This year's food-and-drink-filled marathon that is South Beach Wine & Food Festival is in full swing. Unfortunately, every official brunch event has already sold out. That means you'll need somewhere to snack before you head off to your first event Saturday and Sunday, because drinking (and eating) on an empty stomach is not acceptable. Here are five new brunches in Miami to check out this weekend.
1. The Alley. Inside the Betsy Hotel, the newly opened pizzeria the Alley serves everything-bagel pies and panettone French toast for brunch Saturday and Sunday. The menu lists six unique items, including uovabesciamella, thickly sliced prosciutto cotto (cooked Italian ham) layered on a bed of homemade focaccia with two yolky poached eggs ($14); eggs all’Amatriciana, a bowl of baked eggs blended with cured pork, pomodoro sauce, and toasted bread ($9); and rigatoni carbonara topped with small bacon bits, English peas, and pecorino cheese ($14). For something sweet, try the bomboloni, Italy's version of a fried and filled doughnut hole; at the Alley, they're stuffed with passionfruit crema ($9). 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-760-6903; thebetsyhotel.com/dining/thealley. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. At Yardbird, weekends are particularly busy. For eight hours Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant, which debuted in 2011, serves comfort food, from biscuits and fried chicken to mac 'n' cheese and fried tomatoes. It's one of the longest-running brunches in South Beach in terms of service hours and years open. Some of the most popular items are baskets of buttermilk biscuits served with honey butter and house-made jam ($7); bowls brimming with maple-glazed doughnuts garnished with crisp bacon ($9); and fried half chickens alongside five-cheese mac 'n' cheese made with trotolle pasta and coated with a crisp herb crust ($27). There are also strawberry waffles infused with dulce de leche flavor and topped with chocolate sauce, strawberries, and Chantilly cream ($15), and prosciutto and avocado toast topped with a poached egg and roasted tomatoes ($22). 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-5220; runchickenrun.com. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
3. Zuma. Weekend brunch is a mouthful at Zuma in downtown Miami. The experience, offered Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m., unites unlimited samplings of Asian-inspired food, bottomless cocktails, and live jazz performers. It comes at a sizable cost, though. Brunch is broken down into three tiers: Classic, Signature, and Premium. Each is priced from $95 to $395, without tax and tip. Included in all three is a buffet-style selection of hot and cold items such as sushi, sashimi, salads, bao buns, buttermilk fried chicken bites, and robata-cooked dishes. More than a dozen boozy beverages are also available, from mimosas, rosé, and sangria to margaritas, martinis, and sake. The only rule is that diners must finish a drink before ordering another. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-577-0277; zumarestaurant.com. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
4. Stiltsville Fish Bar. The upscale seafood shack, created by Top Chef alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, offers a nautical-inspired brunch Friday through Sunday. A few of the restaurant's best-selling plates appear on the brunch menu, including the sweet corn spoon bread, loaded with buttermilk cream, scallions, and butter-poached lobster ($10 to $13); smoked fish dip, made with cherry-wood-smoked local catch, house pickles, and thyme and served with a handful of saltines ($9); and McInnis' famed fried chicken, which is seasoned with bay leaves and citrus and served with a pickled watermelon salad and hot sauce ($22 to $39). Other standouts are pork-belly bacon and sweet corn pancakes topped with poached eggs, pickled green sliced tomato, Fresno chilies, and tomato jam ($18); sugar-dusted beignets served with chicory coffee pudding ($9); the hummingbird waffle, garnished with rum caramel, charred pineapple slices, pecans, and mascarpone whip ($13); and steak and eggs, served with a creamy and smoky plantain hash ($38). 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786-353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com. Brunch Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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5. Three. Norman Van Aken's new restaurant inside the Wynwood Arcade is now open for brunch. Though it is offered only Sunday, brunch includes an enjoyable assortment of items paired with numerous cocktails, from a mimosa blended with cava ($12) to the Late Bloomer, made with vodka, apple, lemon, basil, and elderflower ($14). A crunchy pair of biscuits is served with sliced American ham and a scoop of strawberry jam ($8). There are also hush puppies — four savory deep-fried balls of a cornmeal-based batter are paired with a rich chicken-liver butter ($7). For something hot, order the steamed shrimp and pork dumplings in a light ponzu broth ($12) — the expertly blended meat produces a pleasant melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Of the main plates, eggs Benedict stands out ($14). Opt for pork belly or a generous serving of tomato and kale. Equally satisfying is the duck confit hash, served with a sunny-side-up egg and topped with poblanos and tomatillo salsa ($16). In the ultrasavory department, consider the Korea Town fried chicken and waffles drizzled with an Asian spice syrup ($21). 50 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-748-4540; threewynwood.com. Brunch Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you're a brunch lover, don't miss South Florida's ultimate brunch celebration — New Times' Out to Brunch from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at Soho Studios, 2136 NW First Ave., Miami; 305-600-4785; newtimesouttobrunch.com. Tickets cost $40 to $70 through ticketfly.com.