The 25 Most Exclusive Brunch Spots in America

Want to sample any of these restaurants for brunch? Better start saving up
Rainbow Room brunch

Rainbow Room / Facebook

New York's Rainbow Room is one of the city's most legendary spaces.

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.

The 25 Most Exclusive Brunch Spots in America (Slideshow)

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 New York

Four Seasons Hotel New York / Facebook

Four Seasons Hotels do brunch right.

The Four Seasons Hotel in New York is home to The Garden restaurant, which is evocative of an enchanted forest thanks to giant African acacia trees throughout the room. The brunch dishes served there are decidedly high-end; start by sharing some local foie gras mousse, then perhaps move on to local burrata with green olive oil and pistachio caponata, lemon ricotta pancakes with chicken sausage and maple sugar, or seared salmon with white asparagus and hon shimeji mushrooms. With main dishes averaging more than $30, it can all quickly add up.

#24 Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills

Wolfgang Puck Beverly Hills

Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air / Facebook

The setting for a legendary meal.

If none other than Wolfgang Puck is attaching his name to a Sunday brunch, you know it’s going to be good. Puck’s unique brand of California cuisine is on full display at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, with ingredients sourced from Chino Farms and local farmers markets. To start, opt for garden vegetable crudité with olive tapenade, lemon vinaigrette, and tzatziki; house-cured smoked salmon with herbed crème fraiche; or heirloom tomato soup. Then, follow up with a soft French-style omelette with wild mushrooms and gruyere; Alaskan halibut with summer squash and shelling beans; or blueberry buttermilk pancakes with Vermont maple syrup and salted maple butter.

Click here for 23 more outrageous brunches.

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