Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning but it can extend to as late as 3PM on Sundays. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. Brunch originated in England in the late 1800s, and in the 1930s became popular in the United States.
The 1896 supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary cites Punch magazine which wrote that the term was coined in Britain in 1895 to describe a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers" in the writer Guy Beringer's article "Brunch: A Plea" in Hunter's Weekly'
Instead of England's early Sunday dinner, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting." Beringer wrote. "It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."
- William Grimes, "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better" New York Times, 1998
It is sometimes credited to reporter Frank Ward O'Malley who wrote for the New York newspaper The Sun from 1906 until 1919, allegedly based on the typical mid-day eating habits of a newspaper reporter.
The dim sum brunch is popular in Chinese restaurants worldwide. It consists of a variety of stuffed buns, dumplings, and other savory or sweet food items that have been steamed, deep-fried, or baked. Customers pick small portions from passing carts, as the kitchen continuously produces and sends out more freshly prepared dishes. Dim sum is usually eaten at a mid-morning, midday, or mid-afternoon teatime.
German-speaking countries readily adopt Anglicisms, and "brunch" is no exception, defining it as "a combination of breakfast and lunch."
In other cities
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
'Friday Brunch' is considered something of an institution in Dubai. Many large hotels and restaurants offer an all inclusive drinks and food buffet during early afternoons, and large groups of ex-pats and tourists make this the highlight of their weekend, with parties going on well into the night.
In many regions of Canada, in particular in Southern Ontario, brunch is popular on Sundays when families will often host relatives or friends in their dining room. The typical brunch can last a few hours and go late into the afternoon. Montreal-style bagels may be served alongside egg dishes, waffles or crepes, smoked meat or fish, fruit, salads, cheese, and dessert. Often, champagne or wine will be served and following the meal tea or coffee is usually consumed.
Many restaurants offer brunch service as well, and the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto is sometimes called the brunch capital of Toronto as many renowned establishments serve brunch in that neighbourhood.
^Office de la langue française, 1999, 'Le Grand Dictionnaire, entry "Brunch": "Repas combinant le petit déjeuner et le repas du midi, et habituellement constitué d'un buffet". (A meal that combines the breakfast and lunch and usually consists of a buffet.)