We get it — hosting brunch sounds like a great idea in theory, but when it comes down to it, the planning can get overwhelming. One innocent Pinterest search leads to the next, and before you know it, you’ve spiraled down an out-of-control rabbit hole of intricate side dishes and over-the-top table spreads. What started as hosting a simple gathering among friends has escalated into a full-blown food fiasco, costing you way more time (and money) than you’d initially imagined. Our advice? Keep it simple and stick to what everyone loves: bagels.

Hosting the Ultimate Bagel Brunch is the solution to all of your brunch planning problems; it’s quick, simple, and exactly what everyone needs after a night of drinking one too many. Upgrade your normal Saturday morning bagel routine by doing so with friends and following these simple Bagel Brunch-throwing tips. Your friends (and your wallet) will thank you.

Start With the Basics

First things first: You can’t throw a Bagel Brunch without the bagels! We recommend getting 1.5 bagels per guest invited — you know how hungry people can suddenly get once they start drinking. Grab a variety of flavors, with a stronger emphasis on plain/whole wheat — the plain bases pair better with a variety of spreads.

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Cream Cheese and…

While cream cheese and butter are the obvious spread choices, adding a few other flavors spices up the brunch table. Scallion and veggie are always crowd pleasers, while a random fruit-flavored cream cheese could be a surprising hit. Grab a small jar of peanut butter, jelly, and Nutella for a variety of different textures and flavors.

Lox & Whitefish

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, people who love lox and whitefish really love lox and whitefish. Putting out a plate of fresh fish will send your enamored guests over the moon. Your super- hungover friends will thank you.

Don’t Forget the Fruit

And for your non-fish-eating friends, a side dish of fruit salad or bowl of mixed berries will do just fine. Don’t forget some fresh bananas for the PB lovers!

Caffeine First

Yes, people will want to drink — it is brunch, after all. However, many people will prefer to start their day with a solid dose of caffeine. Offering up a pot of coffee alongside a few green tea/black tea bags will go a long way among your friends. Throw a bottle of Baileys next to that coffee pot and your friends will really love you.

DIY Sparkling Bar

Again, people will want to have a drink eventually. Check out our DIY Sparkling Bar to really be the hostess with the mostest. Letting people craft their own custom cocktails is a huge upgrade from that generic mimosa they were expecting upon arrival.

Ambiance is Key

As with any event hosted at home, ambiance is key. Bear in mind that your friends are starting their day here, most likely after a late, booze-filled night; keep the lights dim, allowing as much natural light to flood your place as possible. Play some low key music to set a laid-back tone and light some fresh-smelling candles to add a clean, calming feel to your place. Making your guests feel at home is the key to a successful brunch.