Choosing a brunch location is no easy feat.
Perhaps a decade ago, it was easier. You either went fancy and resigned to using all of your weekend spending money at once on hollandaise sauce and orange-diluted champagne or you went no-frills, eating a Greek omelet in a greasy diner.
Since then, other options have opened. You won't spend an arm and a leg at many of these places, but you also won't find a $4 breakfast sandwich, home fries and coffee deal at a lot of them either.
Brunch is an economically savvy way to check out expensive restaurants. Are you trying their best steak? Hardly. But you'll get a feel for the atmosphere, might even hear a live jazz trio, and see how inventive chefs can get while still sticking to well-loved and expected breakfast mainstays.
As a part of our new "According to Bloggers" series, we've asked local bloggers and Instagrammers where they go for brunch, as well as a few other questions. Where can you find Buffalo's best cocktails? Where are the best areas to shop? Best photo spots?
Experience brunch like a blogger at the following area restaurants.
444 Forest Ave.
Recommended by: Beau and Lindsay Riggs, bloggers who write about things to do for couples and families at Buffalovebirds.
"It is a stunning space where you can wander the hotel afterward to view the art installations. Our baby Chloe loves to share the Croque Madame!" Beau and Lindsay said.
Before or after you peruse the art inside the Richardson Olmsted Complex, stop for a light brunch at 100 Acres, where you can expect locally sourced ingredients when possible, a menu compiled of health foods and buzzwords, and breakfast cocktails that go beyond your classic mimosa.
Menus are seasonal and subject to change, but usually have some variation of whatever you've come to expect from an upscale brunch: some sort of Benedict covered in Hollandaise, avocado toast, a breakfast sandwich and brioche French toast.
402 Connecticut St.
Recommended by: Katharine Phillips, travel blogger and photographer at The Roaming Buffalo.
"When it comes to brunch food I don't always need a lot, which is why I absolutely live for BreadHive and their breakfast sandwiches. Give me an Aaliyah on their rosemary salt bagel all day, every day! Plus I'm all about their majority female-owned, POC, LGBT+ positive work environment," Phillips said.
You don't have to be a Stevie, Mariah, Britney, Whitney or Robyn fan to order their namesake sandwiches and experience the hearty pleasure of fresh-baked bread and slightly unusual takes on traditional sandwiches. Like the Aaliyah, shouldn't all breakfast sandwiches drench their egg, sausage and cheese in maple syrup? Shania's sandwich should impress vegans.
Dig into protein-packed tofu scrambled with tempeh bacon, roasted vegetables and turmeric, on a bagel or pretzel.
716 Elmwood Ave.
Recommended by: Nabila Ismail, travel blogger at Dose of Travel.
"I have to say Cecelia's because of bottomless mimosas!" Ismail said.
Ah, the bottomless mimosa; it's $15 worth of all-you-can-stomach orange juice and champagne. Cecelia's features a large brunch menu that includes everything from a prosciutto omelet, to cannoli French toast, to creamy lobster mac and cheese. But the real brunch star is the two-hour-long unlimited booze.
A normal mimosa costs $5.50, so you would have to drink at least three to justify the bottomless price. How much orange juice can you drink over the course of a meal? And how much eggs Benedict can you eat to soak it all up? That's the game of brunch.
416 Main St., Medina
"Working together wins for us. Mile 303 and Sourced Market and Eatery run a collaborative Sunday brunch once a month and it's everything you could want. Locally sourced with a few twists to provide guests something they won't receive elsewhere," Scott and Alix said.
About an hour Northeast of the city, Medina's small town magnetism is increasingly pulling visitors in. Together Mile 303, which brought small plates and craft cocktails to the area, and Sourced Market and Eatery put on a special brunch. Sometimes it switches locations -- they held November's at Gasport winery Litten Buffel -- and the menu is always different, so follow along on Sourced Market and Eatery's Facebook page for each month's details.
423 Elmwood Ave.
"Their patio and the overall atmosphere is super cute! Also, the food is delicious," Nkay said.
If snickerdoodle pancakes with housemade cultured cashew butter and maple syrup don't get you out of your pajamas and down to Elmwood Avenue on a Sunday, perhaps a something as creative as a jalapeno cornbread taco waffle -- stuffed with beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, quinoa chorizo, cultured cashew queso, cilantro, lime and crema -- will.
