My Favorite Brunch Spots Around Williamsburg

Image from Rachel Park on Unsplash

As cliche as it is for a girl in college to say she loves brunch, I truly do. It embodies the essence of the weekend; a large, leisurely meal with multiple cups of coffee usually while catching up with friends. All things that are not feasible during the weekly grind. I also love the fact that I get to eat basically two meals in one. Over the course of my time here, I have tried out many of the usual spots, and here are some of my favorite things to order at each.

  • Aroma’s 
    • Obviously this is first on the list as the go-to “off campus” campus coffee shop. Aroma’s holds a special place in my heart because during freshman year, my hall mates and I would make a nearly weekly trip on Saturday mornings, and I felt like I was living out my own version of the Friends/Central Perk situation. Our car-less selves also appreciated that it is within walking distance to campus, making those weekly trips quite convenient. One of my favorite things to get is the garden scramble with fruit and toast. It is a huge portion, and the toast is delectably buttery. If I don’t get that, my other fave is the bacon, egg, and cheese croissant. The flakiness of the croissant and the crispness of the bacon is just a killer combo. And as always, I top it off with whatever kind of fancy latte feels right that day.
  • Honey Butter’s
    • Another Williamsburg staple, this has a more classic diner feel, complete with kitschy country decor. People go for the honey butter, but I stay for the garlic fried potatoes. They are so flavorful, with perfectly crunchy outsides and soft, fluffy insides. I usually get an order of these as a side to whatever my main dish is, typically eggs, toast, and bacon. They give a lot of toast options, but I 100% recommend the cornbread. It almost seems like they pan fry it after they slice it so it has nice, crispy edges. Topped with their signature honey butter, it’s a sweet and salty dream. They also have free coffee refills so you can offset your carb coma with a bit of a caffeine buzz. 
  • The Carrot Tree
    • I have only been here once for brunch, but I will certainly be back. The vibe I get is slightly more upscale diner crossed with extremely high quality homemade bakery. Two very good things, I must say. As you’ve probably gathered by now, I am a savory breakfast fan, so I went with my usual veggie omelette + potato combo, which they knocked out of the park. The omelette came with feta cheese, and the potatoes had sautéed peppers and onions cooked in with them for some extra flavor. I decided to finish my meal with a piece of their famous carrot cake, and it was truly amazing. It’s made into multiple thin layers separated by cream cheese frosting, so the frosting to cake ratio is exquisitely maintained in every bite. It’s a feat of shear pastry genius. 
  • The Daily Grind
    • You don’t even have to leave campus for this one! I love the homey vibe of the Grind and the eco-friendly, organically sourced, hippie aesthetic just makes me so happy. Of all of the places I have mentioned so far, they definitely have the best coffee. They have a signature roast that they serve every day, so I usually stick with a plain coffee when I order since it’s so tasty. They also serve a huge variety of espresso drinks, and if I go that route, I usually get a dirty chai. As far as food goes, I love their rice bowls. My favorite is the egg and avocado, it comes with a cilantro lime sauce on rice, and is topped with some greens and tomatoes. Delicious and nutritious. They also have really good baked goods made daily, my personal favorite being the blueberry muffin.

Some other honorable mentions are Five Forks and Shorty’s. These are both very typical diner style breakfast spots with good eggs and potatoes and coffee (what can I say, I’m a creature of habit), but they are a bit further from campus, so they’re nice when a little change of scenery is in order. I hope this 100% unbiased review of brunch restaurants is helpful to some, and inspires some good weekend eating!

 

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