During one of those brisk mornings in Atlanta, there's perhaps nothing more satisfying than indulging in a hiatus from your busy schedule to lounge over a leisurely, hot brunch and a tall, midday-friendly cocktail. Atlanta's culinary circuit boasts a varied and interesting brunch scene: While there's no shortage of IHOPs and Waffle Houses to choose from, more discerning Atlanta natives and visitors can be assured of a titillating selection of independent cafes and restaurants with brunch menus at the ready. From the traditional through the trad-with-a-twist to the definitively modern, there's a brunch niche for every gastronomically curious Atlantan. We've narrowed down the baffling selection to guide you to five of the absolute must-eat brunch restaurants in Atlanta.
Highland Bakery is an Atlanta favorite, meaning that you may have to wait for a table – but isn’t a good brunch worth waiting for? Highland Bakery offers classics like the Benedict (in almost every variation) and full eggs-and-bacon breakfast. What makes this place really special, though, are popular menu items like the Burrito de Huevos and their famous challah bread. Sample the bread on peanut butter French Toast for a sweet treat. For those on a budget, The Highland Bakery has a "campus branch" at GA Tech with smaller portions at student prices.
Rosebud’s brunch menu is as famous for its incredible flavors as it is for its ingenious cocktail list. The delightful Rosebud Shandy brightens up even the dullest Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere is cozy and they serve some of the best home fries in the city – but don’t be fooled into expecting traditional fare here. Omelettes are spruced up with goat cheese or vidalia onions and your breakfast burger comes with pimento cheese. If you miss out on the weekend menu or just feel like reliving your Saturday morning insouciance, Rosebud offers a Monday night brunch menu too.
For those who fancy their brunch with a burger, Holeman and Finch is the place to be on a Sunday afternoon. During the week, the burger is a rare treat – available only after 9 p.m., and in seriously limited quantities. On Sunday, however, it’s a burger free-for-all. The restaurant’s menu doesn’t have much in the way of typical brunch mainstays; for those conservative brunchers, there are devilled eggs or a bacon, eggs and hash brown plate. Still, this one’s worth checking out for the convivial gastropub experience and the legendary burger. Oh, and the bacon-caramel popcorn of course.
You may come here for the pancakes, but you’ll stay for the fresh salad and the biscuits and gravy. Ria’s Bluebird became a popular destination for food tourists after being hailed as having the "best pancakes in the world" by the New York Times. And by all accounts, that’s an accurate assertion. These pancakes are thick, fluffy and stuffed with added extras like pecans and chocolate chips. Served up in a homey and well-staffed environment, these pancakes are indisputably worth the inevitable long wait for a table.
The most varied menu on our list so far, Murphy’s offers a three-page brunch menu including 11 ways to take your eggs at last count. Murphy’s has been an established Atlanta favorite for generations. It’s a bit more upscale than many other brunch options, but the quality of the food is unrivalled. Popular eats include their distinctive shrimp and grits, malted waffles and just about every dessert on the menu. Pumpkin swirl cheesecake, tollhouse pie, German chocolate cake… You’ll likely want to be conservative with your eggs order to leave room for some of these delectable afters.