In the warmer months, you’d be hard-pressed to drive down Broadway on a weekend around midday without spotting pockets of pedestrians running amok. Clusters of hungry brunchers of all ages congregate because, per capita, the West Side is quite possibly the best destination in all of Providence when it comes to brunch options. There isn’t all that much in the way of al fresco — unlike the Italian neighbors to the north at DePasquale Square on Federal Hill — but there is a heck of a lot in terms of quality. And if there’s a wait, why not put in a reservation and hike up the street to Seven Stars, where you can snag what I’d call the best latte in the city?
In no particular order, here are five of your best brunch options:
Julians – 318 Broadway – juliansprovidence.com
Mon – Fri, 9am – 4:30pm
Sat & Sun, 8am – 2pm
Located in the very heart of Broadway, Julians is a New American restaurant and bar that many recognize as the forerunner of the West Side’s restaurant boom in recent years. Chef Mike McHugh runs a tight and delicious ship that has been sailing strong since 1994. Brunch diners flock to Julians in droves, and with good reason: a scrambled egg pizza with in-house made ketchup is my favorite, but my sigOth is partial to one of the six (seven if you count the vegetarian option) different kinds of eggs benedict. The ever-changing menu is also nearly certain to contain something you’ve never tried before – perhaps never even heard of before!
Some gem quotes from Julians diners: Anna Fox said, “On the West Side, I like Julian’s for brunch or dinner because their menu always changes and all the guys have great facial hair if you’re into that kind of thing.” And when asked, Nicole Cote replied, “If you get brunch anywhere other than Julians, you are a fool.”
Loie Fuller’s – 1455 Westminster St – loiefullers.com
Sunday 10am – 2pm
One of the outliers in the Broadway brunch scene, Fuller’s is technically on Westminster. The restaurant itself has the vibe that harks to a classic French brasserie, but with a new, modern twist. Named after a pioneer of American dance, their nouveau sense of style infuses both the elaborate decor and delicious grub. Their brunch menu has changing offerings that will satiate any palate, with both savory and sweet options, including a breakfast burger — need I say more? Add a Bloody Mary and you have yourself a proper boozy brunch.
Kitchen – 94 Carpenter St
Wed – Fri, 7:30am – 1pm
Sat & Sun, 7:30am – 4pm
Imagine a tiny hole in the wall that can barely squeeze a dozen patrons inside. There’s a small kitchen space in the back with one chef and usually at most two waitresses. Now imagine you’ve scored a table (one of only five) and the bacon is so thick and juicy and somehow still crispy that it melts in your mouth. This cozy little place, owned and operated by Howard Croft, offers up bulldozer-sized quality in its breakfast menu. Huevos rancheros and a housemade grilled muffin are great places to start, but if you walk away without having the bacon, you’re a damned fool.
The Grange – 166 Broadway – providencegrange.com
Sat & Sun 9am – 3pm
This newer kid on the block is the sister eatery to the vegetarian haven, Garden Grille, on the East Side. Their intent is to provide veggie-based meals that are better for you than your farmyard friends. If you’re craving brunch that won’t weigh down your stomach, this restaurant is PVD’s eco-friendly go-to, complete with re-purposed furniture, decor and hand-me-down mugs. The Grange serves up anything from the traditional eggs-toast-homefries breakfast to a Kim Chi Burrito, with the most popular item being their Eggs Benedict. While you’re here, you can rest assured that everything — down to the soap in the bathroom — is home-grown, so you’ll have no problem feeling like you’re having brunch on your very own grange.
Nick’s on Broadway – 500 Broadway – nicksonbroadway.com
Wed – Sun, 8am – 3pm
Ever the high-end supporter of local growers and producers, Nick’s on Broadway is no doubt one of the priciest dinner options on or around the Broadway strip, but their brunch is both practically priced and wonderful for your taste buds. Those with a sweet tooth will want to opt for the warm lemon-honey-ginger bread pudding with same-flavored ice cream. You’d also be hard-boiled-pressed to find better Eggs Benedict, which include variations and even specials which might include locally sourced onions and mushrooms. Baked polenta of local corn and Vermont cheddar is also totally worth your time.
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