Oh the divisiveness of brunch. Scorned by some as a symbol of opulence, a vulgar display of excess in an increasingly inequitable world, this hearty late breakfast is adored by its devotees and has become increasingly popular across America. Often heavy with eggs and sauces, meats one would never think to deep fry, waffles invisible under piles of toppings, brunch is that single meal that holds one over until dinner.
More than just a meal, brunch is an experience; a license to wake up late and celebrate that tardiness with other late-risers. Many bars and dinner restaurants offer a weekend brunch menu of fare perfectly suited to ease the pains of a long night out, often serving bloody marys and mimosas on the side. Sunday mornings in cities everywhere, friends and families gather together to enjoy this most soothing of feasts. (Looking for a less pretentious breakfast? Here is the best diner in every state.)
24/7 Tempo has compiled the best brunch spots in every state, using reviews and rankings from a wide range of websites, including Yelp, Eater, Open Table, Time Out, The Infatuation, Thrillist, Thrillist, Food Network, Spoon University, and The Daily Meal, as well as numerous local and regional sites. Some places on the list don’t serve “brunch” per se, but offer hearty brunch-style breakfast menus on weekend mornings, and in some cases all day long every day.
Eggs Benedict appears on many of the menus, often with specialty additions like smoked brisket, avocados, or grilled asparagus. Local takes on chicken and waffles or biscuits and gravy are also common. New York City’s famous Balthazar brasserie offers pan-seared halibut and grilled trout along with french pastries and more traditional breakfast fare. Fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits can be seen on multiple brunch menus around the South. (Here are the 35 best restaurants in the South.)