Brunch is often an excuse to prolong the weekend, a chance to continue socializing with friends, and one last hurrah before the mindset shifts from leisure to focus on the new work week ahead. But brunch is also about quality food, prepared in creative ways. It is an opportunity for chefs to put a personal touch on a classic dish, to dress up expected breakfast meals in unexpected ways, or to simply celebrate the food we eat to start our day. For the consumer, it is a chance to indulge in a dining experience that is the “twofer” of meals–and since we are taking to the town instead of grabbing something on the go, we want to be wowed.
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So tuck into one of the scrumptious Southern brunch options below, and wowed you will assuredly be.
Aretha Frankensteins / 518 Tremont Street, Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga’s most popular brunch spot has locals flocking to its North Shore location for their loaded omelets. Their pancakes are so overwhelmingly popular that AF’s special mix is now available at grocery stores throughout the South. Make sure to get there early, as seating is limited.
Margot Café & Bar / 1017 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN
Make your reservations for this lively restaurant’s brunch well in advance, as it’s one of the most popular spots in town. The menu for the Sunday brunch changes weekly to feature fresh ingredients with rustic French and Italian influences. Look for decadent, delicious takes on French Toast and Eggs Benedict.
Veranda on Highland / 2220 Highland Avenue South, Birmingham, AL
Situated in the trendy Five Points area of Birmingham, this restaurant dishes out sophisticated Southern cuisine. Look for New Orleans influences on scrumptious plates including the Jumbo Lump Crab & Corn Beignets and classic breakfast dishes that are dressed up with gourmet ingredients like the Duck & Waffle.
Lulu Dine Wine / 1911 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC
The French-influenced brunch offerings at Lulu’s charming café are a long-standing Charlotte favorite. The Country Benedict may be the best twist on traditional eggs Benedict, but make sure to check out the Crème Brulèe French Toast if you’re in the mood for sweet over savory.
The West Egg / 1100 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
The trendy West Side’s West Egg Cafe offers up a home-style Southern brunch like no other. The Short Rib Hash is a meat and potato lover’s dream come true. Not favoring the breakfast foods? Check out the playful PB&J burger for a fun Southern take on an American classic.
Patois / 6078 Laurel Street, New Orleans, LA
This cheerful, elegant restaurant is a favorite of locals down in New Orleans, and their Sunday brunch is especially noteworthy. The Classic Breakfast is tasty, but the Patois menu dares you to be adventurous, offering Fried Mississippi Rabbit and Turkey & Waffles.
Tupelo Honey / 12 College Street, Asheville, NC
This long-standing dining institution in Asheville has locals queuing up every weekend for tasty breakfast offerings. The Sweet Potato Pancake is everything you love about breakfast and Southern flavors all in one meal. If you’re an egg lover, building your own omelet is a guarantee for a delicious meal, and their Fried Egg BLT may be the best breakfast sandwich in the state.
Gin Joint / 182 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC
One of Charleston’s favorite bars also serves a popular BreakFizz. Stop by on Sundays for a Mimosa and a meal, with menu options ranging from Cornmeal Waffles to Poached Pears to Southern classics such as Shrimp and Grits.
Halls Chophouse / 434 King Street, Charleston, SC
One of Charleston’s best steakhouses offers a lovely brunch featuring live entertainment every Sunday. Expect prime cuts of meat to appear alongside traditional breakfast offerings, as is the case with the 8-ounce Filet, served wrapped in bacon and accompanied by three eggs any style with toast and grits. The French Toast comes with espresso mascarpone cream and applewood smoked bacon, making it a decadent take on an old favorite.
Jasmine Porch / 1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, SC
Enjoy views of the vast beach and live music each Sunday at Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Jasmine Porch. The buffet menu changes weekly to highlight fresh local seafood and other seasonal fare. Start your meal with the house-made charcuterie for a real treat and definitely take the “tour” of the buffet before you tuck into a splendid experience.
The Fat Hen / 3140 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC
This John’s Island favorite blends Lowcountry flavors with French traditions to create some of the best comfort food in town. Try the Duck & Apple Sausage Gratin, with layers of crepes, sausage, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and fried egg promising a particularly rich breakfast treat.
Rue Cler / 401 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC
This restaurant offers a wonderful selection of traditional French cuisine as well as American classics for their scrumptious brunch. Start off with fresh Beignets and follow up with something decadent like the Duck Confit Crepe with Sautéed Spinach, Pommes Frites, and Veal Jus. Not in the mood for breakfast? Try the Moules Frites or the Chicken Paillard.
The Black Sheep / 901 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA
You won’t find any typical breakfast offerings on the inventive brunch menu at The Black Sheep. The Bayou Breakfast—fried catfish fillet fingers topped with crawfish hollandaise sauce and served with two eggs, cheese grits, and grilled andouille sausage—is one of the most interesting choices on the menu, and it’s by no means the only tasty option.