The 14 Best Brunches in The World
Sometimes it seems brunch is an American pastime, given how enthusiastic we are about it. But it turns out the world feels the same way, and great brunches can be had in restaurants anywhere from Barcelona to Shanghai, Phuket to Portland, Oregon. What makes this global availability so fun is the range of foods you can try if you commit to making brunch part of your globe-trotting experiences.
In addition to creative variations on the classics, you may see cured fish or zucchini blossom quesadillas pop up on the menu. If it’s a dim sum brunch you’re having, dumplings will play a starring role; while at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, the focus is on sushi—and addictive chirashi bowls. That huevos rancheros you crave? You might try huevos con chipirones, a style made with firefly squid available in Barcelona.
Of course, there’s no need to mess with perfection, and some spots on our list made the cut because they do the standards in their original form—and they do it well. You’ll not want for suggestions for a proper Eggs Benedict, generous lox platter, or perfectly flaky croissants. Finally, no brunch would be complete without the right drink to accompany your food, and these spots do it all, from freshly pressed juices to innovative, zippy martinis.
We’ve factored in ambience, keeping an eye out for a sunny rooftop space, killer views, a convivial vibe, or expert design. Add these places to your list and get ready—brunch never tasted so good.
Portland: Tasty N Alder
If you’ve spent time in PDX, you know that sometimes those “Portlandia” skits ring true—namely when it comes to the ridiculously competitive brunch scene. At the top of the game is Tasty N Alder, John Gorham’s downtown restaurant. Highlights on their eclectic, internationally inspired menu include Korean fried chicken served under a fried egg, or the Spanish patatas bravas with eggs over easy. Also of note are the many creative iterations of the bloody Mary, like the Dim Summore made with vodka, tomato, hoisin, lime, Sriracha, and ginger.
San Francisco: Plow
The menu at this Portrero Hill restaurant might not sound wildly innovative, but brunch isn’t about fancy tweezer food anyways. It’s about the classics—pancakes, potatoes, and eggs, done right. And that’s where Plow excels. Order up The Plow breakfast and you can have it all: two eggs, your choice of house made pork sausage patties, Nueske's bacon, or chicken apple sausage, plus lemon ricotta pancakes and a side of the swoon-worthy, crackly skinned potatoes. Craft beer, local wine, and mimosas are also on offer—this is San Francisco, after all.
Mexico City: Eno
This combo of gourmet shop and neighborhood hangout is the work of famed chef Enrique Olvera, who dishes out choices like organic yogurt with honey, French toast with house-made jelly, and zucchini blossom quesadillas (plus excellent third wave coffee) at Eno’s three locations. Don’t forget to buy an oatmeal cookie or a concha—you know, for the road.
Los Angeles: Republique
If weekend brunch in L.A. is a religious weekend ritual, then Republique—with its dizzying array of French pastries, kimchi fried rice bowls, and market-fresh fare—is the city’s super church. There’ll likely be a line out the door if you don’t arrive early, but it’s worth the wait. If you manage to get to the front without being tempted by the berry crostatas and flaky kougin amman in the glass pastry case flanking the entrance, you might need your pulse checked.
Paris: Mama Shelter
This affordable, ultra-hip boutique hotel, which now also boasts a location in Los Angeles, has made a name for itself with its hipster vibes and quirky, minimalist design crafted by none other than Philippe Starck. The Paris location has what’s undoubtedly one of the city's most coveted rooftop locations. They serve a lavish buffet brunch that’s a mash-up of American, European, and French eats including a chorizo and egg casserole, authentic Danishes, and an outrageous amandine fruit tarte.
New York: Russ & Daughters Cafe
No one understands the fine art of smoked fish quite like the folks at Russ & Daughters, who after 100 years of business in NYC, opened a full service sit down cafe with a full bar. There you’ll find plenty of egg dishes and salads to order, but the real stars of the show are the fish platters, meant to be enjoyed communally and split between three or four people. Throw caution to the wind and order The Anne ($90), loaded up with Western Nova smoked salmon, sturgeon, sable, smoked trout, and wild Alaskan salmon roe, plus a bread basket and all the fixings. Be sure to order a zippy breakfast martini, too, made with Beefeater Gin, jam, lemon juice, egg white, Pernod Absinthe, and Angostura bitters. Consider it the ideal hangover helper.
