Has there ever been a tastier equation than breakfast + lunch = brunch? Silly question, right? Because brunch is like a gentle hug; it just makes you feel good. Maybe it’s the blueberry lemon pancakes with warm maple syrup cascading down the sides or eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce so rich it makes you giddy. Then there’s the bacon, beignets and brioche French toast that woo your taste buds into a state of Epicurean delight — not to mention crepes, crab buffets and Croque Madams. Add in mimosas and bloody marys and you have, perhaps, the most perfect meal ever created.
435 Magazine curated the 17 best places to brunch away your weekend, along with the most spirited cocktails, dandified doughnuts and caffeine-infused locales to take your Saturday and Sunday to the next level.
Best Biscuits & Gravy: Happy Gillis
Tuesday-Saturday 8 am – 3 pm, Sunday 9 am to 3 pm | 549 Gillis St., Kansas City, MO | (816) 471-3663
If you want to go to biscuits and gravy heaven, then this is the place. Monster biscuits are drowned in a lightly spicy gravy made with pork sausage from Broadway Butcher. The menu at this Columbus Park neighborhood favorite rotates frequently, but the B&G are a constant. Order a half or full order, and don’t forget to top with a fried egg.
Best Steak and Eggs: Rye
Saturday and Sunday 10:30 am-3 pm | locations in Leawood and Country Club Plaza
Steak-and-eggs is a cowboy’s breakfast and Rye manages to channel the true prairie spirit of this hearty plate while giving it a little helping of fancy: 8 ounces of expertly seasoned grilled hanger steak are arranged with veal jus, sunny side eggs with cheerful yellow yolks just waiting to be punctured and a hefty handful of golden french fries for good measure. Feed your inner cowboy with this full-grown plate.
Best Brew Brunch: Beer Kitchen
Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 3 pm | 435 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO | (816) 389-4181
You haven’t experienced brunch until you’ve had the Beer Kitchen’s red velvet waffle and bread pudding French toast. They’re both so delicious that adding syrup is an afterthought. If you seek a waffle that’s more savory than sweet, then be sure to order the pork belly and waffle dinner, where a maple-braised pork belly with two fried eggs sits tall on a cheddar bacon chive waffle smothered in hollandaise sauce. To enhance your brunch game, there’s an impressive beer list that will make you want to linger at your table for hours.
Best View: Café Sebastienne
Saturday and Sunday 11 am-2:30 pm | 4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO | (816) 561-7740
Situated inside the Kemper Museum of Modern Art, the walls of Café Sebastienne’s dining area are covered with over 100 original oil paintings, all unique and colorful. But there are also masterpieces being created in the kitchen.
You’ll love diving into the French toast pudding, with an earl grey-date glaze, Vermont maple syrup and honey butter, and we’re willing to bet that the chorizo croissant — with chorizo, thin-shaved ham, prosciutto, Gruyere and a fried egg — will haunt your brunch dreams forever.
Best Breakfast Plate: Krokstrom
Sunday 10 am-2 pm | 3601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, MO | (816) 599-7531
We encourage you to explore the wonder of a traditional Swedish breakfast. Chef-owner Katee McClean offers up two fluffy eggs scrambled with dill, sharp horseradish potatoes, a choice of gravlax (cured salmon) or herring, a chilled and tangy cucumber salad, a parfait made with skyr (Icelandic yogurt) and lefse (Norwegian flatbread) with cardamom butter. It’s a spread fit for Thor, and we’re betting you’ll feel especially god-like after you’ve polished off every last crumb.
Best Southern Belle Brunch: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar
Sunday 10 am-2 pm | 4814 Roanoke Pkwy, Kansas City, MO | (816) 437-7940
Come for the New Orleans inspired “bennies” (We recommend the blackened catfish with gumbo, a poached egg and okra.) and stay for the “bottomless crab.” That’s right; you can stuff yourself with Dungeness and snow crab to your heart’s content. If that’s doesn’t float your boat, get the shrimp and grits with bacon fat greens and know what true happiness is.
Best Hotel Brunch: American Slang Modern Brasserie at the Intercontinental
Sunday 10 am-2 pm | 401 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO | (816) 303-2945
Everything about this brunch is upscale and yet it manages to feel warm and inviting, too. That cozy feeling may be due, in part, to the vanilla French toast – thick wedges of brioche are perfectly battered with a delicious vanilla based egg mixture that marries expertly with warm maple syrup; it’s the edible version of a hug. Also sublime are the American Slang’s omelets. Our favorite is the “De La Mer” with lobster, shallots, mushrooms and Gruyere.
Best Brunch in a Historic Setting: The Webster House
Saturday and Sunday 10 am-2 pm | 1644 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO | (816) 221-4713
The Webster School was built in 1885 and was a public school that educated generations of Kansas Citians. In 2002 after an extensive remodel that preserved the historical integrity of the structure, the building was renamed the Webster House and it’s become a culinary destination. Dining here is an education in how to make your taste buds do the happy dance. The duck confit brunch crepes with caramelized onions, charred berry jam, roasted apples and butternut squash are exquisite, and the Webster House Steak Benedict has the power to change the way you think about brunch. The Arepas, a corn cake with pulled pork, pickled onion and avocado mousse, is a scrumptious, gluten-free brunch option.
