4 Best Brunch Theories About Its Origin

American Brunch

Brunch is a long Southern tradition that arose from the need to give a name to that meal that is served too late to be called breakfast or too early to be considered lunch, at least that is how the term is now understood. But what is the story behind this hybrid meal?

Let’s start by saying that according to the Smithsonian, there are a few theories behind this meal, but since here at Brick & Spoon Orlando we are crazy about this meal, we want to share our top 4 theories: 

  1. South’s most popular hobbies
  2. Common breakfast in England
  3. Catholics tradition after going to church
  4. All started in the Big Apple

4 Super Theories Behind Brunch:

Brunch With Bacon

As early as 1895, an ingenious wordsmith merged the words “breakfast” and “lunch” to create the word “brunch,” a type of meal capable of improving your mood, freeing you from your worries. 

Although Guy Beringer, author of the Hunter’s Weekly article “Brunch: A Plea” may have created this word in this exact review, he was not the inventor of this meal. 

  1. Food historians believe that it was born thanks to one of the South’s most popular hobbies: hunting or going to church.
  2. Meanwhile, others believe that, thanks to the common breakfast in England based on the classic eggs Benedict. 
  3. Other food historians believe that Sunday brunch began because Catholics were in the habit of eating after church.
  4. Some believe it all really started in the Big Apple, where many restaurants served classic dishes.

The most common options were eggs benedict and bagels with smoked salmon, alternatives that turned breakfast lovers into brunch fanatics. But seriously, how can you not be a big fan of bacon, French toast, crêpes, hash browns, mimosas, or Bloody Mary’s when they are so delicious?


History Of Brunch

Benedict Brunch

A year later, in 1896, the word “brunch” was first published in the United States. The New Oxford News and Notes for Women article “The Newest Thing in Lunches” introduced readers to the “madness” of eating between breakfast and lunch.

Whatever the origin of brunch, the fact is that it was perfected in the United States. Some food experts believe that this hybrid food became famous in the 1930s when Hollywood stars traveling across the country by train would stop in Chicago for a breakfast-lunch meal. So this is a good example of how Brunch became the king of meals thanks to celebrities.

First, it was a meal offered by hotels, as most restaurants were closed on Sundays and church attendance declined after World War II, so people were looking for a new social space where they could go without getting up so early. 

Time passed and this hybrid food became even more popular. But you know who wasn’t so happy about it? The chefs, because they had to create a menu with the right balance between breakfast and lunch, and that was no easy task.

In the beginning, this meal had to do with luxury, wealth, and an extended Sunday off. Some of these meanings are still valid today, but most important is its sense of fraternity. That’s why whenever it’s brunch, there will always be a large group of friends or family eating. 


Must-know Brunch Facts

Brunch with spinach

  • The Fancy Hotel Brunch 

When hybrid food first became fashionable in the United States, it was an elegant event served in luxury hotels for the elite. Not much is mentioned of it after the late 19th century, except for Emily Post’s brunch of oysters, eggs, and caviar at a luxury hotel in the 1920s.


  • Brunch Increased Its Fans In The 1930s 

In the 1930s, the middle class took over. Housewives, businesswomen, and single women realized how convenient, cheap, and easy it was and started doing it at home.


  • The First Brunch Cookbook Appeared In The 1940s

It was always popular because it was inexpensive: a two-in-one menu with special touches that were not offered during the week. 

  • Brunch At Home In 1950

After World War II, Sunday morning worship declined in the 1950s, and instead, this meal was held at home.


  • Brunch Around The World 

People were so in love with this hybrid meal in the 1990s that the restaurants offered it on Saturdays and Sundays. In the 2000s,  goes global.


  • Today: Brunch Is The King:

It has become a weekend activity worthy of being classified as a “sport”. The lines are long, the plates are stacked, the syrup is poured, the waffles are sandwiches. But there’s one constant that remains: it’s still a social thing.



Who knows what the future holds, but when it comes to food, I’m sure it’s good news because this meal doesn’t change, it just gets better.