There’s nothing like a plate of fluffy buttermilk pancakes to start off your morning — unless you’re savoring a freshly-cooked omelet, of course. With such mouth-watering brunch dishes on offer at acclaimed restaurants all over Atlanta, deciding where to eat this cherished mid-morning meal is a struggle.
“Brunch is always a crazy long wait,” says Jennifer Johnson, owner of West Egg Café. And with waits to be seated that often last more than an hour, your 11:30 a.m. brunch can turn into a day-consuming 1 p.m. meal.
Luckily for you, the Wheel has compiled a cheat sheet for how to eat the best brunch in Atlanta without wasting your wait time, or without even waiting at all.
Where to brunch:
· Highland Bakery, Old Fourth Ward, 655 Highland Ave. NE
· West Egg Café, 1100 Howell Mill Rd.
· The Flying Biscuit Café, original Candler Park location, 1655 McLendon Ave.
What to order:
· Satisfy your pancake craving at Highland Bakery with the velvety ricotta pancakes topped with warm blueberry compote or the Southern-style sweet potato pancakes with caramelized brown sugar syrup and toasted pecans.
· At West Egg Café, brunch-goers choose the Peachtree Plate, according to Johnson. “People love it because it’s Southern-inspired … with a little bit of everything,” she explains. There’s nothing not to love about a heaping plate of two eggs, brown sugar bacon, pimiento cheese grits, fried green tomatoes and a biscuit.
· Devour the Clifton Omelet at The Flying Biscuit Café. With three farm-fresh eggs stuffed with goat cheese and mushrooms, topped with warm tomato coulis and basil, and a side of “creamy dreamy” grits, this dish will hit the spot.
How to enjoy the wait:
· Explore the quaint neighborhood of the Old Fourth Ward while waiting to brunch at Highland Bakery. With the lush Freedom Parkway trail across the street ideal for a morning stroll, you can work off your pancakes to pass the time.
· Located in the White Provision Residences, West Egg Café is near stores like Lululemon and Billy Reid, as well as art galleries like Poem 88. However, “For the most part people stick around because they don’t want to lose their spot in line,” says Johnson. “Things that can be consumed certainly help pass the time,” she explains, referring to the full range of quality coffee and delicious pastries available before you are seated.
· Walk around the Candler Park shops while you wait for a table at The Flying Biscuit Café. Time will fly by as you enjoy spots like Donna Van Gogh’s Artist Market.
Best time to be seated immediately:
The notorious, lengthy waits for brunch for which these restaurants are so famous typically transpire on tired weekend mornings and last through the lazy afternoons.
“For Sunday brunch, the peak wait time is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Johnson said. To skip the wait and get right to the deliciousness, wake up early on a weekday or pick a quiet weekend hour and grab your friends for the feast. “You can sort of translate all the magic [of brunch] into a different time of day,” she says.
Getting your golden Belgian waffle is that easy.
— By Morgan Goldberg