**Related Video Above: Take a look at how to take a summer brunch outdoors.**
CLEVELAND (WJW) — Brunch can be overpriced. The wait time to get a seat is sometimes hours long. For people who are not morning people, it is early.
Yet … yet.
We arrive in droves to guzzle coffee and mimosas. We gather with family to celebrate birthdays and mothers and fathers. It’s the thing we look forward to after going to church, or what is necessary after a long, hard night out with friends to help piece together the evening’s activities.
Despite the hurdles, this region believes in brunch to its core — especially if it coincides with patio season. Sure, you could make brunch at home, and that’s the right choice often, but is it really Sunday Funday if you’re not going out?
Here is a tightly-curated list of the locally-owned Northeast Ohio establishments serving up dine-in brunches worth your time and money, as compiled with the help of our viewers, online reviews and our own hearts. Obviously, there are many other places to check out across the area. This list is just a start.
Big Al’s – The East Side Treasure
12600 Larchmere Blvd., Cleveland, 216-791-8550
It’s the greasy spoon that welcomes all weary travelers (even those not even from Ohio who may have heard of the spot from chef Michael Symon speaking of its magical corned beef hash on the Food Network). Since 1994, Big Al’s has served its eastside neighborhood well, offering up gigantic portions of classic breakfast fare for those willing to wait. Find out more about this spot right here.
Blue Door Cafe – The One That Really is That Delicious
1970 State Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-926-9774
Set your alarm now to get on the brunch waitlist for the day you’re trying to go. It’s time to get serious. Weekend brunch fills up especially quick here, which makes sense as the Blue Door Cafe’s menu is full of house-made baked goods and delectably creative breakfast options. You won’t regret getting out of bed and putting in the energy for this one. Find out more about this spot right here.
Corky and Lenny’s – The Classic Deli
27091 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere, 216-464-3838
When you have a hankering for pastrami and/or corned beef, Corky and Lenny’s is here for you, as it has been for decades in the Cleveland suburbs. This classic Jewish deli serves up dishes on par with granny — yes, the matzoh ball soup with noodles and rice is perfect for warming the soul. Find out more about this restaurant right here.
The Howlin’ Bird – The One That Believes in Chicken
123 S. Main St., North Canton, 234-714-9000
Its website wishes patrons would “have a flockin’ good day,” and it’s not that hard to do if you order their stacks of chicken and waffles or biscuits and gravy or blueberry waffles. You can also get bloody Marys by the carafe and flights of mimosas to wash it all down. Find out more about this spot right here.
Jaja – The One with the Fancy Brunch Buffet
2050 Gehring Ave., Cleveland, 216-998-5353, reservations accepted
There are days you want to throw down. That’s where Jaja comes in with its $45 per person brunch buffet that comes complete with options like crab cakes and avocado boards and, of course, a carving station with ribeye, pork belly and chorizo. Cocktails are sold separately. Find out more about this beautiful restaurant with its retractable roof right here.
Juneberry Table – The One Working Hard to Keep it Locally Sourced
3900 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, 216-331-0338
Longtime Cleveland chef Karen Small moved on from the Flying Fig bistro and opened up Juneberry Table last year, bringing Southeast Ohio flavors to the Ohio City neighborhood. Some items on the menu may seem more healthy, like a local cereal bowl or Ohio spelt pancakes, but make no mistake, everything is packed with flavor and comes looking nearly too beautiful to eat. Find out more about this place right here.
The Last Page – The Classy Brunch
Pinecrest, 100 Park Ave #128, Orange, 216-465-1008, reservations accepted
Sure, it’s part of an outdoor shopping center. A fancy one, but no matter. Once inside, the Last Page is stunning and dark in all the right ways. And the shared plates, items like Turkish eggs and crème brûlée French toast, along with a fun selection of cocktails, are here to elevate your day. Find out more about this spot right here.
Le Petit Triangle Cafe – The One with the Croissants of Dreams
1881 Fulton Rd., Cleveland, 216-281-1881, reservations accepted
Are we in Paris right now? You may ask yourself while eating at this tiny café. No, you’re just in Ohio City, but the house-made croissants, in all their buttery flakey goodness, have transformative properties. Other French items like crepes and escargot are also perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself. Find out more about this spot right here.
Lucky’s – The One Worth the National Hype
777 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, 216-622-7773, reservations accepted for 8 or more or big holidays like Mother’s Day
There is no alcohol sold here, yet the wait can be hours. That’s how incredible the food is, something Michael Symon and Guy Fieri have both noted. Here, they’ve elevated granola and yogurt and taken biscuit-making to a true art form. Find out more about this spot right here.
Martha on the Fly – The One With Breakfast Sandwiches You’ll Crave
2173 Professor Ave., Cleveland, 844-474-3568
That first greasy bite of whichever gooey egg sandwich you choose will have you closing your eyes in pure bliss, possibly tearing up. This is a small counter shop with a diner feel, featuring only a few stools to eat on if you choose. Otherwise, it’s easy to pick up these delicious handhelds and head out the door. Plus, you’ll probably want a slice of pie to help wash it down. Find out more about this spot right here.
Mike’s Place – The One With All the Food Options and an X-Wing Out Front
1700 South Water St., Kent, 330-673-6501
Have trouble choosing what you want to eat? You may be overwhelmed at this kitschy, one-of-a-kind restaurant. We’re talking hundreds of items on the menu. But honestly, you can’t really go wrong. On weekends this place fills up fast with college kids and families alike, so getting there early is in your best interest. Find out more about this spot right here.
The Spot on Lakeshore – The One You Shouldn’t Sleep On
7272 Lakeshore Blvd, Mentor, 440-510-8504, Reservations accepted
This restaurant run by chef Zachary Bond is one of the few breakfast/lunch-only spots that offers a full bar, meaning your morning can be as celebratory as you want. And other items on the menu worth celebrating include the true English breakfast (with braised white beans) and tiramisu pancakes. Find out more about this restaurant right here.
Steve’s Diner – The One That’s Open 24-Hours
6850 Biddulph Rd. Brooklyn, 216-351-0200
Breakfast and hot dogs at any hour of the day? That’s what this cozy locale has been providing fans since 1953. Expect excellent service and beyond-reasonable prices here while munching on nostalgia in meal form. So few places are open 24 hours a day, we can’t help but bow down. Find out more right here.
Wally Waffle – The Local Chain Doing it Right
Locations in Akron, Montrose and Tallmadge
Waffle fiends, this is the place for you. The Akron-based breakfast chain really does have waffles that pass muster. We’d tell you to feel free order other food items, but what’s the point? Waffles or bust. Find out more about this spot right here.
The Winchester Music Tavern – The One With Themed Brunch
12112 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-600-5338
You could brunch here without the themes, and it is tasty. But why, when you can also experience a drag show, Bingo or a rock show all at the same time? Find out more about this venue and all of its weekend brunch entertainment options right here. It is advised to purchase tickets early, as they may sell out. Doors open an hour before start time for optimal seats.
Service industry employees who are keeping you fed in the morning (especially on your weekends that are not their weekends) are worthy of your support and patience. Tip well, and be as understanding as possible.