New Orleans knows how to do brunch better than any other city in the United States. Here you can tuck into a delicious bowl of shrimp and grits, short rib hash, or eggs Florentine and it’s going to be a memorable meal.
Brunch can get a bad rap. Boozy bottomless brunches become all about the endless mimosas and less about the quality of the eggs Benedict. But New Orleans is a different story. Here food is king, and the quality of the dishes on the brunch menu at a New Orleans restaurant is going to be superlative.
So, when in the Big Easy, don’t fear brunch. Here are the 10 best places to celebrate brunch in New Orleans.
If you can’t wait for the weekend, head to the Lower Garden District. At Bakery Bar, chef Lydia Solano cooks up brunch from Tuesday to Sunday. The kitchen churns out an excellent breakfast sandwich: bacon, eggs, garlic aioli, and melted cheddar cheese on a flaky buttermilk biscuit. If you want something on the sweeter side, opt for the luscious French toast, which is sprinkled with caramel apple sauce, chunks of apples, custard cream, and toasted pecans.
Housed in a cottage made with reclaimed wood in Uptown, Atchafalaya puts on a memorable brunch seven days per week. From rich and flavor-popping duck hash to elegant eggs with truffles and spinach (paired with a creamy parmesan polenta) to kimchi-laden pork belly and eggs to French toast doused in a bananas Foster rum sauce, it’s really hard to go wrong here.
This elegant Magazine Street restaurant offers an excellent weekend brunch. Couvant’s Saturday and Sunday daytime menu is a marriage of French and Louisiana culinary cultures. Highlights include cream-cheese-stuffed French toast sticks, braised pork belly wading in a sweet potato puree, duck confit on a yeasted waffle, and shrimp and grits that are emboldened with a rich chorizo sauce.
Get a spot on the spectacular balcony at this Lower Garden District eatery and you’ll want to linger all Saturday and/or Sunday during brunch service. Gris Gris is a popular place to tuck into excellent brunch fare, such as tasty and unique oyster pie, chicken gizzard grillades, an oyster and caviar po’boy, a cast-iron-seared Gulf fish, and an open-faced pot roast sandwich topped with mashed potatoes, gravy, and brisket debris.
Le Petite Grocery
This Uptown James Beard Award-winning eatery puts on an award-worthy weekend brunch. Le Petite Grocery is housed in a former corner store that dates back a century. You could get satisfyingly full just on the appetizers here: from blue crab beignets to gochujang-spiked crispy pork belly to yellowfin tuna tartare. But there’s oh so much more! Duck fat hash, brioche pain perdu, buttermilk biscuits, and gravy, and a seafood-themed Benedict with cornbread round out the excellent fare at Le Petite Grocery.
The elegant in-house eatery of the Four Seasons has a fantastic splurge-worthy weekend brunch until 3 pm every Saturday and Sunday. Begin brunch at Miss River with a shrimp-laced Louisiana bloody Mary to sip while you dabble in the restaurant’s luscious caviar service. Then indulge in the foie gras pain perdu. The extra-crispy fried chicken (with dipping sauces) would be an excellent option. So would the crab meat omelet. Whatever you choose here, you’ll walk away with a full stomach and a satisfied smile on your face.
Ruby Slipper Cafe
Ruby Slipper was made for brunch. With a few locations scattered around the city, you won’t have to travel far to slip into a Ruby Slipper somewhere. Start with their famous bloody Mary (which has bacon-infused vodka) while perusing the long menu of salivating brunch deliciousness, including variations on the theme of eggs Benedicts (hello shrimp and grits!), hot chicken and French toast, migas (straight outta Austin, TX), and bacon and pecan-topped pancakes.
With its stellar menu, Ruby Slipper also makes list of the best breakfasts in NOLA. Read all about our 14 top picks for the best breakfasts in New Orleans.
Palm & Pine
Sunday morning is something to look forward to when you eat at Palm & Pine in the French Quarter. Their Sunday brunch is superb. Start with a Vietnamese cinnamon roll (it’s laden with sweetened condensed milk frosting) or a bowl of turkey neck gumbo and then consider the rich brisket debris omelet or the Wagyu steak and eggs.
Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm is your window to have one of the finest brunches in the Big Easy. Vals, an excellent Mexican restaurant in Freret, puts on a fiesta for brunch lovers. The horchata French toast, topped with almonds and whipped cream and then drizzled with agave syrup, is a must for first-time Vals brunchers. Other hits include the Gulf shrimp tamale, the birria burrito that is stuffed with unctuous brisket and guac, and the avocado-topped pork cemita sandwich.
Jewel of the South
The sublime Jewel of the South is excellent for any meal that the kitchen is open for—and brunch is no exception. Sunday brunch at this French Quarter gem of a restaurant includes an unctuous Dijon-laced roast pork sandwich, Wagyu-short-rib-and-potato hash, and baked beans on toast. And don’t ignore the cocktail list, as Jewel of the South’s cocktail program is topnotch.
David Farley is a West Village-based food and travel writer whose work appears regularly in the New York Times, National Geographic, BBC, and Food & Wine, among other publications. He’s the author of three books, including “An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church’s Strangest Relic in Italy’s Oddest Town,” which was made into a documentary by the National Geographic Channel. You can find Farley’s online homes here and here.