Breakfast feast

5 Themed Brunches You Need to Know About

From ice princesses and drag queens to espionage and reggae, there are a lot of fun (and delicious) brunch opportunities around town.

EGGS WITH A SIDE of bacon is boring. But what about drag queens performing while you bite into a burger? Or needing a password to be let in? Or what about sitting down to a brunch buffet surrounded by ice princesses? The Milwaukee area’s brunch scene is growing and now not only do you have more options, there’s built-in entertainment, too. Here are five brunches to book with friends or the family:

1. Hamburger Mary’s

730-734 S. 5TH ST. 

In its Walker’s Point location since 2016, “Divas Drag Brunch” offers two all-ages showtimes ($6) on Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Reservations are necessary, through the restaurant’s website and there’s a $10 minimum order required. In addition to sampling through the brunch menu – which includes retro classics like Chicken ‘N Waffles, sweet-infused treats such as French Toast and the signature Basic Bitch Brunch (a classic breakfast with eggs your way, toast, “taters” and choice of meat), plus breakfast sandwiches and crab-cake sliders – you can partake in bottomless mimosas. There’s also a kid’s breakfast plate and Bloody Marys if Mimosas aren’t your jam.


 

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2. Geneva National Resort & Club

1221 GENEVA NATIONAL AVE. S, LAKE GENEVA

Tucked into the Grand Ballroom at Geneva National Resort & Club in Lake Geneva, the Ice Princess Brunch runs every Saturday and Sunday (9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.) through the end of February. Priced at $60 per adult and $40 per child (children under three are free), it’s much closer than Disney World if you want a character-hosted brunch. Kicking off the experience is a photo opp with ice princesses, followed by a lavish brunch buffet and then story time hosted by ice princesses to wind things down. Buy your ticket here. You can easily make a day of this given that the resort also hosts Ice Castles – one of only five spots in the U.S. – with frozen caves, slides, fountains and more, all outdoors.

 
 
 
 
 
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3. Uncle Buck’s

1125 N. DOCTOR M.L.K. JR. DR

Starting in late January, and during this comfort-foods-driven restaurant’s brunch – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – you can pop upstairs to an Etsy-style pop-up market of handcrafted goods. The brunch menu, which includes indulgent eats like biscuits and gravy or French toast topped with whipped peanut butter cream cheese and chocolate sauce, as well as staples such as a ham-and-cheese omelette, is also served Sundays during the same hours. Vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free folks can easily make modifications to the menu. Then, tack on Irish coffee or mimosa for the full experience.

4. SafeHouse

779 N. FRONT ST. 

For those who enjoy films and books about espionage, SafeHouse’s spy-themed décor – and the fact that you need a password to enter – ticks all the boxes. On Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant opens (provided you know the password) at 11 a.m. and starts serving its full menu, with every item a riff on military history, from the Mission Impossible burger and Nachos Camp Stanley and then on to “declassified desserts.” Health-minded diners need not fret as the menu also folds in healthy eats, such as Covert Chopped Salad or The Colombian (a salad tossed with tortilla chips and chipotle-ranch dressing), and a side of Albert Broccoli’s Broccolini, an ode to the producer of James Bond films. You’ll want to allow enough time to view framed items on the wall and truly soak up this, um, undercover experience.

SafeHouse; Photo by Visit Milwaukee

5. Tropic MKE

518 N. WATER ST. 

This Caribbean-inspired brunch – dubbed The Late Club, and served from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays – builds in time for lingering. The $50 fee includes bottomless tropical mimosas, jerk chicken, waffles and fruit. It’s also perfect for those who want to sleep in, or at least not brave the hustle-and-bustle typical brunch times. Paired with the menu are Jamaican and reggae tunes so you can imagine you’re in South Beach or Jamaica, which is exactly how owner Hyacinth Nembhardt wants you to feel.

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A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.