Barbacoa and Benedicts? Yup, Sign Us Up for the Best Brunches in Phoenix
Roll out of bed and into some brunch spots.
Saying the word “brunch” tends to evoke a lot of feelings. Some people love it, some people loathe it, but everyone has an opinion on this quirky midday meal. Stretching a meal across two different meal times means nothing is off-limits. Brunch itself has its own subgenre of dishes that blend lunch-savory with breakfast-sweet and combine eggs with every option under the sun. And even though this mythical fourth meal has few rules, there are still restaurants that handle brunch better than others. Here are the best places in Phoenix to get your brunch on.
Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has gone through a significant renovation the last few years, including upgrades to its food and beverage programs. One of those changes is Carcara, the bright and airy restaurant that sits on the ground floor, open to the passersby strolling along 3rd Street. Its Boozy Brunch features Sonoran-inspired dishes, like the savory Pop Tart with pepper jelly and the Smoked Southwest Turkey Sausage Benedict that comes with a delectable mole hollandaise. Save a little room for something sweet, like the chocolate cinnamon roll with a rich orange frosting.
When your motto is “The Brunch Life”, your late-morning meal game better be strong and Hash Kitchen absolutely lives up to its mantra. A part of the Maggiore restaurant collection, the brunch atmosphere at Hash Kitchen is always a party; chalk it up to the DJ, mimosas with glitter, and Build Your Own Bloody Mary bar with 50 toppings. Then there’s the food, which comes at you just as loud as the tunes pumping over the speakers. For a classic of significant proportion, try the Effin’ Huge English Muffin with crispy hashbrowns and brown sugar ham or a signature dish like the Carnitas Hash with green chile sauce, fried onions, and Coca-Cola braised pork.
Little O's Arcadia Market
Little O’s Arcadia Market was brought to life by the team behind O.H.S.O. and conveniently neighbors the Arcadia-based brewery along the Arizona Canal. Early risers can patron Little O’s drive-thru for fresh-brewed coffee and a spectacle of frosted donuts. And the brunch crowd can belly-up to a table under one of the many bright orange umbrellas that adorn the Little O’s open-air patio. Standouts plucked from the Little O’s brunch menu include a Belgian waffle chicken sandwich drizzled with spicy syrup and a breakfast pizza topped with sausage gravy, eggs, bacon crumbles, peppers and onions, and a medley of mixed cheeses. Thirsty? All brunch items come with your choice of monster mimosa or a 10-ounce draft.
Otro Cafe is the sister restaurant of the popular Gallo Blanco, a hip, family-run Mexican restaurant located in Downtown Phoenix. Positioned along 7th Street, Otro Cafe dishes out eats inspired by the Mexico City region, ranging from shrimp ceviche and queso fundido to vegan posole and barbacoa and eggs. Naturally, Otro serves up stellar drinks to match their brunch spread. Try the seasonal sangrias. Or, knife through its signature Cajeta Flapjacks with banana and candied peanuts. Otro offers indoor, outdoor, and bar seating and regularly has live music in the mornings to set the bunch vibe.
Geordie’s at The Wrigley Mansion
Hungry epicureans from across The Valley can experience one of the swankiest brunches in Phoenix at the historic hilltop Wrigley Mansion. The property is home to a trio of restaurants including Jamie’s Wine Bar, Christopher’s, and Geordie’s Restaurant where incredible views of the city, and brunch classics, are both on the menu. Staples such as forkable slow roasted prime rib, savory eggs Benedict, manchego black truffle churros, and chicken & waffles round out the brunch menu at Geordie’s. And, don’t skip out on dessert – there’s a strawberry sundae with your name on it.
Arguably one of Arizona’s most scenic, and romantic, restaurants, El Chorro serves up a weekend brunch with an unbeatable panoramic view of nearby Camelback Mountain. Sure, you’ll take your Best of Both Worlds Eggs Benedict (complete with petite filet and jumbo lump blue crab cake) alongside a postcard-worthy desert scenery, but don’t miss the starter basket of El Chorro’s famous sticky buns, croissants, and scones to relish over. When the table’s cleared, take some time to explore the scenic grounds. This historic property is brimming with bits and pieces of Arizona history and Western flair.
