Memorial Day: For many it means the official start to summer, warmer weather, a day off from work, and the revival of all your white clothes that have been packed up since Labor Day.
But we all know the history of Memorial Day is more meaningful than shallow fashion rules. After the Civil War, Union veterans established the last Monday of May as a time to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 1900s, Union and Confederate holidays had merged and this fusion resulted in Memorial Day, a day to honor all Americans who gave their lives while in service.
Here are some of the best ways to spend Memorial Day in Broward and Palm Beach counties:
Celebrate with bottomless brunch at...
1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-4900 and 5050 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton. Call 561-235-5819, or visit tap42.com.
This Memorial Day, get patriotic with Tap 42’s red and white chocolate strawberry pancakes made with fresh strawberries and topped with powdered sugar and vanilla whipped cream. Or cure that long weekend hangover with The Hangover breakfast sandwich featuring scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, white cheddar, and maple hollandaise served between French toast challah buns. Tap 42 in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale are celebrating Memorial Day with a boozy bottomless brunch on Monday, May 30. The restaurant will be featuring their infamous (and endless) mimosas, bloody marys, and Funky Buddha Floridian for $12 per person during the holiday brunch served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Celebrate by giving to a good cause at...
Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill
3115 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-900-5584, or visit bokampers.com.
Bokampers Sports Bar & Grill — with locations in Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, and Miramar — has designated the entire month of May to provide different ways to say "thank you" to our service members. Guests are invited to write a letter to troops serving all branches of our military overseas for a $1 donation. Or you can "Buy a Veteran a Beer" for $5. And all Bokampers locations will feature a Killed in Action (KIA) display to remember those who lost their lives serving our country. Restaurant promotions end Tuesday, May 31 — but it's not too late. Founder Kim Bokamper (an ex-NFL Miami Dolphin’s linebacker) has paved the way for his restaurants to work directly with surrounding communities and cities to support this patriotic holiday. Then, on Monday, May 30, the Fort Lauderdale location will host a two-hour ceremony with special guests including Fort Lauderdale’s Mayor Jack Seiler as well as World War II and Vietnam Veterans.
Celebrate with a Memorial Day party at...
40 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-665-8484, or visit deck84.com.
This weekend, join Deck 84 for its sixth-annual Memorial Day bash featuring barbecue and drink specials available all day from Saturday, May 28, through Sunday, May 29. The restaurant will also be donating a percentage of its daily sales over the course of the two days to benefit Southeast Florida Honor Flight, a nonprofit that assists veterans who want to travel to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
Celebrate with a free drink at...
The Little Chalet
485 S. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Call 561-325-8000, or visit thelittlechalet.com.
This Memorial Day, the Little Chalet in Boca Raton will be honoring veterans with a special treat: a complimentary red, white, and blue drink with the order of an entree. Treat your hero to a meal at the restaurant and they will receive a free white sangria.
Celebrate with a Memorial Day brunch at...
Big City Tavern, City Oyster & Sushi Bar, City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill, and Louie Bossi's Ristorante
Various locations. Visit bigtimerestaurants.com.
This weekend, brunch is no longer exclusively for Saturday or Sunday. On Monday, May 30, you can order up all your favorite brunch dishes at each of the Big Time restaurants in honor of Memorial Day. Brunch specials will be served alongside each establishment's regular a la carte brunch and dinner menus. That includes the fresh-baked pastries made daily at each location in addition to savory crab cake eggs Benedict at Big City Tavern and the sweet crème-brûlée-stuffed French toast at City Oyster. And no brunch would be complete without unlimited mimosas or endless bloody marys, available at each location for $12 (with the purchase of an entrée).
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Celebrate by supporting veterans and the arts at...
Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park. Call 954-440-0046, or visit funkybuddhabrewery.com.
During this Memorial Day weekend, the Funky Buddha brewery in Oakland Park will be hosting the Funky Arts for Freedom campaign. The art show, sale, and fundraiser will benefit Rebuilding Together Broward County, a nonprofit that provides housing assistance for veterans. All vendors will be set up outside for an easy walk-through visual tour on Funky Buddha Brewery's large outdoor patio. Each vendor will donate one item from their showcase to the raffle, and all proceeds will go to Rebuilding Together. The brewery will be offering wristbands for $1 off all Funky Buddha drafts during the event with a donation of $5 or more.
Celebrate by drinking beer at...
Bangin' Banjo Brewing Company
3200 NW 23rd Ave., Pompano Beach. Call 954-978-3113, or visit banginbanjobrewing.com.
If drinking beer and barbecuing is more your style, do both at Bangin' Banjo in Pompano Beach. The brewery will host a Memorial Day barbecue and lunch from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday where you can order up bottomless food and drink specials. The brewery is offering all-you-can-drink beer for $15 per person, paired with all-you-can-eat barbecue by the Rolling Chefs food truck for $20 per person. The menu will feature fried chicken, guava barbecue ribs, corn on the cob, cabbage slaw, potato salad, and double-chocolate brownies.
Celebrate with a new happy hour at...
505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-414-2630, or visit hilton.com.
Start the Memorial Day weekend off seaside and in style at the launch of the all-new Friday summer happy hour series at BalQony on Fort Lauderdale Beach. In honor of the holiday and unofficial start of summer, the trendy oceanfront terrace lounge on the fourth floor of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort will host its first summer happy hour on Friday, May 27, with a special Memorial Day weekend kick-off event. Attendees will enjoy half-price well drinks, wine, and beer in addition to signature drink and sushi specials as well as live entertainment. Moving forward, the BalQony summer happy hour series will be hosted each Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and includes $2 valet for attendees, with private cabanas available starting from $250 for groups of six.
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.