Go hyper-local at these value-conscious insider haunts
Approachable, affordable, and downright delicious, the weekend brunch at this small downtown pizzeria satisfies every sweet and savory craving imaginable—thanks to decadent dishes such as mascarpone-drenched Panettone French toast, lemon ricotta pancakes, and a wood-fired brunch pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, smoked bacon, fingerling potatoes, shallots, Parmigiana, and eggs. Pair the hearty cuisine with mixology-forward à la carte libations like the Brunching Buck (a refreshing blend of Old Forester Bourbon, Prosecco, watermelon juice, lemon, and fresh ginger) or treat yourself to the generous Spritz Bar, a limitless mix-and-match of Aperol, Lillet, Campari, and Tropical Spritzes for a set price ($20). Reserve a table on the patio for a front-row seat to the live music that’s part of this locals’ brunch ritual.
Despite moving to a larger space in Victoria Park last fall, this modern American restaurant still commands long waits for its weekend brunch—and rightfully so. An extensive menu of highly tempting comfort food is underscored by the likes of banana bread grilled cheese (with Nutella and ricotta filling), white chocolate chip French toast, short rib Benedict (with chimichurri hollandaise), and a thick patty melt—the very sandwich behind the restaurant’s genesis. Can’t choose between all the highly caloric greatness? No problem: Low price points make it easy to sample several dishes and enjoy brunch as a small plates concept (but with large portions that you’ll likely finish).
Big Name Brunches On the Beach
Enjoy celeb-backed cuisine plus awesome Atlantic views at these oceanside oases
Stephen Starr’s iconic oceanfront steak house makes waves with a sizzling new brunch menu, packed with raw bar favorites, Wagyu beef selections, and conversation-worthy, weekend-only delights. Start sweet with piping hot doughnuts alongside key lime curd and vanilla Chantilly for dipping, then veer into savory with king crab–crowned avocado toast followed by lobster, shrimp, and grits, all bubbling in a brandy lobster cream sauce. Or go for carnivore gold with the Wagyu flat iron steak and eggs (plus a side of breakfast potatoes) or a petite cut of melt-in-your-mouth, authentic Kobe strip (from Hyogo prefecture, Japan). Wash it all down with a few rounds of 954 spritzes (Aperol, Montenegro, Giffard Crème de Pêche, lemon, and Cava) to the backdrop of buzzy Fort Lauderdale beach.
TV personality Fabio Viviani brings a celebrity chef experience to Fort Lauderdale Beach with his new restaurant, rewriting the narrative on coastal Italian excellence—weekend brunch included. Experience the Top Chef’s ingenuity through plates like the breakfast spaghetti (overflowing with bacon, sausage, and Grana Padano and topped with a fried egg) or the fried shrimp and waffles (laced with Calabrian chili, maple syrup, and vanilla butter). Of course, it wouldn’t be right to not order some signature dishes like the polpetti di Fabio, his family recipe of Angus beef meatballs, tomato sugo (sauce), and whole milk ricotta that helped propel him to stardom. Elevate the experience by opting for the bottomless Frosé and request to dine alfresco with prime vistas of the Atlantic.
Chef Pablo Salas, best known for his award-winning restaurant Amaranta in Mexico City, puts on a dynamic, all-inclusive buffet brunch at his Fort Lauderdale taqueria each Sunday. Look forward to chef-attended food stations, including one with tacos al pastor and another for custom omelets and huevos rancheros, plus a specialties section with Salas’ signature chicken poblano. Imbibe bottomless margaritas, mimosas, and Bloody Marys and revel in the ocean views from the artsy patio—they are some of the dreamiest in all South Florida.
Fabulous food and amazing views go together at these brunches along the New River and Intracoastal
This Pan-Asian and Latin-fusion restaurant impresses with eclectic, flavor-rich cuisine and beautiful views across a narrow, Venice-like waterway off Las Olas Boulevard. Here, the rock and roll weekend brunch speaks to the menu’s prolific tequila-based tipples—they are all made using smooth Rock N’ Roll Tequila and have inspired many of the brunch items. Try, for example, the Rock N’ Roll Fiesta sushi roll with rock shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, truffle aioli, cajun spices, and a touch of kimchi sauce, plated with your choice of tequila shot (either mango or Platinum Cristalino). Also choose from a menu of tequila-based cocktails like the Rock N’ Roll Mojitarita (a remix of the traditional mojito) or go rogue with the option of bottomless mimosas, Bellinis, or Bloody Marys. Take things up a notch by doing it all on a scenic gondola tour, which leaves directly from Casa Sensei’s dock.
A high point in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s renaissance is Rivertail, a seafood-forward restaurant by five-time James Beard Award–nominated chef José Mendin. Overlooking the New River, the restaurant promises a weekly brunch bar to remember—or forget, depending on how much you drink. Imbibe savory Bloody Mary options like the Bacon Mary (local bacon-infused vodka, house-made Bloody Mary mix, laced with candied and crispy bacon strips) plus flavor-rich Micheladas. Brunch grub arrives in both familiar and eclectic form, ranging from decadent lobster Benedict to sweet crab doughnuts (fried brioche stuffed with crab salad and doused in spicy honey) to a shrimp al ajillo po’boy with spicy remoulade and tartar slaw.
Brunch on the Daily
Brunch so good, it needs an entire week
Despite a COVID-era reinvention as a take-away restaurant, O-B House (short for the Old Fort Lauderdale Breakfast House) remains the undisputed king of the city’s brunch scene thanks primarily to high-quality, ingredient-driven cuisine. Serving breakfast and brunch food exclusively—from 9 a.m. to early afternoon, every day (except Mondays) and for 10-plus years—O-B house crafts the best in oven-baked, buttermilk mega-pancakes, fluffy omelets, stacked breakfast sandwiches, creamy cheese grits, and larger breakfast plates of eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and more. While there’s no table service, a new courtyard with umbrella-capped picnic benches offers diners an option to unbox their meals on premises rather than taking them home.
Venture to Bollywood by way of Las Olas
After 10 successful years in Miami’s Coconut Grove, Indian favorite Bombay Darbar opened a sophomore endeavor on Las Olas Boulevard. On Sundays, the restaurant hosts a decadent brunch in the form of an ever-changing buffet spread that typically includes several meat- and vegetarian-based entrees, naan bread, basmati rice, and all the Indian fixings. A recent memorable meal included vegetable samosas, chicken tikka masala, tandoori shrimp, mutter paneer (cubes of Indian cheese and peas in a flavorful tomato and onion sauce), and more. The restaurant’s fun Bollywood-inspired setting is also idyllic for kicking back a few Kingfisher or Taj Mahal Indian beers or letting loose with an option of unlimited mimosas.
There’s no reason to wait for Taco Tuesday
One of the most consistently busy venues on the Las Olas strip, Rocco’s Tacos promises a high-energy, tequila-spiked Mexican throwdown every night of the week, typically peaking on Taco & Tequila Tuesday. But the upbeat experience isn’t only for late night—in fact, it thrives during weekend brunch hours thanks to an intoxicating mix of loud beats, a fun crowd, and all-you-can-drink mimosas, Bloody Marys, or rosé. Besides Rocco’s standard fare of tableside guac, traditional tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas, look forward to brunch-only specials such as Rocco’s fuego chicken and churros (a Mexican-inspired take on the traditional chicken and waffles) and the desayuno breakfast tacos with scrambled egg breakfast tacos, bacon, chili rajas, cotija cheese, cilantro, and chile de árbol. (roccostacos.com)