The Vig has solidly established itself as a boozy hotspot for the brunch crowd. And with multiple locations across The Valley, your next brunch outing is never too far away. The menu combines the classics with regionally inspired dishes like chilaquiles, chorizo burrito, and braised beef hash complete with peppers, onions, and potatoes. A section of the menu is dedicated to day drinks that include a cold brew old fashioned and a bevy of tequila-kissed libations. And of course, there are plenty of mimosas, of the cranberry, grapefruit, orange, and pineapple varieties, to go around. With its spacious patios and lots of room for yard games like cornhole and bocce, this brunch playground may just turn into your next regular weekend hangout.
Brunch is best enjoyed with friends. Especially when those friends have four legs and bushy tails. This brewery and nano-distillery has a reputation as one of the friendliest dog-friendly dining outposts around town. Its casual, laid back vibe and shaded outdoor patio make a more-than-ideal scene to sip seasonal craft beers while noshing your way through a plate of cereal-covered French toast or short rib breakfast bowl. After the bill comes, snag a complimentary gourmet treat for your doggo on the way out.
Part of the imitable LGO family of restaurants, Chelsea’s Kitchen enlivens the senses with its on-site smoke yard, rotisserie grill, regionally sourced and taste bud-tantalizing cuisines, and picture-perfect outdoor patio. Put your pinkies up and sip your way through a hoard of bubbly (because, brunch!) and spirits. And savor every single bite of Chelsea’s acclaimed green chile burger. Perhaps you’d rather go all in on the Santa Fe style eggs with carne adovada or lemon ricotta hotcakes. There’s nothing not worth ordering here, really.
Your parents probably told you not to play with your food. Forget that. Culinary Dropout encourages you to bring out your playful side with their assemblage of yard games, live music performances, yoga classes, and of course, those dippable soft pretzels and provolone fondue. Culinary Dropout’s expansive indoor-outdoor spaces mean that there’s plenty of room for everyone to spread out and run around, but you’ll definitely want to cozy back up to the table for their legendary fried chicken or if the sweet tooth is calling, the banana bread French toast.
Comfort foods including homemade cinnamon rolls drizzled with a drool-inducing vanilla glaze and southern-style, from-scratch cheddar biscuits with sausage gravy come standard at this buzzy Uptown brunch spot. Sure to absolutely win over Bloody Mary fans, Windsor’s rolling bar cart is stocked with all of the spices, fancy salts, yummy pickles, and fresh garnishes you could possibly dream up. And, for the craft beer crowd, order up a pitcher of locally-brewed beer for six bucks; it’s an unbeatable deal if you’re looking to extend your brunch into the lazy, late afternoon hours.
Bring your appetite to Ocotillo where brunch-goers can get their fill of sweet dishes like cinnamon roll French toast and savory plates like the beef rib breakfast with jalapeño chimichurri. Ocotillo’s seasonally-inspired menu is complemented by a carefully-curated list of spirits that come together to make some epic brunchy drinks. And mimosas made with fresh citrus are available by the glass or pitcher to keep your thirsty palate quenched.
Hula's Modern Tiki
Brunch gets a tiki twist at Hula’s Modern Tiki. Hula’s dishes out a wave of tropical-inspired brunch eats like the traditional island specialty loco moco, ahi eggs benedict, and a signature hangover hash. A large list of starters and sides will keep you occupied with poke, mac salad, and crispy fish bites until the entrees arrive. When the rum calls, belly-up to the bar or kickback on the patio with a Mai Tai or Dr. Funk. And if you really want to go all out, order a shareable rum-drenched Scorpion Bowl and drink up all those island vibes.
Lauren Topor Reichert is a Phoenix-based multimedia storyteller, photographer, and content creator. Her work has been featured in travel guides, national publications, and the social feeds of some stellar local restaurants. Follow her around Arizona, and beyond, on Instagram @hungryinphoenix.