What’s better than feeding your soul and your belly? Gospel brunches do just that.
Those Sunday brunches can especially be ideal when you’re traveling and can’t go to your own church. It can be one more thing to put on your itinerary to add for a trip that refreshes my mind, body and spirit.
Foodies and seasoned travelers weighed in on some of their gospel brunch favorites. You might want to add these to your list.
San Francisco, California
For Shawn Richards, foodie and expedition coordinator at Ultimate Kilimanjaro, a professional travel and adventure guide, this is a no-brainer, “San Francisco is undoubtedly entitled to bragging rights for one of the best Gospel Brunches in the U.S. Opening in 2007, the 1300 on Fillmore restaurant and lounge is a well-known swanky soul food situation with dishes prepared by executive chef David Lawrence. The Future Perfect gospel band isn’t the only part of the brunch that deserves a standing ovation.”
According to Richards, much applause goes to the grub. “With extraordinary twists on classic dishes such as fried chicken with a chili and maple syrup butter sauce and moreish cocktails, including their Cajun Bloody Mary and Fillmore Fizz, there’s no competition for the best Gospel Brunch in the U.S. The atmosphere at Fillmore is unbeatable (probably aided by their bottomless Bellini package), and their Southern-style dishes are some of the best in San Francisco. I’m even confident enough to say their Bananas Foster French Toast alone makes them a must-try gospel brunch.”
Alrighty then, put 1300 on Fillmore on your not-to-be missed sites like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Legion of Honor, fine arts museum.
Charleston, South Carolina
Will Hatton, CEO and founder of the Broke Backpacker, a website that provides advice on how to travel on $10 a day, says, “not only does South Carolina feature the most gospel brunches in the U.S. but it’s also host to the best. Hall’s Chophouse gospel brunch is the local favorite (which is always an excellent sign) and always comes highly recommended by any hotel or bar staff you ask.”
With an array of performers, including the Plantation Singers, gold standard Southern hospitality and impeccable menu, it’s no wonder their reputation precedes them, he says.
“Although I would never attempt to produce a Banana Foster cake higher than three tiers, Hall’s sets a record offering a 14-layer Foster Cake that will blow your mind and your tastebuds! Their Gospel Brunches have become so popular they host them every Sunday, and if you’re lucky enough to visit them, I cannot recommend their Malted Belgian Waffle enough; it truly is a taste sensation!”
Word is the southern sweet potato pancakes, crab cake eggs benedict and She-crab soup will put on a smile on your face too.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Trysta Barwig is a travel expert and founder of the blog, This Travel Dream. She says, “The best city that has Gospel Brunch is one that has a House of Blues restaurant.They have various locations all over the country, but I frequent the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina location where I live.”
She goes every other week. “It’s the best place to be on Sunday morning,” says Barwig.
She has been to the Cleveland, Ohio, and Orlando, Florida locations, and she has high praise for them too.
“The singers are chosen by gospel singer Kirk Franklin who is one of the best in the industry. I have been going to the gospel brunch for a long time, and I don’t think there has been a day with bad music.
They sing everything from old songs like “Down by the Riverside” to modern hits like “Jesus Takes the Wheel,” she says.
You’ll get your soul fed, but what about your tummy? “The food is fantastic, and the price is not bad considering how much you get! It’s buffet style so you can try everything. They have all kinds of different foods, so there is something for everyone. The chicken waffles are my favorite.”
The Blue Rooster in Sarasota, Florida has been doing a Gospel Brunch since 2014, word is folks come from all over central Florida to fill up on the music, the fried chicken and waffles and the Hail Mary Bloody Mary. Better make a reservation or you might be disappointed if you show up and it’s sold out.
If it’s Sunday in Savannah, the place to be is the Good Times Jazz Bar and Restaurant for their Gospel Brunch. By all means, bring your appetite. The menu includes Southern goodies like down home potato salad, collards, butter beans, okra, candied yams, mac n cheese, Savannah red rice, fried catfish filet, Se Island smothered shrimp and creamy stone ground grits and much more. No doubt, you’re going to need to take a long, long walk in a park where you can admire those trees draped in all that lovely Spanish moss.