Atlanta's Best Brunches

Whether you're looking for a quick and efficient meal to start the day or a leisurely spread accompanied by a boozy cocktail, this city's got you covered. Here are some Peach State favorites to add to your brunch hit list.

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Bread & Butterfly

The line snaking around this tiny Inman Park restaurant concealed inside a jewel box of a dining room is a harbinger of its greatness (and a reflection of the fact that it doesn't accept brunch reservations). The whimsical Parisian-inspired decor, with its marble cafe tables, bright green subway-tile wall and leather barstools, is a perfect match for the diminutive menu of expertly executed French classics. Breads, cakes and pastries are provided by the restaurant's sister bakery, Proof Bakeshop, and brewed coffee and espresso drinks are made with strong Counter Culture coffee. Eat your fill of favorites like smoked trout and soft-scrambled eggs, an ever-changing omelette du jour, and clafoutis, and you might find yourself so utterly transported to Paris that you'll be surprised to hear Southern accents in the happy chatter that surrounds you.

Milton's Cuisine & Cocktails

While many restaurants tout fresh-from-the-farm ingredients, this cute spot — housed in a 150-year-old farmhouse and 1930s cottage — actually sources many seasonal items right from the on-site farm in Atlanta's northern suburbs. Chef Derek Dollar makes excellent use of this ultra-fresh mise en place in dishes like deviled farm eggs with applewood-smoked bacon, avocado toast on honey wheat bread with pickled Fresno chiles and garden greens, fried green tomatoes with goat cheese, and all kinds of creative omelets. Don't miss the juicy fried chicken breast on a sweet potato waffle with bourbon-peach jam, a perennial favorite.

Buttermilk Kitchen

This Buckhead breakfast and brunch spot has everything going for it: an accomplished chef (who made a name for herself on Chopped), deep relationships with local farmers and ultrafresh comfort-food menu items that keep guests lined up for the first meal of the day. The shabby-chic cornflower blue structure on Roswell Road turns out house specialties like stone-ground oatmeal with caramelized bananas, a signature omelet stuffed with pimento cheese and salty Benton's bacon, and a particularly memorable buttermilk biscuit with fried chicken and spicy-sweet red pepper jelly. Even though the more decadent menu items will be sure to tempt you, don't overlook lighter favorites like the chia-almond pudding and the house granola with berries and locally made AtlantaFresh Greek yogurt.

Varuni Napoli

"Throw an egg on it" is a worthy brunch strategy and one that this Neapolitan pizza joint near Piedmont Park has adopted wholeheartedly. While it has only four brunch pies, pizza lovers are sure to find something to strike their fancy. The Colazione Americana comes with roasted cremini mushrooms, spicy Italian sausage, mozzarella, pancetta and crumbled egg yolk, and guests can opt to have the Occhio di Bue's fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, truffled potatoes and beef topped with a fried egg. The communal tables, fresh cannoli, rich espressos and Italian wine offerings are primed to make every meal a party.

Bistro Niko

Peachtree Street isn't exactly the Champs Élysées, but the French-centric fare at this Buckhead grande dame may transport you just the same. Sunday brunch, whether you choose to sit in one of the dining room's red leather banquettes or on the breezy patio, is often accompanied by live jazz tunes. Choose from favorites including mustard-crusted pork belly with a fried egg and potatoes crisped in duck fat, French toast made with brioche, and an airy quiche laden with ham, Comté de Gruyère, leeks and mushrooms. Pair the experience with a glass of chilled rosé or Champagne.

Donetto

This industrial-style restaurant in the Stockyards development on Brady Avenue offers the bold dishes, boozy cocktails and hip vibes that Atlanta guests readily embrace, but it's so much more than that, with its exemplary service and nuanced flavors on every plate. For Sunday brunch, you won't find more than a dozen or so items on the menu (including desserts), but you can trust that any selection will be a worthy one. Favorites include cacio e pepe-style eggs scrambled with Parmesan and black pepper, pork belly served over creamy polenta with redeye gravy, and decadently sweet "Italian" toast topped with apple butter and salted caramel gelato. There are signature cocktails, as well as a good selection of wines by the glass and a locally focused list of craft beers. Teetotalers can feel festive too, thanks to the bar's "zero proof" cocktails in fun options like rosemary limonata and cinnamon grapefruit soda.

Joy Cafe

This midtown cafe's name offers a clue about what patrons often feel after dining here: pure joy. It could be the famously good-natured staff, led by Chef Joy Beber and her husband Jon, or the fact that everything on the menu, even down to the condiments, is homemade. Though the chef draws inspiration largely from her south Georgia upbringing, the menu has global influences, as in the Argentinian omelet with mojo-marinated skirt steak and chimichurri, and truffled scrambled eggs over sourdough toast, topped with wild mushroom ragu. Chef Beber's shrimp and grits and her chorizo-studded gravy over biscuits were even featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

The Alden

Chamblee is quickly becoming one of Atlanta's must-visit dining destinations, due in part to this restaurant Chef Jared Hucks opened in 2018. After working at some of the world's most-celebrated restaurants (such as Noma in Copenhagen and Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain), he came home to open his own place and slowly built a following. For brunch, don't miss his creative global takes on favorites, like Lyonnaise potato latkes with red-wine onions and spiced apples; French toast made with Cuban bread, guava paste and cocoa nib whipped cream; and shrimp spiked with harissa over clothbound cheddar grits and collard greens. Bloody Mary fans, rejoice: The house specialty is accompanied by a generous helping of pickled veggies from the kitchen.

