Who doesn’t love brunch? Eggs Benedict, pancakes stuffed with ricotta and fruit, lingering over mimosas and bloody Marys while a jazz quartet plays in the corner. But let’s be realistic: For most people’s schedules, pocketbooks and metabolisms, that’s a once-in-a-week affair at best, but science says the human body still needs nourishment every single day.
That’s where these restaurants come in, offering quick, tasty and affordable breakfasts every day of the week and open early enough that you can stop by on your way to work or school.
Hobnobber’s Variety Bar & Restaurant
If you’ve only visited this low-key CBD joint in the evenings, you’ve likely missed out on the tasty breakfast and lunch served up by some of the friendliest restaurant workers in the city. Head to the room past the bar for no-nonsense platters of breakfast items including bacon, eggs, grits and hash browns costing only $5.75. While some of the meals claim to only come with one egg, don’t take them at their word. You’ll definitely not be leaving hungry.
Li’l Dizzy’s Cafe
Depending on when you stop by this bustling Treme restaurant, you may have to wait for a table. But it’s worth it to get the huge platters of breakfast and lunch specials, including New Orleans takes on classic items such as a jambalaya omelet or eggs served with delicious grilled catfish. New Orleans memorabilia line the restaurant’s brick walls, while cooks work in plain sight at the edge of the dining room. A diverse crowd often lingers over conversations and newspapers while enjoying Li’l Dizzy’s strong coffee.
Price: $8 – $16
At just $5, the Big John sausage and cheese sandwich, which comes with a bottomless cup of self-serve coffee, is one of the biggest and tastiest bargains in New Orleans breakfast. Add an egg cooked in the style of your choice for an additional $1, or get one of the other tasty dishes, like a breakfast burrito or biscuits and gravy. Dine inside or at one of the outdoor picnic-style tables. An additional location is Uptown on Prytania Street. (If you have time to get Brunchfaced, check out our recommendations here)
Lakeview Brew Coffee Cafe
Despite the name, Lakeview Brew is more than just a coffee shop: It offers an extensive breakfast menu, with items like shrimp and grits, omelets, pancakes and tasty breakfast burritos. Step up to the counter to place an order or just ask for one of the pastries or slices of pie in the refrigerator case if you’d like a lighter snack. The restaurant has front and back patios for outdoor dining, as well as newspapers to read if you’re tired of staring at your phone. The walls are lined with homey Lakeview ephemera, including a “Long Live Lakeview” sign (written in “Live Laugh Love” style).
A hip Bywater take on the local breakfast spot, Satsuma delivers egg sandwiches with ingredients like arugula, avocado and kale as well as breakfast classics like bacon, eggs and bagels with lox. Fancy coffee drinks and smoothies are available, but you’re also welcome to stick to basics like fresh brewed coffee and orange juice. The brightly lit restaurant is stocked with books to read and local art for sale on the walls and feels more like a friendly place to hang out than the workspace many coffee shops can become. Additional locations are on Magazine Street and Maple Street.
Betsy’s Pancake House
Sit at the counter or grab a table in this cute Mid-City restaurant and enjoy the comically large pancakes, almost as big as the plates they’re delivered on, or go with an egg dish served with tasty hash browns in a savory sauce. Make sure to also take a look at the lengthy list of daily specials before you place your order. Bottomless cups of strong coffee are frequently topped off. Check out the New Orleans themed decor, including a framed photograph of the late founder Elizabeth “Betsy” McDaniel.
Price: Breakfast Special for $6
A classic diner offering a mix of New Orleans specialties, breakfast items and a bit of Greek food, Please-U attracts a mix of streetcar tourists and regulars to its cozy, old-fashioned booths and wood-paneled interior lined with Mardi Gras masks and New Orleans ephemera, including a poster from the 1984 World’s Fair. Unlike a lot of the entries on this list, Please-U offers beer and has a television, handy if you happen to drop by during a Saints game. While a menu board behind the counter has been up long enough to be missing letters (consider the “muf ul tta” or the “c c en fried t k,”) the restaurant clearly cuts no corners with the food. Try the steak omelet, which packs enough meat to feed at least two people.