What’s For Brunch? Check Out These Downtown Tucson Favorites

January 27, 2015

Hotel Congress: Cast Iron Baked Eggs w/ hotel potatoes. Need I say more?

Hotel Congress: Cast Iron Baked Eggs w/ hotel potatoes. Need I say more?

by Liz Felix

Ah, brunch! An excuse to wake up a little later on weekends and still have your breakfast. It’s what you dream of on Mondays, plus you get to have Bloody Marys or Mimosas if you’re that kind of person. Or both, if you’re that kind of person. Hey, no judgements here. Just trying to recommend some Downtown Tucson spots where you can enjoy some great eats and drinks.

Hotel Congress – Cup Cafe
Brunch Hours: 7am – 4pm
Bloody Mary Bar: 10am – 2pm, Saturday-Sunday

It’s almost impossible to make a list of top things in Tucson without mentioning Hotel Congress. It was recently named one of the Ten Best Brunch Spots in America by Men’s Journal, so needless to say, Cup Cafe is a must try and frequently. If you’re a native Tucsonan, you know it’s all about the Cast Iron Baked Eggs. Eggs, ham, leeks and gruyere cheese all come together in perfect harmony to create one of the best brunch dishes of all time. Of all time? Yes. Of all time.

Proper: What's brunch without a Bloody Mary?

Proper: What’s brunch without a Bloody Mary?

Just walking near Hotel Congress, your nose will want to usher you right in. That’s because they have a smoker outside, and we all know what that means: smoked meats! If you’re the carnivorous type, try The Braveheart, smoked beef brisket on sourdough toast, grilled tomatoes, sauteed spinach, gruyère cheese and two poached eggs topped with sausage gravy. I know, right. How can that even be legal?

Find out more at hotelcongress.com.

Brunch Hours: 9am – 3pm

It’s pretty. There. I said it. But just because it’s pretty on the outside, doesn’t mean you should ignore what really matters on the inside, the food and drinks. The restaurant has a great view of the burgeoning Downtown scene but the food is so beautifully displayed that most of your staring will be aimed at your plate.

Proper: Sweet Ancho Sausage Gravy Cheddar Biscuit

Proper: Sweet Ancho Sausage Gravy Cheddar Biscuit

If you’re serious about your brunching, they have what they call a Brunch Board that will upgrade you to pro status. It comes with two meats, two cheeses, cracked pepper and parmesan lavosh, mission figs, apricots and a mixture of house pickled vegetables.

Usually an upscale menu equals upscale prices, but Proper has plenty of reasonably priced dishes. Their Sweet Ancho Sausage Gravy Cheddar Biscuit is something out of an Emeril Lagasse dream. The biscuit is huge and it’s smothered in a spicy gravy that you’ll want to buy and take home in barrels. Oh, and it’s only seven dollars! This is definitely not your regular ol’ biscuits and gravy. No, sir!

Find out more at propertucson.com.

Penca: Churros

Penca: Churros

Brunch Hours: 11am – 3pm, Tuesday-Friday
8am – 3pm, Saturday-Sunday

Penca’s brunch is all about Mexican comfort food, the kind of meals mom would make after you’d tell her that you’re not hungover, just really, really tired. If your mom’s not here to whip up that cure-all soup of hers, head over to Penca and try out their Pozole, a Mexican hominy soup made with turkey, red cabbage, green onions and radish that’s certain to cure what ails you.

After taking in some tacos, soup, or maybe some queso fundido, if you still have room for dessert, be sure to try Penca’s churros. They’re tossed in cinnamon and sugar and served with a chocolate ganache. A perfect sweet treat that’s fun to share… or not.

Find out more at pencarestaurante.com.