European-style dining with a romantic patio and plenty of greenery
AD has been a foundational brunch spot since AD meant something entirely different in terms of time. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you drank last night, so you shouldn’t be here on a Sunday preaching to anybody about what’s right or wrong. The patio out front, with all its huge potted plants, feels French enough to fool you with it’s fenced-in flower action and romantic setting. Prices are also notably reasonable. There’s a $14 crab cake benedict, a $14 shrimp and scallop dish with cream cheese and cheddar grits, and the $15 lobster scramble sandwich on croissant. That leaves room in the budget for a specialty drink if you’re trying to stay near the $25 mark. Do the spicy margarita, or something bubbly like the Cerveza Nicola: Campari & Absolut topped with Stella Artois.
Saltwood Kitchen & Bar
A brunch buffet with pitch-perfect cocktails
At the brunch buffet at Saltwood, $30 gets you a mean range of AYCE noshings, from a chef’s selection carving station to made-to-order omelettes, pasta, frittatas, breakfast potatoes, strata, succotash, various bars (salad, parfait, pastries, etc.), and your choice of coffee, tea, or juice. You can also go a-la-carte with cage-free chilaquiles, or the sturdy Saltwood burger with a sunny-side egg, bacon, goat cheese, and sauteed mushrooms. You'll be inside the Loews Hotel, so it’s an energetic scene from 6:30am-2pm, but arriving at 11:30am means you won’t have to wait for cocktails, be they Aperol spritzes or the super-Scotchy “Birdsnest over Peatmont,” which is made with lemon juice, amaro, rum, and both Laphroaig 10 Year and Famous Grouse.
Brunch pizza. Pizza. Brunch. Brunch. Pizza.
Yes, brunch pizza is a thing, and you should be eating it. Really you should eat any pizza at Varuni Napoli, because, sheesh, it hits all the traditional notes in the best way and is great for your tongue. You can taste all that good Italy -- real Double Zero flour, pecorino romano, imported tomatoes, and legit canned San Marzanos -- any day they’re open, so trust them when you step into the impeccably clean and bright space on the corner of Piedmont and Monroe on a weekend mid-morning and order yourself a sweet-savory Fichissima (homemade fig jam, fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola cheese, arugula, Prosciutto di Parma DOP). Or let’s say you’re into eggs (most brunchers are): Get the Colazione Americana, made with fresh mozz, yolk, Italian sausage, cremini-roasted mushroom, pancetta, and black truffle EVOO. And not that you’d want to wash those flavors away, but you’ll probably want a drink, so bring friends and order a pitcher of Bloody M:ary, mimosa, or tapped rosé for $30.
The Four Seasons
A seriously fancy brunch buffet in opulent surroundings
If you had no idea that Atlanta had its own great brunch, independent of other cities, you’d be well excused to find yourself eating Four Seasons Sunday brunch. First, you’ll feel like you have discretionary income, but you’ll also feel like you’re first-class feasting when it comes to hot tapas like the lobster pot pie or the proteins from the carving station, which include smoked prime rib and whole roasted Verlasso salmon (it has a cleaner flavor than average salmon due to farming techniques that allow more room to swim and therefore make the fish less fat). There’s also a good amount of shrimp, oysters, and crab claws at the ready, pastas, soup, and standards from eggs-your-way and made-to-order omelets to house pastries and granola parfaits. In other words, it’s enough to feed you for the full year, and the opulent surroundings add a whole ‘nother layer of richness to the flavor.