Brunch! Top Orlando Options for the Undisputed Queen of Meals
Brunch: the supreme goddess of meals. It’s not quite breakfast, not quite lunch and implies you’re in leisure mode. Going for brunch says, “No, there’s nowhere I have to be and yes, I’d love an extra plate so the warm au jus from my prime rib doesn’t run into my apple tarte tatin. Thank you!” Of course, brunch doesn’t have to be hoity-toity or even haute.
It could mean a big ‘ol egg on top of corned beef hash, ready to loose its warm, runny yolk into the fray of your well-done home fries. It could mean shrimp and grits or it could mean chicken and waffles. But whatever it means, it often involves vodka and/or champagne.
In Orlando, lucky us, we’ve got more brunch options than Disney has animal-shaped topiaries. Craving something saucy in the way of entertainment? Try Hamburger Mary’s Broadway Brunch. Looking for something foodie-forward but down-home? Se7en Bites may be right up your alley. And if you want straight-up posh, head to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and its Plancha golf-side restaurant and luxuriate amid custom brunchery at its five-star best.
Photo courtesy of A.D. Thompson
Eat, drink and “be Mary,” they say – and at Hamburger Mary’s regular Sunday Broadway Brunch, this mantra comes between show tunes. Reservations are recommended and seating begins at 11:00 am for a noon show that brings with it the Mynx, Nicky Monet and the Broadway Brunch dancers. Mary’s menu may be well known for its decadent burgers; it is no less so at brunch. Omelets, pancakes, biscuits, burritos and more populate the roster, along with drink specials to get you singing right along, of course. And if you’re not in the mood for a show – or just feel like sleeping in – no worries. Brunch is served until 3:00 p.m.
Recommended for Brunch because: Who doesn’t like a little spice in their Mary? For fans of a casual-friendly brunch with blueish Broadway entertainment, this is the place.
A.D.’s expert tip: Mary’s has no lot, but you can find street parking in the area or in a public lot just north of the restaurant near the train tracks.
Warm, house-made banana bread? Creamy cheddar-grits with savory Andouille sausage and shrimp? How about the aptly named “Hot Mess,” a big ‘ol plate of biscuits and fried chicken topped with fried eggs and sausage gravy? It’s a plate you’ll see servers toting all morning long as fans of Dexter’s’ brunch file in with little on their minds save good food and full glasses with family and friends. Of course, if you’re the rare bird for who caramelized banana and Nutella crepes hold no appeal, no worries. You can go the lighter route with honey-almond granola and fresh berries instead. Like every other art form, brunch is subjective. Average entree cost is about $10.
Recommended for Brunch because: Locals have been flocking to Dexter’s since 1984. It’s high time that visitors get just as familiar with its reliably delicious brunch.
A.D.’s expert tip: Mimosas at Dexter’s come in colors! Take a break from the classic orange and pair your sparkling Spanish cava with pineapple, cranberry, mango, peach or raspberry instead.
Hotel: a delicious word that conjures crisp sheets, sleeping in, vacation. “Brunch” is another sleep-in kind of word. And when the accommodations in question are as top-tier as the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, then you know the brunch â” in this case a Jazz Brunch at its acclaimed Boheme restaurant â” is going to be something truly exceptional. Whether it’s to linger in the last moments of your sumptuous weekend stay, in celebration of a special occasion or simply a decadent splurge, Sunday brunch at the Boheme will run you $45 per person ($15 for kids 6-12) and showcases all the hallmarks of high-end: a prime rib carving station, custom omelet station and fresh waffle station among them. Of course, brunch being what it is, it makes sense that you might want some snow crab legs, oysters or steamed shrimp to pair with that waffle. And did we mention the Kitchen Action Station, where seafood and meats are prepared to order? And that’s not even the spread in its entirety. We’re not sure how you’ll save room for dessert, but we’re sure you’ll manage. Start strategizing now.
Recommended for Brunch because: At the Grand Bo’s Boheme, the champagne is dry, the decor is hot and the contemporary piano is as cool as the oysters on ice.
A.D.’s expert tip: Bloody excellent! The Boheme’s Bloody Mary allows you to customize your Ketel One brunch cocktail experience, tableside, with add-ons including bacon, bleu cheese, olives, banana peppers and more.
If we had a 10Best Neighborhoods for day drinking and eating list the areas around Thornton Park would certainly make the roster. And with its outdoor seating (and rustic-modern interior) the Stubborn Mule would get a mention. Brunch sort of screams “let’s sit outside,” as well, and so it would get a double-tap. Dining here is a la carte and predictably sumptuous but foodie’d up for your pleasure via options like egg-laden hash, bourbon-maple drizzled fried chicken and a dish called the Mr. Wilbur (beer-braised pulled pork, crispy polenta cake, poached egg and white BBQ finished with Hollandaise) that will make your tummy happy and your cardiologist cry. Meh. Don’t stress. Brunch is meant to be indulgent.
Recommended for Brunch because: Ample outdoor seating, sumptuous selections and a bottomless mimosa option ($12? We’re in!) make the Stubborn Mule worth riding for brunch.
A.D.’s expert tip: Drink responsibly! Unsure of what that means? Read the “Bottomless Mimosa Faux Pas” list on the Stubborn Mule website before partaking.
