Have a Beer for Breakfast With Your Favorite Captain
Patachou whips up a hearty brunch worth writing home about. Cafe Patachou’s tagline is “student union for adults,” and its menu provides some of the freshest omelets, salads, and sandwiches in Indy. Martha Hoover and her team saw success with Cafe Patachou and not only expanded to six separate locations, but added another handful of restaurants (Napolese, Public Greens, Petite Chou) each with its own individual fare and farm-to-table branding. Start with a self-serve cup of coffee -- flavors rotate daily -- and enjoy a the Patachou experience any day of the week.
Biscuits and gravy is just about as Hoosier as brunch gets, and no one does B&G like Love Handle. Think silky mushroom gravy on top of flakey, tender biscuits, with a selection that changes daily. You can add some rich smoked pork belly or a jellied egg yolk to go with the pickled radishes that add crunch and cut the fat a bit. Love Handle perhaps is best known for its lineup of sandwiches featuring everything from farm-raised jowl bacon to pineapple mostarda, all served with pork-fat popcorn. Just make sure to save room for some coconut lavender cream pie from the sweets case.
If you live in Indy and haven’t popped by Milktooth yet, keep that secret to yourself and then make a beeline this weekend. Jonathan Brooks’ spot has a clever menu featuring sourdough carrot cake waffles, Dutch baby pancake with vanilla-rum parsnip puree, and a meaty lamb steak burger with Amelia’s bread from down the street. The wait for a table may be long, and it’s not just because of their limited brunch hours.
Like a classic American diner, Mama’s serves up eggs and bacon with all the hot coffee you can drink. Expect a mix of dishes on the menu, from a meatball sub to Hawaiian loco moco. The wait is often long on weekends, but least you can pour yourself as much coffee as you need while you wait.
The Venn diagram between hardcore vegetarians and juice-loving yogis overlaps at Garden Table. Recently opening its second location along Mass Ave (the original is in Broad Ripple), this brunch beauty is the perfect spot for a healthified Reuben sandwich, a raw pad Thai poke bowl, or a challah Benedict, all paired with an herbescent libation to brighten up the morning.
If you put a neighborhood greasy spoon in a blender with a Mexican restaurant, you’d get Biscuits. If you’re really hurting, get a plate of spicy biscuits and gravy, a burrito, and some eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns and wash it down with a Tecate or gigantic mimosa. The worst time to try to dine in at Biscuits is the day after every major drinking holiday from 10am to 2pm. Luckily, it has carry out for just such a hellish occasion.
Brunch is a new thing for Bent Rail, but it’s more than welcome in SoBro. You can stop by the Broad Ripple winter farmers' market and then sit down for a simple plate of eggs and toast, or get a fancy waffle piled with toppings. If you’re having a particularly tough morning, grab a pint or a Bloody Maria to soothe your pounding head.
The Katris family’s mini-chain of pancake restaurants is proof that the American dream is still alive. George Katris left his home village in Greece at 13, nickel and diming his way to survival by working just about every restaurant job he could find. By 1985, George opened the first LSP in Kokomo, and eventually grew the business to 10 restaurants scattered around the city and surrounding suburbs. Expect good, honest diner food and bottomless coffee, as well as a few Greek classics like gyros and salads.
Chai tea fanatics, rejoice! SoBro Cafe’s owner trotted around the world to discover both “the medicinal and communal qualities” of the drink, and presents a variety that arguably rivals any other chai wielding spot in town. The skillets, scrambles, salads, and sandwiches are also a wow factor here. As your food coma takes over and you gaze at the artwork on the wall, buy a piece that you fall in love with: All of the profits go right back to the local artist responsible for it.
Back when Indy wasn’t awash with either vegetarian or brunch options, 3 Sisters was there with its veggie omelets and calico hashbrowns. Luckily the wait isn’t eternal anymore, though Broad Ripple folks still pour in on weekends. You can still get plenty of meat options, but TSC splits the difference between indulging and eating smart if you need to fortify without clogging your arteries.
At Open Society, mimosas are topped off with the freshest OJ, and bloody marys are infused with lemon chili and other savory spices. Opt for the galletas, a clever-but-hearty chicken & waffles dish, or the soft scramble made with Gouda and truffles. If you can handle any more food, don’t miss out on the pastries.
Way up in Zionsville, Cobblestone Grill makes a delicious fancy Sunday brunch that you should probably keep in mind for Mother’s Day. The brunch is like Biscuits’ sophisticated older brother, with Oaxacan-influenced flavors punching up proteins sourced from some of Indiana and Alaska’s best small farms and fisheries, like grouper al pastor. Though it can be a bit of a drive, this Sunday brunch is absolutely worth the gas.
You’ll likely be waiting for your table on the weekend, but here’s a real tip: Ward off that hanger with one of Rosie’s locally famous butter cookies. But like mom told you, don’t fill up on sweets because you’ll want to save room for the spring veggie hash Benny, the spicy burrito, or California egg sandwich. Gluten-free folks will be smiling after spotting that options extend past clever omelets to a three-stack of savory-sweet pancakes. For a real treat, get the brown sugar oatmeal pancakes.
Just south of Broad Ripple, Delicia is known for its New Latin cuisine, adding an extra flair to Sunday brunch with chorizo, salsa verde, crema, and berry-mole in many hearty and bright dishes. Keep the party going with a caipirinha or sangria, or better yet, samba your way to La Mulita, the little sister to Delicia, right next door.
Behold, Indy’s “north star” beacon of brunch. Known across the country for its dairy, Traders Point Creamery is more than just cheese and yogurt. The Loft brings both sweet and savory delights to the table, including chilaquiles verde, smoked pork Benedict, and breakfast mac & cheese, all of which will leave you satisfied. Oh, and if you order the French toast made with cardamom banana bread, make sure you nod vigorously when asked if you want to add a scoop of the iconic Traders Point vanilla ice cream. You can thank us later.
Chatham Arch & Carmel
It’s never too early for meatballs, and luckily, the savory and sweet meatballs at Mimi Blue’s are available all-day. At brunch, opt for the lemon thyme pancake balls with a side of breakfast sausage meatballs, or the biscuits served up with classic meatballs and a sausage gravy. Not feeling ballsy that morning? Go for the challah French toast or eggs gerry (both do come with meatballs), or just eggs and a fruit cup. Wash it all down with a bellini. Or two.
Typically known for dinner, the brunch at Mesh is a hidden gem. The Cunningham Group’s Mass Ave location does brunch right with a short rib brioche grilled cheese, a breakfast burger topped off with a fried egg and dijon-maple gastrique, and Ora King salmon paired with tomato confit laid over an everything bagel. Getting thirsty? Well, reign over the gorgeous patio out back with a bloody mary Queen of Scots (locally sourced Wilks & Wilson bloody mary mix, St. George green chile vodka and Black Grouse Scotch), or better yet, the best kept secret at Mesh: half-price wine bottles on Sunday.