Brunch is popular all over the world, but few cities can claim to do it quite like New Orleans. A deeply rooted local tradition, the weekend doesn’t start here until the locals have had their fill of Louisiana dishes, whether that’s shrimp and grits or French toast with maple syrup. From bottomless mimosas to foot-tapping jazz bands, the city has plenty to offer of a morning, so here’s our guide to the best places to go for brunch in New Orleans.
For a weekend brunch like no other, head to Commander’s Palace, an elegant, upscale affair where a live jazz band accompanies the likes of Louisiana shrimp stuffed with Cajun ham and pecan crusted gulf fish. Opt for Chef Tory McPhail’s Jazz Brunch Special if you’re feeling especially extravagant (the Bloody Mary will certainly wake you up) and make sure to come in your Sunday best; the dress code is smart, and the clientele stick by it.
Lil’ Dizzy’s Café
If you’re feeling hungry, this hole-in-the-wall eatery is the answer. The brunch buffet at Lil’ Dizzy’s Café is a tempting smorgasbord of Louisiana specials, featuring omelettes and seafood alongside lashings of rice, beans and bread pudding. It’s the fried chicken that really stands out, though – think tender slabs of golden, crispy meat served straight from the fryer, New Orleans-style.
Contemporary creole cuisine meets a fun, casual vibe at Atchafalaya, where you’ll find a dedicated Bloody Mary bar and lively jazz music during its weekend brunch sessions. From truffled eggs and spinach to shrimp & grits, roast beef po-boy to ‘chicken-n-biscuits’, its morning menu is certainly eclectic. The duck confit, served with poached eggs, blackberries, mangos and hollandaise, is exceptional.
New Orleans knows only too well how to do a boozy brunch, and leading the charge is local favourite, Apolline. Bottomless mimosas from 10am to 2pm and a deluxe Bloody Mary – complete with boiled shrimp and spicy beans – make the ideal pairing for hearty homemade breakfasts and a la carte offerings, such as stone ground grits and potato hash.
There’s a tantalising daily breakfast menu at Elizabeth’s, but it’s the weekend brunch that pulls in the crowds. Duck waffle with sweet potato and smoked rib eye steak with fried eggs are among the standout dishes at this quintessentially local joint, while brandy milk punch and make-your-own mimosas feature on its list of ‘brunch cocktails’.
Surrey’s Juice Bar
Eager customers spill out onto the street to wait for a space at Surrey’s Juice Bar, where Latin American-inspired dishes, including huevos rancheros and eggs with pico de gallo, meet indulgent local specialities such as Bananas Foster French toast and Pain Perdu. The freshly squeezed organic juices are delicious and make for a welcome alternative to cocktails after several days of boozy brunching.
Innovative takes on the traditional characterise Dante’s Kitchen, whose Creole-inspired weekend brunch menu features the likes of bacon praline cinnamon sticky buns and buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy. Take a seat on the outdoor patio for a relaxing start to the day and let the peaceful, charming surroundings of this historic cottage lull you into a blissful daze.
Header image © Commander’s Palace
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Where do you go fro a great brunch in New Orleans? Let us know in the comments section below.