Finding the best restaurants to brunch in metro Atlanta


Brunch is a weekend ritual in Atlanta.

With countless area restaurants offering this midday repast, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s dining team set out to find the best of the bunch. We ate at myriad spots, digging a fork into everything from pancakes to pimento cheese omelets in order to find the top dishes and drinks to suit every mood.

This dining guide includes the top intown brunches and those OTP. It offers suggestions for vegetarian bites, international fare and where to go when what matters is not just the food but also fresh air and a fine view.

Besides standout food, the establishments in this guide excel for any or all of the following reasons: They have a separate brunch menu, or at least offer distinct items during brunch that are not available any other time; the service is better than average; and drinks are not an afterthought — whether or not they include alcohol.

» RELATED: Spring cooking classes in N. Fulton

When it comes to brunch, all of the above matter, because brunch is truly special. Maybe it’s because it’s the weekend and we’ve worked pretty darn hard from 9 to 5 (or 7 to 4 or 10 to 7) Monday through Friday. We want someone else to help us recharge. The places in this dining guide — and Atlanta is lucky to have so many — know how to do brunch very well.

Four months of weekend brunching also has brought insight. Personally, I’ve learned to make a reservation; it’s the safest bet for not experiencing the frustration of standing in line for 30 minutes or longer, stomach growling louder by the minute.

As for our pleas to restaurants: For the love of a runny yolk, it’s as much the responsibility of the front of the house to run those poached eggs to the customer before the yolk firms up as it is for the kitchen to cook them right. And, pretty counts for something; dishes like biscuits and gravy might not be the most visually stunning, yet some places gussy them up far better than others.

» RELATED: A taste of food and beer at five Atlanta brewpubs

Also, the day that more vegetables are incorporated into brunch dishes can’t come soon enough; brunch doesn’t have to be a meal overloaded with carbs and protein.

And fruit. A smattering of places offer fruit in yogurt parfaits or a few wedges of citrus or berries on the side with an order of waffles, but chefs in Atlanta are highly creative. Imagine the possibilities when they do with bananas what they already do with bacon.

AJC All Things Brunch

What to eat

5 best brunches in Atlanta

Atlanta's best brunch dishes

3 of Atlanta's best international brunches

5 great OTP brunches

3 best vegetarian dishes in Atlanta

3 favorite outdoor brunches in Atlanta

Best family-friendly brunches in metro Atlanta

 

What to drink

4 Atlanta bartenders pick their favorite Atlanta bloody mary

3 drinks to step up your Atlanta brunch game 

3 must-try Atlanta brunch cocktails 

Best bottomless Atlanta brunch drink specials 

3 brunch mocktails to try in metro Atlanta

 

Get on top of brunch with these maps, videos, quizzes and other interactives

MAP: Where to eat brunch in Atlanta

MAP: A drinker's guide to brunch in Atlanta

Photos: All Things Brunch in Atlanta

Checklist: Which Atlanta brunches have you eaten?

Video: Wrecking Bar shows you how to make the perfect bloody mary

Video: How to make Buttermilk Kitchen's pimento cheese omelet

Spin this wheel to help you decide where to eat brunch this weekend

Here's your ultimate brunch playlist, Atlanta

 

More brunch and breakfast

Brunch without eggs? You can do it with these delicious dishes

Winner: You picked the best brunch dishes in Atlanta

Perfect egg recipes with a twist

How to make the best biscuits

New spins on a Southern breakfast

Much abrew about coffee in Atlanta


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Food

A Mo. family made a special connection with Anthony Bourdain
A Mo. family made a special connection with Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain wanted the Piña-White family of Eureka, Mo., to enjoy the best food they could as they cruised through Europe on a Make-A-Wish Foundation trip. The celebrity chef and author knew the foundation didn’t provide for the food the family would eat off the ship, so he quietly wrote them a check with recommendations of restaurants...
Real Simple launches Real Simple Cooking School
Real Simple launches Real Simple Cooking School

Meredith Corporation's REAL  SIMPLE today announced that it has launched REAL SIMPLE Cooking  School, a new multiplatform cooking series that teaches viewers the  basics of cooking and shares smart kitchen tips and inspiration for  meals. REAL SIMPLE Cooking School is now available on  REALSIMPLE.com/CookingSchool.  The...
In debate over butter vs. brown butter, brown butter wins in this lemon bar recipe
In debate over butter vs. brown butter, brown butter wins in this lemon bar recipe

Deep thinkers debate good versus evil, while baked goods, which have goodness baked right in, debate good versus better, which is to say butter versus brown butter. Butter set over steady heat separates; left to sizzle, the milk solids toast in the milk fat, turning sweet, creamy butter into rich, nutty brown butter. If brown butter is better than...
Can I drink alcohol while taking antibiotics?
Can I drink alcohol while taking antibiotics?

A: With some antibiotics, the answer is a definite no. With most, however, the answer may be a cautious yes. Concerns about alcohol and antibiotics may have their roots in the rubber industry of the 1880s. Around this time, manufacturers began using a chemical known as disulfiram to accelerate the vulcanization of rubber. Soon, rubber workers began...
Jon Bon Jovi gets into the rosé business
Jon Bon Jovi gets into the rosé business

In real life, Jon Bon Jovi’s hair is as lush, buoyant and poofed into rock-star messiness as you would hope it to be. This was revealed on a recent afternoon as his stylist jujjed his gray locks into perfect disorder at his $18 million Greenwich Village apartment. Bon Jovi’s office is sparsely decorated except for what might be considered...
More Stories