Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but brunch is the most popular.
Why? Because you can roll out of bed late and into a perfectly wonderful, relaxed meal that begs to be savored. It lingers beyond the lunch hour and helps you cruise effortlessly into dinner. Brunch, it seems, is what South Florida weekends were made for.
Whether you have a hankering for a cheeseburger in paradise, brunch buffets at one of the classiest steak joins in Broward County, a classic French aperitif in place of that usual mimosa, or a pitcher full of some of the best bloody mary mix in South Florida, there's sure to be a brunch for you in Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.
8. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
2501 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-924-2202, or visit margaritaville.com.
Located directly off Hollywood Beach's paved beachside boulevard, there isn't much to not love about this location — or the restaurant's breakfast. Open daily at 6:30 a.m., the restaurant offers a full breakfast menu with dishes like huevos rancheros, tortilla-wrapped chorizo, queso fresco, refried beans, lime crema, spicy tomato sauce, avocado, and sunny-side-up egg served with a roasted jalapeño or Corn Flake-crusted brioche French toast with sliced banana and drizzled with caramel. When it comes to drinks, you won't be left wanting. There restaurant offers the typical mimosas and bellinis along with frozen sangria and the "perfect" bloody mary made with Margaritaville gold and silver tequila and its own house blood mary mix. But the best part might be the option to do a margarita flight instead of the same boring brunch options you find elsewhere.
7. Bistro 1902
1902 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Call 954-689-2229, or visit bistro1902.com.
Foie gras for brunch? Sure, go for it. Or, at least you can at Bistro 1902 in Hollywood. The restaurant serves one of the downtown restaurant row's best brunch scenes, complete with decadent French fare. The menu opens with eggs Benedict, several types that include shrimp, crab cakes, prosciutto, or smoked salmon. Or go fancy with crepes. The savory ones like the Parisian is made with mushroom, ham, and Brie, or the seafood take arrives with shrimp and fish smothered in a creamy basil sauce. Sweet crepes include banana and caramel, peanut butter and jelly, or Nutella and strawberry. Breakfast sandwiches include a breakfast take on the classic croque monsieur made with smoked salmon and Brie. For drinks, try a traditional French kir, an apéritif that consists of crème de cassis topped with Champagne. Feeling more Florida? There's a Champagne mojito that might hit the spot. Bottomless mimosas might be a little pricey at $17.95, but remember it's the food that will bring you back for more.
6. GG's Waterfront Bar & Grill
606 N. Ocean Drive, Hollywood. Call 954-929-7030, or visit ggswaterfront.com.
You can never have too many restaurants on the water, be they casual Florida landmarks like Le Tub serving greasy, sea-inspired bar food or a bevy of pricey, upmarket spots with all the pomp and circumstance of a Michelin-starred rating. But not every waterside restaurant has a brunch quite like GG's Waterfront Bar and Grill, the Hollywood steak and seafood restaurant off A1A. The best seat in the house is on the water, of course; perhaps one of the tables lining the narrow, dock-like strip running alongside the restaurant's wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Each has an uninterrupted view of the Intracoastal Waterway where you can watch as shiny, sleek yachts glide past the North Lake, a rare expanse of open water in these parts. Here you can enjoy everything from made-to-order omelets to a chef's carving station and full breakfast buffet. If you're down for imbibing, the restaurant offers a complimentary mimosa at the beginning of your meal. You can keep the good times going with a Champagne special on Sunday $75 of Veuve rose and yellow label during business hours all day.
5. Council Oak
1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Call 954-327-7501, or visit counciloakhollywood.com.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood is best-known for its sophisticated, fine-dining experience for prime dry-aged beef and fresh, line-caught seafood — as well as an award-winning wine list. You can find all that and more during the restaurant's weekly Sunday brunch, a sprawling buffet that features a number of made-to-order stations like omelet, pasta, and meat carving — even a bananas Foster station. There's a full raw bar that includes items like Alaskan king crab legs, shrimp, and a chef-attended sushi station. Of course, there are traditional brunch favorites like Belgian and chocolate waffles, French toast, jumbo lump crab cake eggs Benedict, as well as assorted meats and imported cheeses. The best part: Guests 21 and over receive unlimited mimosas, bloody marys, sangria, bellinis, and a spiked seasonal lemonade with the full buffet brunch served Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
600 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach. Call 954-367-3970, or visit rokbrgr.com.
