The Barn Yard Bloody Mary at Farmer’s Table, La Mesa, California
While largely an ode to refined, farm-to-table cuisine, this Cali eatery has tongue-in-cheek fun with its theme during brunch, when five wacky Bloody Marys are on offer. The Peter Rabbit (cheese-stuffed mushroom caps and assorted veggies) and the Butcher’s Block (sage-fennel sausage and braised short ribs) set the stage in a comparatively sedate way, but the showstopper is the $45 Barn Yard, a cornucopia of bacon-wrapped shrimp, fresh mozzarella, seasonal vegetables and a whole roasted chicken, meant to satisfy four thirsty (and famished) farmhands.
The Sumo Mary at Sunda, Chicago
You’ll need a pretty strong constitution to wrestle with the 32-ouncer at Chicago’s Southeast Asia-referencing Sunda. It tips the scales with half a grilled cheese sandwich, braised pork belly, Chinese broccoli, pickled daikon, shishito peppers and roasted potatoes, a crab sushi roll, the Filipino spring roll known as lumpia and a saucy duck bao. Talk about a knockout.
Mama Betty’s Bloody Mary at The Bellwether, Studio City, California
Sharing is encouraged during The Bellwether’s convivial brunch hours — except, that is, when it comes to cocktails. That means you’re fully within your rights if you bogart your Bloody Mary, appetizingly assembled from house-infused habanero vodka, house mix, bacon salt, pepperoncini, cornichons and an adorable mini BLT.
The Brunch for Two at Party Fowl, Nashville, Tennessee
This Nashville funhouse certainly isn’t guilty of false advertising when it comes to its infamous Brunch for Two. There’s no reason to bother with anything else on the menu, considering this goblet-proportioned offering provides patrons with more calories than they can possibly need in a day, presented on sticks precariously stacked with fried okra, a halved avocado, Scotch eggs, olives and two split hot Cornish game hens.
The Big Fix at Flipside, Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville strikes again, thanks to Flipside, which makes a play for Party Fowl’s Bloody Mary crown with The Big Fix. A dill pickle and bacon share real estate in a frosted mug with a skewer brandishing fried chicken cutlet wedges and Tater Tots, and a massive snow-crab claw is draped dramatically over the side.
The BBQ Bloody Mary at That Boy Good BBQ, Oceanside, California
That Boy Good treats its Bloodys in much the same way it approaches its low-and-slow-smoked meats. The chef whips up his own Mary mix (flavored with a dash of BBQ sauce, of course) and uses his all-purpose rub to rim the glass. Jalapeno-infused vodka joins the party, as do celery, olives, limes, pickled veggies and the coup de grâce, a hulking smoked rib.
The Motherlode Mary at Black Iron Kitchen & Bar, Telluride, Colorado
You may want to postpone hitting the slopes after you’ve gotten a load of the Mary at this apres-ski lounge at the Madeline Hotel. Not only is there a fair amount of vegetation involved (cherry peppers, pickled okra, haricots verts and baby corn), but it packs a protein punch, too, thanks to multiple rashers of crisped bacon and a brawny lamb slider.
The Bloody Best at The Nook, Atlanta
We’ve got Georgia on our minds, thanks to the awe-inspiring Bloody Best at The Nook. A 32-ounce tumbler barely contains the lava-red drink soused with black pepper vodka, to say nothing of the skewers strung with steak, Tater Tots, pepperoncini, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, beef straws and a slice of buttered toast.
The Chubby Mary at The Cove, Leland, Michigan
Seafood (in the form of oysters, shrimp and lobster) is a pretty standard addition to Bloody Marys. Yet The Cove, situated in Leland’s Fishtown neighborhood, serves a Bloody that’s, well, a fish out of water in a rather delectable way: A whole smoked chub rises from its brackish, horseradish- and vodka-spiked depths.
The Pizza Bloody Mary at Homeslice, Chicago
While we don’t necessarily think of pizza parlors as standard brunch destinations, this quirky Chicago pie slinger is actually a brilliant option for anyone whose go-to fast breaker is a leftover, refrigerated slice. And truly, there’s no better hangover cure than a spicy, tomato-rich Bloody, crowned with a chilled triangle of Hawaiian-style ‘za — although the accompanying Miller High Life pony might just jump-start a new buzz.
The Bloody Mary Bar at Andiron Steak and Sea, Las Vegas
Not only is Andiron’s Bloody Mary bar DIY, but it’s bottomless as well, meaning you can spend the better part of the day composing bespoke cocktails from bottles of original, spicy, roasted tomatillo or briny, clam-permeated juice, plus 12 salts, 21 hot sauces, and myriad bowls overflowing with Marcona almond- or blue cheese-stuffed olives, beef jerky, bacon, poached shrimp and Slim Jims. And it’s up to you how heavy a hand you use with the vodka or tequila. Hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
The Shellfish Bloody at Luke Wholey’s Wild Alaskan Grille, Pittsburgh
This seafood haven carries its under-the-sea motif straight through to brunch, gamely loading pint glass-proportioned Bloodys with everything from spice-rubbed prawns to whole, flash-fried soft-shell crabs in season, adorably adorned with two pimento-stuffed olives for eyes.
The F*%# Brunch Bloody Mary at Anvil Pub, Dallas
Anvil Pub may thumb its nose at brunch with its colorfully named cocktail, but it’s only served to bolster the weekend crowds at this Deep Ellum haunt. One of four flagrantly insane tipples (the others are a breakfast sandwich-mounted mimosa, a chimichanga-capped sangria and a cinnamon roll-cloistered screwdriver), the Bloody comes reinforced with revolving toppings such as a bacon cheeseburger, beef jerky, Brussels sprouts, shrimp, asparagus, crawfish and a half-pint of PBR.
