Food & Drink

The Best Brunch Spots in Cleveland

Published On 09/14/2016 Published On 09/14/2016
Best brunches cleveland
Jason Shaffer

Weekday breakfasts are at best, an afterthought -- say a quick bowl of cereal or a banana grabbed hastily on the way out the door. Which just gives us all the more reason to relax and enjoyyy a long and leisurely brunch on the weekend. But if you’re gonna indulge, be sure to indulge in the good stuff. We’ve rounded up 15 of the best spots to brunch in Cleveland. Pour yourself a mimosa and let’s get to it.

Courtesy of Luna Bakery Cafe

Luna Bakery Cafe

Cleveland Heights

Offering excellent bakery treats all week long (is there anything more edifying after a crappy day than macarons?), Luna’s a great place to nip into for a quick croissant and hot cup of coffee on the way to work. Come the weekend, it’s an ever better place to relax over the newspaper with a frothy latte and house-made crepe, oozing with rich fillings such as fresh mozzarella and pesto, or something a bit lighter like Nutella and bananas.

Jason Shaffer

Dante Next Door

Tremont

From the city to the ‘burbs, mouth-watering pastas to tantalizing sushi, Cleveland chef and restaurateur Dante Boccuzzi has diners of all dispositions covered. So it was a welcome addition when Dante Next Door opened right next to its flagship restaurant in 2014. Offering brunch and lunch service only, the restaurant has fantastic morning-to-mid-afternoon dishes such as orange mascarpone cheese-stuffed French toast and “everything bagel and lox” pizza with house-cured salmon, hard-boiled egg, capers, red onions, cream cheese, and dill. What’s better than a bagel on a Sunday morning? Bagel pizza, of course.

Urban Farmer Cleveland

Urban Farmer

Downtown

There’s nothing quite like a good steak, but then, of course, good steaks don’t come cheap. For an Urban Farmer experience without the steakhouses prices, weekend brunch is a sound option. Star dishes include the honey biscuit with fried egg, sausage gravy, crispy chicken leg, and lemon marmalade as well as the grilled flat iron steak and eggs with sausage gravy. Whatever you order, make sure it comes with one of its not-to-be-missed pillow soft, house-made English muffins.

Abbe DeMaio

Graffiti: A Social Kitchen

Battery Park

Pancakes and omelets certainly have their place in our brunch-loving hearts, but what better time than the weekend to try something out of the box? Featuring a seriously inventive menu of must-try dishes that tow the sweet and savory line, including chorizo pop tarts and brie-stuffed French toast, Graffiti gives us plenty of reason to break free from standard brunch fare.

Flip Side

The Flats

Despite an impressive crop of new restaurants helping to spearhead The Flats’ revival, finding a worthwhile brunch spot in the area can be tricky. Luckily, the team behind Flip Side burgers is now offering weekend brunch in this new location, extending its locally sourced, owned, and brewed concept well beyond the evening hours.

Courtesy of Spice Kitchen+Bar

Spice Kitchen & Bar

Gordon Square

Proving that farm-to-table fare is equally delicious in the light of day, Spice does an excellent job translating its local, sustainable concept into a truly excellent weekend brunch. Featuring warm beignets, fluffy omelets, and one of the more impressive cocktail programs (honestly, how many joints in town have draught Negronis?), Spice’s brunch is easily the best in the area.

The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery

The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery

Cuyahoga Falls

For some Clevelanders, a trip out to Cuyahoga Falls can be quite the trek, albeit a very worthwhile one -- especially in the fall when the National Park’s vibrant trees demonstrate Ohio’s autumn season at its very best. While you’re out there, do. not. miss. The Blue Door’s lovely brunch, featuring European-inspired dishes such as the croissant BLT with Nueske’s bacon, local lettuce, sliced heirloom tomatoes, honey, and mustard sauce as well as the peach salad with organic greens, shaved parmesan cheese, raspberry granola crunch, and vanilla vinaigrette.

Pier W

Pier W

Lakewood

Some brunches are best enjoyed in sunglasses and sweatpants while nursing last night’s hangover, while others should be saved for truly special occasions. Wholly representing the latter, Pier W’s ultra-fancy brunch offers everything from a carving station to a raw bar, plus truly spectacular views of our glittering Great Lake. Put yourself together for this one.

