Food & Drink

Drink Up: The Best Boozy Brunches in Detroit

Published On 06/16/2016 Published On 06/16/2016
Bobcat Bonnie's brunch
Chris & Michelle Gerard/Bobcat Bonnie's

Bobcat Bonnie's

Corktown

Another of the not-quite-bottomless-but-might-as-well-be brunches is at Bobcat Bonnie's in Corktown, where the build-your-own Bloody Marys and mimosas are just $3 each, and the menu includes fried bologna and Ubuntu eggs. Plus brunch is offering Saturdays AND Sundays. Brunch: not just for Sundays anymore.

24grille

Downtown

There are two restaurants inside the Westin Book Cadillac -- this is the other one. The food can be hit or miss but it's a sexy space, and there's even a sidewalk patio, if you must. For $28, you get the brunch buffet with an omelet station, salad station, and fruit bar, and mimosas at the flavored mimosa bar are $5 each. This is the most expensive of the "not quite bottomless but still pretty cheap" mimosa options on here, but it still deserves some love.

Courtesy of St. Cece's Pub

St. Cece's Pub

Corktown

Bottomless mimosas are $12 on Sundays at Corktown's favorite not-really-Irish Irish pub. By summer, hold out for a seat on the patio. By winter, make it to the fireplace. Everyone loves that damn fireplace.

Northern Lights Lounge

New Center

LDV might get all the hype for its tucked-away "urban oasis" patio, but have you been to the patio at Northern Lights? It's pretty great. You should totally go. Especially since New Center/Milwaukee Junction are going to be The Next Big Thing(s) of Detroit neighborhoods. (Sorry Ave of Fash, your turn is totally coming, though!) Also, mimosas are $2.50 each, or you can get a one-liter carafe for $10. Again, not quite "bottomless," but close enough!

Cliff Bell's

Downtown

Cliff Bell's is the boozy brunch for grown folks. On Sundays, you can add bottomless mimosas to your breakfast poutine or cinnamon swirl French toast for just $10 (hey now, that's the stuff!), and it runs until 3pm.

Courtesy of Grand Trunk Pub

Grand Trunk Pub

Downtown

Your first mimosa at the Grand Trunk Pub will cost you $7. Every mimosa thereafter will cost you $1. So $12 will put you in a pretty good way every Saturday and Sunday, and that's what we like to call "close enough to bottomless."

Green Dot Stables

Corktown

Green Dot Stables' spectacularly inexpensive food menu complements well with a whole bottle of bubbly that'll set you back all of $15, and you can probably get some orange juice with it too. Do you really care about the orange juice, though?

La Dolce Vita

Highland Park

Make no mistake, this is a "Girls' Day Out" booze brunch spot. It's true that the patio is nice, and the stuffed French toast is really good, but this place most certainly has a place in the Seven Circles of Brunch Hell. The only appropriate way to deal with it is to make like the Romans and get the $12 bottomless mimosas.

LAIKA DOG

LAIKA DOG at UFO Factory

Corktown

Hot dogs and orange juice sounds like something 7-year-old us would be really into. Regardless, mimosas and Bloody Marys are bottomless for just $12 during Saturday and Sunday brunch, which also includes waffle-wrapped hot dogs. Which again, sounds like something the 7-year-old version of us would be really into.

PJ's Lager House

Corktown

The house mimosa is $4 and well vodka Bloody Marys are $5. These are definitely not bottomless and are really pushing the "but so cheap they might as well be" line, but PJ's deserves some love. Three Bloody Marys and you'll be feeling pretty all right. Its brunch has that slight Creole tinge PJ's is known for by those who know, plus there are pretty great vegan items like the vegan biscuits and gravy, which is another thing PJ's is known for by those who know.

Majestic Cafe

Midtown

One of Midtown's old standbys has bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for brunch until 4pm on Sundays for $12. 4pm is a reasonable and acceptable time for brunch to end, especially for those who can never seem to rally before 2pm (no, this isn't directed at anyone in particular… *cough*).

Courtesy of Union Street

Union Street

Midtown

Union Street, another long-time Midtown staple right across from the Majestic, promises the largest Bloody Mary bar in the city, as well as $12 bottomless mimosas. Dig into brunchables like Southern praline pancakes and house-smoked brisket poutine.

