sundays, but it’s totally worth waiting for it with options
like Roman gnocchi with mushrooms and baby octopus mashed potatoes, or just go for the standards if you’re not feeling adventurous – they’ve got cheesy omelettes, pastas, pancakes and Benedicts, too. You should probably go ahead and treat yourself to the French toast with caramelized bananas and cinnamon mascarpone for dessert though…yes please!
Yes, Miamians love to work out so they can flaunt their beach bods, but digging into some good grub is also close to their hearts. It’s a good balance of both that’s best, so take a break from the gym or beach and taste Miami’s many breakfast flavours. Start out your Sunday healthy with some swanky Peruvian specialities at La Mar with ‘Pescado Escabeche’, crispy mahi mahi with cannellini beans, quail egg, and sweet potato, smothered in two delicious Peruvian sauces.
You can even get lobster from the grill with pepper and chimichurri sauces if that’s how you do brunch!
You can take it down a notch for something a little more down to earth at Doce Provisions on Sundays in Little Havana. You’ve got to have their ‘Calentado with short rib vaca frita, sunny side egg, jasmine rice, sweet plantain, black beans and chimichurri’ sauce. Their lunch menu has shrimp po’boy tacos too – who doesn’t love tacos for breakfast? Oh, and before I forget, they have Key lime pie waffles (oh lord, yes). Last but not least, try Taurus Beer & Whiskey House on Saturdays and Sundays for some laid-back stuff like sausage, egg and cheese cheddar biscuit or ‘Breakfast Fritas’ with chorizo and beef patty, papitas and sunny side up eggs.
One of the coolest characteristics about Berlin is how multi-cultural it is – in its art, people, and most of all in its food. Name a cuisine and you’ll find it here. It really is an ultimate foodie mecca. So let’s get started at Café Mugrabi with an Arab-style coffee with cardamom, and for your meal, you should probably order the shaksuka – a delicious Middle Eastern dish of eggs baked in a spicy/herby tomato sauce, with feta and coriander on top. Nestled in the awesome Kreuzberg neighbourhood, this place is a must for some breakfast-time soul soothing. For a great typically German-style spread, make your way to Ungeheuer (meaning ‘Monster’) in Neukölln. All their breakfasts are extensive, with bread, cheeses, yoghurts, eggs, ham or salmon, and even a Mediterranean version with Scamorza, Pecorino and homemade spicy cream cheese. They also have yummy omelette options and the ‘Farmer’s breakfast’ with spring onions, ham, fried potatoes, tomatoes, gherkins, bread and salad. You definitely won’t leave here hungry. In the mood for something sweet? Head to Fräulein Dickes for homemade cakes, pastries and pies, and some darn good coffee too. If you want something more filling, they have yummy quiches too like mushroom-spinach, sweet potato-zucchini or brussel sprout-pumpkin.
Even though Texas’ state capital is north of the Mexican border, sometimes you’d forget it just because of the influence on its cuisine. Tex Mex is really a thing, and it’s absolutely a delicious creation from these American and Mexican neighbours living so close to each other. Head to El Naranjo and you’ll get to enjoy this mix of flavours. They have the standard goodies like huevos rancheros and Mexican scrambled eggs served with pico de gallo, serrano chile, refried black beans and hand-made corn tortillas. They also have fabulous starters like ‘queso fundido’, melted Oaxaca cheese (the best!) with corn tortillas and green salsa. And not to worry, there are plenty of tacos to choose from too. Make your way to Fresa’s Chicken Al Cabron for brunch all through the week.
They have delicious tacos and always yummy specials like chilaquiles and churros.
You can even build your own taco to tweak the options to your taste. Stop by for breakfast at Josephine House, a truly all-American Austin-style spot in a house on Waterstone Ave. Try their breakfast burger with harissa aioli and a fried egg, or their buckwheat polenta with greens, sausage and a poached egg.
This gorgeously colourful city is a dream to wander, but with all those unbelievably steep hills, you need to take lots of breaks for recharging your batteries. No meal of the day is more important than breakfast, so make your way to The Decadente,
a cool collective in a historic building right at the top of the hill in Bairro Alto, across the street from a gorgeous lookout park that offers panoramic views of the city.
