Basic Brunch Menu Ideas

Brunch is a comforting kind of meal, a lazily late breakfast or early lunch (however you see it), and so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of choosing a menu. Many people like to include a bit of both kinds of foods - breakfast foods and light lunch foods - in the brunch menu. Here are some ideas for foods that work separately, or in any combination for a basic brunch. The idea here is to avoid strong flavors while enjoying choices from a range of items from each food group. Choose according to your tastes, budget, and the formality of the occasion.

Breakfast foods:

  • Breads: bagels, rolls, breakfast pastry, muffins, croissants. Note: that these can be combined with lunch foods such as spreads so the breads are a good cross-over item).
  • Fruits: bananas, fruit salad, oranges, seasonal, warm fruit compote
  • Warm items: omelets, frittata or quiche, blintzes (crepes), pancakes, waffles, French toast

Lunch foods:

  • Soups
  • Light salads, such as tuna salad, egg salad, pasta salad, broccoli salad, or chopped salad
  • Veggie tray
  • Cheeses and luncheon meats
  • Yogurt
  • Smoked or poached salmon
  • Cold chicken salad
  • Mini sandwiches (tea sandwiches)
  • Carved roast beef


  • Coffee, tea
  • Hot chocolate (if fall or winter and kids are there)
  • Hot cider (seasonal)
  • Juice selection
  • Champagne (if a champagne brunch) for mimosas; Bloody Marys

Whether you meet with a caterer or do it yourself, planning a brunch menu can be creative and even fun. Buffet style is usually the serving style of choice for a brunch. Decorate the room according to the formality of the event. Centerpieces really set the mood, so whether a bunch of flowers in a vase, a bunch of balloons tied together, what you set on the table is going to be eye catching and make everyone feel in the right mood for the celebration.

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