Two of the LGBT community’s favorite pastimes are drag shows and brunch so it’s no wonder at some point in history those two events merged.
But which states have the best drag scenes?
That would be Maryland, followed by New York and Louisiana according to a study by Nasty Gal.
Florida is ranked #4 for Best Drag Brunches in the U.S. with a total index score of 154. The study was done based on pricing, drinks, reviews, and duration. Rounding out the Top 5 states is Ohio.
“With some of Drag Race’s biggest icons (Ginger Minj, Trinity K. Bonet and All-Stars season four winner Trinity The Tuck) hailing from the Sunshine State, it’s no wonder that Florida is a haven for drag brunch enthusiasts,” Nasty Gal wrote on their website.
Nasty Gal also came up with a list of the Top 20 drag brunches in the U.S. Topping the list is Of Love & Regret in Baltimore, Maryland.
The list highlights four restaurants in Florida including R House Drag Brunch in Miami; Holy Mackerel’s Boozy Babes Drag Brunch in Wilton Manors; the Drunken Drag Brunch at Mangoes Restaurant in Key West; and Apollo’s Bistro’s Drag Brunch near Tampa, calling them “shining examples of drag event excellence.”
Mangoes ranks highest in Florida on the list coming in at number 5; while R House sits at number 6; Apollo’s at 12; and finally Holy Mackerel comes in at 19.
“With our weekend drag brunches, we have elevated drag entertainment by offering it alongside fine food and drink in an environment that is highly accessible to a diverse customer base both gay and straight,” said Rocco Carulli, the owner and executive chef of R House, in 2018.
The Drag Brunch Experience is $50 per person for R House; $10 at Holy Mackerel (only if you choose not to dine in); and Apollo’s Bistro’s Drag Brunch is $25.
According to a story from Thrillist the first brunch was started by restaurateur Madame Begue in 1884 in New Orleans.
“Her eatery featured a ‘wall of fame’ full of signed photos of celebrity guests, including Julian Eltinge — a well-known female impersonator,” the article reads. “Madame Begue’s now considered the inventor of brunch…”
It didn’t take long for female impersonators to take over brunch.
“The drag portion of drag brunch grew in popularity in the early 1900s. Vaudeville shows became more popular, with drag performances drawing the biggest crowds,” the article reads. “Early drag stars largely impersonated famous women of the time and people ate it up.”
There was a backlash against “immorality” in the 1930s and drag brunches quickly fell by the wayside. It would be decades before the drag brunch re-emerged, this time within the growing LGBT community.
According to Thrillist the popularity of drag brunches was on the rise in the 2000s and once “RuPaul’s Drag Race” premiered in 2009 demand skyrocketed.
“The show was many people’s first exposure to drag and its hilarious, meme-worthy moments made it a social media hit,” the article reads. “Brunch by itself is great, but brunch with drag queens is so much better. So, thank you prohibition, thank you foodies, thank you queens old and young. We owe so many fun Sundays to you!”
The Top 20 Drag Brunches in the U.S.:
- Baltimore, MD: Of Love & Regret
- Terrytown, LA: New Orleans Ladies Ballroom
- Washington, DC: The Artemis
- Astoria, NY: Mad Myrra’s
- Key West, FL: Mangoes Restaurant
- Miami, FL: R House Wynwood
- Columbus, GA: Vertigo Fusion Kitchen
- New York, NY: LIPS
- Troy, NY: The Troy Beer Garden
- Palm Springs, CA: Chill Bar Palm Springs
- Jackson, MS: Hal & Mal’s
- Apollo Beach, FL: Apollo’s Bistro
- Falls Church, VA: Faircux Lounge
- Troy, NY: The Troy Beer Garden
- Harrisburg, PA: The Capitol Room at HMAC
- New York, NY: Lunella
- New York, NY Lunella
- Los Angeles, CA: The Standard
- Wilton Manors, FL: Holy Mackerel Brewery
- Towson, MD: The Point in Towson