You really only get two chances a week to eat a proper brunch, and no weekend brunch is complete without the consummate brunch cocktail: the Bloody Mary. With so many satisfying varieties to sip around town, we narrowed down our picks to Houston's top six:
Nested over on 11th Street in the Heights with both covered and uncovered outdoor space, Presidio delivers brunch on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While the Bloody Mary is not on the drink list for brunch, our server was kind enough to let us know it’s an off-menu staple concocted with homemade mix and brought me one. A light and refreshing take on the Bloody, Presidio’s version had a spicy kick to it that was no too overwhelming, and while you could tell it was on the boozy side, it wasn't so boozy I couldn’t have two.
This longtime Rice Village favorite just started serving brunch this year. While best known for its frozen versions of the mimosa and the classic rum-and-Coke, the bar is no slouch when it comes to its Marys. For only $6, brunch-goers can get Volcano’s version of the Mary (which is made with the vodka of your choice), Bloody Mary mix, and Volcano's signature garnish of olives, pickled okra, pickled peppers, and salami, all topped off with a giant celery stalk. Brunch is on Sundays only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Most people are familiar with this favorite Montrose brunch spot. While Cuchara is widely regarded for its imaginative and fresh margaritas, the bar's take on the Bloody Mary is also a must-have when visiting. Instead of using vodka, Cuchara sticks with their roots and uses Espolon Blanco Tequila, a spicy homemade mix, and not just any salt: It's rimmed with a made-in-house fiery salt mix. This is a serious drink, not for the faint of heart, so go slow—but it’s worth every strong sip. Brunch is served every weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (yes, late sleepers—they've got you covered).
Piggy’s, the latest concept from the Creek Group, took over the former Daily Review spot on West Lamar St. in River Oaks earlier this year, serving brunch on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For its own twist on the Bloody Mary, Piggy's uses cucumber vodka mixed with a secret house-made Bloody Mary mix. This makes for a surprisingly refreshing version that, while not as spicy as some of the other top picks on the list, really delivers on taste. And if you're a heat-seeker, you can always top it off with some hot sauce at your table.
Beverage director Peter Clifton has been continually refining the cocktail program behind the bar since Ritual first opened in the Heights at the corner of 11th and Studewood. Made with habanero-infused vodka, a solution that's equal parts olive brine, lemon and lime, fresh horseradish, Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix, and Castelvetrano olives, this is an easy-sipping drink that satisfies. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Recently re-opened on Westheimer Road in River Oaks, Frank's is one of those places where comfort is key. Brunch is served on Sundays only from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and mixes some of Frank's most popular dinner dishes with brunch staples like biscuits and gravy and millennial-approved avocado toast. Frank's Bloody Mary is made with Texas’s own Tito’s Vodka, a homemade Mary mix, pickled okra and Broadbent Bacon. Pro tip: Ask for extra bacon.