Since I was little, I’ve always been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This holds true whether breakfast is your pick-me-up meal at the start of your day or your last fortifying meal of the day after a night sure to generate fantastic memories. To help you get your early morning grub on, here are a handful of New Orleans breakfast spots I highly recommend to fuel up for the day’s number 1 meal.
A breakfast list in New Orleans can’t be complete without at least one beignet stand. As a father, this tops my list because nothing beats a morning of beignets and a few hours at the neighboring playground in City Park. You just can’t beat that kind of 2-in-1 deal. For those without kids (or those re-living the pre-kid days), Morning Call is 24 hours a day.
Tucked away in Mid-City, Biscuits & Buns has a varied, delicious, and filling menu. Although the biscuits (and buns) get all the glory, my heart belongs to the chicken and waffles. Dining space is a little limited, so if you’ve got a large party or are looking to avoid a wait, I recommend getting there on the earlier side of the morning.
With locations in the Bywater and the Riverbend, Satsuma’s breakfast (and lunch) is almost always within reach. Satsuma’s special twist on breakfast is the plethora of fresh squeezed organic juices and special house juices. Paired with one of their fantastic breakfast plates or sandwiches, your day is off to a delicious and healthy start.
In contrast, Cake Café is there for you earlier risers with doors opening at 7:00 a.m. Another bonus to this Marigny bakery is that it has one of the more varied breakfast menus you’ll find – from Boudin and eggs to crab omelets to the classic eggs, bacon and toast. Cake Café menu’s also includes a variety of vegetarian options, like the mushroom gravy and biscuits.
Moving a little slow in the morning? Atchafalaya has you covered. Brunch starts up at 10 a.m., so there’s no need to hop right out of bed at the crow of the rooster. And on Saturdays and Sundays, Atchafalaya rolls out what may very well be the city’s most impressive, build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, so you’ll be able to get back up to speed on the double.
Stanley is typically my number one recommendation for friends staying in the French Quarter. The restaurant serves up classic New Orleans comfort food with a unique and tasty twist. Take for example, the Eggs Benedict Poor Boy: poached eggs, smoked Canadian bacon and hollandaise on toasted French bread. In a word: yum.
This cafe on Panola Street is your classic breakfast spot. Their modest menu includes bottomless coffee, pancakes, waffles, omelets, and breakfast plates. A spot at Riccobono’s counter is one of my favorite places to sit with a friend (or the paper) and enjoy a traditional breakfast.
When you need a greasy spoon, you need Camellia Grill. A favorite both late at night and early in the morning, Camellia Grill will fix whatever craving you’ve got. The counter snakes through this landmark restaurant, ensuring counter seats for all.
Mid-City has become a bit of a breakfast hub in New Orleans, and Wakin’ Bakin’ is one of the main reasons why. One thing that sets Wakin’ Bakin’ apart from the rest is delivery (to Mid-City and the Bayou St. John area). If you’re in need of some serious breakfast, but can’t be bothered to leave the house? Wakin’ Bakin’ is the call to make. Not in the delivery area but willing to make the trek? Wakin’ Bakin’s dine-in space is on Banks Street virtually across the street from Biscuits and Buns.
If you find yourself craving breakfast at a decidedly non-breakfast time of day, you’re in luck: this Bourbon Street restaurant serves breakfast all the time. Given Clover’s prime location, you’re almost sure to get a meal and a show, whether it is from the other customers or the side order of sass that comes free with every meal.
While undeniably delicious, donuts are often seen as conventional and, well, a bit boring. Not at District: Donuts Sliders Brew. Browse the case, and you might find donuts in as wild flavor combinations as margarita, lemon raspberry, whiskey ginger, something with Sriracha, and a root beer float-inspired donut. And if even those inventive flavors are a little too conventional for your adventurous tastebuds, you can really branch out with one of the Croquenuts (a griddled donut sandwich). Not feeling a donut? There are also biscuits, yogurt parfaits, and breakfast tacos for the taking plus a wonderful selection of coffee.