Park 75 at Four Seasons Atlanta

Come hungry for the lavish brunch buffet that fills the entire mezzanine level of Midtown's only 5-star hotel. Breakfast purists will love the made-to-order omelets, the fluffy biscuits with decadent sausage gravy, and the still-steaming waffles with toppings like berry compote and dulce de leche. The delicacies don't stop there: Visit the seafood tower piled high with shrimp, stone crab claws and oysters on the half shell, the prime rib carving station and the ultrafresh salad bar. Save room for dessert, since pastry chef Lasheeda Perry is known for her creativity, exhibited in dozens of sweet treats that are as pretty as they are delicious.

El Super Pan Latino Sandwiches & Bar

What started as Chef Hector Santiago's Cuban sandwich stand in bustling Ponce City Market has since expanded to another location at The Battery at SunTrust Park. The second location offers weekend brunch, with an ever-changing menu. Look for standout favorites like rich Cuban French toast with pecans, caramelized bananas and honey-rum sauce, and avocado toast on pan Cubano topped with fragrant herbs and fried queso fresco. Raise a glass of the hibiscus kir royale or a spicy Bloody Maria, and be sure to save room for guava pastelitos (puff pastry baked with guava paste and queso fresco), a traditional treat.

BeetleCat

This Inman Park eatery had us at "doughnuts." Every weekend throngs make their way to the basement-level spot for creative fried dough and other brunch dishes. You can make your own doughnut sampler of flavors like The Irishman (spiked with Irish cream, espresso and a whiskey glaze), Buford Highway (dipped in salted caramel and sprinkled with pork cotton candy) and El Churro (sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served with honey butter dipping sauce) before moving on to more savory pursuits like hominy hash and a particularly memorable cheeseburger. With this kitschy spot, restaurateur Ford Fry has created a 1970s throwback — complete with shag-carpet wall hangings and wood paneling — that feels completely of the moment.

Hampton & Hudson

The increasingly youthful residents of Inman Park have practically made brunch a sport, wandering in from their BeltLine-adjacent condos after being out late the night before. This friendly community restaurant is just the place to fuel up for another day, with sturdy brunch dishes like Burrata toast with pistachio butter and Georgia apples, challah French toast with orange honey mascarpone, and smoked fennel sausage with sweet potatoes, onion marmalade and poached eggs. There's also a robust menu of Georgia-brewed beers and draft cocktails to help make any meal a celebration.

Garden & Gun Club

There are plenty of reasons to visit the shiny new SunTrust Park complex, from outdoor shopping to an Atlanta Braves baseball game. One of the culinary draws is this clubby indoor-outdoor eatery. At brunch the full menu of savory house specialties is available (think succulent white shrimp fried in cornmeal batter, squash carpaccio with peanuts and pecorino, and chopped chicken liver on toast), in addition to four quintessential Southern brunch items. Four might not seem like many, but we've never heard anyone complain when digging into the chef's sticky cinnamon buns, banana pecan French toast, cathead fried chicken biscuit with pimento cheese and onion jam, or lump crab Benedict over johnnycakes.

Foundation Social Eatery

After stints in some of the world's celebrated French restaurants and Atlanta's own top-notch Bacchanalia, Chef Mel Toledo opened his own restaurant in a somewhat nondescript shopping center in Roswell. The food is anything but pedestrian, though, with highlights including a smoked salmon and avocado Benedict and a French toast bread pudding with strawberries and vanilla mascarpone. The globetrotting chef is known for putting his own twist on classics, as seen in his delicate scallops on top of chorizo-studded Logan Turnpike grits (a playful take on shrimp and grits) and his spicy sausage, Burrata, arugula and a poached egg over french fries (his version of poutine).

Rising Son

This cute spot in Avondale has developed a loyal neighborhood following for its weekend brunch and weekday breakfast, for good reason. Menu standouts include fried trout and cheese grits, a memorable hash of potatoes, sausage, bacon, pickled jalapeno and pico drenched in melted cheddar, and the shareable breakfast dumplings stuffed with ground pork, ginger and cilantro. Feeling creative? Order a side each of a waffle and a fried chicken breast and build your own chicken-and-waffle dish. A rotating selection of housemade sodas (thyme lemon and cinnamon basil lime were recent offerings) and fresh-pressed juices (look for watermelon in season) are the perfect way to wash it all down.

