In the hectic and fast-paced world in which we live, it is important to appreciate some of life's simplest pleasures...like brunch. You work all week in the "rat race" and then go out with friends or your S/O on Friday night and it all goes by in a blur. But, brunch is one of the few times where you can really take a deep breath, enjoy yourself, and eat and drink to your heart's content. Plus, it's a great cure for a hangover. Don't sleep on brunch.
Welcome to the definitive list of the best brunch places Cleveland (and its surrounding neighborhoods) has to offer.
Where: 2393 Professor Avenue, Tremont
The Bourbon Street Barrel Room is a delightful slice of the Big Easy in the heart of the historic Tremont District. Cleverly titled dishes abound on the brunch menu including the Streetcar Pancakes, Royal St. Bacon & Egg Wrap and the Fluer Debris Hash.
Did we mention they also have beignets, hurricanes and Pimm's Cups? The restaurant's interior is also quintessential French Quarter, with flickering gaslamps and an indoor balcony overlooking the courtyard-styled main room.
Where: 2038 E 4th St, Downtown
The only thing that beats a delicious brunch is a delicious brunch on a rooftop with nice views. Jonathon Sawyer, the head chef/owner of Greenhouse Tavern has won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region, so you know the cuisine here is on point.
The brunch selection includes Breakfast Corndogs, Crispy Chicken Wings Confit, plus Fried Brussel Sprouts and Vegan Avocado Toast (aka the Millenial special) for the non-meat eaters out there. We highly recommend the Boudin Balls (Rice & Sausage Fritters). It's also just fun to say "Pass me the Boudin Balls, please."
Where: 1313 Linda St, Rocky River
Blink and you might miss this hidden gem tucked away on Linda Street in Rocky River. Voted "Best Wine Bar" by Cleveland Magazine in 2018, the brunch menu here should not be overlooked. It features Chicken & Waffles, Orange Cranberry Scones, Prosciutto Benedict and more. Come for the brunch and stay for the impressive wine and cocktail selection. We recommend the Brunch Punch.
Where: 15711 Waterloo Rd, Cleveland
One of the best places to see live music in Cleveland is also one of the most fun places to brunch. The food is excellent, especially for a rock club. This isn't dining at the Hard Rock. The Eggs Beachland with Canadian Bacon and Gruyere Cheese Sauce is fantastic, as are the Chicken Chilaquiles. What is a chilaquile? That's not for us to know. Sunday brunch also features a live DJ spinning tunes.
Where: 2621 W 14th St, Cleveland
Grumpy's Cafe serves breakfast fare seven days a week, and the choices on the menu include the Starkweather Omelette (eggs, chorizo, mushrooms, tomatoes, and American cheese,) Breakfast Tacos, and Caramel Bacon Pecan Waffles. Located on a quiet corner of Tremont, Grumpy's feel good food will chase away the morning blues. And with a decor that is bright and homey and includes ever changing artwork, it feels like the dining nook you wish you had at home!
Where: 18508 Detroit Ave, Lakewood
It's a common misconception that there is no really good Mexican fare in Cleveland. There actually is, but you just have to search a little. The Borderline Cafe is exhibit A. The brunch menu features Chorizo Burritos, Breakfast Tacos, Banana-Nut Stuffed French Toast, Southwestern Omelettes and Chocolate Chip Pancakes are just the tip of the iceberg. All that said, you had us at Chorizo Burrito.
Where: 32485 Lake Rd, Avon Lake
If you were just driving by it, Jake's looks like a simple roadside diner on Lake Erie, but it's much more than that. The cozy New England-style interior makes you feel like you're in Bar Harbor, Maine. And the prices are even better. The Lakehouse Benedict is only $8.95 and includes a Toasted English Muffin, Country Ham, Fresh Sautéed Spinach and Two Poached Eggs smothered in their signature Baja Sauce.
