New Orleans is fixated on brunch. And that’s because most locals don’t wake up early enough for breakfast. And why would they? After a late night of food and cocktails, it’s not exactly easy to pop out of bed like nothing happened. Most of the time, brunch reservations at 11:30AM are just perfect. That doesn’t, however, mean that we don’t have phenomenal breakfast spots. I’ve always said that there is no better time to stroll through the French Quarter than at 8:00 AM when the street cleaners are whisking away the evidence of the night before. If you find yourself awake and ready to eat, there are plenty of places to go that are nothing short of spectacular.
Just a short hop away in the Bywater, Elizabeth’s is the gold standard when it comes to New Orleans breakfast. Try their breakfast poboy, or the Redneck eggs which are made atop fried green tomatoes. Think bacon couldn’t possibly get any better? They have a mind-altering praline bacon that is a must-have.
For a less classic, more hip breakfast, look no further than this Magazine Street gem. The atmosphere is fun and edgy, but the food is everything you need. Make sure to get the Orleans Slammer which is the ultimate hangover cure.
Use this place as a perfect excuse to start your day with a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar. Get off at Carrolton and St. Charles for this fantastic breakfast spot. They do a classic New Orleans breakfast complete with bow-tied waiters and a seat within full view of the kitchen. Order the pecan pie after breakfast and ask for it to be warmed up on the flat-top grill.
Panola Street Cafe
Nestled in the Carrolton neighborhood uptown, this local spot is perfect for having breakfast off the beaten path. Early in the morning it’s filled with people that live in the area, and they often come every day. Ask nicely and they may even make you an off-menu special, the bacon waffle.
One of the best kept secrets in the French Quarter, this Franco-Orleanian pastry shop is a perfect spot to grab a coffee and pastry. I always get the Ham & Cheese Croissant with a cup of Cafe au Lait to-go. That way as soon as I finish my food I can get a jump start on the day. Afterwards, walking the two blocks to the French Market is a good way to experience the pulse of the city.