In the land of eternal sunshine and warm weather, there's pretty much nothing better than a good brunch to either kick off (or cap) the week's festivities. In South Florida, Saturday and Sunday morning becomes prime time for weekend warriors to belly up to those endless bloody mary, mimosa, or bellini bars and chow down on some of the area's most indulgent fare.
In Palm Beach County, Delray Beach has become the new darling destination for a night (or weekend morning) out on the town. With its endless variety of concepts and menus priced to suit a variety of budgets — all within the span of a few miles — this seaside village makes for an interesting brunch scene.
Whether you're looking for an ocean view, a Southern-style breakfast, $9 bottomless drink deals, or a classy buffet table, here's our list of the ten best brunches in Delray Beach.
10. Caffe Martier
411 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-450-6169, or visit caffemartier.com.
Sometimes, you want to dine out on Atlantic Avenue without all the hustle and bustle of the busy downtown scene. That's where Caffe Martier comes into play. This fashion-forward establishment had humble beginnings, once just a tiny cafe in an adjoining space next door to a clothing boutique at the epicenter of Atlantic Avenue. Recently, the European-style eatery took on the space next door — formerly Gol! Taste of Brazil — expanding to create the ultimate indoor-outdoor dinging atmosphere reminiscent of a true European bistro. The menu blends traditional Mediterranean cuisine with new age American offerings for a variety of breakfast and lunch choices, offered from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Specialty dishes include Belgium waffles and super-sized omelets served with mixed greens and a small croissant. Choose from a lox version prepared with cream cheese, cured salmon, tomatoes, and red onion, or a garden pesto take with tomatoes and mozzarella (and get them served on a fresh-baked baguette for an extra $.75). The avocado mousse croissant is the best bet: a cheese and tomato omelet served on a fresh croissant and topped with a spicy whipped avocado mousse.
9. Brulé Bistro
200 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-274-2046, or visit brulebistro.com.
Tucked away on a quiet strip of Northeat Second Avenue in the Pineapple Grove section of downtown Delray Beach, this New American restaurant has become known for its decided upmarket menu of seasonally rotating dishes. On Saturday only, the bistro offers its own version of brunch, perfect for those quiet weekend mornings when all you want is some really good food and a nice, stiff drink. The quiet setting with indoor and outdoor seating offers the right mix of patrons for a lively — yet controlled — start to your day. Begin with naan and lox: house smoked Scottish salmon with whipped scallion cream cheese, marinated tomatoes, and organic greens. Or try the duck "mcgriddle," the restaurant's own duck sausage paired with brioche French toast, maple syrup, and a fried quail egg. The Maine lobster hash sells at market price, but features a half-lobster with Old Bay fingerling potato hash, all of it topped with a soft poached egg and Béarnaise sauce. If you're looking for a liquid lunch, you won't find any bottomless deals, but the housemade bloody mary mix is sure to cure any hangover and the drinks — including mimosas and bourbon-based blackberry bullet cocktails — are priced well at $6 each.
8. Sundy House
106 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-272-5678, or visit sundyhouse.com.
The Sundy House has long been known for its gourmet fare and historic setting. The Victorian, Queen Anne-style house is the oldest in Delray Beach, built in 1902 out of Dade County pine. Delray Beach’s first mayor, John Sundy, lived here for nearly 80 years, after which it served as Delray’s first church, bank, and schoolhouse. Recently, the historic property was sold to new owners, but the plan was to expand services — not cut them. Now, every weekend, the hotel restaurant hosts brunch, with an a la carte theme on Saturday, and a full brunch buffet on Sunday. Enjoy both amongst the the property's lush, tropical botanical gardens with live music. Saturday brunch starters include warm cider donuts, scones, and a shaved vegetable salad. Larger plates offer blue crab eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, and a Sundy morning sandwich with brie, bacon, hash browns, and a fried egg on grilled sourdough bread. Daily chef creations present Nutella-stuffed challah bread French toast, lemon blueberry pancakes, and fish tacos with tequila lime cabbage slaw and an avocado cream sauce. Then, wash it all down with $15 unlimited mimosas or bloody marys. Come Sunday, the "Sundy Sunday" brunch offers a special buffet-style menu featuring a number of specialty dishes and stations. Chef-attended stands include a mix of traditional and unique selections, which you can saver as you toast your drink in the Taru Garden. Sunday brunch is $58 per person (plus tax and gratuity) from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
7. 50 Ocean
40 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach. Call 561-278-3364 , or visit 50ocean.com.
