As Miami enters a season of scorching heat and thunderstorms, take refuge inside a cozy restaurant and sample a new brunch.
From Miami Beach to Edgewater, restaurants such as Fi'lia, Stubborn Seed, and Planta have rolled out summer brunch menus offering drink specials, updated dishes, and entertainment. This weekend, try one yourself.
1. Amara at Paraiso. Michael Schwartz's latest restaurant is behind a new waterfront Sunday brunch in Miami's Edgewater neighborhood. The toothsome affair, hosted every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers a large selection of Latin American-influenced items washed down with a slate of tropical cocktails. Consider the white corn arepas topped with sun gold tomatoes, queso fresco, and a poached egg ($16) or a juicy choripan sandwich filled with sweet potato, kale, and smoked paprika aioli. There's also the Amara breakfast, a sampling of some of the restaurant's best items: meaty red beans, crisp eggs, chorizo, avocado, and an empanada ($18). 3101 NE Seventh Ave., Miami; 305-702-5528; amaraatparaiso.com. Brunch Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Bodega. South Beach's Bodega recently debuted weekend brunch, offering churro French toast and cocktails made with grapefruit, tequila, and prosecco. The six-item menu ($4 to $12), though small, packs a punch. Expect migas nachos, smothered in bacon, scrambled eggs, queso, tomato, cilantro, and guacamole, and the Primo's burrito, stuffed with short rib, scrambled eggs, Oaxaca cheese, hash browns, and truffle-infused maple syrup. For something sweet, go for the churro French toast. A stack of sugar-dusted fried dough is finished with strawberries, spicy truffle-infused maple syrup, and more sugar. 1220 16th St., Miami Beach; 305-704-2145; bodegasouthbeach.com. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
3. Fi'lia. More than a year and a half after Fi’lia opened at the SLS Brickell, the restaurant has dived into Miami's brunch scene with Italian-inspired small plates, bottomless cocktails, and a South Beach-style DJ in the courtyard. Best sellers are the crispy chickpea, a fried egg with spiced parsley aioli served atop a crunchy, falafel-like patty ($9); creamy avocado toast with a poached egg on multigrain bread ($10); lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote ($8); and smoked wild salmon crostini finished with citrus, basil, ricotta, radish, and capers ($15). A scoop of chilled overnight oats, served in a tall glass, bursts with fruity, nutty, and maple flavors ($9). SLS Brickell, 1300 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-912-1729; sbe.com. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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4. Planta. The buzzy new vegan restaurant in South Beach offers a brunch menu brimming with fruit-, vegetable-, and nut-based items that burst with color and flavor. Highlights include coconut ceviche made with raw coconut meat scooped from the shell to re-create the texture of fish ($15.25); cauliflower tots, fried to a golden brown and finished with a dollop of almond-based Parmesan spiked with truffle ($11.25); and a veggie burger made of black beans, mashed lentils, and beetroot and topped with lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, and a gooey cheese made of carrot and potato ($19.95). Keep an eye out for the banana nut pancakes and warm cinnamon buns too. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 305-397-8513; plantarestaurants.com. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
5. Stubborn Seed. At Jeremy Ford's Stubborn Seed, the Top Chef winner offers unique interpretations on many traditional brunch favorites. Though the menu includes quite a few savory dishes, brunch is pastry chef Dallas Wynne's time to shine. Her creations include cracked pepper biscuits ($7), a cinnamon bun baked in its own copper pot, and waffles topped with whipped espresso foam ($12). Among the savory items are a bright salad of local greens and aged Parmesan ($13), smoked Tennessee pork belly with a crispy farm egg ($16), and roasted cauliflower with sunny-side-up eggs ($15). 101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-322-5211; stubbornseed.com. Brunch Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.