A vinyl brunch is exactly what it sounds like: you sit down, gorge on waffles and sip mimosas all while listening to Jack White, or whatever hipster trend that location favors. The best part? There are no iPhones, Spotify or even boom boxes involved, the tunes come directly from a smoothly spun old-fashioned album.
Settings vary; some vinyl brunches take place in cafes, some in music venues that are rarely open when the sun is up, and others have found their homes in refurbished warehouses.
Thanks to the resurgent popularity of both old 78s and eggs Benedict served past 9 a.m., chances are if you stick a pin on a map, there’s a vinyl brunch within driving distance from you.
Here are a few of our favorites so far, but we have a feeling this trend is going to spread faster than the syrup dripping off your stack of pancakes.
Where: Astoria, New York
Why: The vintage toys and knickknacks
Queens Comfort specializes in Southern food with a twist, like disco tots with gravy and cheddar (pictured at top), or the chicken and waffles with a maple-Tabasco glaze and powdered sugar. Their decor is quirky with Christmas lights strung from ceiling beam to ceiling beam, TVs flickering with old Saturday morning cartoons, and classic Tony the Tiger and Michael Jackson figurines manning the shelves. On Saturdays, guest DJs—past music curators include Rob Select and Jonathan Toubin—pick records to complement the eclectic brunch scene; The Who frequently makes it onto the playlist. Take note, Queen’s Comfort is cash-only and BYOB.
Where: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Why: Signature tacos and guest DJs
Photo via Chimera Cafe
Chimera Cafe started their vinyl brunch after the owners asked Dillon Hargrove, a local DJ, to spin some records during their Sunday meal. Hargrove knew he didn’t have the collection to keep it fresh each week so decided to recruit local collectors as volunteer DJs. While mellowing out to unique record (think Kurt Vile’s Wakin on a Pretty Daze and local group Low Litas) chow down on Chimera’s signature tacos like the Teenage Riot—egg, Fauxrizo, caramelized onion, cheddar, and avocado crema. Feel free to bring collectibles to trade with members of the Tulsa Vinyl Society, who hosts the brunch.
Where: Portland, Maine
Why: The bacon corn griddle cakes
Photo via Blue
Blue is a live music venue in Portland, Maine that focuses on folk, roots and rock. Sundays they dial it back and throw on the jazzy vinyl, which is the perfect compliment to their packed menu of updated brunch classics like pan fried banana oatmeal, hash ‘n’ eggs, and the bacon corn griddle cake with maple syrup. Nothing soothes a food coma like some good jazz.