A favorite pastime on the weekend in New Orleans is attending a jazz brunch. Whether it's a special occasion or a holiday, or an early meal before a Saints game, a jazz brunch can set the mood. Here's a guide to great brunch spots in New Orleans.
In the heart of the Garden District above many trees rises a grand Victorian turret, in a building that houses Commander's Palace, the Grand Dame of Uptown restaurants. This restaurant has been serving great food since 1880. The service and presentation of the food are wonderful, making Commander's Palace a great choice for a special occasion, or anytime you want to be pampered.
Brennan's, in the heart of the French Quarter, is famous for breakfast any day and a full brunch on the weekends. There are 12 dining rooms that seat 550 people. Most rooms overlook the courtyard, which is also used for dining. A former slave quarter building now protects the huge wine collection. Breakfast, which is served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., can typically consist of a Brandy Milk Punch, Eggs Hussarde, and Bananas Foster.
Pete's is located in the Intercontinental Hotel at 444 St. Charles Avenue, right on the streetcar line. The food is contemporary New Orleans cuisine with a European flair. This is a festive restaurant for that special occasion brunch.
The Steamboat Natchez, docked at 600 Decatur Street, is a must for visitors to New Orleans. Anytime is a good time to take a cruise on a steamboat down the Mississippi River, but on Mother's Day and Easter, guests can take a two-hour jazz brunch cruise with great music and food. Reservations should be made far in advance for holiday brunches, and are strongly recommended year-round.
The Court of Two Sisters is a secluded haven in the middle of the French Quarter. The nice thing about this restaurant is that you can go to a Jazz Brunch on any day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. So this is the place for you if you're not an early riser. The menu changes; it's more breakfast-like in the morning and features more hearty fare in the evening.
For something out of the ordinary, visit the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. There is a wonderfully recreated 1940's era canteen that honors this memorable war-time tradition called the Stage Door Canteen. Here you can enjoy a pre-performance meal from the American Sector Restaurant. It's a great experience for brunch, lunch or dinner.
The Grill Room in the Windsor Court Hotel is the place for elegant fine dining on a special occasion or holiday. Brunch at the Grill Room is a four-course gourmet meal that will not soon be forgotten. The adjacent Polo Club Lounge is comfortable and often has live jazz.
The Roosevelt is one of the Waldorf Astoria Collection of hotels. It's an old New Orleans tradition to visit the Blue Room for dinner and a show. Today it's also a wonderful place for a Sunday Brunch. On special occasions like holidays and Mother's Day, the brunch moves upstairs to the ballroom and gets even bigger.