Bon Ton

Sometimes bacon, biscuits and eggs can feel a little basic. One Atlanta antidote is a midday meal at this Midtown restaurant, thanks to its intriguing blend of Vietnamese and Cajun flavors. The Lafayette breakfast sandwich comes piled with scrambled eggs, glazed andouille sausage, smoked Gouda and nuoc cham mayo, and the Vietnamese omelet banh mi is a fluffy herbed omelet with pickled vegetables, cilantro and fresh jalapeno, served with a toasted baguette. Even the boozy beverages get a creative twist: Try the frozen Vietnamese Irish coffee with Guinness and house-smoked bourbon.

La Tavola

Brunch isn't a particularly Italian meal, but no matter. The team at this Virginia-Highland eatery has taken inspiration from Italy's culinary traditions and applied it to the leisurely meal we Americans love so much. The result is a delightful cultural mashup that includes French toast with seasonal fruit conserva and whipped ricotta, Georgia shrimp over polenta accented by tomato sugo, and eggs al forno with spicy marinara and crispy breadcrumbs. For those who like to keep it traditional, any of the housemade pastas — including the extraordinarily decadent carbonara — are a good bet.

Le Petit Marché

Why limit yourself to brunching just on the weekends? This cute Kirkwood cafe offers breakfast daily. While owner Marchet Sparks does have a few off-menu specialties, like slow-cooked oatmeal topped with fruit and almond pralines, and "the grits stack" topped with scrambled eggs, shrimp, bacon and cheddar cheese, the stars of the show are the custom-built sandwich offerings. Choose your bread (croissant, biscuit, tortilla, bagel), cheese, style of eggs and other toppings, including locally made Delia's chicken sausage.

The General Muir

This Emory University-adjacent charmer is inspired by delicatessen traditions but not bound by them, creating a truly modern American eatery. Chef-partner Todd Ginsberg proudly honors his Jewish heritage with kettle-boiled, hand-rolled bagels (made by the restaurant's TGM Bread bakery, housed in the storefront next door) and pastrami smoked and cured in-house. The simple yet polished brunch dish presentations include smoked salmon over crispy latkes served with apples, sour cream and arugula; pecan-studded challah French toast with spiced butter and roasted bananas; and the "Avenue A" open-faced bagel topped with Nova, schmear, avocado, grapefruit and dill. The full-service coffee bar offers rich macchiatos, espressos and lattes made with locally roasted Batdorf & Bronson beans.

The White Bull

Ernest Hemingway once called a blank page "the white bull," something that struck both fear and excitement in his heart. Chef Pat Pascarella feels the same about his menu, re-creating it almost daily based on what ingredients are freshest from his local farmers and artisanal purveyors. Brunch here starts off with a gratis basket of fresh pastries. Past favorites from the ever-changing menu include grainy toast topped with creamy Burrata and tart marinated mushrooms, and an "egg in a hole," a croissant baked with an egg and topped with decadent sausage gravy. Imbibing guests will love the cocktails made from fresh-pressed juices. Fun fact: This is the only Atlanta-area restaurant we know of that mills its own grain.

Java Jive

Breakfast or brunch at this retro diner on Ponce de Leon Avenue is a journey back to the 1950s. Formica tables and a collection of vintage toasters, percolators and Technicolor clocks keep the kitschy vibe strong, though what keeps crowds coming back is the undeniably delicious staples like fluffy pancakes and biscuits, rich coffee, Santa Fe egg scramble with chorizo, and cheesy cheddar grits. This no-frills eatery has been delighting guests since 1994.

Flying Biscuit

When the original location opened early one morning in 1993, the owners hoped to develop a following among their Candler Park neighbors. They knew they were onto something special when all of their dreamy biscuits were gone before the morning was over. Since then, the brand has grown to include more than 15 locations across the South, and the biscuits are still the star attraction. The comfort-food-centric menu offers breakfast all day and includes favorites like fried green tomatoes, crab cake Benedict and grilled flat iron steak and eggs. For the simplest pleasure, slather a still-steaming biscuit with the house specialty: cranberry apple butter.

Full Commission

What this spot's tightly edited breakfast and brunch menu lacks in quantity (there are only about 10 items on any given day) it makes up for in quality. Order the triple stack of bechamel toast with broiled cheddar cheese, arugula and tomato, or cheese grits piled with roasted seasonal vegetables, or the "Southern" English muffin loaded with house pimento cheese, a scrambled egg and crispy bacon. Or, satisfy your sweet tooth with the "poptart," a delicate pastry stuffed with seasonal fruit jam, dipped in vanilla glaze and topped with locally made Beautiful Briny Sea sprinkles. Whether you eat in the tiny dining room or on the covered patio, coffee is a star at this Grant Park gem, so be sure to find your perfect caffeination level among nitro cold brews and expertly pulled macchiatos.

Mission & Market

It's hard to think of a more elegant spot for brunch than this Buckhead stunner, with its living-moss wall, wraparound patio, shiny brass accents and floor-to-ceiling windows. Chef-Owner Ian Winslade's food is every bit as beautiful, and weekend brunch standouts include airy ricotta fritters with berry jam, corned duck hash with blood orange hollandaise, and French toast with Nutella creme chantilly. Champagne flights are served in coupes, and many of the cocktails are presented artfully with edible flowers.