The Whitney

Midtown

The Whitney is one of the priciest brunches on here, but you are 100% paying for the ambiance above all else, and it is 100% worth it. The $39 brunch buffet is pretty spectacular, as far as brunch buffets go: there's a seafood bar, extensive cold and hot buffet selections, a prime rib station, a variety of desserts and pastries, and it includes bottomless sparkling wine and mimosas. For an extra five bucks, you can also add on bottomless Bloodys. Let's make the Whitney hip again, guys!

Maccabees at Midtown

Midtown

At Maccabees, the bottomless mimosas are $21... which includes your brunch meal. OK, technically, the brunch is $21 and includes bottomless mimosas -- tomayto, tomahto.

Courtesy of Traffic Jam & Snug

Traffic Jam & Snug

Midtown

Start your Sunday Funday at Traffic Jam with $15 bottomless mimosas, then transition into a Canfield walking beer tour with a few of its beers in the bar followed by a few Motor City beers across the street. And then a few Jolly Pumpkin beers down the block, and any number of beers around the corner at HopCat. You'll be in bed by 7pm.

Bronx Bar

Midtown

The Bloody Mary bar is $5 and has been $5 for forever. It's loaded with a small grocery store's worth of fixings -- not a Whole Foods-sized grocery store, but, like, your friendly neighborhood hipster market that has one of each kind of item in their "curated" selection of sundries – and runs until 5pm because let's face it, brunch ending at 2pm is just stupid. It's also available on both Saturdays and Sundays, because this is a glorious time to be alive.

Woodbridge Pub

Woodbridge

This was always one of this writer's favorite hungover brunch spots. Maybe because the servers always seemed even more hungover than anyone else dining there. Maybe because the place just seems to have that soothing "It's OK, this is a safe space" vibe that the hanging-low need so desperately. Maybe because it doesn't really attract the trendy/twee crowd other spots do. Maybe because the bottomless mimosas are and always have been $11, and they keep your glasses full. Probably a combination of all of those things.

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1. Bobcat Bonnie's 1800 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216

Named after the owner's grandmother's vehicle of choice, Bobcat Bonnie's is a casual hangout destination complete with an arcade game room and Golden Tee Golf. Taking its cues from global cuisines but not a "fusion" of any particular one of them, the menu offers up no-fuss gastropub fare, as well as inventive bar snacks and eats, like Cap'n Crunch chicken fingers, sardine butter, and fried goat cheese. Most important is the build-your-own Blood Mary and mimosa bar, where guests can truly have it their way.

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2. 24Grille 204 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

There are two restaurants inside the Westin Book Cadillac -- this is the other one. The classic American food can be hit or miss but it's a sexy space and there's even a sidewalk patio, if you must. And as the host of Detroit's first champagne bar, this swanky, earth-toned spot is set to become your new favorite date destination.

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3. St. CeCe's 1426 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216 (Corktown)

This casual gastropub serves up delicious burgers, a make-your-own noodle bowl, and plenty of local craft beers and spirits. Though anything but austere, the woodwork, stone, and stained glass that deck out this pub make for a composed ambiance, a casualness continued in the patio in the summer and in the colder months, by the live fireplace placed smack-dab in the middle of the dining room for all to enjoy.

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4. Northern Lights Lounge 660 W Baltimore St, Detroit, MI 48202

This New Center spot is a veritable hipster mecca: warm retro furnishings, artful and affordable specialty cocktails (lavender-infused French 75, anyone?), a selection of Midwestern craft brews, and -- last but not least -- a sprawling outdoor patio, complete with shuffleboard to stimulate competitive socialites. If you’re here for the buzzing weekend brunch instead of one of their live music nights, consider arriving on the earlier side of things: the dirt cheap mimosas here are no secret, and seating fills up quick.

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5. Cliff Bell's 2030 Park Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Hands-down Detroit's finest cabaret club, Cliff Bell's is a cocktail bar, restaurant, and entertainment destination with dramatic Art Deco décor that includes a curved wood ceiling, mahogany leather banquettes, and a vintage Steinway grand piano. Stop by to wash down great jazz and burlesque with quality martinis and other beverages mixed by well dressed and professional bartenders.

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6. Grand Trunk Pub 612 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Detroit's Grand Trunk Pub, sometimes referred to as Foran's, has a storied history as home to a variety of random local businesses. This place was once a jewelry store, a railway ticket office, and possibly the home of a Harry Houdini magic shop. Nowadays, it offers over 170 craft beers, killer deep-fried pub food platters, and an Irish pub good-time atmosphere. They also host regular beer dinners and one of the best brunches in the city.

