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  • Writer's pictureJose Martinez


Updated: Sep 26, 2023

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Smoke City Char Bar—beloved for its craft smoked barbecue. It’s also no secret that I’m a fan of boozy brunch, so combine barbecue, booze and brunch and you have a grand slam of a good time at this downtown dining destination.

At Smoke City Char Bar, the barbecue is mouthwatering and the cocktails are cool. A favorite for smoked-meats, succulent eats, handcrafted libations as well as craft beer, brunch here was a damn good time!

As usual, the setting here was welcoming and comfy. And while there are several televisions spaced throughout, this is far from a sports bar. Sure, the big game may be on, but it doesn’t interfere with your dining and drinking experience, which is personally important to me—especially if I’m purposely choosing not to be at a sports bar.

For me, the perfect way to start brunch is with a Bloody Mary and this one was solid. And once you’re off and running in style, then let the feast begin. The Chilaquiles—two eggs any style, salsa verde, pico de gallo, pickled Fresno chiles, red onions and cotija cheese—was legit. You can choose to add smoked brisket or smoked chicken to elevate the dish.

Another solid option is the Smoked Brisket Hash with two eggs any style, shredded brisket, root vegetables, crème fraiche, and savory fingerling potatoes. I’m a big fan of hash, usually corned beef hash, but smoked brisket hash and eggs proved to be really delicious.

While the buttermilk pancakes came highly recommended and I’m sure the Char Bar Ground Sirloin Burger is a winner, we opted for the Beef Tri-Tip Steak and Eggs—two farm fresh eggs any style, home fries, smoked beef tri-tip, and toast—and we were not at all disappointed.

And make sure to order a side of the biscuits with honey butter and strawberry jam. The biscuits and butter are such a terrific winning combination.

If you’re looking for a drink on the stiffer side, opt for the boozy Van Gogh’s Flask with house-aged Woodford Reserve, Amaro, Aperol, Cherry Heering and Bogart bitters. This barrel-aged gem packs a pleasant punch that pairs perfectly with barbecue.

Brunch at Smoke City Char Bar is highly recommended. The setting is chill and the eats are solid. And a good time is destined to be had.

Smoke City Char Bar is located at 899 Traction Avenue. Open daily from 11am to close. Validated parking for two hours available. Call 213-935-8194.


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