everyone loves brunch
Every time I meet someone new and we decide to make it official via swapping IG handles, mine gets a good reaction. After typing in @neverskipbrunch to bring up my feed, there’s the inevitable, “What an awesome name,” “Oh my goodness I love that handle,” or “How did you come up with that, it’s amazing.” I always joke that I love snacks and sleeping in, and brunch lets me do both. While I don’t disagree that I’m pretty hilarious and my handle is indeed pretty witty, there’s something deeper going on here — it’s like we all love brunch.
Seriously, brunch has gone from a hot weekend trend to a cultural staple in our society. With all the meals to meet for, coffee dates to have, or drinks to grab, why are there so many good feelings around brunch? Today, we dive into my favorite meal — and maybe yours — to discover the social phenomenon behind why we brunch.
Brunch is inherently ❝ cheerful, sociable & enticing❞ – Brunch: a Plea
The inventor of Brunch originally crafted the idea as a hangover cure — and while it’s evolved into much more, it does still excel as its original purpose. A meal that lets you get in a little extra sleep from your big night, provides a range of flavors so you can pick what you need to recover – sweet or savory, and the socially acceptable presence of libations at the table before noon – for whoever might need a little hair of the dog.
The brunch cure also has a social component: Brunch is the antidote we need after a night out – especially when that night is spent in a crowded and loud bar making decisions on a whim and welcoming that one too many. Brunch is a social recovery, a way for us to sit and sip and connect and create a meaningful social interaction that balances out our prior evening. While of course, still getting to share and reminisce about how crazy and unforgettable it was.
But brunch has evolved to become more than a hangover cure. It’s a cultural pillar with endless fangirls (and guys) that rally around it and brunch their heart out whenever possible – hangover or not.
More than just a hangover cure
So why the brunch obsession? I think it has to do with a few things — cuisine, culture, & community. Brunch is an institution that takes the best of these and blends them into one convenient meal that gives you both a non-early morning and still leaves your evening open for plans. The formula is simple:
❝ good food + good company + fun environment + drink menu = happiness❞
Now, there are those out there who say they don’t like brunch — I’ve met them and they’re lying. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience or maybe they don’t like the popular brunch spots, but secretly they still love it — they just haven’t found their best brunch. Yes, I romanticize brunch, but if you somehow find that surprising just check the URL of who you’re talking to. ? If you’re a brunch-basher and you’re still here for some reason, then read on – because you can clearly be convinced.
Brunch food is just fun. From the wide range of sweet, savory, breakfast, and lunch selections on most brunch menus to dishes that are just plain pretty — brunch is a perfect excuse for chefs to whip together something unique, surprising, and totally instagram-worthy. They aren’t limited by centuries of culinary tradition when it comes to what should be served when and are free to create a menu that offers dishes from all over the spectrum.
❝ Brunch food is just fun — it’s not limited by centuries of culinary tradition when it comes to what should be served when❞
With these curated menus entirely dedicated to brunch, the idea has evolved to becoming an important meal in it’s own right. Its’s a time when we might find ourselves being brave and trying new things we wouldn’t normally opt for or maybe not even have access to — like a red velvet pancake, a cereal-laden waffle served with fried chicken, or a crab cake Benedict.
Even if you stick to your go-to dishes, you might find it a little easier to be spontaneous in other ways, whether that’s an interesting cocktail or just treating yourself a little and stretching out of your normal price range to give yourself the “brunch queen” spurge you deserve. Not only does brunch woo us with it’s unconventional but familiar take on culinary tradition, it hits on a little deeper part of our culture in terms of the social phenomenon surrounding the food we’re enjoying.
It’s no secret that food brings us together. Food is powerful — it gives us something in common and a place to come together, helps ups make memories, and shapes our culture. Coming together over food is one of the most basic and longstanding traditions across all different cultures. Food is a necessity – next to the basics like air and water – so it’s no wonder there’s such heritage around it.
The most basic and impactful act of sharing a meal is the core of where brunch gets it’s power. Its not just cultural observation, the science shows that sharing the same food with others can actually bring us closer. This is why business deals are often sealed over food and many relationships get their start over a meal. Sharing food is a bonding activity that genuinely brings us closer, which is why you often leave a brunch with your girls feeling uplifted or why you might start brunch next to a stranger and leave with a new close friend.
The simple act of sharing food helps build trust which in turn helps people open up and start sharing on a deeper level. A sit-down meal helps us to feel connected since we have space to be face-to-face and really dive into what’s going on in each other’s lives. This leads to great conversation on it’s own, but paired with a few drinks it can be even more memorable. The brunch culture has taught us that true connections can be made and friendships forged over this mid-day meal — so we learn to go into brunch playfully and willing to invest in good conversation and create connection.
Brunch is a community activity — it’s inherently social. With all the tools of culinary tradition and culture intertwined, it’s no wonder that brunch can create community. Brunch is a well-established social ritual where we gather with our friends or full on #brunchsquad to share an experience together. We recount the events of the night before, talk about what we’re all up to, and connect without judgement. After all, it’s hard to be on your high horse evaluating the quality of other people’s life decisions when you’re drinking a cocktail at 10am — which I personally applaud as a great life decision, but I digress.
❝ It’s hard to be on your high horse evaluating the quality of other people’s life decisions when you’re drinking a cocktail at 10am❞
If you want to see the full community aspect of brunch, just hop on Instagram under the #brunch hashtag. With over 19 million posts and climbing, it becomes clear that brunch is not just a meal to be eaten, but well-documented. The dishes are awe-inspiring and unconventional, the conversation is genuine, the company is good — and we’re just having so much dang fun we can’t help but share it. Sharing is at the core of community, and that’s what brunch is all about: sharing food, sharing a experience – and sharing both with the people who weren’t there to experience it first hand.
Brunch is free from our routine and our usual schedule of 3 round meals: it exists as it’s own playful in-between space. It’s a special place we carve out to connect and celebrate each other — almost a secular sabbath, especially when done on Sunday.