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By
Sarah Ward

What Is a Good Brunch Menu? 4 Aspects of Menu Options

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What is a good brunch menu? A brunch menu means different things to different people, from customers to restaurant owners to home entertainers. Yes, they are all roughly the same menu types, but the intention behind learning about brunch menus changes for each person. Some of those folks need to learn how to get a liquor license, while others are just looking for the best mimosa in town.

Even the question of “What is brunch?” can change for each person. The content of this blog post is speaking to restaurant and café owners. That said, we won’t be neglecting brunch fans and readers who love hosting brunch at home. 

Whatever angle you’re approaching this question from, it’s time to learn all about brunch menus. So, what is a good brunch menu? Let's find out.

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What Are You Looking For In a Brunch Menu?

We talked about the angles you may be coming at a good brunch menu from. Before we dive into menu options, let’s take a closer look at everyone who might be looking at brunch menus.

For restaurant owners, learning about the types of brunch menus means learning how to design a brunch menu. This includes what to serve, how to price, and when to serve brunch. Ultimately, it’s a question of, “What is a good brunch menu to serve and boost profitability?” The answer to this question is the most complex of the answers we’ll provide. 

For home brunch-makers, it’s more a question of what makes for a good brunch menu to be shared with friends and family. An amazing brunch menu for a home gathering offers options that are just as delicious as those in restaurants. That said, the answer to how you go about creating a home menu is on the easier side. 

If you're looking for brunch menus to learn what you can expect, the question is all about what foods and drinks are typically available. If you’re in this category, learning about brunch menu options will give you a lot to look forward to on your next brunch visit. 

What Is a Typical Brunch Menu? 

A typical brunch menu has a mix of great breakfast and lunch treats and refreshing drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike). Generally, this mix is served in line with the a la carte meaning. Some classic brunch foods include:

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • French toast
  • Omelets
  • Quiché
  • Belgian waffles
  • Smoked salmon on a bagel
  • Avocado toast
  • Brunch casserole
  • Cereal
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Coffee cake (or make it a whiskey cake)
  • Crêpes
  • Croissants
  • Frittatas
  • Fruits
  • Muffins
  • Salads
  • Pastries
  • Donuts

Of course, all those great foods are complemented by the best drinks to have from 11am to 2pm. A good mixed drink can make a brunch exceptional. Some of the best brunch cocktails are:

  • Mint grapefruit mojitos
  • Kir Royale
  • Sangria lemonade
  • Sangria
  • Mimosa
  • Rosé lemonade
  • Frozen mudslide
  • Raspberry mimosa
  • Blackberry champagne mule
  • Strawberry margarita
  • Sweet tea sangria
  • Frozen orange prosecco
  • Bellini
  • Bloody Mary
  • Irish coffee
  • Sea breeze
  • Salty dog
  • French 75
  • Madras
  • Champagne punch
  • Honeydew margarita
  • Gin and tonic
  • Appletini 
  • Daiquiri
  • Wine spritzers
  • Blueberry mojito
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Gimlet 

That said, brunch isn’t just about alcoholic drinks. If you don’t plan to drink, common brunch beverages without alcohol include:

  • Coffees
  • Tea
  • Orange juice
  • Mocktails
  • Iced tea
  • Punch
  • Smoothies
  • Lemonade

If you’re going out for brunch, you can expect any combination of the above food and drinks to be on the menu. Even if the 86 meaning applies to an item, there's sure to be plenty of options. If you’re setting up a brunch to host out of your home, pulling from these lists will give you a well-rounded brunch menu.

That said, there are some amazing brunch menu options that will knock the socks off your guests. Let’s take a look at them next.

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Amazing Brunch Menu Options

Whether you’re a café owner or you’re hosting a brunch at home, you’re probably hoping to wow your brunch guests. While there are some great standard cocktails and foods you can serve, it never hurts to make something truly exceptional. It'll take your brunch menu to the next level. 

London Fog Vanilla Bean Shortbread Cookies

As someone who has made London fog vanilla bean shortbread cookies, I can attest to the delicious nature of these treats. This recipe from The Café Sucre Farine is perfect for anyone hosting a home brunch. It can also be made in large batches for restaurants and cafés. 

The ingredients are:

  • 1 cup softened butter 
  • 1 ¾ cup flour
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 
  • 1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea 
  • Sanding or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

These shortbread cookies are a great mix of savory and sweet. They’ll suit any brunch and in particular any brunch where you serve Earl Grey tea. 

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Another amazing brunch menu option that will exceed expectations is a decadent cake. Smaller sweets are often typical at brunch, but a rich cake (or cakes for a restaurant) will be a showstopper.

To fit in with the general breakfast style of brunch, a great option for a treat of a cake is blueberry coffee cake. There's a great recipe from once upon a chef. The recipe for the cake calls for:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) softened unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen may be used, but do not defrost them)

For the topping you’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch chunks

This blueberry coffee cake will work with anything you’re serving at brunch. It’s a delicious twist on a brunch classic.

Cute Brunch Decor Ideas 

No matter what you choose to serve on your brunch menu, making your brunch scene cute is always a good idea. Brunch is a fun meal without any extra help, but there are things you can do to make it even better. Some really cute brunch ideas revolve around themes, and some of the cutest brunch themes include:

  • Parisian café
  • Italian countryside villa
  • Cottage cute designs
  • Tropical vacation
  • Pool party
  • Beach days
  • Garden party
  • Pajama party
  • Disney brunch
  • Farm-to-table

Some of these ideas work better for either a restaurant business plan or a brunch at home. That said, there’s no reason any of them can’t work for both. However, you may be hard-pressed to host a pajama- party-themed brunch at a café.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brunch Menus 

There’s so much that goes into a good brunch menu. Then again, there’s a lot that goes into a good brunch in general. Of course, brunch isn’t the only multi-meal time that people enjoy sharing. Brunch also isn’t just for restaurants and cafés.

These frequently asked questions cover brunch for guests, home brunch setups, and other hybrid meals. Take a look at our answers below:

What Is Drunch?

Similar to brunch, drunch is a hybrid meal between lunch and dinner. Often, when people talk about drunch, they’re talking about a late lunch. In the same way that brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch, drunch can be anything from soup to entrée food.

What Should I Bring to Brunch as a Guest?

If you’ve been invited to a brunch at someone’s home, you may be wondering what an appropriate thing to bring is. Bringing something to brunch is similar to bringing something for any other meal. You can bring a gift for the host, like flowers, or you can bring something for the brunch, like champagne or sparkling wine, finger sandwiches, or cookies.

How Do You Set Up a Brunch at Home?

When it comes to hosting a brunch at home, there’s a lot of freedom in how you can set it up. You don’t need a strict bar setup to make it great. You can use a theme or style. The most important thing is that you have a variety of foods and plenty of seating for your brunch guests. 

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What Is a Good Brunch Menu?: Set The Tables

When it really comes down to it, to answer the question, “What is a good brunch menu?” You need to know what kind of brunch you have in mind. For restaurants and home brunch servers alike, the key to a good brunch menu is a consistent theme and excellent food.

If you’re just looking for a great brunch menu, you’re sure to find several options by researching restaurants in your area. If not, you can always host your own brunch.

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