Brunch: It’s what’s for breakfast (and lunch) on the weekend. It seems as though brunch culture in the Magic City has finally caught up with the rest of the nation's fascination over the sweet-meets-savory-and-boozy meal period.
Sunday, once dreaded by chefs, has become the busiest day of the week for many restaurants. For example, Take Yardbird, which spearheaded the brunch train on South Beach in 2011, just six months after opening, and still has a line as early as 9:30 every Sunday morning. Four years is a long time, and many other eateries have jumped onboard since then.
Here are the top ten brunches in Miami Beach:
Though Macchialina has a fantastic spread every Sunday, the restaurant's monthly Italian dim sum brunch is a must-do. Not only is there bottomless booze for $20, as well as an à la carte menu (think porchetta hash and breakfast pizza), but also rolling carts dart around the dining room. On them are minuscule bowls stacked with executive chef/owner Michael Pirolo’s myriad creations, including menu items like arancini and creamy polenta, along with off-menu delights such as à la minute risotto, gnocchi Bolognese, squid ink raviolini stuffed with mortadella, and whatever else he has up his sleeve. For $3 to $6 per plate, it’s the most inexpensive, fun, and delicious way to brunch.
While Vintro recently raised its buffet price from $45 to $64, the limitless offerings of freshly shucked Kumamotos and Raspberry Points make it well worth it if you're into bivalves. Also included in the price are grilled-to-order lamb chops, Mediterranean paella, charcuterie, and pastries galore. Not included: bottomless sangria, bloody marys, or mimosas. You'll have to shell out an additional $30 to drink yourself silly, (also recently raised from $15). It's not the best deal on this side of the bridge, but if you're goal is to have a boozy Sunday, you can certainly achieve it here.
There’s something about a proper brunch that’s irresistible, and Cecconi’s has it. The buffet spread includes pastas, charcuterie, skirt steak, lamb, fish, pancakes, pizza, cereal, granola, cheese, and even oysters. You name it, Cecconi’s has it. Of course, no brunch would be complete without eggs, so there’s a station to get your omelet on. And for just $45 ($4 less than Vintro's), including a gratis bellini or mimosa, you simply can’t beat it.
7. Tongue & Cheek
There’s a reason Tongue & Cheek earned a coveted spot on the next round of Bravo’s newest reality series, Best New Restaurant. It’s called the beef cheek burger ($14), and you can find it on the brunch menu at T&C, right alongside one of the city’s top chicken 'n' waffles ($19) and other usual brunch suspects like a brisket Benedict, French toast, and huevos rancheros. Wash it all down with a smoky barbecue bloody.
After six years, it was about time the Pubbelly Boys began serving brunch fare. Yes, Pubbelly’s food is heavy and hearty, but it’s also exactly what your body craves after a night out drinking. Pork belly ramen, anybody? Yep. If that doesn’t cure your hangover, Jose Mendin’s medianoche McBelly surely will. He's taken the traditional and beloved McBelly and turned it into the Cuban midnight snack ($12). Not in the mood for swine? The house-made granola with seasonal berries and yuzu is for more than just for the health-conscious, and if you happened to be a fan of PB Steak's brunch, you'll be glad to know you can get the French toast sticks ($12) here.
5. Oliver’s Bistro
The American bistro tucked away on West Avenue is one of South Beach’s best-kept secrets. As are the sausage, egg, and cheese popovers ($10.95), which besides being freshly baked pillows of heaven are pretty much the stuff brunch dreams are made of. And though there’s nothing out of the ordinary on the menu, the staples of a stupendous brunch — a proper Benedict, waffles, and a smoked salmon and bagel platter — make Oliver's brunch a classic.
4. Restaurant Michael Schwartz
It should be no surprise that Restaurant Michael Schwartz at the Raleigh serves among the best brunches on South Beach considering Michael Schwartz changed the brunch game himself, first at Nemo circa 2004 and then with his Design District eatery Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, which is still one of the best brunches in town. And at RMS, not only can you get some of those same go-to brunch items from MGFD like deviled eggs, breakfast pizza, and lemon ricotta pancakes, but also nosh on novel and crave-worthy dishes like house-made beef jerky ($7), a slow-roasted prime rib sandwich ($20), and gluten-free dried cherry and hazelnut pancakes ($13), which might be the best pancakes you’ve ever had. And it's all in a picturesque alfresco setting where even Anthony Bourdain got his brunch on. Thirsty? Go bottomless at the DIY bloody mary bar for $29.
What could possibly be better than fried chicken 'n' cheddar waffles with a little bubbly or bourbon (maple bourbon syrup, that is) on a Sunday morning? We can’t think of anything, but luckily we don’t have to because Yardbird serves all of these things and then some as part of its Southern brunch. Things you’ll want: a maple-glazed bacon doughnut ($9), a jar of cornbread ($9), cinnamon apple hands pies ($10), and chicken liver toast ($5). In other words, you'll want everything on the menu. The early bird gets the brunch, so make reservations or arrive at 9:30 a.m. if you want to snag a table.
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If there’s a way to experience Hakkasan, brunch is it. Two words: dim sum. The prix fixe family-style menu costs just $28 a person and comes with a steamed and crisp dim sum basket filled with a bounty of offerings. Think pork shumai, sugar snap peas and shrimp, Chinese chive prawn, and spicy beef. But that’s only the beginning. After dim sum, you can choose an entrée, a vegetable, and a plate of rice or noodles. Available Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 2:45 p.m., it’s a surefire way to get your weekend rolling — and you rolling out of there.
1. 27 Restaurant & Bar
Brunch might be fairly new at 27, but Bar Lab boys Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta have been plotting its arrival for a long time. They get what Miami wants on a Sunday morning, and they deliver it by way of boozy decanters for four to six people for just $50 of Floridian mimosas, made with passionfruit and fresh-squeezed local orange juice (local, of course); smoked fish croquetas (also local); and buttermilk biscuits with homemade seasonal jam (because local). And what’s best is that after brunch, you can just walk out back to the Broken Shaker and keep your buzz going the rest of the day. Is there a better way to end a weekend?