Brunch is the most bougie of meals as it features the best of both worlds: breakfast and lunch; sweet and savory; and an excuse to day drink.
Bougie —a shortened slang for bourgeoise—brunches don’t necessarily have to be stuffy and formal. The strength of the food, the type of guests it attracts and the offerings of drinks give these locations an added edge over other brunch spots.
These dining destinations have a certain je ne sais quoi not found elsewhere.
The following are a roundup of the region’s top bougie brunch spots where you will be able to engage in dishy conversation while eating scrumptious bites. So whether you’re Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda or Samantha from “Sex And The City,” or Khadijah, Synclaire, Regine or Maxine from “Living Single,” you’ll find the perfect place for your next brunch excursion. Enjoy!
1302 Fleet St., Harbor East, 443-499-9090, cavamezze.com/baltimore
With endless small plate brunch items such as thick-cut challah French toast, spicy lamb Benedict and steak and eggs, the $35 a person brunch is ideal for a group outing. The 25 mimosas are an added plus.
The restaurant has a two-hour dining limit, but the lively atmosphere should allow you to have all the adult conversation you want. Samantha would approve.
3.5 Chanel purses out of 5
240 International Drive, Harbor East, 443- 961-8949, lochbar.com
Break out that designer maxi dress for this seafood-centric restaurant nestled at the bottom of the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore. Dine alfresco with views of the Inner Harbor while consuming fresh seafood and sipping frozen, boozy drinks, such as the strawberry froze and bourbon slush. Or eat inside at the plush leather booths or at the restaurant-length bar. Order the Instagram-worthy shrimp and grits or get the decadent seafood omelet, with Maryland crab, shrimp, asparagus, gruyere cheese, served with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and mixed fruit or the royal shellfish tower with 18 oysters , 12 clams, nine mussels, two lobster tails, two Alaskan king crab legs, eight shrimp cocktail, two scallop carpaccio and two bigeye tuna poke.
3.5 Chanel purses out of 5
1709 N Charles St, Station North, 443-759-7200, ortobaltimore.com
The new kid on the block—they debuted their brunch program Mother’s Day—has already proven that it’s a worthy brunch destination. The jumbo lump crab on avocado toast on charred sourdough is a must. So is the Italian breakfast, which consists of Prosciutto, robiolina cheese, honey, toasted almonds and sesame cookies. Also, check out the housemade Zeppole and the Caesar salad. The restaurant gets extra points because of its close proximity to The Parkway and The Charles theaters, which both show higher-brow movies.
3.5 Chanel purses
Petit Louis Bistro
4800 Roland Ave., Roland Park, 410-366-9393, petitlouis.com
The French are synonymous with chic. And this longstanding fine dining bistro is the perfect reason to break out that Chanel, Balmain or other Parisian fashion brands.
Chose from French favorites such as Louis' Croque Madame, a housemade brioche, Madrange Ham, Guyére cheese, topped with a fried egg. The quintessential staple comes with pommes frites. A sweeter option is the Pain Perdu, Brioche French toast and seasonal berries.
And then there is the comfy Parisian countryside decor which will please your group’s most picky Francophile.
5 Chanel purses out of 5
400 International Drive 29th floor, Harbor East, 443-343-8200, thebygonerestaurant.com
With easily the best rooftop views of the city combined with its Gatsby-like opulence, The Bygone is the standard for a bougie brunch.
Although some might frown at the thought of a buffet, this restaurant’s prime rib carving station, raw bar and endless house-made pastries and desserts justify the $60 per person cost. Bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys or Bellinis are $25.
5 Chanel purses out of 5
225 W. 23rd. St., Remington, 443-900-8983, barclavel.com/menu
The James Beard nominated restaurant offers up award-winning drinks and an array of tacos. Eggs reign supreme with offerings like six different types of egg-based tacos and the huevos rancheros, two fried eggs over fresh tostadas with salsa ranchera, crema, queso cotija, and choice of frijoles. As for their award-winning drinks, check out the Santa Sandia, a mezcal-based concoction with fresh watermelon juice, chile serrano, limon, agave nectar, and basil reduction.
3 Chanel purses out of 5 (Even though the wait coupled with no reservations can be a bit much, the food is worth it.)
800 S Central Ave., Harbor East, 443-708-5818, ouzobeach.com
Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to wear a pair of Chloe sunglasses while dining outside in this Miami-feeling hotspot? Sure there’s the frat boy-feeling bicycle powered blender. But the interior décor screams like a “Real Housewives” adventure. Order the figure-friendly egg white omelet or the heartier Brioche French Toast, featuring Nutella crema and hazelnut crumble and the pork belly benedict. And non-drinkers can also get in on the fun with their six mocktails including orange lassi and Demeter’s Tonic, which consists of grapefruit shrub, jalapeño, and Aegean tonic.
3 Chanel purses out of 5
Rye Street Tavern
13 Rye Street, Port Covington, 443-662-8000, ryestreettavern.com
From the fried chicken platter to the house made doughnuts, the Port Covington locale is a great brunch option. The massive restaurant’s rustic Americana decor is a great backdrop for a weekend outing. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the alfresco dining options with waterfront views. And the experience doesn’t end after brunch. You can arrange tastings and tours at its on-property distillery.
3 Chanel purses
2 E. Wells St., 443- 759-6537, minnowbaltimore.com
For $39 per person, diners can get bottomless tapas dishes and unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys. Try the fried duck egg, manchego spiked polenta, scallions; fingerling potatoes, poached egg, chorizo cream; and the sour cream doughnuts, dulce de leche. And Sundays are particularly special with 50 percent off all bottles of wine $100 and over.
2.5 Chanel purses out of 5 (3.5 when there is a drag show)
The Alexander Brown
135 E Baltimore St, downtown, 410-727-1700, alexanderbrownrestaurant.com
The decor alone is worth the visit to the former bank turned finer dining establishment.
Highlights include: the lemon and ricotta pancakes, which come with a blueberry compote and pine nuts; the $12 tater tots; and the Spring Market Salad, which is a gorgeous combination of beets, roasted carrots, English peas, radish, goat cheese, fava beans and citrus vinaigrette.
Back to the fabulous decor—it’s fantastic. The marble fixtures are heavily featured throughout the restaurant. And the stain glass skylight is breathtaking. But ultimately, the food and service come second to the decor. And you can’t eat that.