Brunch is our favorite buzzword, and it isn’t hard to imagine why: its ability to cure a hangover or a bad mood is unparalleled. You have plenty of options in the Syracuse area and more than enough weekends to give them a try. Here are five of our favorite restaurants for the best meal (or two) of the day.
—Audrey Morgan, digital director of Baked Magazine. Follow Audrey on Instagram @audreymorg.
1. Stella’s Diner
A longtime favorite of students and Syracuse residents alike, Stella’s serves its gargantuan dishes on Formica tables. The kitschy décor and attendant servers, always ready to fill your coffee cup, give this diner a timeless vibe that keeps patrons coming back for more…though the food also might have something to do with it. From savory dishes like omelets to strawberry banana waffles, every meal is solid, but the eggs Benedict—poached eggs served on two English muffins and draped in a velvety Hollandaise sauce—is among the best we’ve ever had.
110 Wolf St.; (315) 425-0353.
2. Nestico’s Too
This outpost of the fancier Nestico’s has a regular’s atmosphere but is still friendly to newcomers. Whether you choose to sit in a booth or at the counter, you’ll see the kitchen at work: cracking eggs, flipping pancakes, and tending to sizzling home fries. Its fluffy pancakes, served in stacks of two and three, are almost cake-like. The pumpkin pecan variety, served as a special in the fall, is particularly delicious. Lightly spiced, the pancakes gain depth from the nuts and don’t need syrup, though they won’t be over-the-top sweet should you decide to reach for the bottle.
4105 W. Genesee St.; (315) 487-5864.
Revered among vegans, but not lacking in carnivore delights—I’m talking the Sriracha cheddar burger—this Armory Square favorite has a lounge-like atmosphere that’s ideal for a drawn-out breakfast. Lofo serves breakfast items from a tofu scramble to a burrito, but if you prefer lunch food, try one of its sandwiches, served on Texas toasted bread. Regardless of what you’re craving, order a smoothie to go with it. Our favorite is The Honey Bear, a concoction of almond milk, homemade peanut butter, banana, honey, and cinnamon. Both sweet and intensely nutty, it’s refreshing and rich—the perfect synthesis of smoothie and milkshake.
214 Walton St.; (315) 422-6200.
4. Alto Cinco
Known for its authentic Mexican food, hip atmosphere, and late-night reliability, Alto Cinco also serves a killer brunch. Its burritos are uniformly delicious, and the breakfast version is no exception. Encased in a soft flour tortilla, two eggs and beans provide plenty of protein, while hash browns add greasy decadence worthy of any hangover; salsa, sour cream, and a spicy red sauce are in perfect balance with the other fillings. Wash it all down with Recess coffee, another Westcott specialty, or take advantage of the full bar: the perfect cure for your hangover.
526 Westcott St.; (315) 422-6399.
5. Mother’s Cupboard Fish Fry
Situated right off James Street, Mother’s Cupboard looks unassuming, but the locals will assure you it’s anything but. The lingering smell of home fries fills the air as you walk into the perpetually crowded restaurant, which never fails to seat you within 10 minutes. If you want a free T-shirt and your picture on the wall, order (and finish) the frittata, a six-pound jumble of pepperoni, sausage, eggs, broccoli, onions, peppers, and home fries—heavily doused in ketchup, of course. If you’re not up for the challenge but still want to satisfy a craving for every savory breakfast item imaginable, order the half. You’ll likely have leftovers.
3709 James St.; (315) 432-0942.
This story was originally featured in Baked’s Fall 2014 issue. Grab your copy on campus today!