As The Simpsons taught us, brunch is “not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end.” And if you’re in New Orleans, it often comes with a cocktail at the beginning and a jazz band throughout. Here are more than 20 can’t-miss brunch spots in nearly every neighborhood of the Big Easy, whether you like your brunches jazzy, boozy, burlesque, or simply delicious -- along with their scheduled hours.
This Burger Comes on a Fried Cheese Bun
Tiger Bakery Quaint and friendly bakery with to-die-for pastries Truly a neighborhood haunt, this new bakery occupies a corner in charming Broadmoor -- with baked goods that are just as enticing to locals as tourists. Even better? This family-owned storefront also sells New Orlean-style snowballs with homemade syrups (featuring flavors like lime flower and jasmine cream).
The Country Club LGBT-friendly space with a great poolside bar The drag brunch at The Country Club isn’t just a meal. Complete with a Bloody Mary bar, bottomless mimosas, and performances by the ladies of The Southern Barbitchuates, it’s a boozy, brash, and often bachelorette party-filled experience. You might need to recuperate in the saltwater pool out back afterward. Definitely make a reservation, as it’s often booked a few months out for brunch shows at 11am and 1pm. (Pro tip: Even during non-brunch hours, The Country Club is still one of our best bars.)
Satsuma Heaping sandwiches with local ingredients served at the counter The line at this counter-serve spot spools out the door and onto the street during weekend mornings, but tattooed employees dish up plates from the chalkboard menu with admirable speed. Yes, Satsuma deploys almost every cafe stereotype, but its careful food preparation and locally sourced ingredients are the reason avocado toast and fresh-pressed beet juice became hipster clichés in the first place. Open daily from 7am to 5pm.
Elizabeth’s Reliable mainstay making everything from scratch Look for the peeling two-story house perched by the levee and hung with hand-painted signs for Regal Beer and praline bacon. If there’s a hungry crowd outside, you’re probably in time for brunch (8am to 2:30pm on weekends). Elizabeth’s food is country, Creole, and creative: From the French toast burrito to fried chicken livers with pepper jelly, Elizabeth’s made-from-scratch menu hits the country-meets-Creole sweet spot.
Sneaky Pickle Super-affordable, health-conscious food with changing specials all the time Gluten-free, vegan, or emphatically carnivore brunchers collide at this Ninth Ward spot for farm-to-table fare that’s refreshingly cheap (most meals cost less than $10) and quirky (all the tables, lamps and paintings are thrift-store chic finds). Vegan biscuits and gravy and breakfast flatbread with eggs or tofu star on the rotating menu and are available from 11am to 9pm daily. There’s beer and wine on the menu, but you’ll have to get your cocktail fix elsewhere.
Willa Jean A glorious mecca of gorgeous baked goods It’s a bakery. It’s a restaurant. It’s a coffee shop. It’s a bar. It's a decent date spot. It’s all of these things -- which makes Willa Jean’s weekend brunch game (7am to 4pm) extremely strong. Set in an airy, light-filled space and helmed by chef Kelly Fields, Willa Jean is all ambiance. Our picks off of the brunch menu include the monkey bread, hangover bowl (way to know your audience), and fried chicken and tabasco honey biscuit.
Ruby Slipper There will probably a line, but it'll be worth it With nine locations nationwide (and counting), this chain is kind of the behemoth of brunch spots -- but that doesn’t make its Southern-meets-Cajun breakfast fare any less satisfying. If you haven't been, try one of the signatures like their BBQ shrimp & grits or the Chicken St. Charles, which is served with two poached eggs and pork tasso cream sauce. Plus, since it was born in New Orleans, you know that each Ruby Slipper location has to have a full bar. Open from 7am to 2pm weekdays; 7am to 3pm weekends.
Muriel's The ideal Jackson Square spot for a great jazz brunch New Orleans didn’t invent brunch, but it did invent jazz, so that means it invented the jazz brunch, right? And Muriel’s perfected it, thanks to a balcony overlooking Jackson Square and menu items ranging from shrimp and goat cheese crepes to grits and grillades. Sip a Ramos gin fizz and take in the jazz brunch from 10:30am to 2pm Sundays; regular Saturday brunch is also 10:30am to 2pm.
SoBou High-end entrees paired with a world-class burlesque show Come for the three-course brunch with offerings including Bloody Marys, shrimp and tasso corndogs, and sweet potato beignets. Stay for the “legs and eggs” performance by burlesque dancer Bella Blue, a local legend with a captivating presence and formal ballet training. Brunch goes down from 10:30am to 3pm Sundays, and the show takes place from 11:30am to 1:30pm.
Salon by Sucré One of the fanciest brunches in town, with ice cream served downstairs It started as a mint-green jewel box of an artisanal candy store in 2007, and now Sucré has broadened its sugary palate to include haute cuisine and daily brunch. With a balcony overlooking Conti Street, bottomless mimosas, and sweet and savory menu items (Belgian waffle sundaes and mushroom fondue frittatas, respectively), Salon and its brunch are the dream of chef Tariq Hanna. When you're done, you can still snag ice cream and chocolate bars in the shop downstairs.