Washington Place Bistro & Inn

Washington Place Bistro & Inn

Little Italy

You don’t have to be an overnight guest at this historic inn to enjoy what the kitchen has to offer. With a tempting menu of brunch favorites taken to the next level, Washington Place Bistro alone is worth the trip to Little Italy. Check out the fried chicken and waffles with cracked black pepper, bourbon butter, and Ohio maple syrup, and please, PLEASE don’t miss the to-die-for shrimp and Low Country cheesy grits with chorizo, cherry tomatoes, "beer blanc," and scallions.

Flour Restaurant

Flour Restaurant

Moreland Hills

Take this restaurant up on its bottomless mimosas and lock yourself in: Flour’s brunch is definitely a sit and savor kind of morning. Dig into lush dishes such as Nutella-stuffed French toast with maple syrup, peanut butter powder, and strawberries as well as bubbly wood-fired pizzas including the breakfast pizza with pancetta, sunny-side-up egg, and peperonata.

Jack Flaps

Ohio City

Playful takes on pancakes, waffles, and French toast are the backbone of this ultra-creative breakfast menu. If your tastes lean sweet, try the "Fat Elvis," a waffle with peanut butter whip, banana, and bacon praline. Savory-seekers should try the “Real F’ing Breakfast Burrito,” with adobo-braised beef, hash, scrambled egg, manchego, smoked tomato salsa, and crema.

Market

Rocky River

Market’s welcoming yet spacious interior makes the restaurant a great spot for large parties, while the menu’s diverse offerings have something for every taste. If savory or sweet is your eternal brunch dilemma, try the mini pancakes covered with sausage patties, poached eggs, and maple hollandaise for the best of both worlds. And don’t miss the real crowd pleaser: Market’s Bloody Mary-making “adult salad bar.”

Courtesy of Fire/Donna Ruhlman

Fire Food & Drink

Shaker Square

This Shaker Square mainstay has stood the test of time thanks to Chef Doug Katz by turning out consistently great food in a sleek, comfortable setting. Fire's extensive menu keenly focuses on high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Its reasonably priced weekend brunch is the perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and dig in. We’ll take one of those sticky buns, please.

Lucky’s Cafe

Tremont

Set in a quaint old house, Lucky’s is crazy adorable and more importantly, crazy delicious. Pop in for fantastic coffees and tempting pastries to go, or just sit and linger over one of the best brunches in the city. Top picks include cheddar scallion biscuits with scrambled eggs and sausage gravy as well as lemon waffles with warm blueberry compote, honey-infused whipped cream, and house-made caramel sauce.

Courtesy of Trentina/Amelia Sawyer

Trentina

University Circle

Part restaurant, part art installation, Trentina’s innovative menu caters to those who are hungry for a meal that’s slightly out of the ordinary. Choose from a rotating menu of brunch classics with twists courtesy of Chef Jonathon Sawyer such as eggs roasted over embers. No matter what you order from this University Circle spot, expect to be surprised -- in the very best way.

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Beth Phillips is a Cleveland-area writer who welcomes any excuse to add Champagne to her morning glass of OJ. You can follow her on Twitter @CraveableCLE.

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1. Graffiti: A Social Kitchen 1261 W 76th St, Cleveland, OH 44102

Graffiti will dazzle your tastebuds, so come prepared to expand your horizons. If you have an adventurous palate, you will love the playful, crazy delicious dishes on the menu. Graffiti's "Dirty Bird" Bloody Mary has been named as one of the best hangover cures too, so come try it out at brunch!

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2. Luna Bakery Café 2482 Fairmount Blvd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106

All the quaintness and functionality you expect (and gosh darn it, deserve!) from a local cafe. Dash in for a cap and a scone on the weekdays or post up for a crepe on the weekend.

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3. Dante Next Door 2247 Professor Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113 (Tremont)

Right next to DANTE, this casual Trattoria serves an excellent lunch and brunch before DANTE opens its doors for the evening. Its known for delicious hand-tossed pizzas baked to perfection in wood fire ovens, but they also serve great pastas, sandwiches, salads, and plenty of more traditional sweet and savory brunch options. Whether you come alone with a friend or a with big group, we recommend getting a few pizzas to share.

