Looking for new spots to try? Lori Fredrich will be dishing out her top five picks in 20 different dining categories throughout the month of October.
For some folks, brunch is all about the day drinking. For others, it’s about enjoying a feast of deliciously indulgent dishes. If you ask me, a great brunch requires both, plus the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely late morning or afternoon of catching up with friends (possibly followed by an afternoon nap).
However you decide to brunch, these five spots are sure to hit all the right notes.
My feelings are bittersweet as I write this entry. And that’s because this is the very last weekend for brunch service at Goodkind, which has been serving up one of the city’s very best Sunday brunches since 2014.
Their menu changes often (most items switch out weekly), but every dish seems to have its charms. Among my favorites have been the breakfast risotto (pictured above), their myriad variations on brunch poutine (yeah, it’s amazing); and pizza eggs, an industry dish that’s as delicious as it sounds. Add to that their outstanding selection of brunch drinks and the warm, welcoming vibe that defines this neighborhood spot, and you’ve got among the perfect formula for what I’d consider to be brunch perfection.
Beginning Nov. 6, Goodkind will transition from offering Sunday brunch to Sunday dinner. It’s an effort to give their employees a bit of a breather between Saturday dinner service and their shifts on Sunday, which is a very considerate move. But it’s also a big loss for the city’s brunch scene.
So head out and give them some big brunch love this weekend!! Their final brunch is on Sunday Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2. Honeypie Cafe
Local, seasonal comfort food is the name of the game at Honeypie Cafe and that's reflected on their brunch menu.
Offerings include stand-outs like their buttery croissant stacked with pulled ham, dijonaise, mornay sauce, white cheddar and a sunny egg or delectable short rib hash with roasted potatoes, onions, bell peppers, horseradish crème and sunny eggs.
Also, who needs avocado toast when you can have burrata toast? Honeypie makes theirs with sourdough toast topped with pistachio pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes and ultra creamy burrata cheese. Yum.
Ah yes, and their menu of brunch drinks is just as compelling. They make a great house bloody mary, along with mimosas, beermosas, and the Sconniemosa which adds a touch of local cranberry liqueur.
Eldr+Rime does West Side brunch right with bottomless mimosas and epic bloody marys which come complete with shrimp, sausage and cheese garnish, a beer chaser and the option to upgrade to oyster shooters.
And the food is just as good. Choose from Belgian style pearl sugar waffles topped with strawberries; French toast with lemon curd and blueberries or savory offerings like shortrib hash with eggs or their King crab benedict which comes atop a housemade brown butter English muffin.
Be sure to order up a warm housemade cinnamon roll to share with the table. They even come with extra frosting for dipping.
4. Don’s TV & Repair
Ever had brunch at a speakeasy? Consider this your invitation. Don’s serves up classic brunch items with a twist along with outside-the-box beverage options like the Hair of the Gremlin Bloody and cocktail mimosas – sparkling wine spritzed cocktails including a twist on the cosmo, daiquiri and paloma. Brunch it up by ordering their flight which includes all three! Or take brunch to a whole new level with one of their boozy shakes. It’s the weekend, so why not?
On the food side you can choose from “Birria” breakfast burritos packed with braised barbacoa beef, tots, onions, eggs and a side of barbacoa broth for dipping or dive into their classic brunch burger featuring a brisket patty, bacon, American cheese, burger sauce and a fried egg all cradled in a brioche bun.
Be sure to leave room for some Fruity Pebbles pancakes made with a buttermilk and 7Up batter and topped with powdered sugar, maple syrup and Fruity Pebbles.
5. The National Cafe
Want cozy? You got it. The National Cafe is among the coziest brunch spots in the city. Their cocktail list includes classics like a solid bloody and mimosa. But they also have one of my favorite brunch drinks: the brunch old fashioned, which comes complete with a dash of cold brew.
The hardest part of brunch at this Walker’s Point Cafe is deciding between the potato and chorizo burrito, which comes smothered in salsa verde with an egg on top, or The Hot Mess, which has everything you want in a brunch dish including ham (or bacon or veggies), breakfast potatoes, peppers, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese, plus sunny-side-up eggs and hollandaise.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.