You patiently sit at an Atlanta brunch spot waiting to be seated. Let’s just say that it is one of the top brunch spots in the city. It’s Sunday, and you’re living your best life, so that mimosa is on your mind. But there’s one BIG problem. It’s only 10 a.m., and alcohol isn’t allowed to be served until after noon. Rage consumes you, but then you quickly realize that you are no longer Big Easy-living. You aren’t in a city where drinking at 9 a.m. on the weekend is completely acceptable. Yes, other cities may be exciting in their own ways, but New Orleans knows the key to enjoying life and all its guilty pleasures. This ties into how people eat, drink, dance, and mingle, and brunching here is no different. The one-of-a-kind brunch culture is a thriving business in the city, and the most amazing part is that there is a place and a space for all brunching types.
The Jazz Brunch
One of the most traditional ways to brunch in New Orleans is to jazz and dine. Tourists and locals alike take part in the several offerings of jazz brunches around the city. From Mr. B’s to Muriel’s, jazz music topped with hollandaise is the perfect way to start your Sunday Funday festivities. Most jazz brunches are fancy affairs where dressy casual is the proper attire. Restaurants like Commander’s Palace have strict dress-code rules that fall in line with the more traditional brunch style of the city, while others take a more unique approach to the jazz-brunch tradition. The Court of Two Sisters offers a daily jazz-brunch buffet that includes a carving station, egg stations, and more. If you’re ever feeling torn between church and Sunday brunch, the House of Blues offers a gospel brunch filled with delicious bites and soulful hymns.
Brunching in Bloomers
It’s easy to let the city’s night festivities defeat you. Any place where debauchery can last for 24 hours is a place where hangover cures need to be in abundance. For those who are feeling last night’s events a little bit more than they’d like to today, “brunching in bloomers” is the kind of brunch that’s calling your name. No, there isn’t a real place where you can really eat brunch in your undies or jammies (except, perhaps, your own kitchen at home), but there are many very casual and delicious brunch spots that will hit the spot. Restaurants like Elizabeth’s, Café Navarre, and Dante’s Kitchen have very casual vibes. Casual brunching in New Orleans is a newer phenomenon and quite pleasant when you just want to informally enjoy a hardy brunch with your friends and family.
Booze for Breakfast
Alcohol is a big part of brunch culture, not to mention that it’s also a big part of everyday life here. Some of the more popular beverages include the Bloody Mary, the Pimm’s Cup, and the mimosa, but many restaurants have their own twist on traditional brunch favorites—like Ruby Slipper, where they sprinkle a little pomegranate juice into their mimosas, or Brennan’s, where you can enjoy a Sparkling Watermelon (sparkling wine with Louisiana watermelon puree) and two different types of milk punches. Some places really let you indulge. At Katie’s of Mid-City, the bottomless mimosas are always a fan-favorite. If you need a quick “wake me up,” an Irish Coffee may be the perfect fix. Just know, brunch without booze is simply a late breakfast.
An All-Day Affair
There is a certain level of patience required when it comes to brunching in the Big Easy. The more popular locations usually include long lines and hour-long waits. But clearing out your day for brunch isn’t only about the long waits. Brunch in New Orleans is generally an all-day affair where people tend to enjoy and take their time. From bottomless mimosas to heavy and rich foods, local “brunchers” use brunch as a time to be social and indulge a bit. Usually the events continue on to another location that can include anything from a bar to a festival, day party, or even another restaurant. Really, there’s no reason to rush in a city called the Big Easy.