Commander's Palace 125-year-old mainstay that, yes, has a jazz brunch Brunch at an 1893 landmark with haute cuisine and the white-glove service to match? You can’t not when you’re in New Orleans. Despite its venerable history, dress code and elevated menu (e.g., truffled mushroom and dirty rice gnocchi, turtle soup), the atmosphere at Commander’s Palace is anything but stuffy -- the happier New Orleanians are, the louder they are. Catch jazz brunch from 11am to 1pm Saturday and 10am to 1:30pm Sundays.
Atchafalaya Pricier, delicious fare served in a little Creole cottage Louisiana-accented haute cuisine forms an elegant counterpoint to the rustic cottage setting at this Uptown establishment, which is tucked away on a leafy, residential street. Crawfish, house-made tasso, bell peppers, and Parmesan cheese mingle in the etouffee omelet, and everything from the boudin to the breakfast sausage is made in-house. Brunch happens from 10am to 2:30 pm Thursday through Monday.
Lower Garden District
Molly’s Rise and Shine Perfect for hungry hipsters This eminently Instagrammable eatery serves up a sense of humor with a mix of classic and playful breakfast and brunch fare. The deviled egg tostada and bagel bite tray are our picks to try, but if you’re in the mood for staples, you can also get simple eggs and toast at this self-proclaimed “hipster breakfast” joint. The specials are always a great bet, too.
Surrey’s Cafe and Juice Bar An award-winning BYOB spot known for its juices Surrey’s brought the fresh organic juice game to New Orleans when it opened. Hearty fare like pain perdu, bananas Foster pancakes, and tofu breakfast platters are perfect pairs to the virtuous beverage. There’s no booze, but you can bring a bottle of Champagne (or other libation), order a carafe of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and have yourself a grand old time. It's open 8am to 3pm daily.
Cake Cafe and Bakery Come for brunch, come again and again for $1 cupcakes Why limit dessert to dinner? At Cake Café, a bakery-cum-breakfast-and-brunch-destination, $1 gets you a cupcake when you buy a meal. And if a red velvet cupcake following a crab omelet or boudin and eggs sounds unbearably decadent -- just remember, that’s the whole point. Plus, there’s no bar here, so how else are you going to overindulge? Open from 7am to 3pm Wednesday through Monday.
Biscuits & Buns on Banks Boffo biscuits and a BYOB brunch Maybe the best part of this alliterative neighborhood hangout is the tiny biscuits with maple butter that arrive gratis, prior to your meal. Chicken and waffles are the next-best thing. Sit inside among riotous, NOLA-themed murals or outside on the oak-shaded sidewalk. No booze, but they don’t mind if you bring in a cocktail from the neighboring bar. Open 8am to 3pm Wednesday through Monday.
FullBlast Brunch Unassuming exterior, yet oozing with Southern flavor This spot took up residence in the former space of brunch staple Ruby Slipper in 2018, to much controversy (owner Christopher Belou had previously worked for the aforementioned Ruby Slipper and a lawsuit ensued). But FullBlast Brunch -- open every day but Tuesday and Wednesday -- has differentiated itself with a brunch that lives up to the restaurant’s name. Although there are several solid options of omelets and benedicts, the grillades (a Creole fried meat dish) really shine. The chicken and waffles -- complete with praline glaze! -- is another fave.
Katie's Restaurant A neighborhood spot with a crazy hot sauce heritage Brunch takes over at this family-owned corner restaurant from 9am to 3pm Sundays, when there’s everything from oysters Benedict to crawfish beignets on the menu. Order a brandy milk punch and douse your meal with hot sauce before digging in. The owners are direct descendants of Edmund McIlhenny, creator of Tabasco (yes, that Tabasco), and you’ll find every flavor of the vinegar-based hot sauce on your table.
DTB Updated Cajun and Creole classics worthy of their legacy DTB (Down the Bayou) has the feel of an old-school seafood joint, the craft cocktails of a trendy gastropub, and the brunch of the gods. From 10:30am to 2pm Friday through Sunday, you'll find all the classic brunch cocktails (and bottomless mimosas) there, as well as meals like crawfish Benedict pie and shrimp grits carbonara.
BearCat Delicious gluten-free and vegan fare Just off trendy Freret street, this Uptown coffee shop and eatery has an adorable logo (inspired by the name...or maybe vice-versa?) and a plethora of vegan and gluten-free options -- plus breakfast served all day. Bearcat doesn’t sell booze, but they do have a healthy menu of caffeinated drinks, including a delicious cascara fizz.
Lula Restaurant Distillery Liquor and lunch with a Louisiana-twist From its prime location on St. Charles Avenue, Lula Restaurant Distillery is a newly trendy spot to watch the parades during Mardi Gras season. Obviously, a distillery is going to kill it when it comes to cocktails (hence the truly epic $20 all-you-can-drink brunch vodka bar), but brunch doesn’t disappoint, either. The menu balances Louisiana-inspired fare like sugarcane pork skewers and shrimp boils with standard brunch items.
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Carrie Murphy will always choose an eggy brunch option, no matter how good the pancakes or French toast look.
Missy Wilkinson gets a little cranky if she waits until noon to eat brunch, but her hat is off to all you die-hards.