When it comes to the most important meal of the day, New Orleans is better known for its jazz brunches than its traditional breakfasts. But oh has that changed, dear friends. In recent years, a number of restaurants have seriously upped the fast-breaking game in the Big Easy, and here are 13 platefuls of proof...
What you're getting: A three egg omelette
If you’re looking to start the day with a hearty, lumberjack-style breakfast, Panola St. is the place you should be headed. Overstuffed triple egg omelettes, huge stacks of pancakes, Belgian waffles, and generous Benedicts are the hallmark here. And hey, if you want liver and onions, you can get that, too.
What you're getting: The Breakfast Cheeseburger
In a notable food city with few actual diner-style restaurants, The Camellia Grill is the one to beat. Whether you want a chili-cheese omelette or a flat top griddled breakfast cheeseburger, it’s all served with a smile. Note: do not confuse this with “The Grill” in the French Quarter (there were some legal issues surrounding that recently).
What you're getting: The cheddar sliders w/ eggs & bacon
For some reason, Mid-City recently became *the* go-to place for breakfast in New Orleans, and Wakin’ Bakin’ was one of the first spots to contribute to this wonderful phenomenon. The cheddar sliders with eggs and bacon are amazing, as are the “Pancrepes and Pork.” That’s right: Pancrepes!
What you're getting: BBB 12 hour NOLA Brisket on Biscuit
Adding to the breakfast arms race on Banks St is Biscuits and Buns, which, you might have guessed, serves both biscuits AND buns. Truth be told, those biscuits are pretty fantastic (especially when packed with slow-cooked brisket), but don’t overlook the chicken & waffles, as well as more refined fare like shrimp étouffée over creamy grits.
What you're getting: One of its crepes
For a fancier breakfast option in the Big Easy, there’s the relatively new Toast, which offers everything from steak and Lyonnaise potatoes with your eggs, to fluffy quiches and crepes. It's excellent for an upscale breakfast meeting or if you want to impress on the “morning after” without messing up your kitchen.
What you're getting: A Breakfast Po Boy
When you think “breakfast” (not brunch) in New Orleans, it’s hard not to think of Elizabeth’s. Mostly because it makes Praline Bacon -- which you really, really don’t want to miss -- but also for the colorful decor and friendly service. Also to be noted, the “Breakfast Po Boys,” which are exactly what you think they would be: bacon, eggs, and cheese dressed on French.
What you're getting: The Creole Slammer
If you haven’t had the Creole Slammer at Slim’s, you have yet to fully live. What could be better than a plate of hash browns and eggs... than a plate of hash browns and eggs overgenerously topped with crawfish étouffée and a buttermilk biscuit? Fair warning: there’s a sizable wait on weekends if you don’t get there early enough.
Lower Garden District
What you're getting: A couple of its donuts
Donuts made from scratch -- right down to the sprinkles -- and nitro-brewed iced coffee? District says yes to both. The sliders are impressive, too, if you’re more of a burger-for-breakfast kind of person, though it’s hard to pass up those beautiful donuts, especially with flavors like “Maple Sriracha with Candied Thyme.”
Lower Garden District
What you're getting: Bagel w/ lox & cream cheese
You can’t get absolutely everything you want in New Orleans, sadly, but at least there’s one place where you can find an excellent bagel with lox and cream cheese (with capers and red onion, of course). It’s not exactly Russ & Daughters, but it’s what we’ve got, and thank goodness for that. And also for the Instagrams of owner Dan Stein asleep in various locations in the restaurant.
What you're getting: A Pretzel Croissant
Pastries, pastries, and more pastries is what you’ll find at Gracious, as well as a load of sandwiches and elegant desserts. Bonus points for its creative approach to baking, which brings with it the Hazelnut “Kermit” Cruffin, as well as Pretzel Croissants.
What you're getting: The Do’sant
You have to give it to Manhattanjack for being the first in town to mimic the Cronut (™) with its “Do’sant,” which is likely just as good as the one your cousin is waiting four hours in line for in New York. You also have to give it up for its excellent coffee and breakfast sandwiches.
What you're getting: Boudin and eggs
Cupcakes for breakfast? Why the hell not!? This cozy Marigny joint doesn’t just do cakes, however, despite the name. The savory options, including crab or salmon omelets or boudin and eggs, should not be missed. So, go ahead and have both. What could possibly go wrong?
What you're getting: Bananas Foster French Toast
Chef Scott Boswell may have sadly shuttered the wonderful Stella!, but thankfully he’s still helming the equally tasty Stanley, where you can get its elegant, signature breakfast items all day. Ever crave Bananas Foster French Toast? A Benedict topped with fried oysters (“Eggs Stanley”)? Or even an Eggs Benedict Poor Boy? If yes -- and really, it should be a sincere yes -- run, don’t walk, to Stanley.
