The South's Best Brunches
The Hive (Bentonville, Arkansas)
Nestled in the heart of Walmart's hometown, the deceptively modern 21st century Museum Hotel is a favorite haunt of visiting executives who are partial to its pristine restaurant that's punctuated by a collection of "Green Penguin" sculptures. At The Hive, Matt McClure—twice a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: South—serves up Cornmeal Encrusted Catfish; The Hive Burger with pimiento cheese, tomato jam, house pickles, and fries; and The Hive Benedict, a 25-minute egg with tasso and Hollandaise.
200 NE. A Street; thehivebentonville.com
Orsay (Jacksonville, Florida)
This upscale Avondale eatery makes one of the city's best bloodies, the Orsay Bloody Mary, Version 2.5 (sambal oelek, Maggi, and glace de viande are all here). It pairs beautifully with the Duck Confit Hash, decidedly decadent omelets, and deviled eggs laden with Maine lobster, asparagus, and truffle vinaigrette. Grab a bunch of Oreo macaroons and lemon-buttermilk scones to go.
3630 Park Street; restaurantorsay.com
Golden Fig (Miami, Florida)
Named for an ornamental plant native to the Sunshine State, chef Tomas Prado's newly opened Brickell eatery is far more farm-to-table than this slick financial district suggests. Its rustic fare ranges from Anson Mills Johnny Cakes with cinnamon apples and maple syrup to simple Florida Avocado Toast to Grass-Fed Steak & Eggs, a Foie Gras Parfait, and Virginia Ham Croquettes.
1250 South Miami Ave., C.U. #4; goldenfigrestaurant.com
Cask & Larder (Winter Park, Florida)
Married chefs Julie and James Petrakis earned a James Beard nomination for their eight-year-old Orlando-area restaurant The Ravenous Pig, but if you want to settle in for a weekend brunch, head to their Cask & Larder. Try the Butcher's Hash with sausage, sweet potatoes and brisket, or the Chicken and Waffles—Nashville hot chicken and cornbread waffles.
565 West Fairbanks Ave.; caskandlarder.com
The General Muir (Atlanta, Georgia)
This vintage-inspired Jewish deli is beloved for its open-faced bagels (try the smoked nova salmon with schmear, pink grapefruit, avocado, cucumber, purple onion, and dill) plus shareable deviled egg plates, smoked pastrami hash, and perfectly poached eggs with grits, Gruyère, roasted mushrooms, and Madeira sauce.
Emory Point, 1540 Avenue Place, Suite B-230; thegeneralmuir.com
West Egg Café (Atlanta, Georgia)
This West Midtown mainstay is routinely overwhelmed with weekend brunch-goers and seasonal latte lovers, who welcome the recently extended hours (now open until 5 p.m. both days). Chef Andrew Smith brings his own subtle finesse to perennial favorites like pimiento cheese grits, brown-sugar bacon, Salmon Cakes Benedict, and spicy Chicken Chilaquiles.
1100 Howell Mill Road; 404/872-3973; westeggcafe.com
Louvino (Louisville, Kentucky)
Husband-and-wife duo Chad and Lauren Coulter's Highlands wine bar delivers a $10 bottomless mimosa to accompany brunch with dressed-up basics like Stuffed French Toast with berry jam, cinnamon, and vanilla mascarpone; a Croissant BLT Sandwich; and savory Pancake Tacos with spiced maple sauce to dip. Look for a second locale in Douglass Hills soon.
1606 Bardstown Road; louvino.com
Salon (New Orleans, Louisiana)
The Crescent City's celebrated sweets boutique Sucré continues to blossom, adding fresh outposts and a year-old full-service restaurant above its French Quarter locale. An elegant showcase of chef Tariq Hanna's immaculate talents, the Salon fare includes a frittata with soubise, summer peas, country potatoes, and prosciutto-Parmesan cream cheese; a Croque Benedict; a selection of artisanal cheeses and accoutrement; and the full menu of patisserie.
622 Conti Street; restaurantsalon.com
Woodberry Kitchen (Baltimore, Maryland)
Chef Spike Gjerde garnered Baltimore's very first James Beard Award for this farm-to-table concept surrounded by art and yoga studios, industrial salvage, and former workhorse stables. Patrons come from far and wide for the Morning Flatbread, Warshore Clams & Grits, Schmierkase with black walnuts, and Earl Gray lattes, plus plenty of creative cocktails.
2010 Clipper Park Road, Ste. 126; woodberrykitchen.com
City Grocery (Oxford, Mississippi)
For the true Oxford experience, brunch at John Currence's inaugural eatery (one of six in his state-reigning portfolio) is best enjoyed the day after a game—you'll have spent the previous one on the Grove, Ole Miss's famed tailgating green. This favorite on the Square excels with Hanger Steak Scaloppine (with Creole potato hash, scrambled egg, and Tabasco Hollandaise) and, of course, the ultra-popular Shrimp and Grits.