They have vegetarian options for every dish – try the roasted turkey sausage or the homemade oat waffle with salted caramel, apples, spices and vanilla foam (*drool*). They’ve even got an outdoor seating area at the back. For a bigger menu selection and a spot closer to the Tagus River, head to the mill. With lots of options like breakfast bowls, breads and pastries, omelettes and sandwiches, you will have plenty to choose from. Try the ‘breakfast stack’, piled high with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots, a fried egg and Portuguese chorizo on top. They also offer freshly baked bagels and brunch specials on Saturday and Sunday like ‘Pancakes with ricotta and berry compote’ or their take on huevos rancheros, turnt up with spicy Portuguese sausage. And if you’re still hungry, just pop into one of the million bakeries around the city and grab some ‘pastel de nata’, a mini flaky pastry cup filled with custardy goodness – a must when you’re in Portugal!
Europe’s political capital is ready to surprise you with their breakfast expertise. Although this city is well known for their amazing waffles, pretty much available to grab and eat anywhere from little shop windows around the city, they’ve got a lot more going on than just these darn good specialities. Peck 47 is my favourite spot to brunch here and it’s just around the corner from the impressive Brussel’s Stock Exchange building, and not far from the amazing Grand Palace square. If it’s warm, try and grab a place outside so you can people-watch. They serve brunch all day, so you’re in good company if you’re nursing your Belgian beer hangover. Try ‘The Drunken Sailor’, a homemade leek waffle with two poached eggs, house-cured salmon and their own spicy ‘psycho sauce’. They’ve also got tons of yummy smoothies, and even some brunch cocktails, so go wild! If you’re there on a weekend, head to Chicago Café for a full-on multi-course brunch.
They’ve got fish, meat, vegetarian or vegan menus that they refresh every month.
But don’t worry, they serve breakfast every day too, with full platters like an American or English breakfast to choose from, plus other smaller things like chocolate waffles, omelettes and French bread with fried apples.
If you’re a foodie, taking a trip to Copenhagen is a great idea, no matter what meal of the day is your favourite. One of the most memorable breakfast meals I enjoyed on a trip to this great Danish capital was called Next Door Café. This eclectic and funky little café is right in the heart of the city, and although their menu is small, their dishes and coffees are clearly made with love. Their speciality is pancakes and they switch up their flavours regularly. Go for any one of them—blueberry, blackberry, chocolate, or whatever they’ve got on that day—they’re all good. Plus, they always have real Canadian maple syrup. They’ve got plenty of sides too like bacon, eggs, pastries and cakes, so you’ll stroll out of the place with a happy tummy. Looking for something totally different? Head to Møller Kaffe & Køkken, a laid-back café that specialises in breakfast and coffee.
Their menu is sort of a dim-sum-style card you fill out, with smaller plates that are great for sharing.
Get a mix of things like their boiled egg with cress, locally sourced bacon and ‘crispy Jerusalem artichoke and sour cream’. Just make sure you get enough to completely cover the table!
As the world knows, France has always been extremely passionate about their cuisine, which makes sense when you eat a French-style dish because it’s usually a totally amazing experience for your palate. So of course, they love to do brunch their way, or at least with their own twists and flairs – and they won't let you down. Make your way to classic Eggs & Co., a sweetly French café with an extensive breakfast menu with a million egg options, as their name suggest, you can make your own or choose from their creations – ingredients to choose from include truffle and chèvre cheese to fresh herbs and specialty cured hams. They’ve also got great classics like eggs Benedict and pancakes. To get a little funkier, head to Holybelly Café, a fun and bright spot famous for their pancakes and delicious homemade cakes mixed with boozy brunch cocktails. Try their ‘Holy Bloody Mary’ and go for the savoury pancakes with eggs, bacon and Bourbon butter made in house. Oh, and you should probably get a side of halloumi too because why not? For a quieter brunch experience, hit up Soul Kitchen for some delicious quiches and plenty of vegetarian options. Their coffee is also so good you’ll want to write home about it.
This city clearly loves their food, art and culture, which is very much alive around every single corner in each neighbourhood. Get into this groove at Restaurant 37/34 in Saint-Henri. They have a small menu, but it doesn’t need to be bigger because they do everything as it should be. Be adventurous and try the ‘Smoked mackerel & shrimp with a 63-degree egg, Mujol caviar, sour cream and marinated mustard seed’. You can also get the best go-to’s like a gravlax bagel with a juniper berry dressing twist, or an omelette with ‘homemade ricotta, mushrooms, leek and truffle cream’. Their coffee and tea is also on point, so don’t be shy. You can also try the fabulous Fabergé in the Mile End neighbourhood, a very popular brunch spot with American and French Canadian influences. They have lots of crêpes, waffles, French toast and omelettes, but I’d go for one of their specialities like the ‘Benny Mac’ made up of a mac ‘n cheese beignet (or fritter) with pulled pork, topped with jalapeno jelly. And don’t forget, you can always add a side of poutine. Lastly, go wild with Mexican flavours at Le Bon Vivant in Saint-Henri. Their skillet huevos rancheros do not disappoint and are stacked high with patatas bravas, chorizo, avocado, salsa cheese and corn tortillas for dipping.
