Aug. 10 2016 11:18 AM

City Pulse announces winners of best brunch competition

Taven & Tap, named top restaurant in City Pulse's first-ever Best Brunch Contest, offers bloody mary and mimosa specials, as well as creative takes on breakfast staples.
Ty Forquer/City Pulse

With the closing of Clara’s Lansing Station on June 26, mid-Michigan lost one of its most popular brunch locations. That raised a question in our minds: Who has the best brunch in Greater Lansing? So we launched our first-ever Best Brunch Contest, looking for the best place to sit down for a weekend brunch in the region.

Our readers responded, nominating over 20 local eateries. We’ve counted the votes and now present to you the top five brunch spots in the region, as decided by our readers.

The top five is dominated by relative newcomers to the local food scene. The winner, Tavern & Tap, moved into its current location, at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Washington Square, in late 2014. The restaurant was originally known as Tavern on the Square and located farther south on Washington Square. The move brought a new name and an expanded menu, including brunch offerings.

Our readers love the downtown bar’s creative takes on breakfast staples, like chorizo hash and almond-crusted French toast. They also praised the $2 mimosas and $3 bloody marys.

“Great food and best damn bloody marys in town,” commented one voter.

“Simply the best,” raved another. “Chef Markham works magic!”

Second place in our brunch competition goes to Old Nation Brewing Co., which opened in a former Williamston Police station just over a year ago. The brewery features an ever-changing brunch menu, including a different pastie special each weekend.

“The food is so rich and amazing,” said one commenter. “Brunch has never disappointed.”

Beggar’s Banquet, the oldest restaurant to make our top five, has been serving East Lansing since 1973. Its laid-back vibe and generous portions earned the “gimme eat” establishment the bronze medal in our brunch contest.

Old Town’s newest restaurant, the Creole, is already earning a place in the hearts — and stomachs — of Lansing’s brunch crowd. The Southern-influenced restaurant started late last year as twin businesses — upscale bar/ restaurant the Creole and casual breakfast/ lunch café Creole Coffee Co. — but recently consolidated into one restaurant that offers brunch seven days a week. Our readers love the Creole’s Cajun-infused brunch offerings like shrimp and grits, pulled chicken waffles and beignets.

Rounding out our top five is Capital Vine. The casual wine bar, a spinoff of neighboring steakhouse Capital Prime, opened February in Eastwood Towne Center. Its brunch menu features upscale versions of breakfast fare, including housemade Pop Tarts, cornflakecrusted French toast and prime rib omelets. Our readers praise the wine bar’s classy atmosphere and attentive service.