Towering stacks of fluffy French toast lathered in maple syrup and butter, baskets packed with foil-wrapped breakfast tacos, cast iron pans filled with puffy Dutch Babies, platters laden with smoked salmon and bagels, chalices of Bloody Marys garnished a mile high, and too many cups of piping hot coffee. This is how we brunch. Because after a long week, is there anything better than devouring your weight in brunch fare?
Weekend brunch is a gustatory oasis in the middle of our busy lives. It’s a time to gather with friends, share stories from the week over bottomless mimosas (or hair of the dog), and rock-paper-scissors for the last slice of bacon. Whether you make the pilgrimage to a strip mall to visit your favorite dim sum restaurant, gravitate towards eggs Benny at your favorite drag brunch spot, or crave homemade waffles the shape of your home state (we’re looking at you, Texas), we understand that these moments are truly special.
Join us as The Spruce Eats explores everyone’s favorite weekend meal. We’ll take a look at regional brunch culture around the U.S., and do a deep dive into five brunch classics (with inventive variations!) that anyone can make at home.
So buckle up buttercup, because our brunch adventure awaits!
-Victoria Heydt, Editorial Director
Brunch Culture Across America
- I Worked as a Waiter for 30+ Years in New York and These Are the 4 Worst Things I've Ever Witnessed During the Brunch Shift: Brunch has never been more popular, but with its bottomless cocktails and unlimited food and drink, it can be a nightmare for waitstaff. Darron Cardosa, a career waiter, shares the worst things he’s witnessed during a restaurant’s brunch shift. Hint: You’ll never look at chocolate-covered strawberries at a brunch buffet the same.
- Why Is There An Entire Fried Chicken on My Bloody Mary?: While the Bloody Mary might be a classic cocktail, its garnish is anything but (and you have a creative bar owner in Milwaukee to thank for that)... Our very own Jason Horn shines light on the history of the Bloody Mary and how it became the most over-the-top brunch drink on the menu.
- Why Drag Brunch Matters More Than Ever: Paul O. Mims talked with trans drag performer Alicia Love Williams, who reminds us that drag brunches are all about love, inclusion, and mimosas. All things the world could use more of these days.
- Why My Immigrant Family's Go-To Brunch Spot is The Great Wall of Phoenix, Arizona: Michelle Yang shares how her Sunday dim sum brunch at a local Chinese restaurant in Phoenix brought her family together.
- When You Think Brunch in Texas, You Need to Think About Brunch Shaped Like Texas: Texas has a lot of iconic breakfast dishes, but for brunch, there’s nothing more nostalgic than a Texas-shaped waffle. Food Historian Katherine Hysmith shares the history behind the Texas-shaped waffle and a few of the best spots for grabbing one today.
The Iconic Brunch Cocktail
It’s been said that if you chant “Bloody Mary” three times in the mirror at a brunch establishment, the brunch gods will smile down upon you and you’ll receive a lifetime supply of this classic cocktail. (Okay, not really, but how fun would that be?!) From the classic iteration to variations with clamato, tequila, beer, and aquavit, we’ll show you how to craft this iconic beverage from the comfort of your home.
The Sweet Treat
Nothing is as comforting on the brunch table as fluffy French toast. We said what we said. Whether you tend to gravitate towards sweet dishes or savory ones, we encourage you to make room for French toast at your table either way. There’s something incredibly satisfying about having a batch where you and your guests can finish off your meal with a sweet treat. Our inner child revels in this—and yours will too.
Minimal effort, minimal ingredients, AND it’s a total vision when brought out to the table? Yes, please! Move over pancakes, Dutch Babies are taking over. A blank slate for your sweet and savory needs, you can add any ingredients that your heart desires. Sautéed greens and Boursin? Yes! Bacon and cheese? Who doesn’t enjoy bacon and cheese?! Cinnamon and apples? We only take serious questions here. Give it a shot and prove us wrong. We dare you.
The Brunch Staple
The open-face sandwich to end all open-faced sandwiches, bagel and lox is THE staple at any true brunch event. Easy to throw together, available during any season, and divine to devour, the combination of smoked salmon and cream cheese on a lightly toasted bagel is **chef’s kiss**. Want to try a fun variation on this age-old classic? Swap out the bagel for savory herb pancakes or whip up some scrambled eggs to make a behemoth of a breakfast sandwich. No matter which way it's served, bagel and lox will be on our brunch menus until the end of days.
Dr. Seuss had the idea of things: “Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Eat them! Here they are.” Whether you’re a sit-down diner or a picnic enthusiast, breakfast tacos are the answer. From 15-minute tacos to overnight ones (marinating is great for richer flavor), we’ve got the breakfast taco for you!
Our Best Brunch Buys
You’ve got the recipes, you’ve got the desire, now let us help you find the tools that will ensure an easy-breezy brunch extravaganza. We’ve rounded up our six favorite types of tools that guarantee success.