Why do we enjoy brunch so much? When you think about it, it’s the perfect meal. You get to enjoy breakfast food and a cocktail without judgement. The restaurant rating gurus at Zagat recently released their list of the best brunch spots in 14 major cities across the US. The results come from their first ever brunch survey, where diners were asked to rank criteria such as food, service and ambiance. We may just have to take some road trips this summer to see if these eateries are worth the hype. And here they are now, listed in alphabetical order.
Bertrand at Mister A’s (San Diego): Not only is the food worth raving about, but Bertrand is the place to go to enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of the city. The restaurant has a six-decade history and has been owned by restaurateur Bertrand Hug since the late ’90s. It’s hard to argue with over 60 years of success. (via Zagat)
Must-Try Items: Smoked Salmon Waffle, Carrot Cake French Toast, Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles and The Home on the Range Bloody Mary
Brennan’s Houston (Houston): This Texas brunch spot is a long-established dining location. Brennan’s has been serving happy customers for over 40 years. Their menu is where ranch favorites and Creole delicacies meet on a plate. (via Open Table)
Must-Try Items: Shrimp and Grits, Texas Strawberry Pancakes and Creole Bread Pudding
Coppa (Boston): This Bean Town Italian favorite is known for their wood-fire pizzas and cured meats. Fortunately, their delectable dinner menu also translates into a brunch that is to die for. (via Just Add Cheese)
Must-Try Items: Fagioli e Uova (Italian Huevos Rancheros), Pancake Mandorla, The Salami Sampler and Sardinian Ice Tea
Must-Try Items: Turkey Tamales, Dai Due Breakfast (brown rice, kimchi, fried egg, kale and optional raw venison) and French Toast with neufchâtel cheese, persimmons and cajeta
Lacroix Restaurant (Philadelphia): It would be hard not to feel special after a meal at this luxury restaurant in the City of Brotherly Love. Brunch is served buffet style, so you’ll get to sample as many dishes as you want. Don’t miss the make-your-own Bloody Mary Bar. (via Main Line Today)
Must-Try Items: Lobster and Dumplings, English Pea Crepe and Foie Gras Lavender Shortbread
Locanda Verde (New York): Brunch in the Village is the quintessential weekend activity in the Big Apple. Six-year-old Locanda Verde beat out the competition with their rustic Italian menu. (via Grub Street)
Must-Try Items: Scampi and Grits, Hazelnut-Crusted French Toast, Steak Tartara Piemontese and a Bicicletta (Campari, white wine and soda)
Marlowe (San Francisco): This SoMa hot spot opened five years ago and has been on the Bay Area’s Top 100 Restaurant list for the past three years. Featuring creative cocktails and a fusion Cal cuisine menu, it’s no wonder patrons come flocking back. (via Thrillist)
Must-Try Items: Dungeness Crab and Rock Shrimp Crepe, French Toast Soldiers, Anson Mills Polenta and The Candlestick Maker (rum, Flor de Cana, lime, mint and bitters).
One Eared Stag (Atlanta): If you are indecisive when it comes to ordering, this might be the perfect restaurant for you. If the menu is too overwhelming, try the Chef’s Breakfast, which is a sampling of several dishes and a can of beer. (via Food & Wine)
Must-Try Items: Hot Donuts, Pickled and Roasted Beet Salad and Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Black Pepper Biscuits and Gravy
Ostaria Morini (Washington D.C.): The Altamara Group has 16 restaurants across the world. Ostaria Morini is their first venture in the nation’s capitol. The great coffee and Italian treats are what everyone is raving about. (via Girl Meets Food)
Must-Try Items: Ricotta Pancakes, House-made Biscuits With Duck Ragu and Fernet About It (Fernet-Branca, Green Chartreuse, Lazzaroni Maraschino and lime)
Must-Try Items: Red Wine Poached Eggs, Duck Hash, Waffles With Honey Butter and Rhubarb Jam and Smokin’ Mary with a side of beer.
Rioja (Denver): Their menu has a number of options for vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s the heart and soul that Chef Jennifer Jasinski puts into her dishes that put this Colorado restaurant on top. (via Zagat)
Must-Try Items: Rioja Benedict, Gabe’s Chronic Breakfast Sandwich (jalapeño sourdough, poblano cream cheese, eggs, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato) and Asparagus Crepe
Must-Try Items: Hungry Bear Ham Steak and Eggs with Sweet Corn Griddlecake and Dr. Pepper Redeye Gravy, Pulled Whole Hog BBQ Eggs Benedict and Broiled Raw Sugar Grapefruit With Cheese Grits
Must-Try Items: Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes, Macrina Toast With Muscat Grape and Cardamom Jam, Grits with Maple Butter and Lifeboat (Pimm’s, ginger, lemon, bubbles and bitters)
Must-Try Items: Wagyu Beef Roll, Watari Gani Maki and Rock Shrimp Tempura
What’s your favorite local brunch spot? Let us know in the comments below.