Where: 777 Starkweather Ave, Tremont
Brunch at Lucky's offers a little bit of everything, from waffles and biscuits to pecan bacon and breakfast burritos. The ratatouille (pictured above) is to die for, but we recommend the hearty Shipwreck: Eggs, Bacon, Veggies, Cheddar Cheese and Hash Browns served with House-Baked Toast and Fresh Fruit. Based on those ingredients, the ship may have sunk from too much decadence.
Where: 1889 W 25th St, Ohio City
Tired of the same old egg and pancake dishes? Welcome to Soho Chicken and Whiskey. The beauty of brunch is you don't have to wait until 5 pm to start drinking, and switching from champagne or Bloody Mary's to whiskey is a type of slippery slope that we are down with. Cheers to you.
Where: 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland
For one of the more aethestically pleasing brunches you will ever experience, head to Provenance in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Provenance's mission is to combine locally sourced foods with the lineage of nearly 45,000 objects in the museum's collection. That sounds challenging, but you will not argue with the results. Highlights include the Szechuan Peppered Trout and the Montreal Breakfast Sandwich. Their signature Bloody Mary will also clear your sinuses. And hey, look who else dines here! Well, at least he did.
Where: 583 Dover Center Drive, Bay Village
It's never a bad idea to head to the Bay with your bae. Located in the heart of beautiful Bay Village, this little bistro is full of surprises. Brunch choices range from build-your-own Omelettes to Succulent Crepes and Belgian waffles. Ask for a table on the lovely patio and be sure to check out the creative daily cocktail specials.
Where: 1148 Main Ave., Cleveland (Flats)
Now we are talking! How can you beat an all-you-can-eat brunch, plus live music? From bluegrass to reggae to Sinatra, the Music Box Supper Club has been entertaining Cleveland since 2014 in an iconic building that used to be the home of the famed Club Coconuts (warning: video extremely dated). Today you can enjoy an elaborate buffet as you listen some of the best local bands around. The upcoming schedule includes a different musical theme each week. Enjoy cover bands for the Beatles, Springsteen, Patsy Cline and holiday themed shows in December.
Where: 14600 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood
Forage is not just a name, this restaurant prides itself on farm to table ingredients with outstanding results. If you enjoy a bit of sweet with your spice, try the Jalapeno Corn Pancake Stack with Chili Butter and Berry Syrup. The Steak and Eggs (pictured below) also tastes as good as it looks.
Where: 3477 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights
The motto over at Gigi's is one we can all get behind: "Eat. Laugh. Wine." That's inspiring, as are the menu options. Among the more delectable choices: Cornbread Biscuits with Chorizo Gravy; two different kinds of Avocado Toast; Gigi's Lox; and the signature dish called the Jose's Machaca, which is Braised Short Ribs, Queso Blanco, Pickled Onion and Fresh Cilantro with a Corn Tortilla.
Where: 3900 Lorain Ave, Ohio City
Unique and eclectic Jack Flaps is the best kind of urban diner, filled with cool people and hot food in combinations both comforting and new. Dine on a menu that includes Pumpkin Pie Waffles and a Breakfast Banh Mi, but don't forget a dash of hot sauce to impress your friends and pump up your street cred. If you're not in Ohio City, you can head to their luncheonette inside the 5th Street Arcades.
Where: 19337 Detroit Rd, Rocky River
If you name your restaurant after a classic Allman Bros. song, it had better live up to that standard, and Sweet Melissa measures up. Just looking at those bacon covered glazed donuts turns me into Homer Simpson. While the dessert selection is amazing, the brunch menu is no slouch. It's all about combos here with Shrimp & Grits, Biscuits & Gravy and Crab & Eggs. Deciding what to eat here, as the Allman Brothers also sang, Just Ain't Easy.
Where: 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights
The secret has been out for awhile on this popular yet cozy Cleveland Heights establishment. There may be a bit of a wait for a table, but the pancakes alone are well worth it. The fresh, light Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are in a word, glorious. Combine that with a warm, artsy interior and a dose of nostalgia (they've been in business for over 35 years!) and you get a breakfast experience to remember.