This Pacific Northwest gem is the perfect meeting point for many different cultures.
As an open-minded city of people, it’s also a great canvas for inventing new things, and this is very clear in their food culture.
Start off your day right at Nue and you’ll get to experience this vibe first-hand. Serving up super cool dishes seven days a week, the founders just wanted to take all their ideas from travelling and pull them together to see what happened. Each dish is inspired by a different locale, like their ‘Puerto Rican Mofongo with a garlic plantain and bacon mash stuffed with smoked chicken and smothered in sofrito sauce, served with two eggs', or their Philippine’s style cured pork with garlic fried rice. They’ve even got Dutch-style savoury pancakes with Gouda cheese. Head to Terra Plata for some quality, local farm-to-table dishes like their pork belly with grilled arepas, poached eggs, feta and salsa verde or taste the ocean with their ‘Taylor mussels & clams’ with chickpeas, capers, kale and herb broth. They’ve also got a great rooftop patio for the warmer months. Another ideal spot for Seattle’s smart obsession with sustainable, local products is Gather Kitchen & Bar with ‘Hangover specials’ like ‘Braised short rib poutine’, or Benedicts like ‘Deviled Dungeness crab’.
Spain’s capital city of Catalonia and a favourite among tourists does not disappoint in the breakfast department.
With so many expats living here, the brunch culture is very alive, with lots of different options and influences from around the world.
Head to Marmalade for some seriously interesting dishes. Go for the ‘Crumpet Siltskin, homemade crumpets topped with oven roasted ham, anchovy butter, a fried duck egg and truffle oil’ (good lord!) or the ‘Morning Glory’, French toast with ‘forest fruit, Greek yoghurt, syrup, cinnamon, and pistachios’. They’ve got the standard brunch items like Benedicts, omelettes, Mexican chilaquiles and scrambles, with tons of side options too. You can also try Picnic, a warm and cosy place with delicious tapa-sized dishes and full plates like a duck hash on English muffin, poached eggs and house potatoes or their fried green tomatoes with feta cheese and fresh corn salsa. They also have great sides like a quinoa hash-brown or onion rings with BBQ sauce. Another great spot with all the classics and some Spanish flavours too is La Esquina, and they do special brunch items on weekends. Try their fried egg sandwich with mushrooms, grilled cheese and their ‘La Esquina sauce’, or their flat bread sandwich topped with lamb, hummus, pomegranate, yoghurt and pickled cabbage.
So let’s start this off right at 26 Beach, as the name suggests it’s not far from the Venice Beach Boardwalk and will give you plenty of energy for roaming the shores. They’ve got crazy scrumptious French toast options like Tiramisu or lemon ricotta. You can also go savoury with their #19, stuffed with sausage, fried eggs, cheese, sweet potato fries and topped with maple syrup (holy moly). They’ve even got a pasta scramble called ‘Green Eggs & Ham’ with pesto, Black Forest ham, peas, tomatoes and linguine.
You can’t go wrong with their endless menu – and they even have brunch happy hour from 8 to 11 am Monday through Friday.
Try Cliff’s Edge for beautiful outdoor seating and dishes like a ‘Bacon and cheddar frittata with jalapeno crema’ or their ‘Pork belly hash’ with feta and a fried egg. You should also head to Eveleigh in West Hollywood on Saturday or Sunday for some great dishes like ‘bubble & squeak’ with corned brisket, fingerling potato and greens hash, mustard seed, and a sunny egg’. They’ve got a beautiful atmosphere with garden seating as well. Round off your meal with some pumpkin raisin bread or banana bread, served with ‘molasses butter, apple jam and orange mascarpone’ – delish!
You seriously cannot go wrong in the Big Apple with brunch. I’m not sure I even know of a city with more options than exist in the great NYC, so it’s hard to even know where to start. But go ahead and begin with Russ & Daughters Cafe, in business since 1907.