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4. Urban Farmer, Cleveland's Steakhouse 1325 E. 6th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

For those who enjoy their steak with a side of flair, Urban Farmer dishes up delicious food in a stylish, rustic-meets-mid-century-modern decor. The restaurant prides itself on local, organic sourcing, and the state of origin is listed next to each steak on the menu, divided by cut. You’ll want to order the killer charcuterie or cheese board to start -- just don't spoil your appetite for the much-anticipated main event. If you can' t wait until dinnertime to enjoy one of their steaks, stop by for brunch where you can score a side of house-made English muffins with your steak breakfast.

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5. Flip Side 49B Village Way, Hudson, OH 44264

With its locally-sourced grass-fed burgers, solid brunch fare (truffle fries, anyone?), and other New American bar eats, this Cleveland chain has made regulars all over the region. The rustic-meets-industrial space has a casual vibe to it and is both group- and kid-friendly. If you happen to swing by with the family, there’s delectable milkshakes for the little ones and, as an added bonus, the opportunity for parents to add a shot of Kahlua to their own one -- proof that everyone truly can win.

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6. Spice Kitchen+Bar 5800 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102 (Ohio City)

The seasonal menu at Ohio City's Spice Kitchen + Bar may change nightly, but one thing remains constant: everything is sourced from both the restaurant's own farm in Cuyahoga Valley and local producers. Chef Ben Bebenroth's interest in local ingredients and farming is obvious in plates like mushroom beignets with goat cheese, grilled butternut squash with root vegetable puree, and polenta and chickpea fries. Even the cocktail menu reflects the harvest cycle with locally made apple cider spiked with whiskey. While most restaurants might be a bit pretentious in their emphasis on seasonal cooking, Spice stays grounded.

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7. The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery 1970 State Rd, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

If you find yourself in Cuyahoga Falls, which can be a journey for some Clevelanders, your trip isn't complete without indulging in the Blue Door’s European-inspired brunch. This quaint cafe serves up fresh dishes that won't weigh you down, like the croissant BLT with Nueske’s bacon, local lettuce, sliced heirloom tomatoes, honey, and mustard sauce, or the peach salad with organic greens, shaved parmesan cheese, raspberry granola crunch, and vanilla vinaigrette. The four-course dinner menu here changes weekly and is only served on Friday and Saturday, so you'd be wise to make a reservation.

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8. Pier W 12700 Lake Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

Pier W has been serving up seafood in an elegant setting for 50 year. Great views make this a romantic spot.

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9. Washington Place Bistro & Inn 2203 Cornell Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106

An inn worth visiting even as a non-guest, Washington Place slays the brunch scene with a mean eggs Benedict. Make sure to come back a second time for a big ass burger and a whiskey cocktail.

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10. Flour 34205 Chagrin Blvd, Moreland Hills, OH 44022

Bottomless mimosas? Check. Nutella-stuffed French toast? Check. Wood-fired pizzas? Check. Three checks and I guess you'd better check it out then.

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11. Jack Flaps Luncheonette 530 Euclid Ave Ste 10, Cleveland, OH 44115

A through-and-through all-American diner serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner classics with a healthy pour of pizazz.

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12. Market 1137 Linda St, Rocky River, OH 44116

Good for you and your entire social circle and extended family. Well, good for large groups, at least. Come for the the Bloody Mary bar, stay for the Bloody Mary bar.

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13. Fire Food & Drink 13220 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120

Of course, anything that comes out of chef Doug Katz’s reputable kitchen is bound to be fantastic, but Fire’s signature wood-fired ovens help to take some dishes one step further than that. Don’t miss the tandoor ribeye, currently served with cauliflower fritters, braised leeks, Mackenzie goat cheese, tomato chutney, garlic aioli, and burgundy jus, for a twist on a classic steak dinner. The focus at Fire Food & Drink is on serving local and sustainable cuisine for brunch, dinner, and dessert along with an extensive list of wines.

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14. Lucky's Cafe 777 Starkweather Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113

Pop in for a pastry or post up for a full on brunch at this cafe located in an old house. Either way, you'll be charmed by the quaintness and blown away by the flavor.

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15. Trentina 1903 Ford Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106 (University Circle)

Chef Jonathan Sawyer's Trentina is a small (35 seat) restaurant offering up Northern Italian fare, including the 12-course Menu Bianco tasting menu.

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