Great Brunches in the Bluegrass State

A mid-morning meal that combines breakfast, lunch, good friends … AND a socially acceptable reason to enjoy a cocktail before noon?
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Brunch has never been hotter, and here are some of the best places to enjoy it in Kentucky.
Doodles, Lexington

Serving up “comfort food with a conscience” – locally sourced and crafted with love, of course – Doodles in downtown Lexington has been a hot breakfast and lunch spot for nearly 12 years. But the place really draws crowds when those two meals meet on the restaurant’s popular weekend brunch menu.
That’s when you can stuff yourself silly on grilled biscuits, fried potatoes and omelets made with local eggs, meats, veggies and cheese. Other specials include tail-on shrimp and cheese grits topped with tomato gravy and green onion remoulade, which you can order “dirty” for an addition of country ham, and steel-cut oatmeal topped with a raw-sugar bruleé.

Looking for something meatier? Order the Pigs & Puffs (bacon-topped beignets!)  or locally cured corned beef hash flecked with potatoes, carrots, onions and celery.
Zim’s Café, Lexington

The newest restaurant venture from celebrated Kentucky chef Ouita Michel, Zim’s Café inside the old courthouse in Lexington serves up a popular weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays that includes a mix of classic breakfast combos and more imaginative dishes as well.
Sure, you can go with the standby bacon, sausage and country ham with eggs, white cheddar grits and hot-from-the-oven buttermilk biscuits. But you can also branch out with fluffy omelets stuffed with local meats, veggies and cheeses; buttermilk French toast with blueberry compote and local maple syrup; seared salmon with peach relish; or a locally raised pork chop with apples and bourbon mustard cream.

No matter what you choose, be sure to enjoy it with the restaurant’s signature Sorghum & Spice Latte featuring double espresso, steamed milk and Kentucky sorghum with a hint of spice. Mercy! 
Butchertown Grocery, Louisville

At night, Louisville’s Butchertown Grocery is one of its hottest cocktail bars in town. But on the weekends from 11 am to 3 pm, this sleek restaurant with cozy banquettes and exposed ceiling beams transforms itself to offer one of the best brunches in the state. One where chef/owner Bobby Benjamin has crafted a menu that’s creative, fun, delicious – and revolves around fresh local ingredients.
Look for dishes like chicken and dumplings with gnocchi; fresh blueberry scones and cinnamon rolls; eggs Benedict with pork belly; bourbon barrel-smoked grits with poached eggs and foraged mushrooms; and chicken and waffles with chiles, leeks and fried rosemary.

Wash them down with a cold brew Negroni, a creative combination of cold brew coffee, Campari, red vermouth and orange oil. 
Shandies, Paducah

In a can’t-miss corner location just a few blocks from the river in Paducah, Shandies offers brunch with the area’s only “build your own” Bloody Mary, Bellini and mimosa bar every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm.
Mix yourself one (oh, OK, maybe two) while enjoying a butter-toasted “everything” bagel topped with smoked salmon, spinach, Dijon-herbed cream cheese and poached eggs. Or maybe the quiche Lorraine benedict with charred asparagus, grilled tomato, spinach, ham and hollandaise. 

Or (are you ready for this?) a special brunch poutine featuring crispy fries drenched in spicy sausage gravy, sweet-spiced bacon, cheddar and gouda cheese, plus eggs cooked to order. It’s a game-changer!
Miller House, Owensboro

Known for offering the largest bourbon selection in Western Kentucky – some 600+ bottles strong – Miller House in Owensboro’s downtown historic district also serves up one of its best brunches every Sunday.

Pull up a chair to scarf down good-gracious creations like stuffed French toast, chicken and waffles, sautéed jumbo lump crabcake hollandaise with fresh spinach, steak and eggs with asparagus, Southern-kissed eggs benedict topped with country ham, or cornmeal-dusted and flash-fried catfish with fresh roasted corn remoulade and coleslaw.
Press on Monmouth, Newport

What’s better than a good weekend brunch? A great everyday brunch. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Press on Monmouth in Newport, offering everything on the menu “all day, every day.”
That includes brunch favorites like a fried chicken, egg and hot honey biscuit; Southwest-spiced frittata with chorizo, corn, black beans, chipotle AND jalapeno; and a popular breakfast sandwich with tomato, cheddar and goetta, a locally made spiced sausage.

Other scrumptious options include a chicken and waffle stack with jalapeno slaw, quinoa and rice bowls featuring all sorts of combinations, and tater-tot waffles that you can top with bacon, sausage, goetta, chorizo, chicken, salmon or eggs.
Like something as glorious as a tator-tot waffle even needs anything else on it.     
Parc Café, Maysville

A charming local bakery offering great tastes to start any day, Parc Café in Maysville takes on a different feel each Sunday morning when folks gather for a great leisurely meal.
Start with one of several custom espresso drinks, Cuban coffees or chai teas, then drool over pastry cases full of tempting baked goods that change daily. For heartier appetites, a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps await. 

Sip on silky potato-leek bisque, bite into a chipotle chicken wrap with avocado mash and corn-black bean salsa, or try a walnut cranberry feta salad tossed with fresh local mixed greens.
And hey, if you go for that salad maybe you can splurge on one of Parc’s tempting baked treats for dessert!

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