Said to be one of the 10 best restaurants in New York, this Jewish comfort food joint has got your brunch totally covered.
Go for the sturgeon, eggs and onions, or maybe ‘Lower Sunny Side’ with Nova smoked salmon and potato latkes. Of course they also have delicious bagels and even caviar if you’re feeling fancy this morning. My favourite borough for brunch though is actually Brooklyn, so make your way to Stone Park Cafe for some yummy Southern style comforting dishes like biscuits and gravy or—my fav—Anson Mills grits topped with a poached egg, cheddar, scallions and shrimp (hallelujah!). If you’re feeling carnivorous, get down on some NY strip steak and eggs with caramelized onions. If it’s summer, make sure you try and grab a table outside since this spot is right next to a pretty park. Another go-to is Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights. This all-American diner has been open since 1936 and sells all the good stuff, serving breakfast all day. I personally love their huevos rancheros, but their pancakes, omelettes and crab cakes ‘n eggs are also great options.
I adore London for their deep love of breakfast and all the beautiful spin-offs that have resulted from it. There are so many places to enjoy brunch here, you can’t really go wrong. But there are most definitely some extra special gems. Head to Soho Joe for some chill brunch in a diner-style atmosphere. The classic full English is always a great choice, with sausages, bacon, grilled tomato and mushrooms, baked beans, eggs and toast, or switch it up with the vegetarian full English, the same great spread with grilled halloumi and avocado instead (yum!). It’s actually right next door to another really popular place called the Breakfast Club Cafe, but they also have other locations throughout the city. You can head here to try crazy twists on classics, like the ‘Chorizo Hash’ with a lemon and feta sauce, ‘Huevos al Benny’ with peppers, avocado and chillies, or satisfy your sweet tooth with ‘Salted Caramel Banoffee Pancakes’. One of the UK’s favourite cuisines is Indian food, which you can experience for breakfast at Dishoom – try their popular bacon naan roll, the ‘Big Bombay’, an Indian take on the Full English, or a lighter option of ‘Fire Toast’, char-grilled bread with ‘pineapple-pink-peppercorn jam and tangy orange marmalade with star anise’ – delicious!
Sharing meals in Louisiana’s capital is a very important pastime, one they take seriously for each meal of the day. There’s none more respected than a weekend brunch, but why not have it available every day? Your dreams have come true at Willa Jean’s.
Not only do they serve brunch every day, but they also are a bakery with delicious treats like ‘griddled banana bread’ and their very own biscuits and corn bread.
I’d definitely go for their ‘Will Jean shrimp & grits’ with gulf shrimp, etouffee gravy and a slow poached egg. You also can’t go wrong with fried chicken and biscuits with Tabasco honey. Keep following the Creole flavours and head to DTB to have some ‘LA Crawfish Benedict’ or some ‘Crab Boil Potato Hash’. You can even go luxuriously Southern with their ‘Crispy Oyster Croque Madame’. For some homestyle cookin’ brunch on a glorious Sunday, head a little out of downtown to Heads & Tails Seafood & Oyster Bar for a spread you’ll never forget. Grab some fresh oysters or try their ‘Creole Queen’ flash fried version with spinach, brie and bacon. They have endless Benedict options, from soft shell crab to ‘roast beef debris’ – you seriously can’t go wrong here.
There really isn’t a time you’ll ever have a bad meal in Mexico City –
Mexico has some of the most complex flavours and intricate cooking methods there are, improved upon over generations with lots of hard earned pride for the creations that make up Mexican dishes.
Head to eno for some deliciously fresh dishes like chilaquiles with eggs or shredded chicken. Their tamales are also amazing either with cochinita pibil (a barbecued style pork), or a vegetarian version with artichokes. If you want to try something different and you slept in a bit late, try one of their soups that are available after 1 pm, like their bean soup with avocado and chile pasilla. Go old school with Café de Tacuba, open since 1912 in a gorgeous 17th-century convent, they have plenty of traditional Mexican breakfast options to choose from like fried eggs with mole and beans or broiled pork ribs with chilaquiles and beans. For a fresher take on Mexican traditional breakfast, try Nicos. If you haven’t already, order the scrambled eggs with ‘nopales’ (Mexican cactus), or try the 'Huevos Azcapotzalco', eggs wrapped in a tortilla and covered in black beans, bright sauces and cotija cheese.