It was a wise man (or lady?!) indeed who first awoke at 11am, couldn’t decide between pancakes or a sandwich, and decided to make both… and then added a Bloody Mary for good measure. Today, brunch isn't a meal -- it's an institution. Actually, it's thankfully totally still a meal, too. These are the best places in Detroit to enjoy it.
Detroit's 7 Essential Brunch Spots
Thanks to this place, you don’t have to cross the river to get some decent poutine. But aside from calorie-laden Northern delicacies, their brunch lineup also includes banana pancakes with caramelized walnuts, an inevitably delicious quiche-of-the-day, and of course, the Hangover Special -- a platter of eggs, toast, and breakfast meats, and (why not?!) poutine. Bonus: true to its name, BSL sources just about everything on their organic menu from local joints.
LDV considers themselves "Detroit’s best kept secret", and although the place is certainly well kept and tucked away like a precious gem, it ain’t no secret. In the Springtime/Summertime, their classy outdoor patio is hopping with smooth jazz, salmon hash, and decadent selections like the shrimp Benedict -- easily the best brunch to be found North of Midtown.
If you’re aiming to do casual brunch the vegan or vegetarian way (note: you don’t need to BE vegetarian or vegan to do this), then Seva’s what you’re looking for. The eggs rancheros always satisfy and the Big Breakfast includes eggs, pancakes, soy sausage, rosemary potatoes, and Michigan maple syrup. Their lineup of mimosas, including the delicious beer-mosa, is also very much on point.
Here’s what you need to know about brunch at Cliff Bell’s: there’re bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, fancy stuff like a croque madame with Dearborn smoked ham and Gruyere, and classics like chicken and waffles with jalapeño maple syrup. The live jazz also helps, if you can hear it over the Hallelujah chorus that's playing in your head.
After a night of debauchery, brunch is often the only thing that can bring you back to even, and there’s no better place to do that than Honest John’s. Even if you were just there the night before throwing back some Short’s, they're always there with several warm, non-judgmental plates of elephantine omelets, restorative breakfast sandwiches, and some much needed hair of the dog… starting at 7am.
It’s always a good sign if the brunch place you’re considering keeps proper brunch hours, and at Hudson Café the red velvet pancakes, graham cracker-crusted French toast, and Voodoo Eggs Benedict are all on deck from 8am 'til at least 3pm every day. And although Sunday can mean an hour -long wait for a sweet and/or savory brunch, that graham cracker French toast DOES come with cream cheese drizzle…
Sinbad’s is an old-school Detroit classic that still delivers a mean buffet-style Sunday brunch. The eggs Benedict is timeless. The opportunity to load up your plate with a boderline insane amount of seafood is never to be passed up, and the riverside location makes the whole experience feel all the more classy.
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1. Brooklyn Street Local1266 Michigan Ave, Detroit
2. La Dolce Vita17546 Woodward Ave, Detroit
3. Seva66 E. Forest St., Detroit
4. Cliff Bell's2030 Park Ave, Detroit
5. Honest John's Bar & Grill488 Selden St, Detroit
6. The Hudson Cafe1241 Woodward Ave, Detroit
7. Sindbad's Restaurant and Marina100 Saint Clair St, Detroit
Founded in 2012 by a Canadian couple, this cozy Corktown diner is a lunch destination for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Ingredients are sourced fresh from urban farms in Detroit and are used to create an array of flavorful favorites, such as “the BSL,” an authentic take on poutine that can be prepared traditionally or adapted to vegan appetites. The interior features the accouterments of a classic diner (banquette seating, warm hanging lamps, framed photographs mounted along the walls), and the outdoor patio calls to mind the industrial cityscape of Bushwick, appealing to guests seeking both homey and hip environs.
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.
Seva provides a haven of flavor for hungry vegetarians in Midtown. The restaurant’s original Ann Arbor location has been serving up quality vegetarian and vegan fare since 1973, and its younger Detroit spot doesn’t disappoint. Menu highlights range from small plates like yam fries with spicy mayo and vegan barbecue sauce to entrees like the TLT, a wheat wrap made with tempeh, cheddar, guacamole, tomatoes and greens. There’s fresh squeezed juices for diners on a detox and floral, fruit-forward cocktails for those who prefer to sip and savor. The space itself is bright and open, making it a decent lunch option for groups.
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.
Honest John's is open 7am-2am every day (save 9am-2am on Sunday's) to serve you delicious omelets, burgers, and Hoovers -- a combination of cranberry, orange, pineapple juice, and vodka.
If you want breakfast, The Hudson Cafe's got what you are looking for -- pancakes, French toast, design-your-own waffles, crepes, four types of eggs benedict, tons of omelets, and more.