Milk Glass Mrkt Aaron Lee

Beeswing | 4318 NE Cully

With a large patio and airy indoor seating, Beeswing not only serves great brunch, but it brings it to a mostly commercial/industrial stretch of Cully Boulevard that really could use a good breakfast sando. A visit on any weekend has the spot humming with neighbors, drawn in by scallion pancakes with fork-soft pork belly, poached eggs with a ginger hollandaise sauce, and a fluffy biscuit with seasonal jam that is required for pre-meal sharing. There are salads and granola, but save room for the sourdough waffles, topped in early summer with Oregon strawberries and blueberries, and spiked with a lemony sauce. We’re still not sure if you pronounce Beeswing’s name as “Bee’s Wing” or “Bee Swing,” but it is the bee’s knees. ANDREA DAMEWOOD Brunch hours: Daily 8 am-3 pm, $$


Interurban | 4057 N Mississippi

If you’re getting to the age where a night of drinking makes you want to duct tape your sunglasses to your face in the morning, Interurban welcomes you. Lay a foundation for a new day with one of Interurban’s breakfast plates, most of which are hearty without inducing a heart attack. The benedicts are satisfying, a fried half game hen is a no-brainer, and semi-exotic meats like boar sausage are can’t-miss. The dog that bit you lives here, too, so grab a bloody mary or something else from the deep cocktail list. Upstairs seating provides a view of the smug sober people on N Mississippi, but a shady patio surrounded by tall buildings manages to feel both open and secluded, a courtyard fit for a royal hangover. THOMAS ROSS Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 10 am-2:30 pm, $$


Helser’s on Alberta | 1538 NE Alberta

More than a decade old, Helser’s is the levelheaded brunch option amid the overblown (and sometimes overrated) spots on Alberta. You’ll still get the wait lines, even on weekdays, but not the hysteria. The menu is framed around solid egg and pancake dishes—the mushroom hash is a meld of sumptuous chunks of roasted garlic, scallions, and thin potato slices. They also know how to rock a Scotch egg, and the pancakes are fabled. The only downside is the drip coffee, which could (and should) be better. MJ SKEGG Brunch hours: Daily 7 am-3 pm, $$


Vivienne Kitchen and Pantry | 4128 NE Sandy

Nestled right up against Hollywood Theatre, Vivienne is an unassuming little place. Inside is just as modest as outside, with an aesthetic somewhere between “unfinished art gallery” and “Grandma’s pantry.” While the ambience alone may not make for the most interesting brunch experience, you at least won’t have to worry about a long wait. I visited on a Saturday morning and there was plenty of room to stretch out. Their breakfast menu leans toward different variations of eggs and pork, but they also offer a sweet and hearty granola, as well as a breakfast porridge. I took a chance and ordered the porridge (YOLO, right?). With yogurt, oats, quinoa, toasted coconut, pistachios, and seasonal fruit (this is apparently tiny strawberry season), the porridge was creamy, sweet, satisfying, and tasted like the childhood I always wish I’d had. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY Brunch hours: Tues-Sun 9 am-2 pm, $


Lauretta Jean’s | 3402 SE Division

I’m reluctant to tell you this, but it would be selfish not to: Lauretta Jean’s makes one of the city’s best, most underrated brunches. My favorite menu item is the LJ Classic—an over-easy egg, jack cheese, and strawberry jam on a plump and filling biscuit—because it’s the perfect breakfast sandwich AND it eliminates the brunch conundrum of having to decide between savory and sweet. Add some strong, delicious Water Avenue coffee you pour yourself into a pretty little milk-glass cup, and it’s breakfast for a king. I don’t like boozy brunch because I’m a lightweight and it makes the rest of my day feel foggy, but if you’re gonna day-drink at LJ’s, go for a Steigl Radler, the not-too-sweet beer-grapefruit soda combo—summertime leisure in its purest form. MEGAN BURBANK Brunch hours: Daily 8 am-3 pm, $


Redwood | 7915 SE Stark

Being from Idaho I always get asked, “You grow up on a potato farm?” (Yes, but we grew more than that.) And “You trout fish?” (I did, but for more than trout.) So when I spot any kind of trout and potato brunch combo, you know that’ll be a dish left clean. Montavilla neighborhood restaurant Redwood serves their Smoked Trout Hash in a griddle, featuring minced potato hash combined with smoked trout and topped with two fried eggs. The way I eat it is by mixing it all up into one glorious dish and then, boom. It’s done. But just like I grew up growing more than potatoes and fishing for more than trout, Redwood offers more than hash on their well-rounded menu. Check it all out. (Psst. You’re welcome for the clean skillet—but I would still wash it.) NICK OLMSTEAD Brunch Hours: Wed-Sun 9 am-2 pm, $$


