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Clockwise from top left: Heck’s Cafe, Dante Next Door, TownHall,
Flying Fig, Bon Bon Cafe, Katz Club Diner

Don’t even tell me brunch is just a fad, an excuse for lazy 20-somethings to sleep in past breakfast on the weekend. I don’t want to hear it.

Not that sleeping in isn’t great, but brunch cuisine itself is worth noting. For the sweet-tooth diners, there’s french toast sprinkled with almond shavings and pancakes stacked beneath a dollop of whipped cream. For those who are savory-centered like myself, it means… bacon! It’s also eggs cooked any style and chicken-topped waffles and huevos rancheros.

And brunch is also a casual social hour, where friends can come together and kick off their day — or while it away with great food and bottomless mimosas. Last winter, some friends got the ball rolling by gathering a group together, and we jokingly created The Brunch Club.

With so many places in Cleveland to brunch, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But I’ve certainly collected some notworthy mentions. Here’s the start to my Brunch Club stars.

  • Heck’s Cafe: A clear winner (for now), from the chicken and waffles to the juicy burgers to the peanut butter milkshake
  • Dante Next Door: No one could decide between the amazing menu options, so we all ordered something different. Ingredients go beyond the basic, like Crab Cakes Benedict and Cinnamon Bread French Toast with apple compote and vanilla cream
  • Inn on Coventry: Casual, no fuss and the most amazing lemon ricotta pancakes (even Iron Chef Michael Symon agrees)
  • Fire Food and Drink: Most people have this on their best brunch list, and chef Doug Katz’s menu is fabulous. All I can say is, best bacon I’ve ever had. Ever.

For bakery style: On the Rise is my favorite bakery in Cleveland, and it’s just a short walk from my best friend’s house, so it goes perfect with a little stroll.

I finally tried: Jack Flaps! Pancakes, eggy bread (French toast, duh) and waffles with decadent toppings are the stars here. I tried the Fat Elvis, with peanut butter, banana slices and bacon-flavored praline crumbles

Want to find: The best bloody mary (any hints?!)

There are so many more, I can’t possibly mention them all. I guess I’ll save those for the next Brunch Club post. Clevelanders, what are some of your favorite brunch spots?


“Fat Elvis” at Jack Flaps in Ohio City