We tend to think of brunch as a casual meal washed down with plenty of mimosas and enjoyed among friends over a lazy weekend afternoon at a neighborhood restaurant. Brunch is usually inexpensive and fun, the opposite of what you might refer to as “exclusive.” But there’s another end to the brunch spectrum, one overflowing with Champagne, caviar, and opulence. These are the restaurants where you’ll find the 25 most exclusive brunches in America.
These brunches may not always be “exclusive” in the purest sense of the term — brunch reservations aren't always that difficult to come by (though there are certainly exceptions, especially on brunch-centered holidays like Easter and Mother's Day) — and you can usually get in if you have the means to pay for your meal. But these are the fanciest, the most expensive, the poshest, and the most elaborate brunches that you’re ever likely to encounter. They’re the ones that are hosted by the country’s finest hotels and restaurants, overseen by the nation’s leading fine dining chefs. They’re the Rolls-Royces of brunch.
It goes without saying that these brunches are of a completely different caliber than the ones you may be used to blinking your way into on a hung-over Saturday afternoon, possibly wearing the same clothes you had on the night before. These are special occasion brunches, ones that generally involve a lavish buffet, tuxedo-clad servers, white tablecloths, floral arrangements… you get the gist. These are also vacation brunches, the ones that are sadly out of the average American’s price range, but definitely worth the splurge.
In many ways, shelling out cash for a lavish brunch is even more satisfying than saving up for an expensive dinner, because lavish brunches tend to involve Champagne and buffets, and who doesn’t love Champagne and buffets? These places will make you full and happy, and also have the added bonus of making you feel like a king or queen for a couple hours. Read on to learn which 25 brunches are the most exclusive in America.
#25 The Garden, Four Seasons Hotel, New York City
Four Seasons Hotel New York / Facebook
#24 Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills
Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air / Facebook