How to Host the Best Brunch Buffet (and Menu Ideas)
Hosting a brunch buffet at home, but not sure where to begin? This guide will walk you through brunch menu ideas, and the best brunch food to serve to keep it as easy as possible!
While I’ll always love a sangria party with badminton tournaments late into the night, brunch get-togethers certainly have their own charm.
The food and drink options can be kept a lot simpler compared to dinner. Really, a brunch buffet can be as simple or involved as you want it to be. You can go all out and make a ton of fancy brunch recipes, or just make some bacon in the oven, a vegetarian quiche, and a round of caramel coffee and call it good.
Hosting a brunch buffet at home allows you see all of your family and/or friends, but then send them on their way by early afternoon, leaving you the rest of the day to relax, nap, and sip a lemon margarita if you want.
And seriously, who doesn’t love brunch food? Savory, sweet, cocktails in the morning – there’s something for everyone!
One of my classes in culinary school was literally just a class where we put on a breakfast buffet every single morning. And today, I’m sharing some of the tips and tricks I learned that will you help you serve the best brunch buffet at home.
There’s also a big list of the best brunch ideas and brunch recipes (all verified easy and buffet-ready) at the bottom of this post.
Bookmark this guide for brunch ideas at home for Easter, Mother’s Day, a baby or bridal shower, or simply any time you’re in the mood for brunch!
Keep your brunch buffet menu very simple.
We all know that there are a lot of food options when it comes to a brunch buffet, with a wide range of sweet and savory foods.
The best way to host a great buffet and keep your sanity at the same time is by narrowing down your brunch menu ideas. You’re not a culinary school class with 18 students attending to the buffet line, it’s just you!
And since you’re the host, choose which brunch ideas you like best. Maybe choose one savory entree-type dish (like a leftover cornbread breakfast casserole), one sweet one (such as malted waffles or lemon pancakes made earlier and kept warm in a low oven), some fruit, and then a bread or pastry, like lemon poppyseed mini cornbread muffins.
Rely on brunch food that you can make before your guests arrive.
Sadly, if you want to keep things easy and stress-free, now is just not the time for brioche French toast made to order while your guests are standing around watching you sweat (although you can make French toast ahead of time and keep it warm in a low oven).
But, lots of different types of brunch food, especially egg dishes, can be made in advance.
You can assemble and fully cook a quiche or sweet potato breakfast casserole the day before, keep it in the fridge, and rewarm it right before guests arrive. One of my favorite brunch recipes, quiche is just fine served warm or at room temperature.
But can I just tell you that store-bought quiche is one of my favorites shortcuts ever? My local gourmet grocery store makes and sells homemade quiche. I’ve often bought it and straight-up pretended I made it (no shame).
La Terra Fina brand quiche is also really delicious (they make mini quiche too), and widely available at grocery stores and Costco. I turn to quiche time and time again when coming up with brunch ideas. Another savory brunch idea I use often for buffets is make ahead breakfast muffins.
Or, serve a no-cooking-required platter or a make-it-yourself bar for your brunch buffet.
Sure, you could spend your time assembling smoked salmon crostini and arranging them on a pretty platter. Your guests will certainly appreciate a lovely plate of finger foods. Or, you could have them put it together themselves with a big DIY smoked salmon platter!
A big breakfast charcuterie board with phyllo cup appetizers lets your guest graze on brunch food while they mingle, and couldn’t be easier to put together. You could even have guests make their own jarcuterie.
Or how about a yogurt parfait bar? Everybody can spoon as much yogurt as they want into their own bowl, and top it with all the delicious toppings. You could even introduce your friends to a new brunch idea with a savory yogurt bar!
Even something a simple as english muffins can be served DIY style. Put out a bunch of jams. Store-bought jams. From the fancy aisle. Like, three or four flavors. Scoop them into pretty bowls. Insert spoons. Scatter them around the buffet table and hand people a toasted muffin. They will love it. This is one of my favorite brunch ideas!
Forget the typical fruit plate, I have some easier brunch ideas for fruit.
For the classic hotel-buffet-style fruit platter, you’d either have to buy a pre-cut fruit platter from a grocery store (which is usually super expensive and the quality is generally not good), or buy a bunch of different kinds of fruit (melons, pineapple, etc.) yourself and cut it all up (which can be time consuming).
Instead, just pick a few fruits that are in season and don’t even need to be cut up. Clementines, grapes, apples, berries of all kinds are among the best brunch ideas for fruit.
All you need to do is wash the fruit and set it out in pretty serving dishes. You’re done, and it’s one of the easiest brunch ideas at home!
Psst – if you ARE feeling the need to get next level with your fruit tray, I recommend fruit and cheese kabobs with croissant croutons or little jars similar to my Easter fruit salad. But seriously, don’t feel like you HAVE to get next level. It’s not necessary!
Set up a bar cart, and let everybody mix their own personal best brunch drink.
And by “bar cart,” I mean a cart, an old tv tray covered with a pretty dish towel, or even a spare bit of counter space, if you have it. You can Google “how to stock a bar cart” another time – right now you only need a few things.
Stock it with champagne + orange juice for mimosas and/or vodka + bloody mary mix for bloody marys, and maybe some everything bagel bloody mary rim salt if you’re feeling fancy.
Everybody has their own idea of the proper ratio for a mimosa anyway (in my opinion, it’s a full glass of champagne with the tiniest splash of OJ for color). Letting your guests make their own drinks is easy for you, and fun for them.
Have a pot of coffee (or a Nespresso or Keurig machine and pods) at the drink station as well, with cream and sugar for those who partake. You could even whip up a batch of caramel syrup for coffee to set out for DIY caramel iced coffee for an extra special touch.
The tea drinkers might love a round of cardamom tea lattes.
If people ask “what can I bring?,” take them up on it.
Don’t be a brunch buffet hero! If a friend offers to bring something, give them one of these easy brunch ideas that they can pick up on their way to your house:
Bagels and some cream cheese are always a hit. Or a box of the good donuts. Every town has a place with the good donuts, right?
Or how about one of those big cartons of hot coffee, so you don’t have to make it? I think that Panera, Starbucks and Dunkin’ all sell cartons of coffee.
Whatever it is, one thing that somebody brings is one less thing you have to make!