Skip to Content

What should a brunch menu include?

Brunch has become a popular weekend tradition for many. More than just breakfast or lunch, brunch combines the best of both worlds into one delicious mid-morning meal. When creating a brunch menu, there are a few key elements to include that will satisfy both savory and sweet cravings.

Breakfast Classics

No brunch menu would be complete without some classic breakfast offerings. Brunch is the perfect time to enjoy breakfast foods alongside lunch or dinner fare, so be sure to include standards like:

  • Eggs – Scrambled, fried, poached, baked in a casserole or as an omelet or frittata
  • Pancakes, waffles, or French toast
  • Breakfast meats like bacon, sausage, and ham
  • Yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit
  • Avocado toast on whole grain bread
  • Bagels with cream cheese, smoked salmon, or other toppings

For a simple but satisfying breakfast dish, a breakfast sandwich with eggs, cheese, and meat on an English muffin or croissant is sure to satisfy. Don’t be afraid to add Southwest flavors like salsa or guacamole to breakfast classics too.

Savory Brunch Options

While breakfast foods are a must, the lunch and dinner elements are key to a filling brunch menu. Some great savory dishes to include are:

  • Quiche – With spinach and feta or bacon and cheese
  • Frittata – Filled with vegetables, cheese, and meat
  • Eggs Benedict – Topped with ham, bacon, or smoked salmon
  • Lox and bagels – With all the classic accompaniments
  • Breakfast burritos or tacos
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Sliders – Like mini burgers or pulled pork sandwiches
  • Salads – Fruit, green, grain, or taco salads
  • Soups – Hearty options like potato, tomato bisque, or chicken noodle
  • Sandwiches – Grilled cheese, BLT, croque monsieur

Some ethic brunch options like shakshuka, migas, or pozole bowls also pair nicely with traditional breakfast menus. Just be sure to have a balance of light and hearty savory items.

Sweet Treats

While savory options anchor the meal, brunch is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some decadent breakfast pastries and desserts. Here are some sweet treats to include on your menu:

  • French toast casserole or bread pudding
  • Pancakes or waffles topped with fruit and whipped cream
  • Cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, or monkey bread
  • Scones – Fruit, chocolate, pumpkin, or blueberry
  • Muffins – Bran, blueberry, corn, etc.
  • Coffee cake or breakfast breads
  • Doughnuts – Glazed, filled, or other varieties
  • Pies – Serve mini versions of fruit or chocolate pies

You can also set up a DIY mimosa or Bloody Mary bar so guests can customize their own drinks. Don’t forget coffee, tea, juice, and other beverages as well.

Menu Layout Tips

When organizing your menu, group items into sections like “From the Griddle,” “Breakfast Classics,” “Savory & Hearty,” and “Sweet Treats.” You can list items in each section, along with a short description and price. Some other tips include:

  • List beverage options and any drink specials on the first page
  • Note healthy options and items that can be modified for dietary needs like vegetarian or gluten free
  • Call out signature dishes or popular classics
  • Include photos of some menu items to help customers visualize their choices

A well-designed menu makes it easy for diners to navigate the various brunch options. Use headings, descriptions, and photos to highlight your offerings.

Sample Brunch Menus

To help visualize how to put together a cohesive brunch menu, here are two sample menus with a balanced mix of savory and sweet dishes.

Classic Brunch Menu

Item Description Price
Fluffy pancakes Stack of 3 pancakes served with butter and syrup $6
Scrambled eggs 3 eggs scrambled with cheddar cheese. Add bacon or sausage +$2 $5
Avocado toast Smashed avocado on whole wheat toast with two sunny side up eggs $8
Item Description Price
Smoked salmon plate Smoked salmon, chilled hard boiled eggs, capers, tomato, red onion, cream cheese and bagel $12
Ham and gruyere quiche Served with fresh fruit $9
Cinnamon roll Giant freshly baked cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting $5

Southwestern Brunch Menu

Item Description Price
Chilaquiles Crispy tortilla chips simmered in salsa roja topped with scrambled eggs, queso fresco, crema, and avocado $10
Breakfast tacos Flour tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes and choice of bacon, chorizo, or machaca beef $8
Huevos rancheros Two sunny side up eggs over corn tortillas topped with ranchero salsa, beans, queso fresco and avocado $9
Item Description Price
Green chili and potato soup Topped with queso fresco and tortilla strips Cup $4 Bowl $7
Carne asada salad Marinated steak over romaine lettuce, beans, corn, pico de gallo, queso fresco and avocado ranch dressing $12
Churro french toast Cinnamon-sugar churro bread dipped in spiced egg batter and grilled. Topped with fresh strawberries $9

