Brunch is the meal where anything goes. Want eggs to top your hamburger? A roasted chicken to accompany your alcoholic beverage? How about a flight of pancakes as a side to your meal? It’s all fair game when it comes to brunching. It seems like everyone is combining breakfast and lunch these days to get the best of both worlds. And, who can blame them? With the rise of celebrity chefs, unique cuisines, and Instagram-worthy dishes, it’s no surprise that brunch has quickly become the most popular meal.
Although the Midwest rarely gets as many accolades as its coastal counterparts, Cleveland is a blossoming foodie city with plenty of brunch options to keep all appetites satiated. What makes a good brunch place? In addition to the food, diners consider the atmosphere, neighborhood, and the popularity of the place among others before committing for a mid-morning meal.
It’s hard to play favorites, especially when it comes to food but when planning your next brunch, consider these hot spots during your search for the best brunch in Cleveland.
Big Al’s Diner
If the name isn’t homey enough to convince you of a great breakfast option at an inexpensive price, then maybe the menu items will. Corned beef is a staple across Cleveland, which you can get served up here with eggs piled on top for under $10. For those who prefer the sweeter side of brunch, dive into the fruit-topped pancakes topped with whipped cream. This isn’t one of the city’s trendier places for breakfast, but rather a tried-and-true restaurant that embodies the classic vibe of diner eating. Choose from biscuits and gravy, create-your-own omelets, egg scrambles, or make it a combo with french toast or pancakes.
Who says Clevelanders can’t get brunch with a view? Get a look across Lake Erie, downtown while you enjoy their Sunday morning brunch. With live piano on the weekends and an assortment of breakfast and brunch items, ranging from omelets, a carving station, raw bar, as well as extras like sushi, Bouillabaise, sauteed pierogies, and a dessert station to round things out, you can easily spend a few hours here taking in the view, enjoying a lazy Sunday, and going back to the buffet for seconds or thirds. With so many options, it’s best to take a lap around the food stations first, so you don’t end up missing anything.
Graffiti: A Social Kitchen
Don’t expect your run-of-the-mill type of brunch here, because Graffiti is all about innovation. One of the best brunch items isn’t even technically considered a food option, but an outlandish twist on a breakfast cocktail. The Dirty Bird Bloody Mary is definitely one that will make the rounds on your social media accounts. After all, it’s not everyday you get a Bloody Mary with a fried Cornish hen as a garnish. It deserves to be shared with the masses. Not only that, diners have the option to choose from such savory shareable plates like Chorizo Pop Tarts, Verve Fries (which are smothered in garlic sausage gravy), or a Breakfast Board that comes with pork belly, ham, currywurst, cured egg yolk and tasso. If you haven’t guessed it by now, meat eaters are more than welcome here.
Drink for cheap when you have brunch here, because mimosa pitchers are $7. Soak up the champagne with the Clevelander breakfast scramble made with eggs, sweet onion, cheese, bacon, and pierogis. They also have crowd favorites, such as chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and even a Hangover Burger on the menu, which is topped with American cheese, bacon, a fried egg, and hashbrowns. Whether you’re in the mood to solely drink your brunch or are looking for more of a balance between food and beverage, you’ll leave feeling satisfied on both fronts after breakfast time at Cleveland Chop.
This cash-only spot is run by sisters who grew up in the area and serves up Southwestern-inspired options like the Chorizo Burrito and Huevos Rancheros (carnitas optional). For syrup-topped brunch, try their Trail Mix Pancakes or Banana Nut Stuffed French Toast. Borderline Cafe is on the smaller side, so expect a wait. But according to locals who love to frequent the place, it’s well worth it. Diners appreciate the friendly service and cost-friendly prices.
Don’t be thrown off by the name, because you’ll be served “feel good” food with options from an extensive menu, including brunch favorites, such as the West 14th Special (housemade corned beef hash, two eggs, toast), The Morning After Omelet (a massive concoction made with 10 eggs(!) and meat add-ins), and the Walker Hash (chorizo and andouille sausage, okra, cajun home fries with melted cheese on top and topped with eggs). They mean business when it comes to brunch here. After enjoying your fill of food of this longtime Cleveland staple, might we suggest a well-deserved nap?
There are several reasons to love Cleveland, but starting off with a brunch at one of the delicious spots is the best way to kick off the day. The hunt for the best brunch in Cleveland is a tough job, but we’re more than happy to do it.