The Bloody Buck at Buck’s Naked BBQ, Maine
Dry-rubbed, hardwood-infused meat finds its way into most everything at this duo of Maine-based BBQ joints. And that very much extends to the drinks menu, where margaritas, dark and stormys and, yes, piquant Bloody Marys come opulently accessorized with slow-smoked baby back ribs.
The Build Your Own Bloody at The Wayfarer, New York
The most-jaw-dropping aspect of The Wayfarer’s Bloody Mary is how utterly customizable it is. In fact, it’s possible to come up with well over 1,000 variations by mixing and matching ingredients from the stupendously stocked bar. Start with a base of traditional mix, tomato water or kale-enriched green juice, pick your poison from a selection of house-infused cucumber or black pepper vodka, individualize your rim with poppy and sesame seeds, smoked paprika or celery salt, and go nuts with garnishes such as shrimp, roasted tomatoes, cheddar cheese, pepperoncini and pork rinds.
The Hail Mary at Star Bar, Austin
Taking the “everything’s bigger in Texas” motto to heart, Star Bar proudly proffers this veritable kitchen sink of a drink — if you can even call it that. You’ll need to plow your way through a cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, cheddar smoked cocktail sausages, cubes of cheddar and pepper Jack cheeses, hard-boiled eggs, pickled okra, dill pickles and gherkins, cherry tomatoes and celery, as well as powdered mini doughnuts and a full-sized honey bun, before you get to anything that can be consumed with a straw.
The Chicken Fried Bloody Beast at Sobelman’s Pub & Grill, Milwaukee
Family-owned Sobelman’s rules Milwaukee’s Bloody Mary scene and regularly nabs national press for its 40-ounce behemoths. And while that amounts to a pretty stiff pour of Tito’s, the alcohol is effectively counteracted by a serious serving of food that’s more full-on brunch than mere garnish. Celery stalks and skewered vegetables are overshadowed by bacon-wrapped jalapeno cheese balls, cheeseburger sliders and (this is the “Chicken Fried” part) a whole four-pound bird, procured from Ray’s Butcher Shoppe in Greenfield.
The Bloody Homer at Icehouse, Minneapolis
This may be Minneapolis, not Springfield, but we have no doubt that Homer Simpson would make Icehouse his home away from Moe’s — especially since his eponymous cocktail comes in a Duff-emblazoned glass, thoroughly swine-ified with both candied bacon strips and a mini, “bacon-bedazzled” doughnut. Mmmm … bacon-bedazzled doughnut ….
The Bloody Mary at The French, Naples, Florida
What’s in a name? Not a whole lot when it comes to The French’s far-from-basic Bloody that brings a taste of France to Florida, by way of fresh-pressed tomato juice embellished with cornichons, pickled onions, salami, spicy boiled shrimp, steak tartare on a toast point and a tiny French flag.
The Bloody Best Bloody Mary at Chef Point, Watauga, Texas
Unsurprisingly, you could easily fill a list of over-the-top Bloody Marys exclusively with entries from Texas. Watauga joins the fray with this leviathan cocktail from Chef Point, based on a double order of spicy Bloody Mary plus 16 ounces of domestic beer. If that sounds like a lot of alcohol, know that it’s hardly a match for the sheer amount of booze-absorbing food that umbrellas it: a portion of “Better Than Sex” fried chicken, a cheeseburger, waffle fries, bacon, a blistered jalapeno pepper, asparagus spears, assorted pickled things and a pair of poached shrimp.
The Lobster Bloody Mary at Brant Point Grill, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Bloodys brimming with hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, mac and cheese, brownies and whole fried chickens not your style? Elegant imbibers will appreciate this crustacean concoction courtesy of the Brant Point Grill at the White Elephant Hotel. It features housemade tomato juice mix, locally distilled vodka, a spicy bacon salt rim, and a quarter-pound of lobster.
The Bakon Bloody Mary Masterpiece at Sam’s Tavern, Seattle
Since it’s off-menu, we’re letting you in on one of Seattle’s best (but not all that well-kept) secrets: Sam’s is home to one of the best darn Bloodys in town. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s spiked with locally made, bacon-infused vodka. But as usual in the world of out-of-bounds Bloody Marys, it’s the accoutrements — celery, cheese cubes, tomatoes, olives, onions, cocktail weenies and a cheeseburger slider with the works — that send this drink into the brunchtime-tipple stratosphere.
The Meaty Man at The Attic, Long Beach, California
You may not expect to find something so unapologetically meat-centric in sunny SoCal, yet the folks at The Attic seem wholly unconcerned with beach-physique maintenance — at least when it comes to their Bloody Mary. It’s enriched with a triad of indulgent proteins: a short-rib slider perched on a house-baked bun, a rasher of thick-cut fried bacon and a Slim Jim-stuffed olive.
The Southwestern Bloody Mary at Kachina, Denver
So special it’s available only on Sundays, Kachina’s Southwest-inspired Bloody Mary bar is truly beautiful to behold. Sure, you’ll find the usual suspects like celery and bacon, but you can really go for broke with more novel add-ins such as prosciutto, Manchego, chorizo-stuffed olives, pickled cactus, shrimp escabeche and blue corn waffles.
The Checkmate at Score on Davie, Vancouver, British Columbia
Oh, Canada! You may want to consider taking a day trip across the border for brunch, in pursuit of Score on Davie’s totally off-the-wall Bloody. Boozy tomato juice is merely the base (and practically beside the point) in this eminently edible cocktail that’s chock-full of roasted chicken and chicken wings, a Sriracha-glazed pulled pork slider, a hot dog topped with pulled pork mac and cheese, a full-size burger, a batch of onion rings … and, oh, a brownie for dessert.