10 Oceanfront Brunch Spots That Should Be on Your Florida Bucket List
What’s more quintessentially Floridian than a relaxing brunch by the water? If we’re being totally honest… not much. And with the whole beautiful state at your fingertips, there are many beachfront eateries to explore. We’ve found a few of the best where you can brunch (and in indulge in bottomless cocktails and mimosas, of course) while enjoying the zen-like sound of crashing waves. The best part is, most of these places are either right on the beach (as in literally on the dunes or with tables on the sand) or just a flight of stairs away. So all you really have to do is choose whether to hit the beach before or after a delicious brunch -- though we recommend both.
Santa Rosa Beach
Vue on 30a is a sight for the eyes -- it definitely lives up to its name with panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico -- but it’s got your taste buds covered, too. With three varieties of eggs Benedict (classic, crab cake, and steak tenderloin), omelettes, orange zest French toast, and maple whipped cream waffles -- plus lunch-y options like fried fish tacos and crab cake salad -- there’s variety for everyone at the table. The restaurant is known for its sunsets, but really, no matter what time you visit, you’ll always have a stunning view to accompany that fresh seafood omelette.
Adorned with bright hues and artwork (and even the occasional dolphin or two), Clear Sky captures the essence of Florida’s fun and easy-going vibe. Plus, its award-winning menu showcases flavors from all over the world, including Mexican crepes filled with chorizo, pico de gallo, guacamole, and pepper jack, then topped with ranchero sauce and served with scrambled eggs; and an old Southern favorite: maple glazed chicken & waffles. There are seven(!) styles of eggs Benedict to choose from (such lobster brie, filet mignon, and Oscar-style crab), omelettes, skillets, and classic breakfasts item like pancakes, crepes, and French toast. If you’re dining later for lunch, there’s a rotating calendar of live music performances to enjoy while you munch starting at 2pm every Sunday.
Named for its location literally atop the dunes of Lantana Public Beach, Dune Deck Cafe offers gorgeous views of the Atlantic, so after you eat, you can easily walk down a flight of stairs and be chilling on the sand in seconds. The brunch menu offers classics like omelettes, crepes, pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches, as well as avocado toast and a smoked salmon platter. The cafe also houses the Sand Bar -- the only bar directly at the ocean in South Florida -- where you can sample their tropical brunch pairings. The cafe is also cash-only, so remember to have some on hand. (If you don’t, there's an ATM on premises.)
As the city’s first beachside restaurant, the Beach House was a real trendsetter when it opened back in 1993. Their open plan and large windows are a big draw, as is the decor, which is inspired by beach houses from all over the world, including Bali, Costa Rica, Southeast Asia, and Hawaii -- which means they take their chill vibes seriously. The brunch menu is uncomplicated, but delicious with eggs Benedict, brioche French toast, and Beach House Hash. (The country fried boneless chicken is the perfect comfort food with gravy, grits, and a scratch-made biscuit.) Of course, brunch imbibements haven’t been forgotten -- they offer bottomless beers and mimosas. The Beach House also has a second-floor patio with unobstructed views of the waterfront, which makes it the perfect place to enjoy great food and the beauty of Pompano Beach.
The last thing anyone wants during brunch is the hubbub of crowds in the background and having a shoutversation. At Local House, that won’t be an issue. This peaceful brunch spot, with its vibrant and airy atmosphere, overlooks South Beach but is far enough removed to avoid the noise and bustle of beachgoers. Known for their variety of eggs Benedict and bottomless mimosas, Local House has plenty of other delectable options like their smoked beef skillet comprised of goat cheese, brisket, eggs, and hollandaise sauce; quinoa avocado toast; and a seafood scramble, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
Baleen offers a more literal take on beachfront dining -- as in some of their tables are directly on the sand. So if you’re looking to bury your toes in the sand while you munch, you’ve found the right place. The Sunday Champagne Brunch menu is sure to pique your curiosity with offerings like French onion soup with a poached egg and black truffle, an open-faced crab BLT, and lamb belly hash with saffron hollandaise. (Note to potential brunchers: Baleen will be temporarily relocated to the Club restaurant on the second floor of the Gulf Tower between August 26 and September 22 for renovations.)
This dockside eatery is the true embodiment of easy living. Surrounded by boats and with a relaxed Key West vibe, the Nauti Dawg doesn’t skimp out on Insta-worthy plates just because it’s more laid-back. Brunch items include unique offerings like coconut French toast and smoked salmon Benedict, and they’ve even got a “Hook & Cook” option, so you can go right from fishing the docks to having the restaurant prepare your catch in a few short steps. The Nauti Dawg is also pup friendly and has its own dog menu (with options like steak, burgers, and hot dogs cooked without spices, cut up, and served in a dog bowl especially for your best pal) and “Yappy Hour.” Need we say more?
Caretta on the Gulf’s atmosphere is relaxed and moody (the decor, for instance, includes darker wood and brick accents, subtle lighting) and its sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico can’t be beat. Also, its Sunday brunch is legendary. For starters, Caretta’s is the only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant in Clearwater Beach, and its brunch lives up to that label with menu options like malted Belgian waffles, egg white frittatas, steak & egg fajitas -- not to mention a made-to-order omelet station, carving station, and sushi. Perhaps most important, there’s a Champagne Sunday Brunch on the beach, so you can have the best of both worlds.
Fort Myers Beach
Bayfront Bistro’s location within the Snook Bight Yacht Club and Marina offers primo views of Estero Bay, which also happens to be the perfect place to look out for the one scarlet ibis bird in its flock of white counterparts that are known to roost there. But it’s the brunch options like the Bayfront Flat (a platter of cheeses, prosciutto, herbed cream cheese, and soft bread), the lobster melt (made with fresh lobster salad and cheddar and served with a cup of tomato-Parmesan bisque), and Nutella crepes that are the true draw. Additional fusion-style brunch dishes like the Seafood Acapulco, Bayfront Tacos, and Asian Calamari combine local ingredients with global flavors to take your taste buds on a trip around the world without ever leaving the back bay.
Fort Myers Beach
The Salty Crab is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a fun, laid-back, and colorful brunch spot. With tables right on the sand, swaying palms, and brightly-hued decor, it’s got everything you and your crew need for a comfortable and tasty eating experience on a chill weekend. Breakfast is served daily from 8-11:30am and include dishes like shrimp & grits; the Crabby Benedict (made with grilled crab cakes, poached eggs, spinach, and Hollandaise), and a build-your-own-omelet option, among many others. Not only will you get a menu with something for everyone, but you’ll also get sweeping views of the waterfront and a nice balmy breeze to go with that order of chicken & waffles. So no matter what you’re in the mood for, how many in your party, and what kind of vibe you’re looking for, Florida’s got you covered in every aspect of brunch. Bottomless mimosas, award-winning dishes, and unforgettable waterfront views sound like a in-win all around.
Want more local favorites? Check out www.VISITFLORIDA.com/LocalSunshine for more.