152 Courthouse Square; citygroceryonline.com/city-grocery
The Junction (Asheville, North Carolina)
Yes, X does mark the spot—just look for the sign out front—at what is the first full-service restaurant that opened in the River Arts District. Here, chef David Van Tassel blends Appalachian traditions with "playful interpretations of classic Southern cuisine." The Cast Iron Cornbread is all but required. Follow up with the Junction Bacon! (14-hour whiskey wood-smoked), apple cider-braised pork biscuits, or the Chef's Breakfast Board, which includes a corn dog.
348 Depot Street, Ste. 190; thejunctionasheville.com
Scratch Bakery (Durham, North Carolina)
This colorful bakery prides itself on locally sourced ingredients and its relationships with area farmers. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an ever-changing menu, depending on what's in season. Possibilities include Avocado Toast with buttermilk radishes and sea salt; Fried Duck Egg Sandwich with pickled onions and bacon jam; and Po'boy Benedict with crispy pork belly. The bakery offers sweet and savory pies, as well as crostatas, cakes, tarts, and breads.
111 West Orange Street; 919/956-5200; piefantasy.com
Kitchen No. 324 (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
This on-trend downtown destination is known for its sophisticated coffee program, Fried Chicken Pot Pie, and creative daily "Joenuts" (their own takes on the cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid). Sides such as brûléed grapefruit and brown-butter parsnips sing, especially beside mains like the Bacon & Monterey Jack Strata with thyme béchamel or Kitchen Green Eggs & Ham with prosciutto and pesto.
324 North Robinson Ave.; kitchen324.com
Edmund's Oast (Charleston, South Carolina)
Named for an 18th-century brewer, this North Morrison gastropub's robust brunch includes Buttermilk Griddle Cakes; Mortadella, Egg & Cheese; charcuterie boards; and mimosas mixed with beer (dozens on tap) or Grand Marnier. Don't depart without sampling the Pickled Shrimp—served on Root Baking Co. rye bread with aïoli, onion, celery, and fennel—which is the eatery's calling card.
1081 Morrison Drive; edmundsoast.com
The Obstinate Daughter (Sullivan's Island, South Carolina)
With its walls lined in timber, visitors may feel a bit like they're below deck at this Jacques Larson-helmed eatery, mere blocks from the well-known beach Station 21. Brunch is best accompanied by a yellow-tomato "Blondie" Mary followed by the savory Sea Island Cassoulet, fluffy French toast, or an OD Skillet—packed with potatoes, peppers, onions, eggs, mushrooms, and chorizo.
2063 Middle Street; theobstinatedaughter.com
Sinema (Nashville, Tenneessee)
Pomp and circumstance are the order of the day at this lavish new eatery, ensconced within the historic Melrose theater. Executive chef Dale Levitski's Lithuanian Bacon Buns with Vanilla Butter are musts—as is the "Mazel Toast!" with salmon, mustard crème fraîche, and caviar. Brunch-time "Bubble service" proffers four sparkling wine options with mix-and-match juices.
2600 Franklin Pike, Suite 102; sinemanashville.com
Odd Duck (Austin, Texas)
Opened in the footprint of their former, critically acclaimed food trailer, brothers Bryce and Dylan Gilmore's brick-and-mortar eatery remains a stage for their off-kilter creativity. Seasonal offerings may include sausage corn dogs, scrambled duck eggs, braised goat bánh mì pancakes, or grilled quail with fig relish. Grab a frozen orange margarita or beet-juice bloody to wash it down.
1201 South Lamar Blvd.; oddduckaustin.com
Kitchen 713 (Houston, Texas)
This no-frills eatery in the Second Ward is fast becoming a foodie must. Feel free to mix it up with weekly specials like pecan-pie French toast or a duck sandwich with mustard green-Mornay sauce, but most folks flock here for the sausage-wrapped Scotch eggs with sage jus and the fried chicken "dinner" for two, served exclusively during Sunday brunch.
4515 Canal Street; kitchen713.com
The Riggsby (Washington, DC)
Recently debuted on the ground floor of The Carlyle Dupont Circle, this already raved-about concept from chef and restaurateur Michael Schlow channels glamour with dishes that nod to old Hollywood. Try the deviled eggs with Calabrian chilis and crispy chicken skin or the new crab cake Benedict, and choose from 11 excellent brunch cocktails and top-shelf service.
1731 New Hampshire Ave. NW.; theriggsby.com