Undecided on breakfast or lunch? You can do both at 50 Ocean in Delray Beach, with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean at this second-floor eatery above Boston's on the Beach. The establishment has long been one of the best spots for a relaxing — and enjoying — a beautiful Sunday brunch. The contemporary menu offers the best of both worlds with its inspired twists on traditional breakfast items and varied selection of hearty lunch favorites. From certified Angus burgers and turkey clubs, to fresh grilled grouper on a luau bun. If you're looking to drink, the restaurant’s one-of-a-kind Grey Goose bloody mary bar has a selection of over 30 ingredients that allow you to build-your-own concoction ($12), and mimosas ($9) that you make bottomless for $15.
2809 S. Ocean Blvd., Highland Beach. Call 561-278-2008, or visit latitudesdelray.com.
This all-new oceanfront restaurant and lounge at the Delray Sands recently resurfaced with a breathtaking renovation that features sea-inspired decor. Discover the bounty of fresh coastal cuisine, modern mixology, and warm hospitality every weekend amid glass bubble chandeliers, or beside a mesmerizing wave wall. By day, the sweeping ocean vista soothes and relaxes, especially during Sunday brunch held every weekend from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Latitudes offers a variety of fare, from the chef’s signature French toast and eggs Benedict, to an omelet and carving station serving succulent slow-roasted meats. Best known for its fresh seafood, the restaurant’s brunch also offers a seafood bar with oysters, scallops, and ceviche, as well as a selection of hot entrees that change weekly with inspiration from the sea, local farms, and markets. Vegetarians and vegans will love the salad bar, and anyone with a sweet tooth will really dig the buffet of assorted desserts and pastries. Brunch pricing starts at $44.95 per person, and includes bottomless mimosas made with Barefoot Bubbly.
5 . City Oyster
213 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-272-0220, or visit cityoysterdelray.com.
Big is the operative word here; you have big space, big noise, a big bar scene, and most of all — big flavors. City Oyster specializes in some of the freshest fish and seafood in Delray Beach. Culinary influences range from Asia to Italy, so you can sample from around the world. Come the weekend, the huge brunch menu covers it all, from salads and sushi, to entrees and endless drinks served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That includes specialty items like the breakfast panini made with eggs, bacon, pesto, mozzarella, and artisan bread. Or go for the Elvis’ waffles topped with organic peanut butter, bananas, and toasted pecans. The menu continues with a raw bar oysters, clams, tuna carpaccio, and smoked salmon. Like lunch better? Order an 8-ounce burger, or a Maine lobster roll on a girdled bun served with watermelon. If you're drinking, unlimited bloody marys and mimosas go for $12 per person with the purchase of a meal, including sparkling wine with Kennesaw orange juice, or Finlandia and Zing Zang bloody marys.
4. Caffe Luna Rosa
34 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach. Call 561-274-9404, or caffelunarosa.com.
