America’s Best Cities to Eat Brunch

We like to think of brunch as a combination of a guilty pleasure and necessity.  Weekend brunch is a late morning reward for a long week, and of course, paired best with your favorite champagne (either on its own or with your favorite juice and fruit garnish) or Bloody Marys. Agree? Our guest post today is a quick look at America’s Best Cities to Eat Brunch.

Denver made the list of America’s Best Cities to Eat Brunch. Our favorite is in Boulder where Under the Sun Eatery serves weekend brunch.

Following the darkness of night, breakfast food transforms tired zombies into functional humans. The brunchy bounty of eggs and coffee brings near-magical properties to the table. As Ron Swanson, a character on NBC’s Parks and Recreation said, “there has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.”  (And brunch cocktails, right?)

Ready to travel?

Breakfast food enthusiasts tend to flock to the restaurants that can fulfill their mimosa-fueled desires. These brunch spots can hold a key place in weekend culture. However, not everything is sunny-side up. Critics of brunch note how the meal is a marker of gentrification and the “gaping divide between America’s haves and have-nots.” The New York Daily News labeled brunch as a decadence and “ritual that is corroding the soul of America.”

For the sweet tooth brunch lover, a stop at Portland's Voodoo Doughnut for these Maple Bacon donuts.
For the sweet tooth brunch lover, a stop at Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut for these Maple Bacon donuts.

Whether brunch butters your toast or scrambles your eggs, the U.S. hosts a multitude of restaurants that cater to breakfast lovers.


The data scientists at FindTheHome, a real estate intelligence site powered by Graphiq, crunched the numbers to determine the best cities to find the top breakfast or brunch restaurants. Using data from Yelp and the 2014 American Community Survey, we created a comprehensive rating that accounts for quality, popularity, and quantity. Our “Breakfast Score” equally weighs the following data:

  • Density of 4+ Yelp Star breakfast establishments
  • Reviews per restaurant, normalized
  • Number of breakfast and brunch restaurants per 10,000 people

Only cities with a population over 100,000 people and at least 50 breakfast or brunch restaurants were considered in our analysis. Restaurants needed at least one Yelp rating to be included. The following list of top cities for breakfast aficionados is ranked from lowest to highest “Breakfast Score.”

Note: Because some cities are simply more active on Yelp than others, we used the number of reviews at chain restaurants (IHOP, Denny’s Starbucks and Applebee’s) to normalize the “reviews per restaurant” figure across locations.

Washington D.C.

Breakfast Score: 73.8
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 0.8
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 174.0
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.8
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Washington: 175
Population: 633,736

New Orleans, LA

Breakfast Score: 76.3
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.7
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 128.0
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.3
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in New Orleans: 121

Population: 368,471

San Diego, CA

Breakfast Score: 77.9
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.1
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 184.9
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in San Diego: 287
Population: 1,341,510

Denver tops the list for America's best cities for brunch, and these brunch cocktails at Snooze in Union Station Denver are worth the stop.
Denver tops the list for America’s best cities for brunch, and these brunch cocktails at Snooze in Union Station Denver are worth the stop.

Denver, CO

Breakfast Score: 84.0
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.1
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 282.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.4
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Denver: 155

Population: 633,777

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San Francisco, CA

Breakfast Score: 85.1
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.8
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 168.9
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.6
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in San Francisco: 298
Population: 829,072

Paradise, NV

Breakfast Score: 86.0
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 0.9
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 272.4
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.3
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Paradise: 74

Population: 223,182

Minneapolis, MN

Breakfast Score: 90.0
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.5
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 299.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.9
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Minneapolis: 114
Population: 394,424

Charleston, SC

Breakfast Score: 94.6
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 1.9
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 226.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 4.5
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Charleston: 56

Population: 125,458

Berkeley, CA

Breakfast Score: 95.3
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.0
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 209.1
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 4.5
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Berkeley: 52
Population: 115,688

Portland, OR

Breakfast Score: 95.9
Density of 4+ Yelp Star Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 2.2
Reviews per Restaurant, Normalized: 248.0
Number of Breakfast Restaurants per 10K People: 3.7
Number of Breakfast Restaurants in Portland: 220

Population: 602,568

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Where is your favorite city for brunch and what is your top brunch restaurant?


America's Best citites to Eat Brunch
America’s Best cities to Eat Brunch