I’m ashamed to say that recently I’ve been distracted by the shiny sleek interiors and modern takes on breakfast dishes that I forgot what brunch can actually be. It’s not about $8 organic juices or Pinterest perfect table settings. Obviously its about waking up late, catching up with friends, and instagraming the ish out of an omelet.
Empire Café is much more humble than some of the places #BrunchKlub has been going to recently. There are no Louis Vuitton bags, blinding engagement rings, or designer leggings. Instead there are dogs, and hipsters, and down-to-earth families. The décor is a bit of a mish-mosh, but not a I-paid-$500-each-for-these-mismatched-chairs vibe. Nestled in the heart of Montrose, Empire Café seems like it has been around forever. It epitomizes that neighborhood, cozy eatery feel and prides itself on being a decent place to get a quality cup of coffee.
Sunday brunch the place is packed. You line up and order at a counter. The menu has all sorts of eclectic items on it–focaccia eggs, Italian frittatas, Irish oatmeal, etc. The food is filling and the prices are modest. I ordered the Roma focaccia bread + hibiscus iced tea and the total was less than $10. A friend ordered another egg dish + mimosa and it was less than $15. WOAH. Sometimes cocktails at fancy-shmancy brunch places cost that much. Even ones that involve ordering at a counter–looking at you Tiny Boxwoods.
The patio outside is homey, shady, and dog friendly and worthy of lounging at for hours. A lovely place to take out of town guests and not have to worry about splitting the check or breaking the bank. Empire Café was really such a treat and a wonderful embodiment of a down-to-earth brunch. Will definitely be back.