At Caffe Luna Rosa in Delray Beach, you won't get brunch once — or even twice — a week. You get it every day of the week. That's right: the longtime Delray Beach restaurant offers brunch seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., serving up a huge menu of timeless classics. Go for the sliced filet mignon medallions egg Benedict topped with the restaurant's homemade Hollandaise sauce, diced tomatoes and chives. You won't find a bottomless drink bar, but the selections are worth the extra dough. Choose from an antipasto
Stoli bloody mary ($11) made with a fresh, from-scratch bloody mary mix and garnished with an antipasto feast of vegetables, meat, cheese, and a celery stick (it's a meal in itself). Or go for the Luna Rosa mimosa or bellini ($9), made with Kennesaw fresh squeezed orange juice or peach nectar. If none of the usual suspects intrigues you, they also have a stunning prickly pear margarita ($11), a blend of purple-pink cactus juice, Cuervo tequilla, and orange juice. Then sit back and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze on the outdoor sidewalk patio just a stone's throw from the beach.
3. Max's Harvest
169 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-381-9970, or visit maxsharvest.com.
Max's Harvest is well known for its weekend brunch, served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Sunday. The menu offers up dishes like Nutella- and ricotta-stuffed French toast made with Nancy's lady fingers, bananas, candied hazelnuts, and topped with a butterscotch sauce. Or get fancy with the Maine lobster eggs Benedict, two poached heritage hen eggs atop potato latkes with sautéed spinach and mushrooms and a truffled hollandaise sauce. Or go for the goat cheese croquettes, little nuggets of joy made with a Marcona almond crust and served with a red chili-guava jelly. There's even fresh-fried donuts with vanilla custard and fruit preserves. Our favorite dish, however, is the rock shrimp or pork belly eggs Benedict served with buttermilk biscuits, sautéed spinach, homemade roasted garlic Hollandaise, and a red potato hash. Just don't forget the interactive bloody mary and mimosa bar, where you can choose from a number of garnishes and fruit juices to flavor them any way you like for $15 per person with the purchase of a meal.
52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561-330-3232, or visit sub-culture.org.
Some things are just worth the wait. At least, that's the feeling you get when you partake in the all-new Sunday brunch at Dada, perhaps Delray Beach's most infamous dining spot. September 2016 marks the first time in 17 years of business the restaurant has decided to offer a Sunday brunch, and it's a feast to be remembered. Chef-owner Bruce Feingold has a number of dishes on the menu that offer his unique, eclectic cooking style — but all breakfast options. We love the croque madame sandwich, a hefty dish with layers of ham, Gruyere cheese, and a fried egg between two sweet-doughy slices of buttery brioche bread.
The avocado crab toast is a more healthy options, delivered with a poached egg and baby arugula and a citrus vinaigrette. The Jersey Breakfast is homage to the chef's childhood: a few fresh apple cider donuts served with the Subculture Group's own fresh roasted coffee. Optional $5 sides like the Nutella cinnamon roll smothered in dulce de leche and churro waffles with Mexican spiced chocolate mole are worth the indulgence too.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Park Tavern
32 SE Second Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-265-5093, or visit ParkTavernDelray.com.
South Florida has never been known as the place to find a progressive cocktail scene, or trend setting concepts. But, now more than ever, it's earning itself a name as one of the most happening destinations thanks to plenty of innovative new establishments pushing the culinary envelope. In Delray Beach, restaurateurs Brandon Belluscio, Brian Albe, and chef Anthony Pizzo are the trio who have mastered the art of both, with a string of establishments that include Cut 432, Park Tavern, and — most recently — El Camino. Come the weekend, Park Tavern is where it's at, however. Here, brunch is served on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the restaurant is packed to the brim with eager brunchers looking to scarf down everything from sweet potato pancakes and bananas foster French toast, to breakfast tacos made with house made chorizo and scrambled eggs, or fried chicken served with cornbread waffles. In search of lighter fare? The raw bar has oysters on the half shell, tuna tartare, and a jumbo shrimp cocktail. Not a seafood lover? A salad selection includes a killer roasted beet option paired with a fresh burrata, prosciutto, and cherry tomatoes. Just don't forget to stay hydrated: the real steal here is also one of South Florida's best bottomless drink deals with all-you-can-drink bloody marys and mimosas for $9 per person, with the purchase of a meal until 3:30 p.m.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on The BPB New Times' Food & Drink Instagram.