Whether you celebrated New Year’s Eve by raging into the wee hours or by tucking into a warm bed by 10 p.m., a full-on “recovery brunch” is the civilized way to greet (and eat) the next day. Here are some of the South’s most curative New Year’s Day spreads, none of which cater to the diet-and-cleanse crowd, but resolutions really don’t begin until January 2, right?
Even if you didn’t do a post-midnight teeter back to the Virgin Hotel in the French Quarter–adjacent Warehouse District, its airy restaurant is worth seeking out in the light of the year’s first morning. Chef Alex Harrell (formerly of The Elysian Bar) knows to keep things hearty and ultra-comforting with options that include a fried egg sandwich with bacon and chili aioli, Gulf shrimp and heirloom grits, and “churro” fritters. Mimosas? Of course.
Beaufort, North Carolina
Technically you have the entire day to ensure good fortune by consuming traditional lucky foods. But why delay when this gorgeous waterside restaurant is offering a brunch of greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread starting at 8 a.m.? Non-superstitious but equally delicious choices include chicken and waffles, and because New Year’s Day is not-so-coincidentally National Bloody Mary Day, brunchers might avail themselves of the Bloody Mary Bar.
Eggs Benedict might just be the perfect brunch dish, and the B&B New Year’s Day menu dares to improve upon perfection with five chefy variations that include pastrami, crab cake, and blackened filet and griddled onions. If for some peculiar reason you’re not in a Benedict mood, there’s a full menu of other elevated breakfast staples, plus the luck-imbued special of black-eyed peas and greens.
Haven’t regained your faculties enough to process menu decisions? Self-serve brunch is here to help, and this stylish modern-Mexican spot’s “hangover brunch” let’s you nosh from stations that encompass waffles, tamales, and ceviche, plus a guacamole bar. A sweeping view of the palm-studded beachfront also lends restorative power, and if you need a little extra boost, swing by the build-your-own-Bloody station.
Atlanta and Sandy Springs, Georgia
Matzo ball soup cures whatever ails you, especially if what ails you is a hangover. Share a bowl and then wade deeper into this New York–style deli’s life-affirming brunch fare, from an open-faced bagel with smoked trout salad to potato latkes with smoked salmon and sour cream. Yes, there are eggs, from poached to fried to the egg white that complements rum and walnut liqueur in the Sonny Bono cocktail. Actually, perhaps that cures whatever ails you.