Brunch is a favorite meal and not just because of the food. It is a weekend pursuit. It’s fun to try new places, new recipes, and different neighborhoods.
If you’re visiting or just looking for a different place to go, here are five of our favorite places to find brunch in Central Phoenix.
This restaurant is one of our favorite places to meet local friends or take-out-of-town company, it certainly makes our list of best brunch places. The Vig offers historic charm in a neatly tucked away on a quiet street, just blocks from the busy downtown. Originally a private residence, this bungalow has been restored to its previous luster and is now a popular lunch habitat for corporate types on weekdays, but is a gathering place for locals on the weekends. Flower gardens, shade trees, sparkling fountains and plenty of over-stuffed furniture make this one of the most comfortable patios in downtown.
Specialty menu items include a Monte Cristo breakfast sandwich made with French toast and capped with crème fraiche, or the Encanto Enchiladas served with eggs and salsa. They have vegan options (think Coconut Quinoa Oatmeal and Tofu Scrambler) as well as other classic dishes. A local favorite is their $4 Bloody Mary — but at The Vig, you mix it yourself so make it as spicy as you want.
This has been a standard “go to” place for us ever since it opened. Located on Central Ave just north of the famous Camelback Road, Postino was one of the first of several restaurants in this prestigious part of mid-town to get a model makeover.
Calling itself a “Wine Café,” this place continues to be a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
It’s bright and airy with large windows and an industrial feel because of the exposed ceiling ductwork and rows of wine racks.
Stylishly furnished with bistro tables, upholstered couches, and a high top granite bar accessible to the patio complete the look. A large chalkboard lists daily wine and cheese specials.
Their brunch menu has a slight European flair. They offer Grilled Focaccia with asparagus, Ciabatta French Toast, homemade Walnut Bread, and Farmhouse Scones served with homemade raspberry preserves. But I must say, if you like bruschetta, Postino’s has the best in downtown. Order a bruschetta board, add a soup or salad, and it’s one of our favorite meals any time of the day or evening. Outstanding!
This eatery is a newcomer to Central Phoenix but one of the best brunch places we have found. The sister restaurant has been in downtown next to the farmers market for many years. This means both eateries have access to locally sourced foods and organic produce, which just happens to be one of their calling cards. Their menu changes with the seasons, so you never know what they’ve cooked up for the daily specialties. It’s truly home cooking at its best.
Like The Vig, St. Francis also has an indoor/outdoor bar where patrons can sit on either side, depending on the weather. But, the ambiance is oh so different. Dried lavender arrangements, baskets of artisan breads and huge cinnamon rolls, and delicious smoky aroma coming from the brick oven all combine to give this place instant country appeal. But it’s the brick oven that makes this place unique because it’s used in the preparation of almost every recipe – including the iron skillet pancakes!
Last time we went, we had to try the pancakes just to see what they were like. They’re huge, enough to split, and more like the consistency of cake! No need to add butter. Or syrup. They’re delicious as they come, served right out of the oven. Other menu items we’ve loved are their homemade corn bread, any of their salads, and their marvelous organic mushroom omelette. The best seat in the house is the short bar right inside the front door. That’s where you can watch the hub of activity at the oven and visit with Chef Zeus!
What can I say? The Southern Rail offers, you guess it, Southern-styled favorites. It’s a social hub of activity located just three blocks west of Central Avenue next door to the Changing Hands Bookstore. Once a glitzy fine dining establishment, it’s recently been transformed into a southern style comfort food eatery complete with home style cooking, a handsomely refurbished look, and a unique menu.
I mean, where else in Central Phoenix can you order up Po’ Boys, catfish, or gumbo? If it’s southern fixin’s you’re looking for, this is the place!
My favorite item on the brunch menu is the quinoa salad, which is a huge bowl of earthy goodness. But whatever you decide on, be sure to order up a side of fried green tomatoes or the fluffy biscuits with homemade jam. Umm, umm, lip smackin’ good! I am hungry already!
This venue suits small parties of two or large groups. Grab a high-top table or a cozy booth, or relax on their patio in a comfy overstuffed chair. Our favorite spot is the indoor-outdoor bar where we can watch the crazy traffic on Camelback Road or the football games on overhead TVs.
Fez on Central
This newcomer to the brunch scene, Fez on Central is located close to Light Rail, just north of Roosevelt. (In other words, easy to find!) Right across from the local park, it’s a friendly neighborhood hang-out where locals gather to spend quiet evenings, Happy Hours, and relaxing weekends.
It is casual enough to be comfortable yet convenient for Happy Hours after work.
We just happened to ride our bikes past this place on the first day they offered brunch. We decided to stop, and we were glad we did!
Our meal was delicious and the service even better. On a side note, many dishes can be prepared vegetarian or vegan style. Just ask your server.
Menu choices tend to have an international flair and are about anything you could ask for. If you want curry for brunch, you can find it here. South of the Border Baja style? Ditto. How about bagels and lox, traditional pancakes, or a frittata? Check, check, and check. Their $4 Peach Bellini or House Mary are also bargains.
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix at CityScape. Sleek, modern, and efficient describe this place, which attracts corporate types and business travelers because it’s within a stone’s throw of some of downtown’s largest hotels.
But on the weekends, it’s more casual and laid back. It’s a great place to enjoy the barista bar, a comfy booth, or the outdoor patio.
Menu choices range from traditional to Southwestern choices. Traditional might be the Lean & Green egg white omelette with veggies (there’s a world-class gym located in the same complex) or try their Breakfast
Burrito topped with pork green chili or chorizo queso. It also comes monster style, so be sure to bring your appetite!
An industrial sized juicer runs almost continually squeezing fresh oranges and veggies. My suggestion is that you try their fresh-squeezed veggie juice. Absolutely delicious and refreshing! Nothing like what you buy in a can, and you just let them how much spice you want them to add. Another favorite is their homemade granola. It’s some of the best in the whole city!
When you’re in Central Phoenix, where do you like to enjoy a weekend brunch?