Long ago, in the time before your children came along, “brunch” was that leisurely weekend meal that happened whenever you finally rolled out of bed. Now that life on the weekends may start a little earlier (and with more gusto pre-coffee), brunch may very well be your second meal of the day. The following are some of our favorite brunch spots with kids around Portland.

Pancakes

photo: mxruben via morguefile

Kerns

Screen Door
Introduce your belles and beaux to weekend brunch, southern style. From fried chicken and waffles to grits and biscuits, this is fine down-home cooking. Don’t worry – if your little ones prefer more conventional brunch cuisine, they’ve got pancakes, waffles, and so-good-you-have-to-taste-it Brioche Vanilla Bean French toast. There can literally be a line out the door, so either get there early (as in before 9 a.m.) or park someone in line with a book to save your place – they offer free coffee while you wait!

2337 E. Burnside St.
503-542-0880
Online: screendoorrestaurant.com

Downtown

Mother’s Bistro
A brunch at this natural light-flooded, local institution wouldn’t be complete without one (just one, right?!) of its famed Bloody Marys. Because kids get squirrelly sitting at the table, there’s a special little play area with toys and books. For pint-sized appetites, check out the “mini breakfast” that features scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes.

212 SW Stark St.
503-464-1122
Online: mothersbistro.com

Cadillac Cafe

photo: Cadillac Cafe French toast by wikimedia.org via creative commons

Irvington

Cadillac Café
Even though there’s a full size 1950’s Cadillac in the middle of the restaurant, you’ll never mistake this restaurant as a greasy spoon diner. Cadillac sources its ingredients locally, and prides itself on offering menu items for the whole spectrum of Portlandia. Vegetarian? Gluten Free? They’ve got ya covered! Cadillac offers a full spectrum of breakfast and lunch delights that will delight kids of all ages – breakfast is even served all day. Good luck pulling them away from the car!

1801 NE Broadway St.
503-287-4750
Online: cadillaccafepdx.com

Lake Oswego

La Provence
This Lake Oswego landmark boasts one of the most amazing glass bakery cases you will find anywhere with fresh French pastries and cookies galore. Good thing, because a sweet might be just the thing to settle your little ones as they wait for brunch – this popular boite can have a lengthy wait on the weekends, but it’s worth the wai for their omelets, scratch soups and other fresh, local brunch items. The ambience is French chic, but designed for your petit garcon or jeune fille to feel plenty welcome.

16350 Boones Ferry Rd.
503-635-4533
Online: provencePDX.com
(Additional locations in Beaverton and on NE Alberta, NE Airport Way and SE Division.)

Cafe Murrayhill

photo: Café Murrayhill by Johnny D. via Yelp

Beaverton

Café Murrayhill
From granola parfaits to malted bacon waffles, fish tacos and a Dungeness crab melt sandwich, Café Murrayhill has a varied and well-priced menu that will delight a wide variety of palattes. The kids’ breakfast menu is available until 3 p.m. and drinks are included – always a plus for the juice-swilling sippers. Situated on a manmade lake, there’s plenty to see out the airy windows. When the weather cooperates, you can take outside to their outdoor dining area.

14500 Murray-Scholls Dr., Suite 103
Online: cafemurrayhill.com

Tigard

Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar
A martini bar sounds like a place more suited for happy hour than brunch. But that’s exactly what makes this secret find ideal for family brunch. Even though it’s located in busy Bridgeport, it’s not on most families’ radars, so it’s relatively easy to get a table. They have a fab menu and a killer patio — but the real find here is for “special occasion” brunch, those days like Mother’s Day and Easter. Their buffet is giant, but your kids will go uber-crazy for the chocolate fountain. With dippers like mini Rice Krispy treats, cheesecakes, fruit and more, your kids will be so involved you’ll have time to order one more mimosa.

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17003 72nd Ave.
503-430-0769
Online: twigsbistro.com

We’re always looking for new places for brunch! Let us know where your family likes to toast the weekend!

— Cathie Ericson