Want a cure for the winter blahs? Cozy up with a glass of wine and a hearty meal at one of these brunch spots around the nation. From eateries keeping customers toasty with outdoor fire pits and hot cocktails, to enclosed patios with lengthy wine lists that hint at warmer spring weather, these restaurants are heating up your winter brunch routine.
FIRE at the ART Hotel
Brunch-goers frequent downtown Denver’s FIRE for its expansive wine list. You’ll find 14 wines by the glass and more than 100 by the bottle selections, plus sparkling wine flights and an unlimited mimosa brunch. The restaurant also has a thoughtful al fresco dining option. Food can be served outside on the scenic rooftop terrace next to exposed fire pits where blankets are kept on hand to ensure guests are snug. There are specialty hot cocktails too, including takes on Irish coffee and hot buttered rum. Winter-themed dishes include “mountain man” granola parfait and seasonal vegetable hash.
FIREHOUSE American Eatery + Lounge
San Diego, CA
An exposed glass fire pit comes with ocean views at this buzzy Pacific Beach eatery. There’s also a covered, heated rooftop patio and a fireplace in case temperatures take a dive. The brunch wine list includes eight reds, eight whites and a selection of sparklers designed to complement the creative fare, which fittingly highlights seafood such as shrimp tacos and grilled octopus. Don’t miss the Devil’s Dozen Benny, a decadent twist on eggs Benedict that involves maple-peppercorn bacon, poached eggs and lemon Hollandaise sauce piled on top of a glazed donut.
New York City
You’ll think you’ve wandered into Paris in the springtime at this atmospheric rooftop eatery, decked out with lamppost lighting, strategically draped greenery and park benches. The retractable glass roof—kept closed during the fall and winter—gives the illusion of dining outdoors. Alongside filling favorites like steak and eggs and stuffed French toast, 18 wines are poured by the glass along with 32 by-the-bottle choices. Also featured are $.92 brunch cocktail specials, like the Easy Passage, incorporating Prosecco, lemon juice and vodka. Throwback music matches the old-timey prices (Dandy Wellington and his jazz band play on weekends).
In addition to a newly remodeled patio complete with heaters to eradicate all traces of winter, IVY Kitchen showcases comfort food with serious Southern flair. Chicken and waffle sliders with jalapeño cream gravy and buttermilk pancakes with toasted pecan-Bourbon butter perfectly complement the 21 wines served by the glass. Brunch cocktails have Texas touches,like the Bootstrap Manhattan, made with Ft. Worth-based Firestone & Robertson whiskey. Did we mention $3 cocktail specials? Micheladas, bloody Marys and mimosas round out a rousing brunch.
Laguna Beach, CA
While it never gets too cold in California, Splashes—located 25 feet from the sand—breaks out the heaters and blankets for comfortable outdoor brunching. Dishes slant healthy, like seasonal egg-white frittata with squash, fingerling potatoes and herbs or a “breadless” benedict, but the wine list encourages indulgence, comprised of 30 choices by the glass. Wine-focused brunch cocktails make an appearance too, like the Bellini Sol with Prosecco—fresh peach purée and a peach salt rim—or the Sauvignon Blanc-based Sunrise Sangria.
Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap
Crave pizza for breakfast? You’re not alone. This spacious weekend brunch spot is a go-to for gourmets in the Rosemont neighborhood, and has a following for its Neapolitan pies. When temperatures drop, the patio defrosts diners with a heated tile floor, fire pit, torch heaters and blankets, along with 17 Italian wines by the glass and 16 draft options, including Virginia-made beer and cider. Try one of the eatery’s sparkling wine brunch cocktails, like Lambrusco-based sangria or a prickly pear Prosecco mimosa. Just don’t leave without ordering the breakfast pizza: the wood-fired, white-sauce pie comes loaded with potatoes, smoked gouda, eggs and bacon.
The Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Westchester
White Plains, NY
Located in downtown White Plains, this luxury hotel lies between the Hudson Valley and nearby New York City, making it an ideal meeting place for brunch in Westchester. Diners can warm up during chilly winter days next to a modern, exposed fireplace with a glass of ginger-apple cider in hand before feasting on bites like the warm seasonal apple salad with toasted pecans, or orange-glazed Cornish hen with homemade stuffing, sautéed spinach and corn. The Lounge also touts a French- and California-leaning wine list with some 25 white and 26 red wine selections by the bottle, encouraging wine lovers to linger inside a little longer.
This family-owned French bakery and pastry shop does have a dedicated take-out following thanks to its exquisite croissants, brioche and madeleines, but plan on spending some time by the fireplace perusing its brunch wine list this winter. 17 by-the-glass options and 80 bottle choices—deriving mainly from France with about 20 percent sourced from California—pair perfectly with the bakery’s French-leaning dishes, like Provencal Eggs (two sunny-side-up eggs served on fried tomatoes with herbs de Provence and a house-made baguette).
Stella San Jac at the Westin Austin Downtown
Flurries may be rare in Austin, but you can still find snow in the form of an irresistible Blackberry Snow Cone at Stella San Jac, made with Tequila, mezcal, blackberry, citrus and thyme. The wintry drink is a part of the restaurant’s “brunchtail” menu of nine cocktails created to match the elevated Southern cuisine on offer at this cozy eatery. Dishes include hearty fare such as chicken-fried steak with country gravy and a hash brown waffle. The Texas-sized brunch wine list also yields 56 globe-spanning selections by the bottle (and 18 by the glass), along with six local brews on tap.