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The 12 Best Brunch spots New Orleans has to offer


Welcome brunch lovers! If you’re ready to dive into the delicious world of New Orleans brunch, you’ve come to the right place. From savory Creole classics to mouthwatering pastries and innovative fusion dishes, the brunch scene in the Big Easy is a foodie’s dream come true. In this post you’ll find a local’s scoop on the top brunch spots New Orleans has to offer for a flavorsome experience. Whether you’re a local looking to spice up your weekend routine or a visitor craving a taste of the city’s culinary magic, these restaurants are sure to leave you wanting more!

Best Brunch Spots New Orleans: Central Business District

Bearcat CBD

brunch plates at Bearcat CBD | best brunch spots New Orleans

Bearcat CBD is a long-standing favorite of mine when it comes to brunch in New Orleans. Their menu offers something for everyone – including Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, & Gluten-free, which can be hard to come by around here. It’s also split up into two sections: “Good Cat” for lighter options and “Bad Cat” for more indulgent dishes.

You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but my personal favorites are the goat balls (not to fear, they’re just boudin balls with goat cheese) the hot chicken plate, & the short stack pancakes, flavors of which vary. They also have a great selection of fresh juices that are delicious on their own or in the form of a mimosa.

Brunch is served daily except Mondays, but Bearcat doesn’t take reservations or parties larger than 8. It gets very crowded on the weekends, so expect a wait.

Pro tip: Get one member of your party to order drinks at the bar to enjoy while you wait for a table. If it’s a nice day, request to sit outside on the patio for the best experience.

TLDR: Go here for a crowd-pleaser.

Copper Vine

brunch plates at Copper Vine

Copper Vine is a wine bar and restaurant that’s perfect for brunch before heading out to explore the French Quarter. Here you’ll find American fare with a heavy Southern influence. Grab a spot in their courtyard where you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, or opt for upstairs on the balcony for nice views. My favorite dishes here are the cochon de lait (pronounced CO-SHON-DE-LAY) grits and bananas foster, but the crawfish beignets are a crowd-pleaser as well.

Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 am-3 pm.

TLDR: Go here for aesthetic outdoor vibes.

Gianna

Gianna brunch spread

I have a serious love affair going on with Gianna. This is my go-to restaurant when we have friends in town, are celebrating a special occasion, or just want some pasta! Their menu consists of modern Italian dishes, just about all of which I’ve tried and can confidently say are delicious. Their cocktails are also great, most notably the espresso martini. You can check out more of my favorite cocktail bars in the city here.

Brunch is served daily starting at 11 am. Typically you don’t need a reservation to get in, but if it’s a weekend or you’re with a larger group I would make one to be safe.

Pro tip: If you’re celebrating a birthday, make sure to tell them when you make the reservation -they’ll add a special note at the top of the menu & bring out a birthday meatball, complete with a candle!

TLDR: Go here for top-notch Italian.

Willa Jean

brunch plates at Willa Jean

If you’re a fan of banana bread, you HAVE TO go to Willa Jean. This bakery restaurant serves the best banana bread I’ve ever had. I don’t even have a photo because it’s so good I can’t be bothered to wait 😆 They also have one of my other favorite brunch dishes, the hangover bowl. While I can’t say it’s ever cured my hangover, it always helps. The coconut cake & chocolate chip cookies are also fan favorites here.

Brunch is daily from 7 am-3 pm and tables are first-come, first-served.

TLDR: Go here if your sweet tooth is strong.

Best Brunch Spots New Orleans: Marigny/Bywater

Alma Cafe

brunch at Alma Cafe

Alma Cafe is a farm to table restaurant located in the Bywater area that focuses on modern Honduran dishes. My go-to’s here are the crispy pork belly salad and the Adult French Toast. I also love/highly recommend the agua frescas. They’re so refreshing on their own, or also good with your choice of alcohol mixed in. I usually go for passionfruit or watermelon and add Mezcal.

Brunch is served daily from 8 am-3 pm and reservations are recommended.

While you’re in the area, check out some great drink spots like Bacchanal Wine, Parleaux Beer Lab, or The Elysian Bar at Hotel Peter & Paul.

TLDR: Go here if you want to try something new in a trendy neighborhood.

Paladar 511

close up of a pancakes and a breakfast pizza at Paladar 511 restaurant in New Orleans

You can find Paladar 511 in the Marigny just outside the French Quarter, making it a convenient brunch spot before heading off to explore. On the menu, you’ll find modern Italian fare with a sprinkle of some very well-done American dishes. My favorites are the Spicy San Marzano Breakfast Pizza and the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. They make a mean Pimm’s Cup here too. I can never decide if I like their brunch or dinner more, they’re both equally delicious and worth a visit. Check out more of my favorite dinner spots here.

