Chick Literal

An Ode To Brunch in Every City

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Sex and the City was completely unrealistic.  There are so many unanswerable questions.  How could Carrie afford her amazing apartment by writing a newspaper column once a week?  How did the women keep finding new, interesting, attractive men to date?  What exactly does one do at a PR or art gallery job, and does it really offer enough money for an endless supply of designer clothing?  Why did Miranda always have the worst outfits?  For a long time, these questions bothered me much less than what I thought was the strangest thing of all – how did all of these women, who were constantly dating, find time to go to brunch with each other?

You see, for a long time, I thought brunch was a meal for couples.  Other TV shows (most notably How I Met Your Mother) did nothing to dispel the notion that eggs benedict was only meant to be eaten while gazing into the eyes of your significant other.  This was sometimes problematic, because brunch is my absolute favorite meal, ever.  If I could pick just one meal to have for the rest of my life, it would probably be brunch.  It has the best drink selection – coffee, mimosa, bloody mary!  It has the best variety of food options – eggs, French toast, bacon, salad, French fries, you name it, there is someone who will serve it to you under the heading of a “brunch” menu.  It is a meal that often comes in buffet form.  There is nothing to not love about brunch, except the fact that I thought I needed to have a boy in tow to go to it.  I’m pretty sure half the dating I’ve done has been in the name of having someone to buy me overpriced eggs on weekend mornings.  If a guy admits early on that he doesn’t really like breakfast food, that just might be a dealbreaker.

Thus, I was always mystified by why the women on SATC always had to take themselves to brunch.  Why weren’t their deadbeat boyfriends taking them out for pancakes and orange juice?  And then I realized that I’ve had it all backwards all along.

You see, I’ve had to reconcile my current single status with my love for eating breakfast items after noon, and have subsequently discovered that it is friends, not boyfriends, who are the ideal brunch companions, for so many reasons.  Brunch is the perfect meal for a leisurely catch-up session, but if you go with your significant other, you probably don’t have that much to catch up on, and you’ll have to instead talk about the week ahead and going back to work on Monday, and that’s depressing.  It’s much better to dissect the details of all your friends’ weekends.  Most importantly, more people at brunch means more entrees ordered means more food I get to sample.

It seems that I have finally amassed enough friends who are always down for brunch that I basically never need to date again.  The ladies of Sex and the Citywere right all along about appropriate brunch companionship.  They were less right, on the other hand, about restaurant selection.  With so many fabulous brunch locations in NYC, it’s unfortunate that they spent most of their time at that nondescript diner, plus, I believe that it is the moral imperative of television to introduce its viewers to awesome things.  To help you avoid the brunch blahs, I’m offering up a few of my favorite destinations in selected cities:

Detroit:  If you’re in Detroit proper, Hudson Cafe is the way to go.  If you’re in the ‘burbs, it’s Downtown Café in Rochester Hills; the baked French toast is delicious.

New York:  Judge me for being cliché, but I love Sarabeth’s.  Mostly I love the four flower mimosa, but all the food is good too.  If you don’t feel like dealing with the crowds, the chicken hash at Alice’s Tea Cup is to die for.

Los Angeles:  While perhaps not conventional brunch fare, the best, best, best place to go is La Espanola for paella.  They serve it at brunch o’clock on Saturdays, so it counts.

Pittsburgh:  Deluca’s.  You can get ice cream on your pancakes.  Enough said.

Washington, DC:  My current favorite is Blue Duck Tavern.  Get the short rib hash and the sticky bun; you won’t be disappointed.

So what’s your favorite brunch spot?  Let me know in the comments!

 Image via The Rachel Papers

  • Eliza Eaton

    Uhm what was that about brunch?

  • Brittany Garner

    Pittsburgh: Pamela’s. It may not be an ice cream on pancakes place, but this restaurant is awesome!
    Cleveland: Latitude 41. Delicious coffee, delicious food!
    Philadelphia: Sabrina’s. Lots of unique vegetarian options and a cool environment.
    And finally, Boston: Parliament. You have to stand in line and wait forever, but their pancakes are delightful/awesome/heavenly/so freaking good.

    Clearly, I am also a fan of brunch! Enjoy your brunching this weekend!

  • Katy Littlejohn

    Aw, don’t hate on the non-descript diners! Especially in big cities, I find that the hole-in-the-wall places can be the best kept secrets. Absolute treasures! The trick is to have someone with city know-how to recommend a good hole (ew, don’t be gross) so you don’t wander into a rat-infested, health code violating, nastyass place.

  • Sherry Robison Michaels

    I love San Francisco for eclectic dining – at any time of the day! But for brunch you’ll find me at Dottie’s, Bugaloos or Cafe de la Press. And on St. Pat’s day last year we had a great brunch at Lefty O’Douls!

  • Cecilia Falter

    Chicago: Wildberry Cafe. They have the most delicious pancakes I’ve ever eaten!!! Their berry bliss pancakes have magical properties, I swear.

  • Lara Paquette

    I just wrote about how much I love brunch on my blog! (

    Brunch at The Smith in NYC is really great as is Stone Home Cafe if you’re willing to venture to Brooklyn!

  • Rylie McClure

    Phoenix: Nami. Vegan brunch every Sunday and it’s amazing!

  • Ramou Sarr

    Brunch is the absolute best and I think I need that short rib hash at Blue Dunk Tavern. Brunch at The Beehive in Boston is fantastic! The poutine with sunny side up eggs is amazing, but will make you need a nap. If you’re just with one or two people, go downstairs to the bar and you won’t have to wait in line.

  • Demi Dowdy

    my favorite brunch spot in Washington, DC is definitemy favorite brunch spot in Washington, DC is definitely Founding Farmers!ly Founding Farmers!

  • Christina Sparkle

    To answer your initial questions:
    How could Carrie afford her amazing apartment? It was rent controlled, and pro writers get payed plenty.
    How did the women keep finding new, interesting, attractive men to date? They weren’t exactly fussy :/
    What exactly does one do at a PR or art gallery job? Public relations = promoting individuals/businesses through events, promos, and more. Art galleries = designing and managing exhibitions.
    Why did Miranda always have the worst outfits? Miranda worked crazy number of hours, plus I liked her outfits!

    Your final question: Hands down the best place on earth for brunch is Berlin.

  • Amanda Jane Morgan

    <3 Rose's Cafe in San Francisco on Union St. and Steiner. They specialize on brunch items. Sooo Delicious! My girls and I would go there every sunday morning we could, especially after late night city fun. Its very cute ad the service is fast for how busy it always is. And its just a short walk to the Marina for after when you need to walk off your big brunch. :)

  • Marianne ter Bekke

    If I have time for brunch, I definitely go to Bagels & Beans in Utrecht ( The Netherlands)!

  • Michelle Welch

    Nashville, TN: The Perch

  • Stacy Kline

    Memphis, TN: The Majestic or Brother Junipers
    Nashville, TN: Athen’s or Jackson’s

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