Regardless of where your weekend plans will take you, the best way to start a sunny Saturday or lazy Sunday is with a leisurely brunch — after all, if breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you certainly don’t want to skip it (even if it happens to take place at 1 p.m. instead of 8 a.m.). Our Forbes Travel Guide editors can’t think of a better way to start the best two days of the week, come to think of it — whether you’re noshing on smoked salmon with a Mimosa in hand or enjoying a hefty burger and a Bloody Mary, there’s no wrong way to brunch. And, if you’re lucky enough to stop by one of these star-rated brunch favorites, you can count on a stunning view to complement your tasty meal.
Asiate, New York City
A popular power lunch spot during the week, Mandarin Oriental, New York’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Asiate transforms into a go-to brunch destination come the weekend. Hotel guests and Manhattanites alike head to the Asian-inspired restaurant for two things: great food and an even better view. Asiate overlooks Central Park through its giant windows, so even in the dead of winter or the heat of the summer you can soak up the Big Apple flavor from high above inside the Five-Star hotel. The three-course prix fixe brunch menu changes weekly, but you can count on a good mix of sweet (perhaps brioche French toast) and savory (like the eggs Benedict “BLT” with grilled heirloom tomato, upland cress, crispy pancetta, country sourdough and chive aioli).
In a city where you can only sit outside about three months of the year, a restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows offers the next best thing. The aptly named Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant on the 16th floor of Five-Star Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago churns out a stellar Sunday brunch. The seemingly endless buffet features everything from classic eggs Benedict to roasted duck—with plenty to choose from in between. As you savor each and every bite of this extravagant Sunday meal, enjoy the stunning scapes of Chicago that stretch over the Chicago River to the Loop’s high-rises and all the way down to Lake Michigan.
Boston is a beautiful city, and when the weather warms up, it becomes that much more picturesque. Between April and November, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Taj Boston takes advantage of its prime location and offers an incredible rooftop Sunday brunch. Champagne is flowing, food is abundant and the view of the Boston Public Garden is top-notch. There are four seatings for brunch—10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.—but regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be treated to an extravagant buffet with cuisine ranging from made-to-order breakfast selections and chilled seafood to sushi and Indian dishes.
Auberge du Soleil Restaurant, Rutherford, Calif.
Head to this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant on the weekend for a taste of the Mediterranean. But it’s more than just a great brunch here—Auberge du Soleil Restaurant sits on an olive grove in the heart of Napa Valley overlooking the rolling vineyards and nearby Mayacamas Mountains. If that backdrop isn’t enough to transport your mind to France, the Mediterranean-influenced brunch menu (think seared ahi tuna with tzatziki, falafel and mint) will certainly do the trick. As you delight in your three-course brunch—complete with sparkling wine cocktails, of course—take in a healthy dose of the Napa Valley surroundings. For an even closer look at the postcard-worthy vistas, request a table on the terrace.
Photos Courtesy of The Indian Hotels Company Limited, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Auberge du Soleil Restaurant