Root & Bloom's experimental menu utilizes house-made ingredients, for example, the cultured cashew queso, and vegetables to create vitamin-packed, guilt-free meals.
749 Military Road, Kenmore
Recommended by: Caralyn Mirand Koch, plus model and content creator.
"It is just a darn good breakfast. It's not particularly fancy but the food is always fresh, homemade and delicious. I also love sipping on a bloody mary while sitting at the bar, chatting with Sophia herself. One time I brought my out of town friends in there the morning of my bridal shower, Sophia was so touched we chose to go there for our breakfast, we left with [a] fresh loaf of homemade bread as a gift! She is the best," Koch said.
On a Saturday morning, expect to wait at the nondescript Kenmore breakfast spot. It's a legend among locals, who swear by the eggs Benedict and decked-out Bloody Mary. You don't go for the atmosphere, it feels very much like an unassuming diner, but for the quality of food. And to probably run into someone you know.
2 East Ave., Lockport
Recommended by: Caitie Newman, photographer and Instagrammer.
"Always amazing food, coffee and desserts! The macarons are to die for!" Newman said.
Near the Erie Canal in Lockport, Scripts Cafe isn't your usual breakfast or brunch joint. There's no diner menus or bougie mimosas. But they do have seasonal espresso drinks and dirty chai lattes, as well as breakfast sandwiches, peanut butter and banana toast, and quinoa bowls stuffed with food that actually makes you feel better after eating.
437 Ellicott St.
"I've tried plenty of brunch spots, but Toutant always comes out on top. I get the same thing every time I go there (overnight yeast waffle with preserved fruit, a side of sausage and a sweet tea) and I always leave happy and full. If they ever take the waffle off of the menu, I will riot," Robson said.
Luckily for Robson, Toutant still has the waffle. The Southern Creole-inspired restaurant serves a brunch that can only be described as comfort food; it's fried, it's mostly meaty and it's flavorful. You have all week to eat salads. For Sunday brunch, we feast.
And whether you order the buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, bologna sandwich or barbecue hash, every dish sounds like it goes down best with a Bloody Mary, since hot sauce runs through most dishes anyways.
4401 Transit Rd., Williamsville
Recommended by: Tom Przybylak, blogger at local food and dining site Buffalo Eats.
"Chef Jeff Cooke and his wife Mandy landed in the suburbs and have become our favorite place for brunch. The house-made sausages, baked indulgences by Pastry Chef sister Jane (Cooke), and Bloody Mary Bar are not to be missed," Przybylak said.
On the Cookes' brunch menu, you'll find slight variations on traditional items, all made from scratch and with local ingredients when possible. An Akron farm provides the beef for their cheeseburger. The giant cinnamon roll is made in-house, then grilled with butter with fresh berries added.
367 Connecticut St.
Recommended by: Donnie Burtless, of Buffalo Eats.
"I don't do brunch often, but when I do the only place I want to go is The Black Sheep. The combination of amazing pastries and execution of creative and delicious brunch staples always does it for me," Burtless said.
Chefs Steve and Ellen Gedra offer a small, inventive menu in their equally intimate restaurant. If you want pancakes, you'll get pancakes, plain and simple. But if you'd like, perhaps, a Polish breakfast, get ready for sausage, pierogi, rye and eggs. You could have eggs Benedict or pumpkin and chickpea curry. There aren't many choices, but both the staples and surprises are covered.
491 Amherst St.
Recommended by: Billy and Pat Sandora-Nastyn, YouTube content creators at Billy & Pat.
"We love to cozy up to the bar at The Dapper Goose for a killer brunch paired with good cocktails and conversations. The Broken Garden Tools is a must," Billy and Pat said.
Experimental eaters, try a brunch dish beyond the usual Hollandaise-covered crab cake. Chicken liver mousse isn't as quintessentially American as, say, a doughnut for breakfast, but that's part of the fun. And should you really miss that Hollandaise, don't worry, just order the breakfast burger, which comes with hash browns, Hollandaise, pepper jam and cheddar cheese.