One of the beauties of brunch is that it’s something of a “Vulcan Meal Meld,” giving foodies the option of cobbling together goodies they love for breakfast with fare they generally eat at lunch or dinner. Maxine’s is no different, offering seasonal salads and seafood in the same breath as decadent, creative omelets, Benedicts and waffles. Though Maxine’s on Shine is a delightful place for date night cocktails and dinner and live music, it retains its cozy, eclectic, neighborhood vibe â” not to mention gracious hosts and staff — in broad daylight, as well. That’s why they call their brunch a “Rejucination.” And if you’re booked on Sunday, pop in for brunch on Saturday instead!
Recommended for Brunch because: Vibe, location, food: Maxine’s has it all and gives considerable due to brunch’s wonderful tradition of day drinking. Belly up!
A.D.’s expert tip: Lovers of the brunch-time Bloody will want to sample their spicy take, which comes not merely with a beer floater and bacon, but a smoked shrimp-and-olive skewer. Viva la decadence!
To be fair, this tony tapas outpost is well known for many things, but being a one-dollar-sign venue is not one of them. On Saturdays and Sundays, however, Santiago’s Bodega offers a brunch option. For about $40 per person, you can partake of its excellent fare ad-nauseum. Just how “nauseum” will depend on your own self-control. Mimosas and sangria are included in the price, which allows diners to test drive the place before deciding to come back for tapas including spanakopita, saganaki and yellowfin tuna ceviche. Other delights – prime rib, crab, custom omelets and an array of delightful eats clog the menu. And your arteries. Enjoy some sangria and offset the effects; red wine is heart smart.
Recommended for Brunch because: This is very fine food at a fabulous price.
A.D.’s expert tip: Those less enthused by brunch should visit during Happy Hour. Select tapas at $5 a plate offer a sampling of what the chefs here can do.
You want posh? We’re not sure you can do better than brunch on the cusp of the greens at Tranquilo Golf Club â” which belongs to the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Plancha is a divine respite for Cuban-American fare on other days, and you’ll see that influence come Sunday morning, as well, when the brunch bell rings out loud and clear. Bloody Mary and mimosa stations beckon, as does a massive upscale buffet of Four Seasonian (not a word, but roll with it) proportions. Guests can go full buffet with bottomless beverage options, buffet only or a la carte with dishes beyond decadent.
Recommended for Brunch because: What do you get when you cross Four Seasons fabulousness with a bottomless Bloody bar? Hungry. Plancha’s sample spread will satisfy.
A.D.’s expert tip: Got a sweet tooth? Save room. Plancha’s brunch buffet includes seven gorgeous offerings including their signature flan.
The Master Sommelier diploma is the highest distinction a professional can attain in fine wine and beverage service, And Disney Springs is home to the only Master-Sommelier led restaurant in Florida: Wine Bar George. With more than 130 wines by the glass, bottle and ounce, you’ve got more than enough beverage options to accompany their delicious Wine Country Brunch. This menu includes delights such as steak & eggs frites, brioche French toast with mascarpone and caramel sauce and an unbelievable brunch-ified version of their soft, custardy burrata. For dessert? Perhaps a taste of their Frozcato Mimosa, a Moscato-prosecco combo featuring Dole Whip!
Recommended for Brunch because: It’s brunch. It’s Disney. And as a friend recently noted, “it’s totally legit.” Also, they mix Dole Whip with prosecco. That’s 2 LEGIT, in fact.
A.D.’s expert tip: If you visit when Master Sommelier George is in the house, tap him for information; he’s happy to share his knowledge. As one of only 200+ sommeliers to hold this distinction, he’s got plenty to share.
This quaint working Milk District bakery is open for breakfast, lunch and brunch with a manageable, fresh-made menu that changes near daily and makes choosing easy. Okay, that’s arguable, since how one chooses between creative, handcrafted meatloaf sammies, beyond-cheesy grits and bacon-corn bread waffles is subjective. Easiest method? Bring a friend and share everything! Cakes, bread, cookies, pies â” the smells emanating from the Se7en Bites kitchen are wrong in all the best ways possible. Be thoroughly prepared for a sweet-related impulse buy to take home. Eggs and biscuits, scones and soups, Southern comfort classics and lots of surprising modern twists.
Recommended for Brunch because: Sumptuous, southern and stellar, Se7en Bites’ brunch is a must-do. Come super hungry and accept the inordinately high potential for bringing home baked goods!
A.D.’s expert tip: Waits are common. Use your time like a mensch and know what you want when your turn to order comes! And if you’re a pimento cheese fan, you’ll want to try theirs.
We’re not saying you CAN’T maintain your clean eating regimen at K’s Sunday brunch (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – after all, they do source ingredients from many local and organic purveyors – you’ll just have to do some mental gymnastics to include pork belly Benedict on your roster of what’s clean. And hey, you could always have a salad. But it’s unlikely you’ll want to. And no one would blame you in the face of fried chicken slathered in sausage gravy on flaky, fresh-baked biscuits, or bagels piled high with gravlax, or s’mores waffles (graham waffle, marshmallow fluff, chocolate chips, bourbon syrup) served with bacon that’s cut and cured in-house, or seriously sumptuous shrimp and grits. While you won’t find bottomless mimosas here (you can get a carafe for $25), you will find brunch fare of the highest order in a setting that’s just as suitable for romance as your grandma’s birthday.
Recommended for Brunch because: K’s brunch is ridiculously decadent, but it’s bright and casual atmosphere makes it a comfortable place in which to digest all that artisan sausage gravy.
A.D.’s expert tip: Plan to share! Helpings are generous and you’re likely going to want to taste everything that hits the table. And do NOT miss the bacon!