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7. Green Dot Stables 2200 W Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48216 (Corktown)

You expect sliders to be on the bar menu. But how about 22 different kinds of them? Lansing's Greed Dot Stables takes the slider staple and brings it to its most elaborate end with a selection of playful takes. You can always get a buffalo chicken or cheeseburger slider (which are on offer, don't worry), but try out the unexpected combos: the Korean hosts kimchi and peanut butter atop a beef patty while a PB&J is given a savory zing with chipotle-raspberry jam. And because surprise is the spice of life, you can always order the mystery meat. The rest of the wood bar, designed to recall a horse stable, feels familiar as any neighborhood drinking hole... just with fried baloney on the menu.

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8. La Dolce Vita 17546 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48203

A double-threat, La Dolce Vita is equally capable of satisfying you with bottomless mimosas and shrimp benedicts in the early hours or wowing your date with lobster-stuffed ravioli and house-made gnocchi in the evening. When the weather allows, don't settle for anything less than a spot on the patio as you fatten up to jazz music.

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9. UFO Factory 2110 Trumbull St, Detroit, MI 48216 (Corktown)

You may be too old to drink here, but you’re definitely not too old to grab some of this healthy and delicious pub fare served at UFO’s new kitchen, Laika Dog. Visit during weekend brunching hours for a bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys deal which also includes waffle-wrapped hot dogs. The cozy venue is primarily a DIY art and live music space, so don't leave without getting a little cultured.

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10. PJ's Lager House 1254 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 (Corktown)

This longstanding Corktown joint is known for raucous rock shows, Cajun fried fare, and its rowdy vibes. Case in point: back in the 2000s', PJ's played host as a hangout for the likes of rowdy DET indie rockers The White Stripes and The Von Bondies. Come for the mosh pits, and stay for the gumbo and fried pickles!

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11. The Majestic 4120 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

The Majestic is a multi-purpose complex that has been run by the Zainea family for decades. It's made up of the Majestic Theatre, Café, Sgt Pepperoni's, Garden Bowl, Alley Deck, and now Populux -- an EDM club. Lately they’ve given up a little on live rock shows, killing off the iconic Magic Stick to open Populux in the hopes of bringing all the cool kids in once again. And serve them booze, obviously.

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12. Union Street Saloon 4145 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

An Art Deco eatery in Midtown, Union Street's been an Detroit mainstay since the 1930s when it debuted on the local bar scene. The spot offers novel takes on American classics, including Brussel sprout skewers or lobster grilled cheese. Be sure to also check out their eclectic draft list.

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13. The Whitney 4421 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

Situated within the mansion of David Whitney, a lumber scion during the late 19th century and one of Detroit's wealthiest citizens, the Whitney is an elegant fine dining restaurant inspired by the city's golden age of industry. The plates, refined takes on American classics (house specialities include the Beef Wellington and shrimp cocktail), are right at home in the glorious domestic setting, while a second-floor dessert parlor with larger, more elaborate items, like flaming desserts and $3 mini-desserts for nibbling, adds even more to the opulence.

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14. Maccabees 5057 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 (Midtown)

Maccabees at Midtown offers up delicious salads and sandwiches, including "potato pancake sandwiches," which use potato pancakes to bookend piles of meat and cheese instead of slices of bread. Accented with wood and bronze, and projecting a decidedly art deco vibe, the '20s throwback space provides an appropriate atmosphere for its bistro menu offerings.

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15. Traffic Jam & Snug 511 W Canfield St, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

Traffic Jam & Snug was established in 1965 (though the building dates back to the 1880s), and has been a Wayne State University staple, and hyper-local destination ever since. Equal parts bakery, garden brewery, and creamery that produces award-winning blue asiago cheese, it's one of the coziest all-in-one places to hang in Midtown. On weekends, $15 bottomless mimosas will ensure your return.

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16. Bronx Bar 4476 2nd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Dimly lit, graffitied, and complete with a shot board and pool table, the Bronx bar is everyone's favorite dive. Sure, the staff is exceptionally cranky in a city where "cranky" is often a best-case scenario, but with juicy burgers, and a make-your-own-Bloody Mary bar on weekends, they've gotta make concessions somewhere.

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17. Woodbridge Pub 5169 Trumbull St, Detroit, MI 48208 (Midtown)

Woodbridge keeps a well-curated lineup of 80 brews on hand to accompany its locally sourced menu of sophisticated bar fare (like a Michelada burger topped with a fried egg and avocado cream on brioche). As a result, it's a go-to for Midtowners, Wayne Staters, and anyone looking to enjoy a good brew with a little class.