Let's Do Brunch: Homey Brunch

Good morning, sunshine! Here are the five best places in Indianapolis to get a down home brunch, featuring Art’s Skillet, Ruth’s Cafe, and more.

Art’s Skillet

Visit Art’s Skillet on a Sunday morning, and you might spot the namesake Art Ugalde himself working the cash register or zipping around the dining room busing tables. His cheerful, unassuming diner inhabits a made-over fast-food spot that fills up daily with neighborhood regulars looking for a cinnamon roll French toast fix. Waffles with fruit topping and pancakes of the plain, nutted, and chocolate varieties cater to the sweet tooth, but eggs get top billing, with everything from omelets to skillets to Benedicts filling out the offerings. Fried eggs, cheese, and avocado top the huevos rancheros, and cheesy scrambled eggs cover the Art’s Skillet, also piled with crispy potato chunks loaded with chorizo and veggies. If you need a minute to consider all of the options on the massive menu, do it over an order of Art’s Famous Fried Biscuits dusted with powdered sugar and served with orange marmalade maple syrup for dunking. Brunch hours: 6 a.m.–4 p.m. daily. 8255 Pendleton Pike, 317-672-2367, artskillet.com

Best Bet

This bustling northside spot dishes up hearty fare comparable to what Grandma might make—if she set up her diner inside a casino. The restaurant’s poker theme plays out in counters sporting the familiar green color of game tables, playing cards painted on the walls, and a TV broadcasting tournaments. Menu items like The Fold (two generous breakfast burritos), The Raise (two pillowy, plate-sized pancakes), and a selection of breakfast hashes called Chip Stacks (which build from a base of potatoes) continue the Vegas theme. Portions are large, so don’t spoil your appetite on the unlimited buttered toast. But go all-in for the warm cinnamon biscuits, fried dough rolled in a mix of spices and sugar, offered to diners waiting to be seated. Brunch hours: 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun. 14300 Mundy Dr., Noblesville, 317-776-1136


With a bricked Main Street so worn you can hear the rickety click-clack of yesteryear, Zionsville is one of the few places in Indiana that can out-Rockwell Rockwell when it comes to dishing out Americana. What better spot for a soft-hued Sunday brunch than the village’s Cobblestone? Here, the menu mostly sticks to the tried-and-true. Breakfast-forward fare features a pair of Benedicts—one traditional, one veggie—stacks of fluffy pancakes, an array of omelets, and a kick-in-the-pants hash peppered with jalapeño-bacon sausage. The established offerings get a boost from local ingredients like Fischer Farms Canadian bacon, Gunthorp Farms sausage and chorizo, and Capriole goat cheese. Those with bigger appetites won’t be disappointed with the selection of entrées and sandwiches, anchored by a half-pound burger (a custom triple blend), as well as a full bar with, yes, a Bloody Mary on the list. With a mimosa (or something stronger), kick back and enjoy the private Garden room or outdoor patio. Brunch hours: 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Sun. 160 S. Main St., Zionsville, 317-873-4745, cobblestonegrill.com


Rosie’s Place

Consider all of those sleepyheads cramming the doorway a strong indicator of something worth a 20-minute wait (if you’re lucky). With sweet, Pinterest-worthy locations in Noblesville and Zionsville, Rosie’s Place appeals to early risers who want plenty of choices at the brunch table, including a California egg sandwich brightened with baby spinach and avocado, homemade corned beef hash, and a pork tenderloin eggs Benedict on a gravy-topped split biscuit. Who can decide between hard-shelled vegetarian breakfast tacos or something a bit more decadent, like brown-sugar oatmeal pancakes with optional add-ons of chocolate chips, bananas, blueberries, granola, and pecans? The exuberantly friendly servers will keep your coffee cup filled, and the relaxed environs—vintage prints hanging from partially exposed–brick walls and golden wood floors that creak softly—invite settling back while the breakfast carbs kick in. Brunch hours: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Sat.–Sun. 68 N. 9th St., Noblesville, 317-770-3322; 10 S. Main St., Zionsville, 317-344-6500, rosiesplace.net


Ruth’s Café

The decoupage tables and chairs are the work of owner Sandy Schimmel-Whitmore, and kitschy signs crowd the walls with advice along the lines of, “Ask not what your pancake can do for you, but what you can do for your pancake.” Located in an unassuming strip-mall slot across from The Fashion Mall, Ruth’s Café gets its name from the mother of a former owner, and several menu items nod to the namesake’s Norwegian heritage. Lefse, a potato flatbread rolled with cinnamon sugar, tastes like a hefty crepe. And the hearty potato pancakes studded with squash and zucchini pair perfectly with chive sour cream served on the side. Other plates range from cheesecake pancakes to a long list of lunch choices, including a Brie LT sandwich that adds a layer of buttery richness to the diner standard. Brunch hours: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun. 3443 E. 86th St., 317-757-8006, ruthscafeindy.com