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Fancy Eats, Familiar Feels: Boujee Breakfasts Offer Elevated Comfort Food

Apr 01, 2024

Fancy Eats, Familiar Feels: Boujee Breakfasts Offer Elevated Comfort Food

When it comes to fancy breakfast scenes—aka “Boujee Breakfast”—establishments like the Soho House clubs set the tone. Diners and staff alike typically sport perfectly coiffed tresses and attire. The music consists of chilled-out grooves with an occasional deejay. And every piece of art adorning the walls easily becomes a conversation starter.

These chic, Euro-inspired clubs are ideal settings for settling in for a few hours to catch up with fashionable friends, and for most, the food is also a draw. The trendy breakfast menu boasts açai bowls, juicy chargrilled burgers, fluffy breakfast sandwiches and more.

Breakfast and brunch are prime eating times. According to Datassential, 83% of consumers eat brunch away from home occasionally. It’s even more popular with Gen Z and Millennials, with 94% and 89%, respectively, eating brunch away from home.1

Many come for lively atmospheres powered by deejays or live entertainment, fun libations, colorful, stylish crowds and unique dishes. These so-called boujee breakfast events showcase classic menu items amped up by trendy ingredients like black garlic, harissa, mustard seeds, mochi, pineapple, ponzu, Spam, spicy ranch, tahini, yuzu and za’atar, indicates a new study from Datassential.2

Jalapeño serves as another popular ingredient that’s grown 5.2% on breakfast menus in the past four years.3 At all-day breakfast nook Magnolia Café in Austin, Texas, it appears in various savory dishes. There’s the signature dish Chicken and the Egg, consisting of a cornmeal jalapeño pancake topped with ancho chicken, mixed cheddar/jack cheese, and two eggs over medium. Guests may also enjoy the medium-sized green chili pepper when it tops a mound of seasoned home fries with cheddar/jack cheese and green onion.

Loaded waffle fry orders increase during boujee breakfast

When some people envision a boujee breakfast, they picture lobster, poached egg or crab meat topping everything. That’s not always the case. It’s more about elevating classic dishes with unique, yet complementary ingredients. Loaded fries, of course, have been topped with just about everything imaginable. Now, some operators are looking to use waffle fries as the base because 75% of consumers like or love waffle fries.4

For example, at Bé Em Asian Kitchen in Charlotte, North Carolina, the loaded waffle fries are packed with unconventional flavors and a bold mix of textures. Kamikaze Filet Kim Chi Fries are topped with marinated beef, kimchi, cheese, cilantro and several house-made sauces. The dish, of course, is ideal for sharing. And at Atlanta’s Torched Hop Brewing, the specialty is Wu-Fries with a heaping of Buffalo sauce, ranch, cheddar and scallions over bacon, chicken or beef. It’s meant to go down well with one of the establishment’s signature craft beers.

Simplot’s new Maple City™ Waffle Flavored Waffle Fries—the first waffle fries that taste like real waffles—fit right in with this trend. They’re unique and indulgent, with the gentle sweetness of real maple syrup to complement savory items of all kinds.

Uptick of breakfast bowls on boujee breakfast menus

Açai bowls at venues like Soho House are typically made with superfruit açai berry purée, frozen bananas, blueberries and strawberries, then topped with seasonal fresh fruit, granola and seeds. That’s about as boujee as you can get for those erring on the healthier side for something sweet.

But you’ll find more savory bowls than sweet bowls on breakfast menus. They’ve grown 64.4% in the past four years, with vegetable-forward options steadily increasing.3

At Chicago’s Lula Café, there’s a Farro & Quinoa Bowl on the menu. It’s simple, yet hearty, with bitter greens, apple, celery, pecan pesto and a nine-minute egg. In Las Vegas, revelers recharge with the Spicy Vegan Bowl made with plant-based scrambled egg, plant-based hot link sausage, spinach, mushroom, onion, green and red bell peppers, avocado and sriracha over home fries.

Even IHOP has gotten in on the boujee breakfast trend with its Southwestern Chicken Bowl. Here, grilled chicken is dressed up with the addition of scrambled eggs, green peppers, onion, tomatoes, queso sauce, shredded jack cheese, salsa and avocado.

The last several years, in fact, have been great for avocado on breakfast menus. According to Datassential, it has grown 7.7% in the past four years. Assisting this growth is Southwestern cuisine, which has increased 38.9% in the past four years.3

The trends may be found in restaurants throughout the country, with operators adapting their own takes. At Mesa Grill, a big fave is Steak & Green Chili Grits. The Sedona, Arizona, restaurant adds a Southwestern theme to the classic Southern staple by complementing it with a sunny side up egg, broiled tomato, steak and guacamole. At Ellen’s, in Dallas, there’s a Mushroom Garlic Scramble on the breakfast menu. It’s rich, smoky and layered with sautéed mushrooms, hickory bacon, goat cheese, avocado, scallions, eggs and served over a buttermilk biscuit.

Homestyle away from home on boujee breakfast menus

In the end, with all the fancy trappings of boujee breakfast, consumers still want menus that feel familiar. Fifty-eight percent of consumers say that a wide variety of menu options is an extremely important factor in deciding where to go for breakfast away from home.1

Two popular options across the board: breakfast potatoes and Southern-inspired dishes. According to Datassential, Southern cuisine is a Top 3 desired breakfast trend for consumers; 58% of Gen Z and 54% of Millennials are very interested in trying Southern fare during breakfast; and 38% of operators report breakfast potatoes provide a higher margin than other items on their menu.1

That means, of course, more buttermilk biscuits, more fried-green tomatoes and more home fries. If those are your style, consider these morning menu recipes from the Simplot Culinary Team:

Wholesome Breakfast Veggie Bowl
If you have customers looking for healthy, portable breakfast options, this is it! Packed with ancient grains, roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions, avocado, arugula and poached egg—this bowl really satisfies.
View Recipe »

Maple City™ Waffle Loaded Breakfast Fries
Top a plate of Maple City™ Waffle-Flavored Waffle Fries with diced fried chicken, crumbled bacon, melted cheese and perfectly poached eggs. Serve these up with a spicy maple-sriracha sauce.
View Recipe »

Southwest Corn and Avocado Bowl
Perfect for a healthy, savory breakfast with a spicy little kick. Top a base of cilantro lime rice, fire-roasted corn and black beans with a fried egg, guacamole, salsa, jalapeños and cotija. Serve with cilantro-lime dressing and pumpkin seeds.
View Recipe »

Jalapeño Cornmeal Pancake Tacos
How about breakfast tacos with a pancake wrapper shell? Fluffy, golden corn pancakes filled with grilled Andouille sausage, flame-roasted corn and jalapeños, topped off with green onion and warm maple syrup. Yes, please!
View Recipe »

1 Datassential, ReportPro, 2024
2 Datassential, Food Trends, 2024
3 Datassential, MenuTrends, 2024
4 Datassential, Consumer Preferences, 2024