The Best of the Brunches
Did you know that brunch was invented in New Orleans? That’s no lie, amies! It was invented by Madame Begue at her restaurant (now Tujague’s) across from the French Market on Decatur Street. The mid-morning meal was created to accommodate hard-working market workers (lots of German butchers) as well as hungry dock workers who received their break around 11 a.m. Learn more about Begue’s here.
Today brunch in New Orleans is more than something to satisfy hunger – it’s an art form – and live music can be a huge part of the experience. In our beloved New Orleans, you’ll find jazz brunches, burlesque brunches – even “Brunches with Hat-itude” (keeping reading). The following restaurants get our vote for the best brunches in New Orleans. Make reservations for brunch here.
Tujague’s deserves to be first because, well, they were first. While we couldn’t possibly taste everything on their brunch menu, we can vouch personally for the Crawfish and Goat Cheese Crêpes, Crème Brûlée French Toast and Tujaque’s world-famous Brisket (beyond delicious). The restaurant itself is a fascinating piece of New Orleans history. This brunch is a must.
Everybody’s heard of Dinner at Antoine’s, the 1947 murder mystery by Frances Parkinson Keyes, but Brunch at Antoine’s deserves to be just as famous. We could write a book about the Huîtres en coquille à la Rockefeller (the Oysters Rockefeller). And the Grillades and Grits deserve a chapter, as does the Baked Alaska for two. (That noise you hear is our tummies grumbling.)
For seventy odd years, Breakfast at Brennan's has been a New Orleans tradition. Stuck on the word “breakfast?” Since it lasts until 2 p.m. we’re going to cheat a little and put it into the brunch category. Original Brennan’s dishes such as Eggs Hussarde and Bananas Foster (prepared tableside) are now classics, served all over the world. So what’s good? Just close your eyes, point at the menu, and order whatever your finger lands on. You can’t go wrong.
Every Saturday and Sunday this popular 125-year-old restaurant throws a jazz brunch featuring Live New Orleans Jazz by the Joe Simon's Jazz Trio. While the whole menu is tempting, we went for the “Commander’s Brunch Favorites,” which includes a Classic Bloody Mary (spiked tableside with “ice block” vodka), their famous Turtle Soup (with a splash of sherry), Turducken Stuffed Quail, and their amazing Creole Bread Pudding Soufflé (finished right at the table with whisky cream sauce). We get full just thinking about it. Learn more and make reservations.
They call SoBou’s Burlesque Brunch “Legs and Eggs” or “Sunday Brunch with a Kick.” While your palate dances to the culinary creations of Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez, renowned burlesque dancer Bella Blue dances to live music.
If you were out late the night before, start with the Corpse Reviver No. 2. Follow it up with Buttermilk Biscuit Donuts with a smoky bacon and cream cheese frosting. Entrée choices include So-Bouzy Apple Pancakes (bourbon is involved). For dessert, how does a Chocolate Coma Bar grab you? Learn more and make reservations.
Pictured: Omelets made to order are part of the Court of Two Sisters experience. Court of Two Sisters
It’s impossible not to get excited about The Court of Two Sisters. Their large French Quarter courtyard, where Marie Laveau may have practiced her voodoo a hundred years ago, is full of culinary magic today. The buffet includes such Creole and Cajun delights as shrimp étouffée, jambalaya, red beans and rice, grillades and grits, bread pudding, bananas foster and king cake. A jazz trio plays along with every bite. Learn more and make reservations.
Weekends were made for brunch in the enchanting Princess of Monaco Courtyard at Café Amelie. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays with menu options such as Chef Jerry’s Shrimp and Grits (for starters), and enticing brunch entrees like Amelie French Toast with Southern Pecan Sauce and Oven Roasted Chicken and Waffle with Andouille Gravy. We can’t think of a more beautiful way to celebrate the weekend.
We can’t lie. We’d love Ralph’s on the Park if all they served for brunch was Pop-Tarts. The view of the ancient oaks at City Park, is enough to enchant anyone. When they put down a bowl of Turtle Soup followed by a redfish special with crabmeat and scallops (see pic), it makes your palate, and your spirit, soar. Tip: Everyone says, “Order the Southern Schnitzel and Eggs.” The guy at the table next to us did and he wants you to know he wasn’t disappointed.
Meet Old Man River for Sunday Jazz Brunch on the historic Steamboat Natchez. Come experience the most magnificent views of the city, authentic jazz by The Steamboat Stompers, and a menu as long as the river itself! Enjoy gumbo made with a traditional Louisiana roux, brown sugar pineapple glazed ham, biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, white chocolate bread pudding and more. Click here to view the complete food and cocktail menus, see boarding times and make reservations.