In a few days, hundreds of parents will descend upon Brown’s campus for Family Weekend, leaving their kids in a tizzy of where to go and what to do under all of that parental guidance again. Between the a capella concerts and campus tours, you’ll need to find a place to re-fuel – and this weekend is your chance to explore a restaurant that doesn’t accept Meal Credits, Points, or Bear Bucks as forms of acceptable payment. If they’re anything like my parents, yours will be dying to feed you (“Honey, I just want to make sure you are eating enough fruits and vegetables?”) and maybe a few lucky friends whose parents don’t love them couldn’t make it this weekend. Here is a list of the best places to brunch this Family Weekend:
Loui’s is a classic Brown brunch choice. Take your family here to experience the authentic hangover or post-all-nighter meal. The family-run restaurant is practically a campus monument, and its food selection ranges from eggs to pancakes to barbecue chicken ravioli. And hey, they can even say they’ve been to a Guy Fieri-approved institution!
Though Meeting Street Cafe is most well known for its desserts, it’s also a great option for a local Family Weekend brunch. Conveniently located right below Pembroke Campus, Meeting Street Cafe features a menu that is almost as large as its inanely-massive cookies. Oh, and it’s BYOB if you’re tempted to explore your new “collegiate” identity with your family.
This “snuggery” tucked away on Wickenden St. appears to have popped right out of Alice in Wonderland and provides a cozy respite from the hustle and bustle of College Hill. Its menu offers classic sweet and savory crepes, as well as specialty creations like their “Creperrito” and “Eggs-Bun-a-Duck.” Make sure to save room for dessert – their cupcakes are what dreams are made of.
Amy’s Place presents classic diner food (think: eggs, omelets, yogurt parfaits, and bagel sandwiches) in an environment that feels just like mom’s kitchen. Sit in the back courtyard – weather permitting – and sip on one of their homemade fruit smoothies.
With similar menu offerings as Amy’s, Brickway provides great diner vibes along with the great diner prices you know and love. For the savory brunch eater, their Brickway Benedict or breakfast burrito are the way to go. Have a morning sweet tooth? Try a grilled blueberry muffin or check out their daily pancake specials for a ridiculously-indulgent choice.
Olga’s Cup and Saucer is an award-winning, seasonal bakery that makes artisan foods sold in grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets all throughout Rhode Island. Famous for their homemade breads, pastries, and pizzas, Olga’s brick-and-mortar restaurant on Point Street also serves specialty brunch items like “Toad in a Hole,” a Breakfast Tostada, and Drop Biscuits with Grits. Settle in with a plate of french toast and a cappuccino and you’ll never want to leave.
For a swankier brunch option, check out Nick’s on Broadway in the west end of Providence, just a short drive away from campus. Nick’s cooks up “seasonally inspired, locally focused food,” and its extensive menu is subject to change daily based on what produce is available and in season. Nick’s is sure to please every brunch eater – whether he or she is a veggie-lover, meat-eater, or a glutton. My recommendation is to share everything family-style to get a proper taste of the goods all that Nick’s has to offer.
Julian’s provides an atypical brunching experience – have you ever been to a restaurant that plays heavy metal music at 10a.m. on a Saturday? I hadn’t either. That being said, Julian’s menu combines just the right amount of irreverence and creativity to produce an awesome dining experience. If you’re feeling the “rocker” vibes this weekend, it’s worth the wait amongst the throngs of bearded locals, couples with dogs, and the serious-bruncher-Brown students to eat at Julian’s. Coerce mom or dad to into sipping down a Bloody Mary and sit back, relax, and enjoy your Scrambled Egg Pizza.
Feed your inner vegetarian at The Grange, Providence’s arguably-most-hipster brunch option. With fairy lights, mason jar glasses, and swinging wooden seats to sit in while you wait, you’ll feel like you walked into the trendiest off-campus house at Brown. Don’t let the strictly-vegetarian menu steer you or your insatiable teenage siblings away – The Grange’s menu has plenty of indulgent, herbivorous options to satisfy even the most ambitious eater (see: Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy and Pretzel Bread French Toast).
So many options, so little time! I’ll warn you that on Family Weekend you should brace yourself for big crowds and long lines, but I can assure you that a meal at any of these restaurants is worth it. Brunch is always worth it.