When you’re in the hub of all this Southern culinary goodness, you know you’re bound to have plenty of brunch options. And let’s face it, there’s nothing better on a Saturday or Sunday morning than some hot, delicious, breakfasty eats. Next time you’re in town (or if you happen to be so fortunate as to live here), we’ve prepared a list of ten excellent brunch options for you to choose from. There are plenty of others, but these came readily to mind, and by the time we got done thinking about them, we were hungry as a hostage and just had to write this entry and go eat. So, here they are:
Open Saturday and Sunday:
Roots & Revelry
Saturdays and Sundays, 11 – 3
Roots & Revelry is located on the second floor of one of Birmingham’s beautiful old buildings, the Thomas Jefferson Tower. As you approach, take note of the odd iron structure on the top of the building. It’s one of the last remaining zeppelin docking stations; so if zeppelins make a comeback, the TJ Tower is way ahead of the game. But, we digress. On his current brunch menu, Roots & Revelry’s Chef Brandon Cain offers up delights ranging from old-school Southern mainstays such as buttermilk biscuits and sawmill gravy, shrimp and grits, and a properly made eggs Benedict, to more eclectic fare such as fish and grits, chilaquiles, chicken and waffles, or a wild mushroom omelette. The R&R full bar and top notch bartender are also prepared to serve up a little hair-o’-the-dog, should that be in order.
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 – 3
Born from a cozy storefront in 2008, Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group has grown to operate 11 Ruby Slipper Café locations across the Gulf Region with one right here in Birmingham, in the nearby Homewood area, providing new audiences with the unique flavors and hospitality that Ruby Slipper Café is known and loved for. The latest concept from Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group, the collective behind the acclaimed New Orleans-based eatery Ruby Slipper Café, Ruby Sunshine offers Big Easy twists on Southern brunch classics, including benedicts, pancakes, and French Toast, as well as eye-opening cocktails.
Saturdays and Sundays, 9 – 2
The Essential may be a relatively new entree to the Birmingham plate, but the owners, Chefs Victor King and Kristen Hall, certainly aren’t. At their first venture, Feast & Forest, the two outgrew their digs and ended up renaming the restaurant and moving it to tony Morris Avenue. Brunch here might be as simple as one of Chef Hall’s homemade brioche doughnuts or as hearty as their Essential Hash, which brings together potatoes, grilled onions, slow-cooked pork shoulder, pickled peppers, salsa verde and is topped with two farm-fresh, fried eggs. Shall we leave it at: you’ll not go hungry. After all, that’s essential.
Open only on Saturday:
Saturday, 10:30 – 2
If you’re in the mood for something different, head south of the border (and, no we aren’t sending you down into Bibb county somewhere). Executive Chef Neville Baay’s brunch at El Barrio (which is actually located right down town) features a lively mix of eats ranging from the ol’ standby, huevos rancheros to sopapillas for breakfast, made with pork carnitas, roasted apples, queso fresco, candied apples, and citrus; to chilaquiles with either shrimp or chicken, prepared with poblano crema and featuring spiced cherry tomatoes and radishes, zucchini, and fava beans. Check out their full brunch menu here. Pair any or all of that with some sparkling grapefruit sangria or a michelada and you’re bound to be muy satisfecho.
Open only on Sunday:
Sunday, 11 – 2
It would be hard for us to say it better than Trattoria does on their website: “A pizza place that does Sunday brunch? Yup. The almost famous brunch menu seamlessly weaves Italian ingredients and Southern know-how with their mascarpone stuffed french toast, breakfast pizza topped with local farm eggs, seasonal frittatas, biscuits ‘n gravy, and more.” Che figata! Want to know more about Trattoria’s “almost famous brunch” (it really is, by the way)? Check out the menu.
Edit: As of Spring 2019, Trattoria is temporary closed for renovations. They are doing the occasional brunch pop-up around Birmingham in the meantime. To stay updated on their status and future pop-ups, check out their social media profiles.
Avondale Common House
Sunday, 11 – 3
There’s nothing common about Avondale Common House’s brunch. Chef William Rogers and his wife, Ellen, have populated their brunch with such delights as salmon toast, a build-your-own eggs benedict, and churro French toast. In the mood for the basics? Check out their Avondale Common House Breakfast with eggs cooked-to-order, homemade biscuit, fruit, potatoes or grits, and your choice of meats. Or, live a little and go for the fried green tomatoes topped with citrus blue crab relish, micro greens, and stone-ground mustard cream.
Perhaps one of the finest pleasures Birmingham has to offer is enjoying crêpes or a homemade croissant at a small café table outside of Chez Lulu on a Sunday morning. If your idea of brunch is to be magically transported to an intimate European café, where the coffee is hot and fresh, and where you can enjoy pain aux raisin or a light tarragon chicken salad, or perhaps the tarte du jour served with a small house salad, then you simply have to cross over the mountain into English Village for a Sunday morning at Chez Lulu. Chef Carole Griffin of the Continental Bakery and Chez Lulu has done an amazing job of transmogrifying a small restaurant on the south side of Birmingham into a delightful French café. Her brunch is the epitome of this bit of culinary alchemy.
Galley and Garden
Sunday, 10:30 – 3
Chef James Boyce’s vision of American-French cuisine influenced by the South comes through loud and clear in his brunch menu. From the Alabama Duroc Pork Scramble, which brings together slow-cooked, pulled pork shoulder, pepper jack cheese, braised collards, and potato and sausage hash, to the smoked salmon Benedict, you’ll find everything at Galley and Garden designed to give your senses a Sunday morning wake-up. Pair your morning eats with a classic Sazerac, or with a That’s the Spirit, a distant cousin of the Negroni, made with gin,, St. Germain, Aperol, and citrus flavors.
Dyron’s Low Country
Sunday, 11 – 2
Start your Sunday morning with oysters or an authentic Old Mobile Style West Indies Salad, then bring on the entree. Dyron and Sonya Powell’s vision of a place that celebrates the low-country culinary delights of the South is brought to vibrant life by Head Chef Randall Baldwin. Chef Baldwin’s brunch menu attests to that. From beignets just like your Gramère made them to grilled Carolina quail served up with a fresh farm egg, to cast iron buttermilk pancakes, you are certain to find something delightful to start your Sunday off. Hooo boy!
So, y’all, that wraps up ten brunch joints without even touching on all of the incredible breakfast eateries we have here in the magically delicious city. Guess we’ll just have to save that for another morning’s work.