Pine State Biscuits | 2204 NE Alberta, 125 NE Schuyler, 1100 SE Division

With three brick-and-mortar locations around town, Pine State Biscuits is one of Portland’s favorite local chains. I like the Alberta location, which has a sizeable patio. In regards to the biscuit quality, I can’t say enough good things about Pine State. Satisfyingly circular portions of baked dough pull apart to equal two perfectly flaky halves. That’s probably why you can buy them by the dozen or half-dozen, in addition to about a million other ways. Flavor-and texture-wise, these biscuits are the real deal, and can be fully enjoyed with a spreading of Pine State’s honey butter and your choice of jam. However, the menu also offers a plethora of biscuit sandwiches, three different variations on biscuits and gravy, as well as some deeply satisfying non-biscuit plates such as Cajun fries, cheesy fries, fried green tomatoes, chicken pot pie, shrimp and grits, or a plate of “Hashups”—hashbrowns with cheese, country ham, or steak, plus grilled onions and mushrooms. The best part? They serve cocktails and Stumptown coffee, and since they make you order at the counter and seat yourself, the wait time is basically a non-issue. JENNI MOORE Brunch hours: Daily 7 am-3 pm, $


Trinket | 2035 SE César E. Chavez

Please don’t go to Trinket. It’s my neighborhood brunch spot and sometimes it’s still possible to get a table right away if you go on a weekday. Please don’t go to Trinket, because if you drink the delicious, juicy mimosas served in adorable canning jars, there will be none left for me. And you probably don’t even really like huevos al pastor done amazingly well, right? You don’t really want to drink that strong, hot Extracto coffee out of a minimalist mug, do you? If you wanted to get the feeling of sitting in a leafy courtyard of Scandinavian design while in Paris, you’d just get on a plane, right? Ugh, okay fine, go to Trinket. I get it. But I’m not going to be happy about it. MBBrunch hours: Daily 8 am-3:30 pm


P’s and Q’s | 1301 NE Dekum

The casual atmosphere (pour your own drip coffee, bus the table) and simple-looking menu belie the quality of the cooking at this busy neighborhood market. Look closely and there’s something unique in each dish—buttermilk biscuits come with tomato gravy, while the breakfast burrito has French fries inside—and each is prepared and executed with care. The catfish special is legendary (partly because they never seem to have it) and one complaint is that they sell out of dishes quickly. However, mimosas come by the carafe—the definition of civilization. MS Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 9 am-1 pm, $


Bertie Lou’s | 8051 SE 17th

Nestled deep in the heart of Sellwood, Bertie Lou’s is the kitschy, cozy shoebox diner of your brunch dreams. You won’t find a snarkier menu—omelets include footnotes, like the Three Cheese, which is “bigger than a saddle bag and cheesier than a Christian rock song.” But the food’s fresh, delicious, and won’t weigh you down all day. A personal favorite is the Croissant Florentine, which is a veggie version of eggs benedict with spinach instead of Canadian bacon, piled atop two croissant halves. Also great: The accompanying home fries, a medley of potato half-moons with perfectly crisp green peppers and onions. At one visit last winter there was an unusually lengthy line, so the owner suggested we sit with another couple who were dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus. It was strange, but sometimes Bertie Lou’s is about the journey, not the destination. CIARA DOLAN Brunch hours: Mon-Fri 7 am-2 pm,  Sat & Sun 8 am-2:30 pm, $$


Milk Glass Mrkt Aaron Lee

Guilder | 2393 NE Fremont

It’s rare to find a pretty, inviting space with great coffee that also serves excellent food. Enter Guilder. With a few tables on the sidewalk, a long bench toward the back, and even a lofted upper level, Guilder’s got the feel of a cafe with the space and menu of a full restaurant. Toasts and porridge make up most of it, but this isn’t the slapdash dish you throw together at home when uninspired. The savory breakfast toast is a pile of colorful, delicious veggies and beans; topped with a fried egg, it’s more than enough for a weekday and a solid base for Saturday or Sunday. They have beautiful cakes and pastries if you’re on the run, but you should stay a while: Have a beer, wine, or even a cocktail. TR Brunch hours: Mon-Fri 9 am-3 pm, Sat & Sun 8 am-3 pm, $


Bad Habit Room | 5433 N Michigan

I’ve not forgiven them for getting rid of my favorite dish (the Nordic board thing) but the back room of Saraveza still turns out a good weekend brunch. They smoke their own meats and fish, and dishes often have a neat twist—the smoked trout hash is elevated by the addition of sweet onion and root vegetables. Extracto coffee and a punchy cocktail list keep the room buzzing. They also show Packers games (which I’m told has something to do with the NFL), so check ahead if you’re sensitive to congregations of sports fans. MS Brunch hours: Sat & Sun 9 am-2 pm, $$


