Tiny Fact: When Does Breakfast Become Brunch?

published Dec 9, 2016
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(Image credit: Erin Wengrovius)

Picture the scene: You have eggs on your plate, your eyes are a bit on the heavy side, and you’re quite possibly recovering from the previous night. It’s happened to all of us.

We just have one question for you (and it has nothing to do with why in the world you stayed up so late last night): What are you having? Breakfast or brunch? And when does one become the other? It’s time to clear this up.

In order for that standard breakfast to become a brunch, these three things have to happen.

1. It’s a weekend.

Brunch is not a Monday-through-Friday event. It’s just not. During the week, you’re either eating breakfast (if it’s before noon) or lunch (if it’s noon or later). Sorry. Dem’s the rules! But that’s what makes brunch extra special when it comes to Saturday and Sunday. Once the weekend rolls around, the rules change and you can officially refer to your midday meal as brunch if you’re eating between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you’re eating before 11, it’s breakfast. And the idea of lunch on a weekend doesn’t even exist.

2. Mary and her good friend Mimosa are invited.

At breakfast, it’s all about coffee, tea, or OJ. Once the mimosas, bellinis, or Bloody Marys come out, though, that means it’s brunch time. (Of course, the breakfast beverages are still welcome at brunch!)

Drinking spiked juices at breakfast might seem a little weird, but that’s okay because you’re drinking them at brunch. It’s totally different. Cheers to day-drinking! And if your favorite brunch spot can’t sell alcohol until noon on Sundays, don’t worry — it’s still brunch if you wrap up the meal with bubbly OJ or celery-adorned tomato juice, with a kick!

3. It’s an experience.

Realistically, breakfast is something quick, easy, and I bet eaten in a rush. It’s there to keep you going until lunch, but you’re not really taking the time to savor the experience.

Brunch is the exact opposite. It is an experience, a little indulgent (or very), and it’s time on your calendar you intentionally carve out to kick back and revel in. You’re likely to see a luscious spread covering the table with decked-out pancakes, stuffed French toast, hybrids of your favorite lunch item with an unexpected breakfast twist, and the like.

Have all three things ever happened to you at the same time? If so, you were having brunch! And with that, it’s almost Saturday, so get ready to do it again!