Perth: Bib & Tucker
It doesn't get much better than brunch on the beach. That is, unless you’re at Bib & Tucker in North Fremantle, the hippie enclave of Perth that’s known for its obsession with food. Follow your nose to the scent of pork belly and chicken roasting over an open flame on their rotisserie grill, then pull up a seat at one of the communal tables that looks out at the Indian ocean. They serve a fantastic rendition of the classic Aussie bircher mueseli made with rose, pistachio, rhubarb, and yogurt, as well as Middle Eastern baked eggs with almond hummus and fennel flatbread. Finish it all off with a flat white, and call it a day.
Barcelona: El Quim at the Boqueria
A morning spent at Barcelona’s famous market wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the bustling stall at El Quim, an iconic restaurant that’s been open for 22 years. There are several egg dishes on offer, the most iconic of which is the huevos con chipirones—fried eggs atop succulent, bite-sized firefly squid topped with briny Maldon sea salt. They also have fresh squeezed juices and cava. Translation: the perfect mimosa brunch.
Phuket: Sala Layan
There’s an almost overwhelming cornucopia of baked goods, omelets, dim sum, cured fish, and fresh tropical fruit juices available at the lavish brunch buffet at the Anantara Layan. There’s even a superfood spice rack set up for crafting customized parfaits with all the latest healthful ingredients, from chia to bee pollen. And did we mention there’s an entire cheese and charcuterie room? Load up your plate and enjoy a leisurely feast while gazing out at the Andaman Sea while sipping on a piping hot Thai coffee. The best part is, you can work it all off with a stand-up paddle boarding session from their private beach afterwards.
Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market
While it’s not totally necessary to visit the early morning fish auctions at Tsukiji, it is imperative to pay a visit to the myriad sushi spots around the market for a sushi brunch. Daiawa Sushi and Sushi Dai are the two most popular sushi restaurants around the market (meaning mega-long waits), but we enjoyed our meal at Donburi Ichiba. You’ll have to seek out miso, rice, pickles, and cured fish elsewhere; traditional Japanese breakfast this is not. Here it’s all about the chirashi bowls—rice topped with the freshest catch of the day. Bowls come loaded with the likes of amberjack, shrimp, scallops, and a heap of Hokkaido uni, plus tamagoyaki (egg pancake slices), and pickles for less than $10.
London: Crab Tavern
At this seafood-centric brunch, it’s all about getting interactive. There’s a photo booth where guests are invited to recreate scenes from their favorite movies, there’s also a build-your-own bloody Mary and bellini bar. Don't miss the soft shell crab burger, as well as their homage to one of the great brunch classics, the eggs benedict.
Buenos Aires: L’Orangerie
If Sunday brunch in Buenos Aires has a spiritual home, it’s the winter garden at the Alvear Palace Hotel. Once your white-gloved waiter has seated you in an antique cane chair, you can plan your assault on the buffet, which is loaded with smoked salmon, venison and trout, imported cheeses, freshly baked breads, and pastries and puddings galore. It’s a truly special treat.
Five star hotel d’Angleterre offers up a champagne brunch with a touch of class. Instead of raucous crowds recanting the night’s debauch, you’ll find well-heeled guests in their grand dining room sipping bubbly while noshing on warm liver pate with bacon and mushrooms, or oysters on the half shell. There are also plenty of freshly baked croissants and pastries on offer, served with house made seasonal jams.
Shanghai: Peninsula Hotel
There’s an air of opulence when guests arrive at the lobby at the Peninsula Shanghai, especially come breakfast time. Though the hotel may be most known for its lavish high tea service, the breakfast fare is equally as fabulous, with two options available. Downstairs in the lobby, guests can enjoy a more pared down menu that offers European classics and even some vegetarian versions of Chinese dim sum. Upstairs at Sir Elly’s, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Bund and Pudong skylines while noshing on savory waffles served with smoked salmon, sour cream, and edible flowers. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.