Do you hear that? It’s the echo of all of us screaming at the top of our lungs, “WE OUTSIDE!” After being cooped up in the house and behind masks, Summer 2022 is here and we are outside, carefully. The pandemic is far from over, but outside is a little more “outside” than it was last summer, and indeed, in the summer of 2020. We’re going out and wearing less because we embrace the joy of the Hot Girl Summer, and it’s time to make those Hot Girl Summer outdoor brunch plans with the crew. Here are my picks for the best New Orleans outdoor brunch spots.
This is one outdoor brunch spot in New Orleans that is supreme for eating the most delightful dishes, indulging in bottomless mimosas AND a flight of wines, and stunting exceptionally hard on the ‘Gram. Copper Vine, located on Poydras has both indoor and outdoor seats, but the outdoor courtyard is where the magic happens. Be sure to order the beignets, burrata and heirloom tomatoes, and the jumbo lump crab benny — just a few of my favorites! And don’t worry, you’ll have those bottomless mimosas to keep you cool.
Birdy’s Behind the Bower is that hidden gem on Magazine Street that I know some people wish would stay hidden. Don’t think about showing up for brunch at Birdy’s without a reservation but you won’t be disappointed with their adorable courtyard, bottomless mimosas, and a menu item that, to me, feels like the best thing since sliced bread — a brunch board. Picture it — a charcuterie board but nothing but brunch things. On this $39 board, you get a little bit of everything from donuts to pancakes, and brie to bacon. If that’s not your style, definitely try the french toast (blueberries! lemon! ricotta!) and the huevos rancheros. Truly the best of the best of brunch in New Orleans.
Speaking of Magazine Street — get on over to Hotel St. Vincent for a petite escape from the regular. Tucked in this boutique hotel are two amazing spots for brunch, San Lorenzo and Elizabeth’s, but for the purpose of today’s activities, we’re going to chat about Elizabeth’s. The French Vietnamese-style cafe and bakery is giving Paris sidewalk in the springtime. They accept walk-ins only and their outdoor patio is the perfect spot for people-watching, catching up with friends, or reading that really good romance novel you just got. Start with the Shady Blonde, a bubbly Lilete Blanc, grapefruit, and thyme cocktail and continue romanticizing brunch with spring rolls, a variety of croissants, and one of their specialties, a pork and shrimp crepe.
We’ve reached the part of the piece where I discuss the kinda-outdoor brunch spots, for those of us who still need a little bit of AC to survive those bottomless mimosas. Might I introduce you to two St. Charles Avenue favorites? The Superiors – Seafood and Grill.
Superior Seafood, known for its frozen drinks and oysters has, like its cousin down the street, Superior Grill, an indoor patio area where on nice days the shutters come up to catch a bit of breeze. But on those hot days, they’re closed for you to feel like you’re outside but not really. At Superior Seafood, there’s nothing wrong with their menu. Definitely get the frozen mimosa or frozen French 75, seafood stuffed mushrooms, hangover potatoes with cochon de lait, and obviously oysters.
Imagine my surprise when I returned to Superior Grill for the first time since Cinco de Mayo in my mid 20s, to see that they, like myself, grew up and got a brunch menu. It’s got everything! Chicken and waffles! Breakfast quesadilla! And a “Brunchy Parrillada” meant for two to three people, complete with chicken and steak fajitas, jumbo shrimp, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and all the fixin’s. You can wash it all down with their signature margarita, a frozen Paloma, or a champagne rita — basically me, as a brunch cocktail because I can never make up my mind.
Yes, I know we’ve already entered the “Two-Showers A Day” part of New Orleans summer, but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the outside as much as we can. I don’t know about you, but I love a good sunglasses at brunch moment to hide my side eyes and sometimes, my tired eyes from the night before. So, pull out those sunnies, throw on the sundress, and let’s hit up some outdoor and outdoor adjacent brunch spots in New Orleans!