NAYA announced on Facebook that they are open for brunch now. I have missed brunch, and after a long year of no brunching, it felt like it was time to brunch. I took my husband, and we tried a little of everything. Why not?

An overhead photo of the author's brunch. Starting at the top left, a chorizo burrito, on the top right French toast, bottom right a cronut bacon sandwich with fries and a small metal cup of ketchup, and on a circular plate on the bottom left, fried chicken and funnel cake. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Of course, we had to try the drinks as well.

A wine glass filled with pineapple mimosa sits beside a mule glass on a wooden table inside at NAYA. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I ordered the pineapple mimosa, and NAYA has bottomless mimosas for $15 if you're into that. The pineapple was sweet and tart, and the drink had some fresh bubbles which made the mimosa a great drink that paired well with all the food. My husband ordered the watermelon mule, and I stole several sips "for research." The watermelon was a subtle but delicious flavor to the mule. The cocktail was cold and smooth, and we both loved it.

A cronut sandwich has melted cheese atop many slices of bacon and egg on a wordy parchment paper. To the left, there is a metal cup of ketchup and a large portion of skinny fries. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

My husband wanted to try this breakfast bacon-egg-and-cheese cronut sandwich, and it was everything: salty, sweet, and unique. The sandwich was straight packed with bacon, like stacked strips and coming out the sides: a truly bacon-y bacon sandwich. Don't even worry about veggies; this sando has just protein: lots of bacon, melted cheese, and a little bit of fluffy egg. Using a cronut from Central Illinois as a bun was awesome, and the outside had a little dusting of sugar. The fries were great: hot and crispy.

On a gray plate, there is a funnel cake with a large dollop of butter dusted with cayenne pepper beside Korean fried chicken dusted with powdered sugar. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Look at this stunning brunch entree: fried chicken with funnel cake and a huge dollop of butter with a dusting of powdered sugar and cayenne pepper. I almost cried when I ate this because it was so good. I love funnel cakes, and this chicken and "waffles" dish from NAYA is out of this world. Crispy Korean fried chicken on top of crispy funnel cake? Exceptional. The sweet and savory combination plus butter, hot sauce, and a maple honey butter syrup blew my brunch mind. If you like chicken and waffles, you need to try this version.

On a plate there are three slices of French toast with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries on top with a mound of whipped cream melting into the toast. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

I also tried the mixed berry French toast which was very good, very berry. Unlike traditional French toast with butter and maple syrup, this French toast had no butter or syrup; three slices of French toast were topped with a berry compote and whipped cream that melted onto the toast and was so tasty. There was an abundance of fresh berries, and it was easy to get every bite with some fruit.

A chorizo burrito sliced in half and balanced on each other sits in a wordy parchment paper filled plate. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

Photo by Alyssa Buckley.

The chorizo breakfast scramble (made as a burrito) was also good. The chorizo scramble had soft hashbrowns, seasoned eggs, sliced avocado, black beans, queso fresco, onions, and cilantro packed around a big portion of chorizo. My date loves chorizo, so he enjoyed this, and I'm not usually a fan because chorizo can be so oily and greasy, and often, too spicy. This chorizo was not oily nor too spicy. It seems like the perfect hangover burrito after a wild Friday night — and it would probably carry out well.

It was great to be back to brunching on a weekend morning. NAYA is only open for brunch on Saturday mornings from 11 to 1:45 p.m., so don't plan on a Sunday brunch. I liked that the tables at NAYA were pretty spaced apart, and the servers were masked. The menu was available by scanning a QR code. I took a screenshot on my phone of the menu.

Screenshot of NAYA's QR brunch menu by Alyssa Buckley.

It was a lovely brunch, and I will be back for more of that funnel cake-fried chicken goodness for sure. 

NAYA
Champaign
T+W 5 to 10 p.m.
Th 5 to 9 p.m.
F 5 to 10 p.m.
Sa 11 a.m. to 1:45 + 5 to 10 p.m.

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.