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Indulge and celebrate at the best brunch in New Orleans

At the best brunch in New Orleans, expect bottomless cocktails, live jazz, and more decadence than you can handle

Written by
Gerrish Lopez
Contributor
Adriana Lopez
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The best brunch in New Orleans serves a purpose: after a big night out sipping cocktails at the city’s fabulous bars, you’ll need major sustenance to get back out and do it all again the next day. And what better way to recoop than a leisurely brunch? In The Big Easy, it’s more than just a decadent, late morning meal—expect world-class food, bottomless cocktails, great music, and a whole lot of fun.

The Creole cuisine for which New Orleans is known works its way into some of the city’s most creative menus all around town, and the same chefs behind iconic local dishes and some of the city’s most famous restaurants don’t hold back on brunch. Classics like shrimp and grits, grillades, and pain perdu are staples on most menus, while other restaurants offer up New Orleans twists—you’ll find brunch faves like chicken and waffles or fried green tomatoes around town as well as Mediterranean or French offerings.

Whatever type of meal you’re after, indulgence is a must. Brandy milk punch is how you start brunch here, and Bananas Foster is a decadent way to top it all off. If you’re attending a jazz brunch, all the better—just get up and dance along with the music and the calories won’t count. Whether you're heading to brunch with a couple friends or planning a celebration, these are the best spots brunch in the city.

RECOMMENDED: our full guide to the best restaurants in New Orleans

Best brunch in New Orleans

A legendary New Orleans institution in the heart of the Garden District serving elevated Creole cuisine with exceptional service, it goes without saying that Commander’s Palace’s weekend jazz brunch is as New Orleans as it gets. While many menu items transition with the seasons, some timeless ones remain permanent fixtures year-around, like the shrimp and tasso henican, cochon de lait eggs Benedict and the Creole bread pudding soufflé. Brunch is complete with a jazz band circumnavigating through each of the dining rooms. Those in the know request a table in the Garden Room: a great place to be eye level with the tips of the Garden District’s oak trees and the who’s who of the city. Don’t forget to snap a photo underneath the iconic sign on the way out.

  • Restaurants
  • French Quarter
  • price 3 of 4

'Breakfast at Brennan’s' is a New Orleans tradition, but this is no quick meal meant to simply start the day. Elegant, old-world dining and excellent service make for a memorable occasion. The Creole menu features classics like eggs Sardou and eggs Benedict, crawfish omelettes, and more. But the crown jewel of Brennan’s brunch is the Bananas Foster—innvented here, the dessert is flambéed right at your table.

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Arnaud’s might be one of the oldest and largest restaurants in the city, but its elegant main dining room still feels intimate. Sunday brunch here is of the quintessential French Quarter staples, complete with a Creole menu that stays true to the classics while a jazz trio orbits around the tables and takes requests. Arnaud’s is where locals go to celebrate holidays and life’s milestones, eat the legendary Gulf fish Meunier (top it with crab, because that’s what’s up), and sip on a French 75. For dessert, order bananas foster for an added New Orleans experience and an indulgent end to the meal.

Elizabeth’s is the place to go for reliable comfort food. It doesn’t matter what you order here—it's all delicious. Word to the wise: whatever it is that you go for, make sure to include praline bacon in your order. Eat it as an appetizer, a side dish, sprinkle it on your food, bring some home, moisturize with it—whatever. It’s life-changing. Additionally, the shrimp and grits have been known to cure hangovers, but the French toast burrito, the red neck eggs with fried green tomatoes, and the chicken and waffles are worth a try, too. Elizabeth’s is in the Bywater, and the decor is just as eclectic as the neighborhood itself, with local art from Dr. Bob cluttering the walls and bright, floral plastic tablecloths covering the tables. Brunch starts at 8 am and ends at 2:30 pm. It’s first-come, first-serve, so be prepared for a wait or head to the bar for a bloody mary or brandy milk punch to make the time pass.

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La Petite Grocery, housed inside an old corner store that has evolved with the Uptown neighborhood over the past 100 years, pays homage to the French influences of the city. The menu includes Gulf shrimp and grits, brioche pain perdu, hot iron buttermilk waffles and, the LPG burger—arguably, one of the best burgers in the city. Make sure to kick things off with blue crab beignets and a Big Red Hammer Bloody Mary, garnished with poached shrimp, blue crab, and pickled vegetables. You’ll figure out how to make room for the rest of your meal later.

Although it’s located within the Old No. 77 Hotel, Compère Lapin isn’t just for guests—the restaurant and bar attracts folks from all over the city. It should also be mentioned that owner and chef, Nina Compton, was voted fan favorite on Bravo’s Top Chef and was recognized as “Best Chef: South” by the James Beard Foundation in 2018. What to expect from this bold-faced name? Compton brings Caribbean influences to the menu: you can't go wrong with the Hot Fire Chicken, buttermilk gnocchi, or French toast with rum caramel. As an added bonus, each meal starts with warm biscuits and a butter du jour (which is made in-house, of course).

