Shells & Sauce, an Italian restaurant perched on the corner of 12th Avenue and Elizabeth Street, has carved out a comfortable niche for itself. And soon, with its new rooftop patio opening any day, the Congress Park restaurant will become even more of a draw.

During the week, residents pack the tables for stuffed shells, lasagna, and ravioli. And on weekends, the brunch menu keeps its Italian flair (eggs Benedict gets a slice of prosciutto, and the Vesuvio country omelet is a jumble of eggs, mozzarella, hash browns, and marinara) while also offering breakfast staples like vanilla-bean French toast and breakfast sandwiches.

Brunch, while not life-changing, is completely serviceable and fun. Bloody Marys are spicy, the dishes satisfying, and the waitstaff friendly and cheerful. But the kitchen can get overwhelmed by the weekend crowds. If you’re in a hurry, tell your server when you sit down. This is especially true if you’ve brought the kids, who eat for free at brunch.

2600 E. 12th Ave., 303-377-2091

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.