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1. Riccobono’s Panola St. Café7801 Panola St, New Orleans
2. The Camellia Grill626 S Carrollton Ave, New Orleans
3. Wakin' Bakin'4408 Banks St, New Orleans
4. Biscuits and Buns on Banks4337 Banks St, New Orleans
5. Toast5433 Laurel St, New Orleans
6. Elizabeth's601 Gallier St, New Orleans
7. Slim Goodies Diner3322 Magazine St, New Orleans
8. DISTRICT: Donuts. Sliders. Brew.2209 Magazine St, New Orleans
9. Stein's Market & Deli2207 Magazine St, New Orleans
10. Gracious Bakery + Cafe1000 S Jefferson Davis Pkwy, New Orleans
11. Manhattanjack4930 Prytania St. , New Orleans
12. Cake Cafe & Bakery2440 Chartres St, New Orleans
13. Stanley547 Saint Ann St, New Orleans
If you’re looking to start the day with a hearty, lumberjack-style breakfast, Panola St. is the place you should be headed. Overstuffed triple-egg omelettes, huge stacks of pancakes, Belgian waffles, and generous Benedicts are the hallmark here. And hey, if you want liver and onions, you can get that, too.
While you’re in New Orleans, you can’t miss out on brunch at the Camellia Grill, a landmark southern comfort diner around since 1946. The dizzying menu offers eggs, omelettes, waffles and pancakes, chili, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, French fries, cold sandwiches, hot sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts. Servers sport vintage uniforms and transport you back to a simpler time, when calories no longer stop you from getting one of Camellia’s famous freezes (milkshakes) and you have no reservations about getting a chocolate pecan pie with a double scoop of ice cream.
Mid-City is basically *the* go-to place for breakfast in New Orleans, and Wakin’ Bakin’ was one of the first spots to contribute to this wonderful phenomenon. The cheddar sliders with eggs and bacon are awesome, as are the “Pancrepes & Pork.” That’s right: Pancrepes! But wait! There's more! It delivers beginning at 7am. But beware: if you miss the doorbell, you'll be put on the "Wall of Shame."
Located on Banks St, Biscuits and Buns serves both biscuits AND buns, if you didn't already figure that out. Truth be told, those biscuits are pretty fantastic (especially when packed with slow-cooked brisket), but don’t overlook the chicken & waffles, as well as more refined fare like shrimp étouffée over creamy grits.
This Uptown breakfast resto might have a bland name, but the menu is anything but, with upscale offerings like croque madam, sweet and savory crepes, specialty omelettes, and of course, toast (made with house-made brioche).
Elizabeth’s in Bywater is a quintessential New Orleans breakfast spot, mostly because it cooks up some magical praline bacon (you really, really don’t want to miss this), but also because of the always-friendly servers who present said praline bacon inside the colorful, local art-filled space. The breakfast po-boys are noteworthy, too, and place bacon, egg, and cheese on fresh French bread. At dinnertime, you can expect Southern specialties like fried chicken, catfish, and a grilled seafood mix with scallops, Gulf fish, and BBQ shrimp.
There’s a line out the door of this Magazine Street eatery every morning, and it’s no surprise: locals and tourists alike recognize that Slim Goodies Diner is a breakfast haven. The neighborhood haunt (complete with plush red leather booths and polaroid photographs of regulars and famous folk tacked onto art-laden walls) marries bold Cajun flavor with breakfast staples, resulting in satisfying plates like the Creole slammer, a glorious stack of perfectly crisped hash browns dressed with crawfish étouffée, two eggs, and a biscuit, because you’re going to want to soak up every last spoonful. Many items can be made gluten-free or vegetarian too, so everyone can get their “swamp power” on regardless of dietary needs.
As the name implies, DISTRICT excels at coffee, sliders, and donuts, all while making innovative changes to each. In lieu of your average breakfast sandwich, expect "croquenuts" (a hybrid of a croque madame and a donut) or bacon & egg on a miso-praline biscuit. Donuts, meanwhile, range from the simple glazed and cinnamon sugar to the more unconventional Sriracha-maple, candied thyme, and cereal & milk. While you could pair your sugary goodies with a basic brew, we suggest you opt for house staples like Vietnamese cold brew or the "Sproca-Cola," a winning combination of cola, espresso, and chocolate milk.
This deli & market in NOLA's Lower Garden District offers traditional and specialty sandwiches, including breakfast sandwiches (on Davidovich bagels straight from NYC) all day. Stein's also sells a huge selection of cured meats and salamis, over 50 cheeses from around the world, and a massive selection of domestic & international craft beers.
Gracious serves its custom blends, as well as offering single-origin coffee beans for its simple, but well-executed coffee and espresso menu. Order an Americano to go with the bakery’s homemade, upscale meatloaf sandwich (one of at least a eight to nine rotating selections) or one of its many sweet pastries, cookies, tartlets, or cupcakes.
Manhattanjack serves up gooey, sweet chocolates, confections, and baked goods (including sammies) without the guilt. All of the products are made using original recipes with natural and local ingredients, so you can indulge and throw around the whole, "it's natural" excuse.
This coffee shop gathers locals and tourists alike with breakfast sandwiches, omelettes, and crispy croissants. The small orange-colored seating area is awash with portraits of local legends and landscape scenery -- it's no wonder this space functions as a community meeting point.
Chef Scott Boswell may have sadly shuttered the wonderful Stella!, but thankfully he’s still helming the equally tasty Stanley, where you can get elegant, signature breakfast items all day. Ever crave Bananas Foster French Toast? A Benedict topped with fried oysters (“Eggs Stanley”)? Or even an eggs Benedict Poor Boy? If yes -- and really, it should be a sincere yes -- run, don’t walk, to Stanley.