417 Royal St., 525-9711
One can’t possibly mention brunch in New Orleans without thinking of Brennan’s. Breakfast at Brennan’s is fine brunch dining at its best, with classics like eggs Sardou, poached eggs on artichoke bottoms filled with creamed spinach and covered with hollandaise; oysters Benedict, fried Gulf oysters served on Canadian bacon with hollandaise; or eggs Hussard, the Brennan’s original of poached eggs atop Holland rusks, Canadian bacon and marchand de vin sauce, topped with hollandaise. And, of course save room for the sublime bananas Foster!
3127 Esplanade Ave., 945-5635
Located on Esplanade Avenue, this charming and unassuming French bistro offers great service and tasteful French-inspired fare with a distinct local flair. Brunch is available on both Saturdays and Sundays, with tempting offerings such as a delicately delicious La Crepe au Crabe, filled with crabmeat, wild mushroom and asparagus and topped with a rich, creamy hollandaise sauce and classic grillades and grits with Creole gravy, peppers, tomatoes and organic stone-ground grits.
736 Dante St., 861-3121?
This quaint, comfortable restaurant located in the River Bend serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, offering appetizing house-made breads, tempting salads and sandwiches and creative specials. Chef Emmanuel Loubier puts a unique spin on classics, like his mouthwatering version of eggs Benedict, which features roasted rosemary-rubbed pork loin served over a caramelized onion biscuit with honey, poached eggs and hollandaise. The crabmeat and brie omelet with green onions and tomatoes is simply divine.
601 Gallier St., 944-9272
This jovial neighborhood joint tucked away in the Bywater, shells out affordable and delicious comfort food. Elizabeth’s is a local favorite for weekend brunch, with specialties like savory grillades and grits; eggs Aubergine, fried eggplant covered with mushroom sauce, poached eggs, and hollandaise; Carolina shrimp and grits (aka the Hangover Helper), shrimp and grits with leeks, tasso ham in a beef broth; and strawberry and cream cheese stuffed French toast. And you can’t possibly pass up the wickedly good praline bacon.
640 Frenchman St., 945-4472
This chic, stylish brasserie located in the Marigny offers a traditional-style brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with scrumptious cuisine and live musical entertainment. Start with the savory grilled smoked green onion sausage wrapped in prosciutto and puff pastry served with Creole mustard or the tasty warm spinach salad with sherry-bacon vinaigrette topped with roasted duck breast. Try the heavenly brioche pain perdue served with house-made strawberry syrup or the tasty crab and mushroom stuffed flounder served with tangy mirliton slaw.
817 St. Louis St., 522-6440
Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, Petunia’s serves ultra-generous portions. The restaurant boasts that its crepes, measuring 14 inches, are the largest in the world—and enormous they are! Crepes come both sweet and savory, with selections that include the St. Francis, filled with shrimp, crabmeat ratatouille and Swiss cheese. For those with a sweet tooth, try the fluffy and flavorful Lost Bread (French toast) or the scrumptious peanut butter pie crepe.
Ralph’s on the Park
900 City Park Ave., 488-1000
Located just steps from City Park, this elegant eatery offers an upscale yet approachable brunch. The menu consists of tasty classics, but the real highlights are signature dishes like Ralph’s Cast Iron Blackened Redfish, a house-seasoned blackened fillet served with a well-spiced crab cake and finished with a delectable blue crab butter sauce. The eggs Sardou and Louisiana crawfish and pepper jack omelet are also great choices.
3322 Magazine St., 891-EGGS
Breakfast combos are served all day at this bustling and colorful retro-style diner, which serves up delicious, unpretentious food in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Check out the Slimcherro’s, Slim’s own version of huevos rancheros with corn tortillas, eggs, black beans, salsa, cheddar cheese and sour cream or the Chicken in the Basket, a slice of toast with a fried egg in the center, “just like your mamma used ta make.” Other favorites are the Bon Ton Omelet, with Slim’s own crawfish étouffeé, and yummy sweet potato pancakes for flapjack fans.