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Flock to the fanciful Peacock Room at the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot for an indulgent brunch in visually stunning environs. Start with a refreshing cocktail and the fan favorite Peacock Tower (deviled eggs, lobster toast, shrimp, and pimento cheese crostini) then dive into brunch beauties like huevos rancheros with chorizo cured pork belly and mole verde, shrimp and grits with bacon and eggs or a C&A benedict with crab-avocado toast, poached egg, gochujang choron.

This Magazine Street cafe is a standout spot for handmade pasta, meatballs, and other Italian favorites made from family recipes. The food is taken seriously, but the friendly atmosphere is anything but. Grab a table inside or on the patio for weekend brunch and enjoy live music along with decadent delights like cannoli pancakes, breakfast spaghetti, chicken & donuts, brulee french toast, and more.

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The Ruby Slipper Café has five locations in the city, which means you can enjoy their fabulous brunch pretty much wherever you’re staying. Their menu puts a New Orleans twist on breakfast and brunch favorites—the bloody Mary is one of the best in the city (yes, it features bacon), and brunch options include a lengthy list of Benedicts (cochon de lait, crawfish-and-grits, fried green tomato), sweet offerings (Bananas Foster pain perdu, stuffed French toast) and even lighter bites (a "skinny" version of their signature migas). Throw in an amazing morning cocktail list and you’ll want to linger here all day long.

This Lower Garden District restaurant has one of the best balconies on Magazine Street, drawing crowds from all over for refined Southern classics. The brunch menu, available Saturdays and Sundays, includes delightful options like blueberry Bourbon French toast, a chicken gizzard omelet, and chicken biscuits with gravy. Don’t miss out on carafes of grapefruit mimosas, bloody marys, and rotating cocktails.

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Housed inside the Ponchartrain Hotel, Jack Rose took over the Caribbean Room, a vestige of yesteryear, and transformed the space with eclectic décor, vibrant art, and a modern menu. Sunday brunch features some great food options like chicken and waffles or speckled trout en papillote. At some point, try a Chambong, which you can think of as an adult, classy version of the beer bong. Don’t be intimidated by your first try—you’ll get better with each round. End the meal with the iconic mile-high pie, then head over to the Living Room or the hotel’s rooftop bar, Hot Tin, for a drink and the best view of New Orleans.

It may seem a little unexpected to include an Israeli restaurant on a New Orleans brunch list, but trust us. The hummus will make you swear off all other imposters. Just make sure to keep the pita bread coming—it’s prepared fresh-to-order in a wood-burning oven. But don’t stop there. Saba’s modern Mediterranean menu incorporates flavors from New Orleans in dishes like the grilled Louisiana shrimp with field pea tzatziki, zhoug, and dill. The shakshuka, the falafel, and any variation of items from the 'salatim' menu are to-die-for. The best seats are part of the living room tables or outside on the patio when the weather calls for it.

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Atchafalaya Restaurant, housed inside a small Creole cottage in a residential Uptown neighborhood, is easy to overlook—but the bold menu says otherwise. The fried green tomatoes, cream cheese grits, and hickory smoked bacon are a great place to start, but the rest of the menu takes it up a notch (the duck hash with poached egg, chicken and andouille gumbo, and chicken and waffles are all great options). Feeling thirsty? A Bloody Mary Bar offers a range of variations on the classic brunch cocktail. Bonus points: brunch service stars on Thursdays, for those who want to get a head start on the weekend culinary festivities.

Justine is a Parisian brasserie with a lively New Orleans twist. Weekend brunch features the likes of barbecue shrimp toast, poached eggs and crawfish tails, and a fried green tomato sandwich with crawfish ravigote on a croissant. Looking for even more decadence? Try the pepper-encrusted Justine burger or the steak frites. The restaurant has three dining rooms, each with its own vibe, but request to sit in the front café section for brunch. Here, floor-to-ceiling windows drench the room in natural light and offer a front-row seat that’s ideal for anyone who wants a good look at the French Quarter.

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If you don’t need a brunch with all the bells and whistles, a no-frills meal at a diner with greasy food, friendly staff, and quick turnaround will hit the spot. Enter Camellia Grill, located in the Riverbend area. There’s usually a wait (it’s only counter service), but it moves pretty quickly (it’s a diner, after all). We recommend the hulking chili cheese omelette—it’s the size of the plate—with fries, the pecan waffles, or a cheeseburger with grilled onions. Get a chocolate freeze, too, or regret it forever.

It’s a wine bar, and it’s in the middle of the central business district—does it get any better? Order a rosé and pair it with crab deviled eggs, cochon de lait benny, or the cornflake-fried chicken and waffles. The restaurant is equidistant from the Superdome and the French Quarter, so it’s a great place to fuel up before a Saints game or a stroll through the neighborhood. In fact, we do suggest some sort of physical activity to digest such a filling but tasty meal. Pro advice: request a table in the courtyard or on the balcony overlooking the action.

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