Food & Drink

Detroit's 7 Essential Brunch Spots

Published On 05/21/2014 Published On 05/21/2014

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.

Brooklyn Street Local

Brooklyn Street Local

Corktown
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.

La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita

Northern Detroit
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.

Seva

Seva

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.

Cliff Bell’s

Cliff Bell’s

Downtown
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.

Jeff Waraniak

Honest John’s

Midtown
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.

Jeff Waraniak

Hudson Café

Downtown
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…

Sindbad’s Restaurant and Marina

Sindbad’s Restaurant and Marina

Marina
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 Local 1266 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 (Corktown)

Founded in 2012 by a Canadian couple, Brooklyn Street Local is a homey Corktown lunch destination for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Ingredients are sourced fresh from Detroit's urban farms and are used to create an array of flavorful favorites, such as The BSL, traditional poutine made with organic cheese curds and beef gravy (can be adapted to vegan appetites), The Works, a thick, organic beef patty topped with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg, the Vegan Reuben served on rye, and rich banana walnut pancakes. The interior has all the marks of an American diner (banquette seating, warm hanging lamps, framed photographs on the walls), but the stylish outdoor patio calls to mind the industrial cityscape of Bushwick, Brooklyn.

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2. 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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3. Seva 66 E. Forest St., Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

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.

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4. 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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5. Honest John's Bar & Grill 488 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201 (Midtown)

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.

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6. The Hudson Cafe 1241 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Once you get past the cafe and the comfy lounge area with its stone-hearth fireplace, you'll see that The Hudson Cafe is a modern take on an American diner serving hearty breakfast and lunch options in its bright, minimalist restaurant. Hudson offers an overwhelmingly large menu of standard options like pancakes, waffles, french toast, omelets, sandwiches, and salads that are equally as overwhelmingly large. But variety is the name of the game here: there are 6 types of Eggs Benedict (Voodoo made with corn cakes and chorizo is a must-try) and inventive options like a thanksgiving omelet with cranberries and turkey sausage, red velvet pancakes with a cream cheese drizzle, house-made corned beef hash, and fried catfish and waffle.

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7. Sindbad's Restaurant and Marina 100 Saint Clair St, Detroit, MI 48214

Sindbad's Restaurant is located right on the water, serving up fresh seafood, delicious steaks, and a buffet brunch that includes their classic eggs Benedict.

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