Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon, generally served from 11am up to 3pm, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink (most usually champagne or a cocktail) served with it.[1][2][3] The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.[4] Brunch originated in England in the late 19th century and became popular in the United States in the 1930s.[5]

Origin of the word

The 1896 supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary cites Punch magazine which wrote that the term was coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers" in the writer Guy Beringer's article "Brunch: A Plea"[6] in Hunter's Weekly'[7]

Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting." Beringer wrote. "It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."

— William Grimes, "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better" New York Times, 1998[8]

It is sometimes credited to reporter Frank Ward O'Malley who wrote for the New York newspaper The Sun from 1906 until 1919,[9] allegedly based on the typical mid-day eating habits of a newspaper reporter.[10][11]

At colleges and hotels

Some colleges and hotels serve brunch. Such brunches are often serve-yourself buffets, but menu-ordered meals may be available instead of, or with, the buffet. The meal usually involves standard breakfast foods such as eggs, sausages, bacon, ham, fruits, pastries, pancakes, waffles, scones, and the like.


The United States, Canada and United Kingdom militaries often serves weekend brunch in the dining facilities. They offer both breakfast and lunch options and are open from about 09:00-13:00 (though times vary).

Dim sum brunch

The dim sum brunch is popular in Chinese restaurants worldwide.[12] It consists of a variety of stuffed buns, dumplings, and other savory or sweet food items that have been steamed, deep-fried, or baked. Customers pick small portions from passing carts, as the kitchen continuously produces and sends out more freshly prepared dishes. Dim sum is usually eaten at a mid-morning, midday, and/or mid-afternoon teatime.

Special occasions

Brunch is prepared by restaurants and hotels for special occasions, such as weddings, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or Easter Sunday.

In other languages

A formal brunch aboard the Celebrity Equinox


The Office québécois de la langue française accepts "brunch" as a valid word but also provides a synonym déjeuner-buffet. Note that, however, in Quebec, déjeuner alone (even without the qualifying adjective petit) means "breakfast".[13] In Quebec, the word—when Francized—is pronounced [bʁɔ̃ʃ].[14]


Chinese word “早午饭” is defined as brunch, “早饭” (早: morning, 饭: meal) means breakfast and “午饭” (午: noon, 饭: meal) means lunch in Chinese. The combination of “早饭” and “午饭” is “早午饭”, as known as brunch.

Other places


In many regions of Canada, in particular in Southern Ontario, brunch is popular on Sundays when families will often host relatives or friends in their dining room. The typical brunch can last a few hours and go late into the afternoon. Montreal-style bagels may be served alongside egg dishes, waffles or crepes, smoked meat or fish, fruit, salads, cheese, and dessert.

Many restaurants offer brunch service as well, and is where the idea of Buffets took on mass appeal. In the mid 1980s, with the price of food going down, some restaurants within Toronto started serving all you can eat buffet-style Brunch. Original restaurants in the south west area of Scarborough within Toronto alone included Town and Country Restaurant, Boy on a Dolphin, and Mother Tuckers, which much later on became a small franchise, and later on with the opening of Hot House Cafe, whose Sunday Buffet branch, became well known . Going out for Brunch became even more popular with the gentrification of the inner areas of Toronto by the mid 2000s, when smaller trendy restaurants started offering Brunch, such as restaurants in the area now known as Leslieville neighbourhood which is sometimes called the brunch capital of Toronto[15] as many renowned establishments serve brunch in that neighbourhood.

In Canada, brunch is served in private homes using homemade foods and in restaurants. In both cases, brunch typically consists of the same dishes as would be standard in an American brunch, namely coffee,[16] tea, fruit juices,[17] breakfast foods including pancakes,[18] waffles,[18] and french toast;[18] meats such as ham,[19] bacon[17] and sausages;[17] egg dishes such as scrambled eggs,[17] omelettes[20] and Eggs Benedict;[18] bread products such as toast,[17] bagels[21] or croissants;[17] pastries[18] or cakes such as cinnamon rolls or coffee cake;[21] and fresh, cut fruit pieces [17] or fruit salad. Brunches may also include foods not typically associated with breakfast, such as roasted meats,[17] quiche,[21] soup,[22] smoked salmon[21] and salads[18] such as Cobb salad.

When served in a private home or a restaurant, a brunch may be served buffet style,[23] in which trays of foods and beverages are available and guests can serve themselves and select the items they want, often in an "all-you-can-eat" fashion.[24] Restaurant brunches may also be served from a menu, in which guests select specific items which are served to them by waitstaff. Restaurant brunch meals range from relatively inexpensive brunches available at diners and family restaurants to expensive brunches served at high-end restaurants and bistros.

South Africa

In South Africa, brunch is a favourite activity of many families. It is globally-distinctive in that only pancakes and fruit are consumed.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ Palmatier, Robert Alan (2000). Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms. Greenwood Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0313314360. 
  2. ^ "brunch (meal)". Memidex/WordNet Dictionary. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Brief history of Brunch". Retrieved 13 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "foodnetwork". Web.foodnetwork.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Rombauer, Irma S.; Becker, Marion Rombauer; Becker, Ethan (2001). Joy of Cooking: All About Breakfast and Brunch. Simon and Schuster. p. 8. ISBN 0743206428. 
  6. ^ Gold, David L. (2009). Studies in etymology and etiology. Universidad de Alicante. p. 99. ISBN 978-84-7908-517-9. 
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster's, Inc. (1994). Merriam-Webster's dictionary of English usage. Merrriam Webster. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-87779-132-4. 
  8. ^ Grimes, William (8 July 1998). "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Press: O'Malley of the Sun". Time Magazine. 31 October 1932. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "As to who coined the word brunch, that, too, is unclear. According to an American Dialect Society site, Frank Ward O'Malley, an old style reporter with the New York Morning Sun (1906–1919), was the first to use "brunch" to describe the morning newspaper man's breakfast-luncheon combination." Mother's Day and the history of "Brunch" – Thousands of Ontarians take their mothers to brunch on Mother's Day Travel TV
  11. ^ Pietrusza, David Rothstein: The Life, Times, and Murder of the Criminal Genius Google Books link 2007
  12. ^ "Dim Sum – History, Pictures, Recipes of Chinese Dim Sum". Chinesefood.about.com. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Office de la langue française, 1999, 'Le Grand Dictionnaire Archived 2 April 2003 at Archive.is, entry "Brunch": "Repas combinant le petit déjeuner et le repas du midi, et habituellement constitué d'un buffet". (A meal that combines the breakfast and lunch and usually consists of a buffet.)
  14. ^ La Petite Larousse (2009), p. 140
  15. ^ "Bonjour Brioche in Leslieville - My Destination Toronto". Mydestination.com. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "The Ultimate Vancouver Brunch Guide: Edible Canada". Vancitybuzz.com. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Confederation Place Hotel & Western Cut : 2011 Catering Menus; including Brunch" (PDF). Confederationplace.com. Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Best Toronto Brunch 2013: 20 Top Brunch Picks From HuffPost Foodies". HuffPost Canada. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "Easter Brunch: 25 Recipes For The Ultimate Brunch". HuffPost Canada. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "Best Brunch in Vancouver - To Die For". itstodiefor.ca. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Canadian Living's best recipes, tested till perfect. - Canadian Living". Canadianliving.com. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Canadian Living's best recipes, tested till perfect. - Canadian Living". Canadianliving.com. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 

External links