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Editor's pick: 12 places in Rochester to grab brunch on the weekend

Editor's pick: 12 places in Rochester to grab brunch on the weekend

Whether you’re looking for all-you-can-eat buffets, epic Bloody Marys, perfect mimosas, beer battered walleye or banana cream pie waffles, Rochester’s brunch options offer plenty to fill you up on the weekends.

Here’s our list of the Med City’s best blends of breakfast and lunch:

Canadian Honker

1203 2nd St. SW

Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m. - Noon

Located directly across from St. Marys hospital on 2nd Street, the Canadian Honker has been a staple for lunch, breakfast, and dinner for patients and residents alike since 1984 (current location since 1998). My favorite breakfast item? It’s hard to beat the Honker’s Breakfast Feast, compiled of two eggs, choice of hash browns or American fries, bacon or sausage and toast all for only $6.25.

Photo courtesy Canadian Honker

Chester’s

111 S. Broadway – in Shops at University Square

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Choose from Chester’s favorites such as the turkey avocado melt or wings from the special in-house rotisserie, or go the breakfast route with a variety of items using farm fresh eggs and old smokehouse bacon and sausage. If you’re a fan of Chester’s famous Banana Cream Pie, you’ll love the Banana Cream Pie Waffle.

Pescara

150 S. Broadway – in DoubleTree by Hilton

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

In addition to a daily breakfast menu, Pescara offers a Sunday brunch buffet from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition to your typical – although above average in taste – brunch buffet items, make sure to try the smoked Gouda hash browns or the chef’s weekly specialty egg dish.

Five West

1991 Commerce Dr. NW

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Smoked pork belly omelet? Sign me up! From the ownership group that brought you The Loop (which also offers brunch), Five West’s brunch also includes a variety of appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. 

Whistle Binkies

South: 247 Woodlake Drive

North: 3120 Wellner Drive NE

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Both the north and south pub offer a Sunday brunch buffet option, with choices ranging from hand-carved meat to soft serve ice cream (south pub only) and everything in between. If day drinking is your thing, create a Bloody Mary from the Bloody Mary Bar, and chase it down with Das Boot! With little ones? Kids six and under eat free. 

Forager Brewery

1005 6th St. NW

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

While serving up some of Rochester’s finest small batch beers made from local, foraged ingredients is what the Forager is primarily known for, their signature wood-fired pizzas are another must-have, and have found their way onto the brewpub’s Sunday brunch menu. Other popular brunch items include the cast iron mac and cheese, and my favorite, their breakfast skillet with locally sourced eggs, house-made bacon and from scratch hash.

Photo courtesy Forager Brewery

Zumbro River/Dunn Bros

120 Elton Hills Drive NW

Saturdays, 6 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.; Sundays, 6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Recently merged with Dunn Bros Coffee on Elton Hills Drive, Zumbro River Café will continue to offer their popular all-day breakfast selection 7 days/week. Try the café’s plum wine mimosa or infinite black Irish cream cold press along with your meal! All breakfast items are cooked with locally raised organic farm eggs. My kids highly recommend their chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes.

Rooster’s Barn and Grill

2280 Superior Drive NW

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Another 7 days/week breakfast option, Rooster’s Barn & Grill expands their breakfast hours until Noon on Sundays. In addition to breakfast, Rooster’s specializes in another five Bs – burgers, broasted chicken, beer, billiards, and bullseyes (darts). I’m partial to the Goliath Breakfast Sandwich, filled with two eggs, your choice of cheese and meat (three pieces of bacon, 4 oz. of ham, or two sausage patties), and served on grilled Texas toast with a choice of tater barrels or hash browns.

ZZest Café 

1190 16th St. SW

Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Due to popular demand, ZZest Café expanded their brunch dates so you can now enjoy duck confit hash, smoked salmon tartine, avocado toast and other creative options on their amazing patio. Word on the street is that ZZest also has one of the Med City’s better Bloody Marys. Space is fairly limited, so reservations are recommended.

Cheap Charlie’s

11 5th St. NW

Saturdays and Sundays, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Proudly serving love and grease to Rochester since 1955, no list that includes breakfast is complete without Cheap Charlie’s. This 50s diner is as old-school as it gets, but where else can you get an 8 oz. New York strip steak, two eggs, and toast for under $10? If you live in town and want to call yourself a local, you must visit this Rochester landmark at least once.

Newt’s North

5231 E. Frontage Rd

Saturdays and Sundays, 8 – 10:45 a.m.

Although a stretch from your typical weekend brunch hours, Newt’s, which is widely known for their burgers, offers breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. So how did they make the list? Simple. The Ultimate Bloody Mary. Loaded with a hardboiled egg, bacon, white cheddar cheese, celery, buffalo wing, cheeseburger slider, pickle and olive, the Ultimate Bloody Mary is one-of-a-kind.

This post was first published in June 2016,


About Brian Olson: Born and raised in Rochester, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife, Emily, and their two children, Henry (1) and Finleigh (5), and their golden doodle rescue dog Duke (age unknown). When not playing Dad, Brian works as a marketer, enjoys traveling, and can’t seem to get off the roller coaster that comes with being an avid Minnesota sports fan. Twitter.


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(Cover photo courtesy Forager Brewery)

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