While the Oxford English Dictionary traces the portmanteau word of “breakfast” and “lunch” brunch to the 1800s, we can [probably] all agree that Black people have made brunch culture what it is today.
For us, it’s more than bottomless mimosas and choosing from various foods that fulfill whatever mood your palette is in between breakfast and lunch.
It’s an experience where you pull out the weekend’s best. It’s about your style, ideas, self-care, good music, and even better vibes surrounded by people you care about the most.
And for those of us over the age of 25, it allows you enough time to with friends and loved ones during the day and be in bed – even on the weekends – by 9 p.m. … but that’s another story.
Speaking of trend-setting, New Orleans has also set a standard of excellence for Black culture throughout history with its music, food, and art scene, to name a few. It’s no surprise that its brunch scene is making waves.
So, what better place to brunch than in a city known for such rich Black culture? ESSENCE Festival begins this weekend, and if you’re looking for places to start the day with your girlfriends when you’re not at the ESSENCE Eats Food and Wine Festival event, we’ve rounded up a few for your dining pleasure.
Here are the top Black-owned brunch spots in New Orleans.
Morrows is one of the newer restaurants in NOLA as it was founded in 2018 by mom and son duo chef Lenora Chong and Larry Morrow.
What’s interesting about Morrows’ Sunday Brunch menu is that you will find both New Orleans’ classics and Korean dishes to pay homage to Chong and Morrow’s roots.
You can’t go wrong with the gumbo ramen, redfish and grits, or the crawfish mac and cheese.
Ciao Tapas Bar and Lounge Nola
Ciao Tapas Bar and Lounge Nola, or as the locals call it, Ciao Nola, is also one of the newest hangout spots in The Big Easy offering brunch.
It’s a beautiful space serving not just one of the best brunches in the city but also a grown and sexy vibe. It’s where young Black professionals are doing the most (in a good way) as everyone is dressed to impress.
The brunch menu includes French toast, shrimp and grits, a fried chicken biscuit with maple buffalo mornay, and more.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Willie Mae’s is an oldie but goodie. If we’re being honest, it’s the place that will make you never look at fried chicken the same.
The food is so good that on any given day, you will find that people who have experienced this famous chicken spot are often talking about it far and wide.
The proof of how good it is isn’t just in its addicting recipe for bread pudding and in the awards. Willie Mae’s Scotch House received the James Beard Award in 2005 for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region” and was named “America’s Best Fried Chicken” by the Food Network and the Travel Channel.
There are two locations to choose from in New Orleans. The historic location in Tremé opened in 1957, and the second location is in Pythian Market.
Both locations are open during brunch hours on Saturday and Sunday, but the Pythian Market location is the only one available on a Sunday.
Lil Dizzy’s Café
If you’re looking for a brunch where you will feel right at home, then Lil Dizzy’s Café is where you want to be.
Located in one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in New Orleans, Tremé, it’s a third-generation Black-owned restaurant.
You have to get there early on Saturday because there aren’t any reservations. The café is known for its chicken to the point that people are willing to wait. Lil Dizzy’s isn’t open on Sundays for Brunch. Only Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Vyoone’s was recently named one of the top restaurants in Crescent City by OpenTable.
It doesn’t get more New Orleans than at this establishment, as it’s a Black-owned restaurant serving French cuisine to celebrate the owner’s Afro-Creole and French roots.
Brunch, which features ahi tuna tartare, mussels, crab cake benedict and more, is served on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.