Brunch Beverage Options

Brunch cocktails, juices, coffees and other drinks are also important menu items. Here are some top beverage options to consider:

  • Mimosa bar – Offer sparkling wine, fresh orange juice and other fruit juices so guests can make their own
  • Bloody Mary bar – Tomato juice, vodka, horseradish, hot sauces, pickles, olives and other garnishes
  • Bellinis – Made with sparkling wine and peach nectar or other fruit purees
  • Fresh-squeezed orange, grapefruit or other juices
  • Fruit smoothies or milkshakes
  • Specialty coffees – Lattes, espressos, cafe au laits
  • Tea selections like fresh mint or peach iced tea
  • Bottled waters, sodas, lemonade

You can also offer flight options where guests can sample mini versions of different drinks. Offering a wide variety of morning libations will give your brunch an extra special touch.

Brunch Buffet Ideas

Another great way to serve brunch is by offering an all-you-can-eat buffet. This allows guests to sample a variety of dishes and customize their plates with their favorites. Popular buffet ideas include:

  • Omelet station – With a chef preparing made-to-order omelets
  • Pancake or waffle station – Toppings like fruit, whipped cream and syrup on the side
  • Carving station – For roasts, hams or other proteins
  • Breakfast meats – Bacon, sausage, etc.
  • Smoked salmon display with bagels and toppings
  • Cheese, fruit, yogurt and granola bowls
  • Salad station with various greens, proteins and dressings
  • Brunch sides – Homefries, biscuits and gravy, cottage cheese, etc.
  • Dessert station – Pies, cakes, doughnuts, cookies and more

Having live cooking stations adds an interactive element that lets diners customize their plates. Self-serve displays allow guests to sample small portions of different items.

Brunch Ideas for Kids

Accommodating little ones at brunch? Be sure to offer some kid-friendly dishes they will enjoy. Ideas include:

  • French toast sticks with fun dipping sauces like chocolate or fruit syrup
  • Mini pancakes or waffles
  • Breakfast sliders on rolls or biscuits
  • Scrambled cheesy eggs
  • Yogurt parfaits or breakfast sundaes
  • Fresh fruit kabobs or bowls
  • Ham or bacon
  • Juice, milk or hot chocolate

You can also offer a kids’ buffet table at their height with these bite-sized items so they can easily serve themselves. Having some kid-friendly dishes will make brunch enjoyable for the whole family.

Brunch Menu Pricing

Pricing your brunch menu appropriately ensures you offer quality dishes while still making a profit. Here are some pricing tips:

  • Factor in food costs for each item, usually around 30% of the menu price
  • Consider labor costs involved in preparing and serving dishes
  • Price high-demand specialty items like smoked salmon or carved meats slightly higher
  • Find the right balance between affordability and quality – usually $8-$15 per entree
  • Offer lower prices for simpler dishes like eggs, pancakes or muffins
  • Allow about $25-35 per person for an all-you-can-eat buffet
  • Reduce prices for kids meals or portions
  • Include applicable taxes in menu prices

Track which menu items are top sellers and adjust pricing as needed. Offering a range of prices will give customers options at various budgets.

Seasonal Brunch Menu Ideas

Vary your brunch menu across the seasons to take advantage of the freshest ingredients. Here are some seasonal menu ideas:

Spring Brunch

  • Asparagus, pea and feta frittata
  • Lemon ricotta pancakes
  • Fruit salad with strawberries, melon and mint
  • Spring vegetable quiche
  • Radish and butter sandwiches
  • Rhubarb cobbler

Summer Brunch

  • Caprese sandwich with tomato, mozzarella and basil
  • Watermelon gazpacho shooter
  • Nectarine and blackberry salad
  • Grilled chicken Caesar salad
  • Mini lobster rolls
  • Fresh berry shortcake

Fall Brunch

  • Pumpkin waffles with pecan maple syrup
  • Butternut squash and kale frittata
  • Pork tenderloin with apple chutney
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts and bacon salad
  • Caramel apple hand pies
  • Pumpkin WHOOPIE pies

Winter Brunch

  • Smoked salmon Benedict
  • Potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce
  • Braised short rib hash
  • Baked French toast casserole
  • Warm spiced cider
  • Ginger molasses cookies

Incorporating fresh, seasonal ingredients will keep your menu feeling lively and engaging for repeat customers.


Brunch is the perfect meal for a leisurely morning with family and friends. Offering a menu with a balanced variety of breakfast classics, hearty mains, sweet baked goods and signature drinks is key. Customize your offerings by season and include interactive stations or buffets for added appeal. With tasty dishes, creative presentation and reasonable prices, your brunch can become a favorite local tradition. Just don’t forget the coffee and mimosas!