The Big Easy knows how to brunch—sometimes with music, almost always with cocktails. Commander's Palace is a go-to any day of the week for chef Tory McPhail's updated Creole classics, but on weekends, when patrons don their Sunday best and a jazz trio makes its way from table to table, there's more pomp and circumstance than usual. Arnaud's, a French Quarter institution, also does a jazz brunch, and Cafe Adelaide at the Loews New Orleans throws a quarterly themed brunch that pools the talents of cocktail maven Lu Brow and chef Carl Schaubhut. If you're tired of grits and gumbo, try Booty's Street Food, where the menu includes pain perdu, breakfast banh mis, and arepas.
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Jazz Brunch and 25-Cent Martinis
Chef Tory McPhail was recently named James Beard's Best Chef South and his forward-looking take on Creole classics keeps this New Orleans institution, which has launched the careers of the likes of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, current. Still, you can't go wrong with classics like the turtle soup, gumbo, and bread pudding souffle. On Saturday and Sundays, there's more pomp than usual, including a jazz trio that makes its way from table to table, but weekday lunches are nearly as iconic and, thanks to 25-cent martinis, a good reason to have a midday cocktail.