South Florida has nailed brunch; that breakfast-lunch mashup we've come to know and love so well. Locals truly have it all, from all-you-can-eat buffets in fancy hotel digs to the plethora of bottomless imbibing that make our Monday mornings hell.
If it's a variety of breakfast-lunch treats and deals you're after, Fort Lauderdale has something for everyone. Here are the best brunches The Venice of America has to offer.
1. Rooftop. Chambong: it's what you do during Rooftop's Sunday brunch. Here's how it goes: take one bottle of bubbly and a half-dozen of your closest (or newest) friends, and spend the afternoon perfecting your aim, tossing tiny white plastic balls into champagne coupes. If early morning brunch just isn't for you, but you still want to brunch, try this deal. Every Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Rooftop offers $20 bottomless prosecco and Chambord, which they encourage you to down while playing an uber fancy version of beer pong — complete with live music by their resident DJs and panoramic skycap views of downtown Fort Lauderdale. After a few rounds, you'll probably need some food to soak up all those bubbles. Luckily, a selection of snacks, small plates, and entrees offer the perfect variety. Instead of the usual brunchy favorites, this menu presents a number of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items priced $9-$17, aimed to please all palates. Start with buffalo chicken with empanadas or goat cheese-stuffed dates; continue with vegan quinoa spring rolls or sirloin steak skewers, or go all-in with the banana- and Nutella-stuffed French toast waffle. 1 West Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-1956; rooftop1wlo.com.
2. Tap 42. If any eatery has put a stamp on living the brunch life, it’s Tap 42. The weekend morning crowd grows so outrageously large that patrons line up at the door as early as 10 a.m. for a chance to snag the first available tables. This South Florida beer bar and gastropub has been putting on a wild and crazy Saturday and Sunday brunch for more than three years. Both the Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton locations are known to serve 500-plus patrons each day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. That means hundreds of bottomless beverage specials and $15 all-you-can-drink mimosas, bloody marys, and draft Harpoon UFO White. Of course, there are also platters upon platters of tantalizing fare. Start your day with crispy Asian calamari; the hangover breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, chicken apple sausage, and white cheddar, served between French toast buns; or a healthy golden quinoa superfood salad with mixed greens, Brussels sprouts, Mandarin orange slices, green apples, cranberries, almonds, feta cheese, and citrus vinaigrette. 1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-463-4900; tap42.com.
3. The Foxy Brown. Boston cream pie. Carrot cake. A half-dozen of your favorite Halloween candies. No, it's not part of dessert, although those are good here too. Instead, it's just a few of the toppings you'll find on the Foxy Brown house pancakes, which change frequently enough to keep even the most demanding bruncher happy. For nearly a decade, this restaurant located just one block north of Las Olas Boulevard has been taking names for those waiting to nab a table for it's popular weekend brunch. On Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the restaurant offers up an impressive menu of breakfast eats that range from banana bread grilled cheese sandwich to veggie cake eggs Benedict or chicken and waffle sliders. And Instead of drowning in mimosas and bloody marys, try the restaurant's $10 boozy milkshakes made with Mu cream liqueur, a flavorless wine made from Florida citrus fruits and blended with ice cream for an indulgent kick to your favorite midday meal. If that's too much, the cereal milk satisfies sans liquor and pairs perfectly for dunking a few of the fresh house donuts. 723 E. Broward Blvd., 754-200-4236; myfoxybrown.com.
4. Rok:Brgr. These days, Himmarshee Village is the place for brunch. That’s where each of the JEY Hospitality concepts — including Tacocraft, Pizzacraft, and Himmarshee Public House — throw down their own versions of this awesome midday weekend meal. Although the downtown strip has a lot going on in the way of brunch options each week, the original Rok:Brgr "Sunday Social" brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. was the first. Here, you can get it all: bottomless drinks, gastropub-style fare, loud music, and plenty of people-watching. The deal is one of the best around: unlimited mimosas for $12 with any food purchase, now available on both Saturday and Sunday at all Rok:Brgr locations. 201 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-616-5275; rokbrgr.com.
5. American Social Bar & Restaurant. Whether you’re looking to start your weekend with a bang or just nurse the headache from last night, AmSo is ready to help. Sure, you can find a slew of à la carte brunch deals off Las Olas Boulevard, but not too many offer the decadent atmosphere of American Social Bar. Its weekend-long buffet gives hardcore brunchers a steal of an all-you-can-eat deal, served from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., for $21.50 per person. Items run the gamut, including made-to-order (unlimited) omelets, freshly pressed Belgian waffles, salt-and-pepper prime rib, fried chicken, chilled snow crab legs, house-smoked Atlantic salmon, two kinds of breakfast sausages, hickory smoked bacon, roasted potatoes, warm biscuits and gravy, and an assortment of baked goods alongside an à la carte menu of classic American comfort food. More interested in the booze? Bottomless bloody marys and mimosas cost $18 per person. AmSo offers an option to step it up with Belvedere vodka for $29.99 or premium Chandon rose ($34.95) and Moët bottles ($50) 721 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-764-7005, or visit amsobar.com.