Best Fancy Brunch: Ça Va
Sunday 11 am-3 pm | 4149 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO | (816) 255-3934
There’s a time and a place for decadence — and more often than not that time is brunch, and that place is Ça Va. The bountiful mimosa bar, spread with garnishes like fresh fruit, sprigs of mint and gummy bears, is a genius move, and it goes especially well with French-inspired brunch entrees like the housemade quiche and sweet or savory crepes. The regular menu is available, too, so if it’s a croque-madame you’re craving, it’s a croque-madame you shall have. Or, spoil yourself with a bottle of bubbles, some oysters and caviar service.
Best Value Brunch: Brewbakers
Sunday 10 am-2 pm | 9482 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS | (913) 322-2739
Brewbaker’s serves up one of the most abundant — and, at $16.99, affordable — brunch buffets around. Each weekend, you’ll have your pick of prime rib and ham from the carving station; the option to customize your own made-to-order omelet; and access to a French toast bar with more toppings and syrups than you thought existed. There’s even a dessert station, in case you’d like to close out your feast with a cinnamon roll or a handful of brownie bites.
Best Seafood Brunch: Bristol
Sunday 10 am-2 pm | locations in Leawood and Kansas City Power & Light District
Perhaps your ideal brunch calls for something beyond the usual eggs-and-bacon routine. For those occasions, pop over to Bristol. For $29, participate in their mammoth all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. The big draw here is the chilled seafood tower, featuring applewood-smoked trout, peppered mackerel, bay scallop and shrimp ceviche, mussels, oysters on the half shell, peel and eat shrimp and spiced crawfish. There’s also a mountain of sushi and sashimi, where you can take your pick from classic sushi rolls, spring rolls and premium sashimi cuts, served with more than a picnic basket’s worth of garnishes and sauces. If you leave here hungry, it’s your own fault.
Best Brunch With a European Flair: Westport Cafe
Sunday 10:30 am-2 pm | 419 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO | (816) 931-4740
The Westport Café prides itself on bringing Paris to the plains. From the décor to the menu, you feel transported to a café on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The restaurant’s raison d’être is reimaging culinary classics and giving them a modern twist. The lemon ricotta pancakes are a perfect example of this philosophy. They’ve taken the humble pancake and elevated it to a work of art with a lovely lemon zing and berry compote that adds freshness and flavor. Crispy fried chicken is also on their menu and while that doesn’t sound very Francophile, once you bite into the chicken – coupled with brioche French toast, blanketed in sausage gravy and maple syrup you’ll be saying, “Viva la France.”
Best Local Vibe: The Farmhouse
Sunday 9 am-3 pm | 300 Delaware St, Kansas City, MO | (816) 569-6032
Leave it to The Farmhouse, a restaurant that prides itself on using local farmers and embracing the farm-to-table ethos, to come up with a vegan hash and veggie benedict that will satisfy even the most discerning vegetarians. The hash is resplendent with peppers, onions, seitan, potato, spinach and ancho squash purée. And the veggie Benedict has a hollandaise sauce so rich you’ll be tempted to lick your plate. For meat lovers, the “Midwest Croque Madam” with brioche Texas toast, country gravy, smoked provolone cheese and ham is why brunch was invented.
Best New Brunch: The Russell
Monday-Saturday 10 am-4 pm | 3141 Main St. Kansas City, MO | (816) 492-7557
Located in the old Russell Florist building on 3141 Main, this new, fast-casual restaurant is making downtown foodies swoon. The brunch menu, while limited, features a little something for everyone from the traditional biscuits and gravy and eggs Benedict to the more imaginative salmon and avocado toast with lemon herbed-yogurt and a charred tomato on grilled bread. You also don’t want to miss out on the sweet potato hash. Be sure to save room for a s’more parfait. This marvelous melding of graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow takes the campfire treat to a whole other level.
Best Southern Comfort Brunch: EJ’s Urban Eatery
Saturday 8 am-3 pm, Sunday 9 am-3 pm | 1414 W. Ninth St., Kansas City, MO | (816) 491-8262
This rustic restaurant focuses on good food without fuss, drawing from Kansas City’s affinity for Southern flavors and chef John Cedric Smith’s family ties to Mississippi. Smith’s shrimp and grits are truly a thing of beauty, with plump, sweet Gulf shrimp framed atop local grits, perfect red-eye Southern gravy, caramelized onions and — what else? — bacon lardons. And for the truly hungry: breakfast ribs with béarnaise sauce. We have a feeling that after any one of these brunch plates, you’ll take pleasure in throwing around an extra “y’all” or two.