NOLA’s Sunday best: Brunch, mimosa guide

Faith McLean, Staff Columnist

Jack Rose Restaurant (Courtesy of Jack Rose)

Some people believe laughter is the best medicine, but I believe there is nothing a mimosa can’t cure. But, just like any medicinal treatment, mimosas have a few potential side effects: a gradual warm and fuzzy feeling, a heightened sensation to laugh at everything and, in rare cases, a sudden urge to text your ex. 

If you find yourself feeling any of the aforementioned adverse effects, I recommend surrounding yourself with good company and good food. With that in mind, here are my top brunch recommendations, in order from must-try to how-have-you-lived-in-New-Orleans-this-long-without-trying.

  1. Katie’s

For a casual, last-minute brunch plan, Katie’s, located in Mid-City, is a family-owned, neighborhood-style restaurant known for its comfort food. No worries if you’re still wearing your mascara from the night before because Katie’s has a laissez-faire energy and hangout vibe on the weekends. This old-school spot’s weekend brunch menu includes a do-it-yourself Mimosa special, where they will give the table a bottle of champagne with their choice of cranberry or orange juice pitcher.  

  1. Ralph’s On the Park

Although the house-blended Bloody Mary and Bottle Under the Oak mimosa deal would make you believe Ralph’s is best known for its drink menu, I would not be telling you the whole truth. The real draw to Ralph’s is its global-inspired take on classic Southern brunch dishes and its romantic, vintage charm. 

Once while dining there, I was casually stuffing my face with their buttery, honey-glazed biscuits, when the man at the table next to me got down one knee and proposed to his partner. The room echoed with congratulatory cheers and popping champagne bottles for the happy couple. Ralph’s On the Park is one of my favorite brunch restaurants for steak and eggs and unexpected public proposals.

  1. Flamingo A-Go-Go

It should be no surprise to any Tulane student that Flamingo A-Go-Go has made the list of my top recommendations for brunch in New Orleans. For the last couple of years, Flamingo A-Go-Go has been one of my go-to college-budget-friendly, mimosa spots in New Orleans. Located in the heart of the Central Business District, Flamingo A-Go-Go is perfect for an after Sunday brunch rendezvous with friends. Not only do they have the best deals for bottomless mimosas, but they also dish up some delicious, southern girl-approved chicken and waffles.

  1. Brennan’s

No brunch and mimosa guide could be complete, without mentioning the premier, classic New Orleans staple, Brennan’s. Although open for dinner and lunch, Brennan’s brunch is the restaurant’s most popular mealtime for locals and tourists alike. Brennan’s menu is a homage to the Big Easy’s Creole history but with a Southern contemporary twist. One weekend when your parents are in town or when you are in the mood to dress up with friends, I recommend making reservations, a few weekends in advance, for it was ranked one of the best breakfast spots in the South by Southern Living Magazine in 2018. Dining at Brennan’s is not just for the bottomless mimosas, banana fosters and seafood breakfast filé gumbo but also for the story-worthy experience.

  1. Gris-Gris

For sports fans and balcony lovers, Gris-Gris on Magazine street is a laid-back, quaint restaurant founded by award-winning New Orleans chef, Erik Cook. Gris-gris is an uptown local getaway from the usual crowded, brunch restaurants frequented by tourists. Serving up uniquely-flavored cocktails, Gris-Gris’s house-made Grapefruit Mimosas should make you not want to hit snooze on your alarm. The familial spirit and elevated homestyle cooking make Gris-Gris a close runner-up to my No. 1 favorite brunch spot in the city.

  1. Jack Rose

Looking to enjoy your Sunday morning, weekend recap with friends and most importantly, mimosas, Jack Rose offers both a flashy, modern speakeasy vibe and an equally flashy cocktail menu for your next Sunday brunch. Nothing like a disco ball served house-made cocktail to help digest the weekend gossip and homemade frittatas, a quiche-like dish. Personally, the soulful food, glitzy drinks, jazzy atmosphere and close-to-campus locale puts Jack Rose at the top of my list as my favorite brunch spot in New Orleans.