It’s easy to walk around with a devil may care attitude as you bar hop through Bourbon Street’s best bars until 4:00 AM. But nights eventually end and the inevitable morning comes, leaving you to fight off whatever demons are lingering from the night before. Luckily, New Orleans has a brunch scene that can cure any ailments.
It should be a rule that you can’t make fun of Millennials who boozy brunch before partaking in a boozy brunch in NOLA. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re into bottomless brunch, a drag queen show while you eat, upscale Louisiana cooking, jazz, or burlesque. The city really knows how to treat that weekend meal that’s too late for breakfast but too early for a proper lunch.
Throw your diet in the trash and enjoy yourself. These are the best brunch spots in New Orleans.
1. The Country Club
Every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, The Country Club offers brunch with a full Bloody Mary bar complete with house-made pickles and all the hot sauces you could want. In terms of food, The Country Club is the type of place where you can order a starter of truffle mac n’ cheese and follow it up with grilled gulf fish without feeling guilty. The real draw, however, is the drag brunch, which has shows that run every Saturday at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM — just be sure to book early because spots fill up far in advance.
Location: 634 Louisa Street New Orleans, LA
Brunch is, in some circles, more than just a meal. For Fullblast, it’s literally everything. The all-brunch restaurant has menu items like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, and chicken Milanesa Benedict. You can wash it all down with a standard brunch cocktail (or an Old Fashioned if you’re really feeling a beverage), and the indecisive can get a mimosa flight with a line up of traditional, mango, and cranberry.
Location: 139 S Cortez St New Orleans, LA
Muriel’s occupies a corner of Jackson Square in the French Quarter. During Sunday brunch, a live jazz band plays in the corner. If that’s too lively, there’s also a balcony where you can people watch as you eat elevated Louisiana cuisine. Get a New Orleans cocktail like a brandy milk punch, Sazerac, or Ramos Gin Fizz instead of the usual Bloody Mary and mimosa.
Location: 801 Chartres St New Orleans, LA
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I want to brunch but also want to go to church,” then Vessel is your spot. The restaurant is inside a church built in 1914 and serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Consider it the church of brunch. Order up some shrimp and grits and ham and cheese croquettes. Vessel pays special attention to the cocktails that it serves and has an extensive wine list as well.
Location: 3835 Iberville St.New Orleans, LA
Atchafalaya is worth the journey into the mostly residential neighborhood of the Irish Channel. There’s a classy vibe to the place, but it’s also not afraid to let its hair down. Live music every weekend sets the soundtrack to your brunching. When Atchafalaya opened, it didn’t yet have a liquor license and allowed people to bring their own alcohol to add to whatever they created at the custom Bloody Mary Bar. The restaurant has its own alcohol and cocktails now, but the famous Bloody Mary Bar remains.
Location: 901 Louisiana Ave. New Orleans, LA
6. Toups Meatery
Toups Meatery has been open since 2012 and serves up, as the name suggests, delicious meat-based dishes. Think lamb on stone ground grits, fried quail, oxtail poutine, and foie gras torchon. Come with a group and enjoy cocktails by the pitcher.
Location: 845 N. Carrollton Avenue, New Orleans, LA
7. Pythian Market
Pythian Market is one of the only places you’re going to be able to brunch on breakfast tacos while being treated to live jazz music. This food hall has 10-plus vendors, making it ideal if you’re with a group or people who can’t all agree on what they want. Or if you’re with one other person and you can’t agree on what you want. Whatever you choose, you can get discount drinks during brunch hours (11:00 AM to 2:00 PM) from Bar 1908.
Location: 234 Loyola Ave. New Orleans, LA
8. Biscuits and Buns on Banks
If you’re not feeling up to a boozy brunch, head to Biscuits and Buns on Banks. Make sure to fit a biscuit into your meal here at some point. Better yet, center your meal around a biscuit with an order of pot roast served over grits with a biscuit or a chicken tender biscuit smothered in honey sriracha sauce.
Location: 4337 Banks St, New Orleans, LA
Burlesque brunch with live music sounds like a concept someone would make up as a mash-up parody of the things that New Orleans is known for. Yet it actually exists at SoBou, and it’s very much worth seeing for yourself. SoBou serves a three-course Creole brunch meal during the “legs and eggs show” while Bella Blue performers provide the entertainment. Order a hooch cocktail for the table to share that comes in a giant flask.
Location: 310 Rue Chartres New Orleans, LA
10. Madam’s Modern Kitchen and Bar
New Orleans’ red light district may be a thing of the past, but Madam’s Modern Kitchen and Bar is channeling the less seedy side of that part of the Big Easy’s history. The bar and restaurant has upscale takes on brunch dishes, like a croque madame made with truffle bechamel. The drinks trend on the higher side as well with cocktails like Reawakening (dry vermouth, Giffard Pamplemousse, Peychaud’s) joining the ever-present brunch favorite of bottomless Mimosas. Eat brunch, nap, then come back for the Red Light happy hour specials.
Location: 1300 Canal St New Orleans, LA
Cleanse yourself from all the debauchery of the night before with fresh pressed juice and health food at Surreys. Or keep the party going — this place lets you bring in your own alcohol.
Brennan’s opened in 1946, and today serves up a menu inspired by French and Spanish food. It’s got a certain je-ne-sais-quoi Old World elegance, and the dishes are more on the side of fine dining than casual brunch. Make a reservation or be prepared to wait. Make sure to finish your meal with Bananas Foster.
Location: 417 Royal St, New Orleans, LA
DTB stands for Down the Bayou, and the menu is filled with coastal Cajun food and inventive cocktails. Don’t let the Spanish moss hanging from the chandelier fool you; there’s nothing old about DTB. There are classic dishes like etouffee Benedict, originals like mushroom boudin balls, and original takes on classic dishes like the crispy oyster croque madame.
Location: 8201 Oak St #1, New Orleans, LA
14. Commander’s Palace
Around since 1893, Commander’s Palace is a New Orleans staple in the Garden District. It’s made a hell of a name for itself with seven James Beard Foundation Awards for the haute Creole cuisine, but that doesn’t mean they’re above a good ol’ jazz brunch. Brunch here is on the pricier side, but with options like the crispy Des Allemands catfish served over jambalaya grits, it’s worth it. To drink, order a classic Bloody Mary that’s spiked tableside.
Location: 1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA