The best way to spread some holiday cheer is through food and drink. Luckily, Miami is a playground for inventive restaurants, offering everything from lavish, booze-flowing outposts to intimate spaces with ingredient-driven menus. Besides lunch and dinner outings, make sure to add an alfresco brunch to your to-do list this holiday season.
As the weather cools, Miami's brunch scene has largely moved outdoors, creating fun and inviting environments filled with pork belly sliders, shakshuka, and meringue-infused sweets. Grab your fanciest hat and largest shades because these are the five best places across town to snag a tasty brunch-inspired meal under the warm winter sun.
1. Pawn Broker
On Sundays, this chic spot gives the city's brunch scene something different: a swank rooftop affair similar to those in New York City. Located in the central business district, it's not a popular area to roam by foot in search of a restaurant, which is why brunching there requires one to be in the know. Pawn Broker is more of a tavern than a restaurant, so traditional tables and chairs have been swapped for low-slung lounge furniture surrounding a large bar decked out with glasses, liquor bottles, and a tiered display of Pubbelly's famous doughnuts — it's brunch after all). The menu strikes a balance between Pubbelly favorites and a few additions. Make sure to order the French toast sticks ($8), which are fried to a crisp golden brown but still maintain a warm and pillowy center; and the Broker belly sliders ($10), which come stuffed with thick cuts of pork hugged by miniature brioche buns.
2. Mina's Mediterraneo
Tucked away on NE 79th Street, Mina’s Mediterraneo gives Miami a quaint local spot to nosh on a medley of breakfast and lunch favorites paired with bottomless bubbly. Besides food and drink, the best part about the Mediterranean eatery is its lush, green-filled patio and garden, which features dozens of couches and chairs. While you lounge, try the restaurant's coveted shakshuka plate ($12), which is brought to the table in a sizzling-hot skillet baked with eggs, tomato, onion, peppers, and spiced with garlic and cumin. For a sweet treat, try the brioche French toast ($11). Each dish brings four large slices of bread topped with candied pecans, homemade strawberry and blueberry compote, and maple syrup.
3. Glass & Vine
At Glass & Vine, diners can enjoy an alfresco weekend meal alongside mature trees. In fact, it could be argued that the restaurant, nestled in the Grove's Peacock Park, works better in the daylight. It's then that the full effect of children playing in the park, boats sailing on the horizon, and birds chattering in the trees can be fully appreciated. It's almost as if you're enjoying the best park picnic of your life without having to prep and schlep the basket of goodies yourself. Between the cooling canopy of oversize umbrellas, some Big Ass fans (that's the brand name) blowing cool breezes, and a few glasses of chilled rosé, brunch at Glass & Vine is as pleasant a Miami experience as it gets.
More than seven years ago, before the rise of high-priced restaurants and artisanal specialty shops, a big purple house opened its doors in Wynwood to offer homestyle comfort food. Located in a 1930s building on NE 29th Street between North Miami and NE Second Avenues, Morgans Restaurant has a cultlike brunch following that's stronger than ever. Not much has changed since the eatery began whipping up gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and sweet hotcakes. Over time, the neighborhood staple has become a mecca for anyone craving a breakfast-lunch fusion. Today the restaurant serves brunch all day seven days a week. Forego the inside of the house for a meal on its outdoor porch and patio, which lines the exterior of the restaurant.
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5. Bianca at the Delano
At the Italian eatery, located inside the Delano in South Beach, the weekend meal is a global affair, similar to the guests vacationing at the hotel. The menu features a variety of food stations offering Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes. During brunch, the restaurant's outdoor patio, which overlooks the hotel's garden and pool area, offers club-like music blasted, adding to its South Beach vibe. Expect bottomless service of Veuve Clicquot or Belvedere bloody marys too.