Genies Café | 1101 SE Division

God, every time I remember that Genies doesn’t have an apostrophe in their name I want to flip my table and rage-quit. Are they referencing actual genies that live in lamps? The décor doesn’t suggest such an inspiration—the walls are lined with stock photos of gentle nature scenes (which also aggravate me). The fact that I go there at all should tell you that it’s really good—classic diner food with few fancy tricks, but a solid backbone. I respect the integrity of every dish I’ve consumed at Genies: all of their benedicts, the Spanish scramble, the hazelnut pancakes. I can forgive the lack of apostrophe and bad wall art for this wonderful food, but also because they serve delicious bloody marys with infused vodka—choose from flavors like dill, habanero, lemon, and more—plus one with an ACTUAL SCORPION (don’t worry, it’s dead) decorating the rim. That’s just plain badass. CD Brunch hours: Daily 8 am-3 pm, $$


Gravy | 3957 N Mississippi

One of the most popular brunch spots in town, Gravy is known for its consistent quality, generous portions, and long wait times. Depending on the season, time of day, and size of your party, you can expect to wait for upwards of 35 minutes for a table in the small dining room. Or, in the case of my most recent visit, my party of four waited for a painful one hour and 15 minutes. Since it’s on the sun-facing side of Mississippi, and there’s little room to wait inside, I do not recommend this place on summer’s hottest days. (Frankly, they should really implement a phone or buzzer system.) Still, once you’ve finally sat down and been promptly served plates of the place’s famous brioche French toast, hash, impeccable omelets, biscuits and gravy (obvi), oatmeal brulée, or a fried egg sandwich with impressively zesty house-made veggie sausage, all is forgiven. Gravy remains my favorite place to have a birthday brunch; the vast menu delights carnivores and vegetarians alike, the service (once you’re seated) is great, and you’re likely to go home with a doggy bag. JM Brunch hours: Daily 7:30 am-3 pm, $$


Jam on Hawthorne | 2239 SE Hawthorne

You can always expect two things at Jam on Hawthorne: a giant line and berry jam at every table. What’s truly ludicrous is that I’ve visited plenty of times, endured lines that could wrap around the Earth’s circumference, and never once tasted thatgoddamn namesake jam. Even if you’re like me—not a jam person—Jam has plenty to offer, especially in the way of cocktails. Their flavored mimosas are luxurious (my favorite’s peach) and come by the pitcher. You’ve gotta try the Maddie Cakes at least once; they’re decadent lemon-ricotta pancakes smothered in warm blueberry sauce. But my go-to breakfast is the huevos rancheros, a dish that’s built on the gooey foundation of two corn tortillas stuffed with spicy pepper jack cheese. Hot tip: If you’re brunching alone—an exercise I highly recommend—or with one other person, and the line is predictably long, try bypassing it by sitting at the bar. CD Brunch hours: Daily 7:30 am-3 pm, $$


Milk Glass Mrkt | 2150 N Killingsworth

Milk Glass Mrkt is a den of opulence, and my favorite brunch spot in Portland. They expertly straddle breakfast and lunch with dishes like their burrata plate—a recent seasonal special that included little toasts, spicy veggie spread, creamy mountains of burrata, and a heaping pile of fresh beets. For the regular menu, try the Swell—prosciutto, roasted peppers, basil, provolone, and runny orange fried eggs held together by ciabatta. All of the rotating sweet treats are five stars. Take your coffee with coconut milk, or order one of their seasonal shrubs—a fruity, vinegary drink that can be served spiked or with bubbly water. On a recent visit, I chose the strawberry-mint shrub with bubbly water, and it came with a single stem of lavender. When it’s sunny, you can sit outside under big shady trees. The whole experience is lovely. CD Brunch hours: Tues-Sun 9 am-3 pm, $$


Miss Delta | 3950 N Mississippi

Just across the street from the ever-popular Gravy is Miss Delta, a spot that often has a shorter wait, a strictly Southern “from scratch” menu, and aggressive coffee refills that are very much appreciated. Miss Delta serves just about every kind of soul food you can think of, from grits and gumbo to jambalaya, spicy collard greens, hush puppies, and their signature four-cheese Trashy Mac with your choice of added fixins. It’s important to note that there’s a lot of meat going on here: house-smoked brisket, chicken fried steak, chicken and waffles, pulled pork, sausage from Olympic Provisions, and much more. They also have an array of seafood like catfish, and po’ boys with fried oysters, shrimp, and crawfish. Vegetarians will have a harder time, but there are still some great options, my favorite being the Delta Griddle Cakes, which are made with a detectable touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to that a side of eggs and some stewed tomatoes and okra, and it’s a pretty perfect meal. JM Brunch hours: Mon-Fri 11 am-4 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am-4 pm, $$