While EAT technically serves weekend brunch, it starts at the decidedly breakfast time of 9:00 a.m. Take full advantage of EAT’s “Cajun tradition” of cooking, and look to the Eggs Cochon (pulled pork cake, mustard greens, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and a biscuit) or Eggs Dumaine (grillades, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and grits).
Elizabeth’s has long had a sacred vision of the awesomeness of bacon. That vision? Praline bacon. One normally wouldn’t need any additional reasons to understand Elizabeth’s place as one of the most popular spots for breakfast in New Orleans, but Elizabeth’s boasts great food and a great set of brunch-only cocktails. I thoroughly enjoy a corpse reviver to wash down my praline bacon.
If I’m ever in search (or need) of a pastry, Gracious is always my first stop with its wide selection of pastries, cakes, and other breakfast goodies always made from scratch. In reality, you’ll probably just end up doing what I always do – order way more than you can eat because too much stuff looked too darn tasty to pass up.
Slim Goodie’s is “food made with love” down on Magazine Street. Their New Orleans-style down-home cooking in a funky atmosphere with friendly staff is irresistible. Slim’s is a place you can’t help but enjoy, just like New Orleans.
Its proximity to Jackson Square is one reason to visit this spot on a leisurely morning. Another reason, though, is the restaurant’s calas cakes — sweet, Creole rice fritters made with or without pecans (get the pecans) and served with grits in a recipe that dates back to the 1700s. And it’s not just the calas cakes that are historic: the restaurant was established in 1894.
We won’t tell if you eat the restaurant’s signature chocolate chip cookies for breakfast… but you can certainly make do with Willa Jean’s other delectable options, including an array of pastries, griddled banana bread, smoked salmon tartine, or a breakfast grain bowl. The restaurant’s sunny interiors and solid coffee menu (try the iced Milk Money latte) make mornings brighter.
This Mid-City diner griddles up morning favorites like bacon, corned beef hash, and (what else?) pancakes. Go for the no-frills, neighborhood vibe and a prime location on Canal Street.
With several locations around town (including a new outpost on Magazine Street), The Ruby Slipper is your go-to for Southern brunch fare… and cocktails. Choose from a whole bunch of Benedicts, and if you simply can’t decide, order their “Peacemaker” — your choice of any two Benedicts.
Sure, it’s called Toast, but this spot stands out for another type of carb: aebleskivers. These puffy, Scandinavian pancakes come with a variety of dipping sauces (lemon curd, caramel, Nutella, maple syrup…) and are a great appetizer before generous breakfast options like Croque Monsieur.
With a new location on St. Charles Avenue, Gracious continues to turn out drool-worthy pastries, plus awesome breakfast (and lunch) sandwiches on house-made breads. Order a cruffin (croissant-muffin hybrid), a danish, a house-made bagel… it’s all good. Like, really, really good.
Proving that being curmudgeonly and charming aren’t mutually exclusive, owner Dan Stein makes mornings tolerable with bagels direct from New York City (baked in house) and house-made cream cheeses. Classic breakfast sandwiches on your choice of bread are the perfect complement to the Cherry Espresso Bar popup inside. It’s also right next door to District Donuts, so if you’re a savory devotee with a sweet-toothed companion, you can both get your morning fix.
Go healthy or not-so-healthy at this Lower Garden District cafe. Case in point? You could start your morning with their Ozzy Breakfast Bowl (poached eggs atop quinoa with greens and kefir-herb dressing) or you could order the house-made, as-big-as-your-head blueberry muffin. Expertly made espresso drinks and uniquely prepared cold brews bring the buzz.
Charming architecture and breakfast tacos — you’ll covet both for weeks to come after a trip to this Mid-City spot. Toasts, pastries, and “treats” (like coconut-mango chia pudding) round out the menu.