6. Shooters Waterfront. We all love choices. When it comes to brunch choices, you have two at Shooters Waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Select sweet and savory dishes from the restaurant's à la carte menu featuring dishes like crab cake eggs Benedict, challah bread French toast, and the Power House egg white omelet with spinach, feta, tomato, cheddar, and pico de gallo. Or go for the all-you-can-eat $40 brunch buffet ($20 for children 12 and under) complete with a carving station, custom omelet station, waffles, sushi, bagels, pastries and salads. The waterfront, Intracoastal view from the lounge-style lawn is the perfect spot to catch some rays while also sipping on unlimited drink specials like bottomless mimosas and bloody marys priced at $20 per person. Brunch runs Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. But wait, there's more: Shooters also offers free Yoga and Yolk classes every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. before brunch so you can get your Bikram on with a complimentary glass of rosé. 3033 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-566-2855; shooterswaterfront.com.
7. Pelican Grand Beach Resort. If you're looking for a great way to relax on a Sunday, the beach is where it's at. Unfortunately, in terms of dining, it's not easy to find great food while keeping your toes in the sand. But that's not the case at Pelican Grand's Ocean 2000 restaurant. With a veranda that opens straight onto that golden strip of land, the brunch is about as close as you can get to the Atlantic Ocean. From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for $60 per person, guests have unlimited access to a number of food-covered tables, including a seafood tower, meat carving stations, made-to-order waffles and omelets, and build-your-own pasta bowls. If you're craving the sweet stuff, a dessert table is offered throughout, but is extra special the first Sunday of each month when it becomes a chocoholic's dream. All the while, booze it up with a choice of traditional or pineapple and cranberry Champagne mimosas, blood marys, or a Kir Royale. Think of it as a vacation from the average brunch scene for both tourists and locals. 2000 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-556-7667; pelicanbeach.com.
8. Louie Bossi. Italians know how to eat, which naturally means they know how to brunch, too. At least that's the case at Louie Bossi's Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale, where you can "brunch like a boss" thanks to a sprawling menu offered 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast-and-lunch mashup specials range from Americanized options like scrambled eggs on avocado toast and wholegrain Nutella pancakes, to the Italian-inspired like eggs served with oven-roasted polenta or a decadent porchetta hash topped with fried eggs. Heartier fare comes in the form of Bossi's standard offerings, with a selection of salads, panini, wood-fired pizza and handmade pasta. If you're in the mood to drink, there's a triple threat bottomless bar waiting for you: all-you-can-drink mimosas, endless bloody marys, and unlimited Bossi bellinis for $12 per person until 5 p.m. all weekend long. 1032 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-356-6699; louiebossi.com.
9. Steak 954. Anything related to the W Hotel is chic and sophisticated, especially the resort’s beloved steakhouse by famed restaurateur Stephen Starr. Steak 954 offers a twist on the traditional American steakhouse. Although the beachfront restaurant has a smaller breakfast menu available daily, Sunday brunch takes things to the next level with an expanded selection of high-end riffs on classics. Choices include a raw bar with East and West Coast oysters, starters such as lobster bisque, and a selection of steaks that range from an eight-ounce filet mignon to the pricey 14-ounce American Wagyu New York strip. Mid-morning masterpieces continue with homemade baked goods like pecan-pie-stuffed maple-bourbon-glazed pop tarts, vanilla French toast with dulce de leche syrup, and a chorizo, manchego, and roasted tomato omelet. There are even four types of eggs Benedict, including crab and avocado with a tomato Hollandaise, as well as smoked salmon served atop potato pancakes. 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-414-8333; steak954.com.
10. Milk Money. If you want to start #SundayFunday super early, head to Milk Money. The bottomless brunch menu kicks off at 7 a.m. and runs all the way through 4 p.m. — and that goes for both Saturday and Sunday. Drink options include $15 bloody marys and grapefruit Bellinis that pair perfectly with the piña colada pancakes made with pineapple and shaved coconut or avocado toast with maple-glazed bacon and eggs. Stop at the restaurant's sister establishment next door, Warsaw Coffee, on your way out for a shot of espresso to keep you bright eyed and bushy tailed through the remaining daylight hours. 815 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale; 954-990-4018; milkmoneybar.com.