When you hear brunch, you probably think something traditional like eggs Benedict, French toast, or pancakes. But what about hangover sandwiches and French-toast lollipops? Rok:Brgr's Sunday brunch menu offers this and more. The new menu includes Krispy Kreme burgers served between two glazed doughnuts, fat Elvis waffles with bananas and peanut butter, and breakfast mac 'n' cheese — and that's just the beginning. Though the names make the dishes sound a little crazy, it's comfort food made from scratch. One of the menu staples are the hangover sandwiches, a must if you find yourself trying to forget last night's one-too-many cocktails. The Part 1 version includes an over-easy egg, maple-peppered bacon, sriracha aioli, tomato, avocado, and American cheese on a multigrain bun. But if you're looking for something a little meatier, Part 2's version offers prime meatloaf, fried egg, smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and chipotle ketchup on a toasted ciabatta. And don't forget the free bottomless mimosas for ladies, served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during on Sunday at the Hallandale, South Miami, and Fort Lauderdale locations.
3. Juniper on the Water
1975 S. Ocean Drive, Hallandale Beach. Call 954-544-3370, or visit juniperonthewater.com.
Name a waterfront restaurant in Hallandale Beach with a great view of the Intracoastal and good food. Don't worry; if you can't think of any, here's one for you: Juniper on the Water. Every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the restaurant takes this spectacular view and packs the house for an à la carte brunch menu served alongside $12 bottomless mimosas and bellinis. Here you can get everything from salads and starters like pork-belly hash or the restaurant's popular fried calamaris served over salad to main plates like a vegetable frittata and lobster eggs Benedict. Our favorite: the Juniper BLT made with thick-cut bacon, arugula, plum tomato, and Dijon aioli served on a toasted brioche bun. Aside from the water view and laid-back weekend chill, the vibe is complete thanks to a live Spanish-guitar performance.
1940 N. 30th Road, Hollywood. Call 954-647-8505, visit hollywoodchillbar.com.
The menu offers extravagant dishes like Lah's Lucious Savannah shrimp and grits (six large shrimp sautéed with turkey bacon and red peppers in a creamy saffron sauce over Parmesan organic grits, served with an organic poached egg); Hunter’s Baked Stuffed Salmon (fresh salmon stuffed with dates, candied pecans, fresh herbs, green onions, artichoke hearts, and a three-cheese blend served over basmati rice and chill salad); or Fabulous French Toast Supreme (challah bread soaked in a mixture of organic eggs, pure vanilla, cinnamon, and fresh grated nutmeg served with caramelized bananas, organic butter, and pure maple syrup). Wash it down with a mimosa bar that lets you pick and choose add-ins like lemon-basil, mango-honey, cherry-mint, or blue Champagne with lychee fruit. If you like bloody marys, they come in pitchers decorated with a sugar- and edible flower-decorated rim (or you can get nonalcoholic beverages by the pitcher with selections that range from fresh-pressed cane juice with mango to lavender or blueberry lemonade). So when it comes to Sunday brunch, do like the name says and just "chill."
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Hyde Beach Kitchen & Cocktails
111 S. Surf Road, Hallandale Beach. Call 954-699-0901, or visit sbe.com.
This one is easy: brunch on the beach, just steps from the ocean. Only at Hyde Beach Kitchen & Cocktails, the newish establishment in Hallandale Beach. At first glance, the two-story building appears too small for a hotel but too large for just one restaurant, but its food and ambiance are certainly worth a visit. Try the fried chicken and waffles, served with minijars of maple syrup, tabasco, and orange marmalade, or the lobster pasta, smothered in a creamy lobster sauce with piquillo peppers, capers, and a half-roasted lobster. We love the Hangover Burger, the perfect remedy after a late night: an eight-ounce burger with chipotle sauce, bacon, a fried egg, tomatillo sauce, and cheddar served on a brioche bun. Pair it with the Brunch Martini, a combination of Absolut Mandarin, muddled serrano, cranberry, orange juice, simple syrup, and lemon juice — or get bottomless mimosas for $19 per person. Bonus points for the beach-easy vibe too; Hyde guests can legally drink on the sand, so don't be shy about getting your feet wet.
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.