Brunch is only available Saturdays & Sundays from 10 am-2 pm, and you’ll want to make a reservation because it’s a very popular spot. If you’re visiting with a group of 4-6 people request a booth to get the best view of the whole restaurant. *They don’t accept parties larger than 6 people.

TLDR: Go here for a sure thing.

Best Brunch Spots New Orleans: Uptown

Atchafalaya

Set inside a Creole cottage in the Irish Channel Neighborhood is Atchafalaya, and they know how to do brunch! From a Bloody Mary Bar to live music on the weekends, it’s a quintessential New Orleans brunch experience. The menu consists of creative Louisiana fare and the cocktails are great here as well. The breakfast risotto and chicken & waffles are my top picks, but the shrimp & grits and crab cake benedict are crowd favorites.

Atchafalaya is closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays, but they offer brunch from 9 am-2 pm the rest of the week. You’ll want to book reservations in advance since the place is small and fills up quickly.

TLDR: Go here if you want to see how Cajun Country does brunch.

Apolline

If you’re looking for a bottomless brunch, look no further! For $25 Apolline offers bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s (though I can’t imagine drinking a ton of those). They also serve up delicious Louisiana dishes and cocktails inside this cottage-turned-restaurant. The menu is fairly small, but one thing you can’t miss is the cinnamon pecan bacon 🤤 If you’re not doing bottomless, make sure to try the cocktails which are great.

Brunch is served Wednesday-Friday 11 am-2 pm and Saturday-Sunday 10 am- 2 pm (walk-ins only/no reservations)

TLDR: Go here if you want your classic boozy, Southern brunch in a refined setting.

Mister Mao

brunch plate at Mister Mao

If you’re looking for a quirky brunch experience, Mister Mao is the place to go. This eclectic spot serves a wide array of unique dishes with a mix of flavors. This is a good spot to try a bunch of items on the menu to share with the table (think tapas style) and whatever you order comes out on a wagon as it’s ready. They have good cocktails too, so be sure to grab a few while you’re there!

The menu changes often, so my recommendation is to ask your server for their favorite dishes. They always do a good job at describing them and making suggestions.

Brunch is only served Saturday & Sunday from 11 am-2 pm, so be sure to make a reservation prior.

TLDR: Go here for a unique Asian-fusion-inspired brunch.

Elizabeth Street Cafe

Kouign Aman at Elizabeth Street Cafe

Connected to Hotel St. Vincent (one of my favorite hotels in the city-find the rest here) is Elizabeth Street Cafe. I first discovered this French Vietnamese-style cafe in Austin, Texas, and loved it, so when I found out they were opening a location in New Orleans I was excited. My favorites on the menu are the Kouign-Amann pastry and the House Baked Brioche French Toast.

ESC is open daily serving breakfast 7-11 am, with an all-day menu from 11 am-9 pm. They don’t take reservations and seating is limited to their patio, so I wouldn’t recommend this for larger groups.

TLDR: Go here for French cafe vibes with a Vietnamese twist.

Molly’s Rise & Shine

view of Molly's from the street

Decorated with toys and memorabilia from the 80’s & 90’s, Molly’s Rise & Shine is a dose of nostalgia from the moment you walk in. The menu is fairly small, with a twist on classic southern breakfast. My go-to is the tangy and delicious classic biscuit sandwich and the roasted carrot yogurt (which sounds weird but it’s yummy!)

Molly’s is open every day except Tuesday from 8 am-2 pm, but they don’t take reservations. The line can get pretty long on the weekends, so be prepared to wait. They have some outdoor seating as well if you want to bring a furry friend along! My dog, Finn, is a loyal customer here since he gets a full piece of bacon from the wonderful staff every visit 😆

TLDR: Go here if you want nostalgia for breakfast.

Levee Bakery

Although it’s not exactly a brunch spot, I couldn’t leave Levee Bakery off this list! I consider it the best bakery in New Orleans and strongly encourage you to see for yourself. They have staple items on their menu, but there are always specials that you can find on their Instagram. My favorites are the bacon, egg, & cheese sandwich on a croissant, prosciutto twist, carrot cake, and morning buns.

Levee is only open Thursday-Sunday from 8 am-1 pm. I recommend getting there early because they sell out pretty quickly, especially on the weekends. It’s located right off Magazine Street so you can explore the shops after a delicious breakfast!

TLDR: Go here for the best baked goods & pastries.

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