Finger Lakes Brunch on the Rise

Photo of brunch table with eggs and waffles. Photo by Rachel Park on Unsplash.

By Carly Browning

Brunch. It’s not a new trend, but it’s the trend that keeps on trending. Why? Because it’s so darn good. The Finger Lakes is finally catching up with big cities, and lines go out the door on the weekends. There’s something so satisfying about rolling out of bed after sleeping in, sitting down with friends or family, and indulging in Eggs Benedict or stacks of pancakes and, of course, a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa. Running around Downtown Ithaca’s Chili Fest last week I asked a few people where their favorite brunch spots are to find the best of the best. How do you pick the best, really? It’s so hard! All brunch is amazing in my eyes. But here’s a few places not to miss in the Finger Lakes for brunch.

Brown Hound Bistro: Local is the main ingredient at this bistro. Brown Hound, nestled in a century-old home above Canandaigua Lake, serves up all the brunch classics you’re craving. If the Bistro Poutine or the Smoked Salmon Platter don’t entice you with their matter-of-fact names, perhaps the Eggsperiment will: eggs stuffed with the chef’s choice of fillings, served with toast and homefries. What pulls me in more than anything is the Apfelfankuchen, a german style apple pancake. When you come to Brown Hound, come hungry and pray for warm weather so you can enjoy breakfast with a taste of the European countryside.

6459 New York 64, Naples
Brunch Hours: 
Sunday 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Felicia’s Atomic Lounge & Cupcakery: Dietary Restrictions? Vegan? Gluten Free? Look no further. Felicia’s makes you feel like you can have it all and you’re not missing out. I could talk about the food all day but here’s what I’m really interested in: the Zen Mary. Their take on a Bloody Mary, it features house-infused cucumber vodka, house-made chipotle sauce and vegan worcestershire sauce. Say goodbye to a productive Sunday and hello to an unforgettable brunch. Although brunch is only served 10:30am-2:30pm on Sundays, stop by any other day for delicious food and innovative cocktails.

508 West State Street Ithaca
Brunch Hours:
Sunday 10:30am-11pm

Aurora Inn: Brunch can also be a fancy affair. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale, try the Aurora Inn in Aurora. They serve brunch farm-to-table and keep up with what’s seasonal, while staying fresh and innovative. Their hours change by the season, as well, so make sure to check the website to see when they’re serving brunch.

391 Main Street, Aurora 
FEBRUARY 1, 2015 TO APRIL 28, 2015
Brunch Hours:
Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m

Agava: Not your typical brunch. What you can expect at Agava for brunch is much like the rest of their menu: innovative, fresh, and absolutely delicious. With new specials each weekend there’s always something new to try. I’ll make a quick plug for their incredible Bloody Mary — made with tequila and jalapeño candied bacon — but I have to mention their Mimosa too. Whether you have their mulled cider Mimosa made with Red Jacket cider or Pomegranate-ginger Mimosa with Cava, you won’t be disappointed.

381 Pine Tree Road, Ithaca
Brunch Hours:
Saturday 11am – 3pm
Sunday 11am – 3pm

Captain’s Room: If you’re a waffle lover, The Captain’s Room Cafe in Geneva is the place for you. Their menu includes several specialty waffles stuffed with all sorts of things. Their best-seller is The Snuffalufagus: sausage and bacon chopped inside with two eggs on top. Don’t overlook their classic brunch options either, though it’s easy to get distracted by the Cap’n Crunch Waffle, made with your choice of the classic, peanut butter or berry cereal.

368 Exchange Street, Geneva
Hours: Everyday, 6am to 2pm

Cafe Dewitt: Cafe Dewitt is bliss tucked away from student bustle. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, which includes omelette specials different from the regular menu. They’re all delicious but in all honesty, you can’t get an omelet without at least considering the Athena: wilted spinach, lemon zest, dill and feta. It’s the Greek omelet you wish you’d been eating your whole life. They’re cash-only and don’t serve alcohol so keep that in mind when you’re picking where to brunch.

215 N. Cayuga Street (in the Dewitt Mall), Ithaca
Brunch Hours:
Saturday 8:30-2:30, Sunday 10-2

The Falls: Looking for a place to go in your pajamas? The Falls in Trumansburg is it. Classic diner fare that doesn’t disappoint, there’s something for everyone — even those who aren’t so into breakfast. Be sure to get there early, as the lunch menu takes the place of breakfast sooner that late risers might like. 

214 E. Main Street, Trumansburg
Brunch Hours:
 Saturday 6:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday 6:00 am – 1:00 pm

Red Dove Tavern: Think upscale eggs, bagels and breakfast burritos. Red Dove Tavern serves local ingredients wherever they can on this mouthwatering Saturday brunch menu. Hungry? Go for the Steak & Eggs: Flank, Tabasco butter, cheddar grits, two eggs, potatoes. You can’t go wrong with some good cheesy grits. They also have lighter bagel items and classic egg dishes. Anxious to try it before Saturday? Craving it afterwards? Check out their recipe for Crème Brûlée French Toast and send us a photo of your version!

30 Castle Street, Geneva
Open for Brunch on Saturdays
Carly Browning is a senior at Ithaca College, a writing intern at Edible Finger Lakes and an avid brunch eater.

6 thoughts on “Finger Lakes Brunch on the Rise”

  1. You should do an article of some Bed & Breakfast’s, and Inn’s and some of the breakfast items they feature! I own the Blackberry Inn Bed & Breakfast and we work hard to use local items. There are many articles in Edible Finger Lakes about restaurants, but this would be something different!

  2. There are some glaring omissions from this list. Americana’s Crystal Lake Café in Covert, Berta’s Café in Burdett, The Stonecat Café in Hector, The Carriage House Café in Ithaca to name a few…

    1. Hi Vanessa! This list is by no means intended to be comprehensive–we simply asked a few locals what their favorite spots are and recorded them here. We agree that all the places you mentioned offer great brunch! We hope this article will start a conversation celebrating all the great restaurants in our region! Thanks so much for your input.

  3. Pingback: Infused Spirits | Edible Finger Lakes : Edible Finger Lakes

  4. We too agree with David, as a chef owned farm to table Bed and Breakfast, we source up to 85% of ingredients form within 50 miles of our Inn. We’d certainly love the opportunity build this up for the FInger Lakes region!
    Thanks so much!!

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