Food & Drink

Where to Eat Brunch, According to 16 of Miami's Top Chefs

Published On 08/25/2015 Published On 08/25/2015

The best brunch in Miami is a hard thing to pick. And even if you consulted our handy guide of where to find the nearest boozy one, sometimes you need an expert to tell you where to go. Which is why we polled the top chefs in Miami to find out where they’re eating brunch, and where you probably should too.

Courtesy of Sugarcane

Timon Balloo of Sugarcane

His pick: The Federal (address and info)
This husband-and-wife duo make all good things come true through their passion for food and drinks. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu but do make it a point to stop in for the biscuits!

Aniece Meinhold/Cesar Zapata of The Federal

Their pick: China Pavilion (address and info)
Pembroke Pines
We go to China Pavillion in Pembroke Pines. No Benedicts, no waffles, no pig wings, when you see the stuff every day, you really don't ever want to eat it! We do steamed shrimp hargao, scallion and shrimp hargao, crispy custard puffs, turnip cakes, chicken feet (!), and baked pork buns.
For the days we are actually working brunch, we do post-brunch noshing at Sugarcane. Happy hour sushi and rosé works miracles after feeding 200 plus people.

Courtesy of Pincho Factory

Nedal Ahmad of Pincho Factory

His pick: Tongue and Cheek (address and info)
Very family friendly and approachable menu, we're a party of five so kid friendly is important to us. My order there is always the same, I get the braised brisket Benedict, and I share an order of the lemon ricotta pancakes with my oldest (and by that I mean I steal most of her pancakes).

Michael Pirolo of Macchialina

His pickMignonette (address and info)
Dan (Serfer) does an amazing job. I especially love the lobster rolls and croissants.

Courtesy of Blue Collar

Danny Serfer of Blue Collar/Mignonette

His pick: Front Porch Cafe (address and info)
South Beach
I like simple regular breakfast stuff for brunch like sunny side-up eggs, potatoes, bacon, and toast with some straight pancakes or French toast for the table. That being said, my go-to is the Front Porch in South Beach. I've been going there for 10-plus years. Michael does a great job.

Giorgio Rapicavoli of Eating House

His picks: Pubbelly (address and info) and Blue Collar (address and info)
Sunset Harbour/MiMo
The Korean pork chilaquiles are crazy good and after the meal I can head right over to the sand for a nice day at the beach. If I can find the time for a Saturday brunch, it’s all about Blue Collar. Danny’s latkes are one of my favorite things in Miami!

Courtesy of Pubbelly

Jose Mendin of Pubbelly

His Pick: R + D pop-up by Jugofresh (address and info)
It’s insane that vegan food can taste so good! Chef Paco kills it. Get the buckwheat waffles with fruit, lemon coconut cream, cacao butter, and maple syrup.

Tomas Prado of Golden Fig

His pick: Matador Room at the Edition (address and info)
Miami Beach
Great ambiance on the terrace and the food is excellent. My favorite dish there is the huevos rancheros.

Courtesy of Ortanique on the Mile

Cindy Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile

Her pick: Zuma (address and info)
Zuma has three different tiers of brunch to choose from... a group of us recently went and chose the one where you got limitless Roederer Champagne, sake martinis, margaritas, and an amazing buffet. They have a cooked station, sushi sashimi station, and hot pot rice. You also get to choose a hot robata cooked item -- I chose the beef tenderloin which gets delivered to you.

Kareem Anguin of The Oceanaire Seafood Room

His pick: Zuma (address and info)
It’s not like a traditional brunch, I love that it has a Japanese influence. Get the Japanese-style pancakes with octopus.

Courtesy of RED the Steakhouse

Peter Vauthy of Red, the Steakhouse

His pick: Fontana at the Biltmore Hotel (address and info)
Coral Gables
Old Miami elegance and such a stunning setting. The food reminds me how a brunch is supposed to be, old school and over the top. Carving stations, seafood display, caviar, and, of course, they pour real Champagne! Which is crucial to any brunch! Not-to-miss dish is the lobster salad martinis, so delicious I can’t eat just one.

Adrienne Grenier of 3030 Ocean

Her pick: Josh's Deli (address and info)
It's a tiny neighborhood spot and Josh is always working on awesome new creations. Right now I'm all about the bialys!

Courtesy of Station 5

Julia Ning of Station 5

Her pick: Blackbrick Chinese (address and info)
It feels like going home. My top must-have is the char siu bao BBQ pork bun, tastes just like my grandmother’s!

Fred Joulin of Semilla

His pick: Brasserie Azur (address and info)
It reminds me of when I was young in France with their tradition. The design is beautiful... you can see from the dining room all the way to the raw bar, pizza oven, and kitchen. Prices are very fair and the food is very simple and delightful. The chariot de desserts a la Francaise (dessert cart) has three different desserts and is just $16. And the butcher bagel is a must. And it’s hard to find a place in Miami with a real handmade hollandaise sauce.

Courtesy of The Local Craft Food & Drink

Phil Bryant of The Local Craft Food & Drink

His pick: Wagon’s West (address and info)
It’s the first place I had a real country breakfast when I moved to Miami. That said, I honestly don’t go to brunch much. I’m either working it or sleeping in!

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1. Sugarcane Raw Bar and Grille 3250 NE First Ave, Miami, FL 33137 (Midtown)

Transferring their tapas steez to the AM/ early afternoon, Sugarcane's offering sharable whole wheat pumpkin pancakes w/ whipped vanilla bean ricotta & seasonal fruit, plus creative savories like duck & waffles w/ crispy leg confit & mustard maple syrup;

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2. The Federal Food Drink & Provisions 5132 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137

The Phuc Yea! crew's homey spot on Biscayne is serving comfort food that you can wash down with 15 wines, beers on tap, and cocktails... just not all at once. Their light, fluffy biscuits have been ranked as some of the best in the country and are just a little sweet with a honey apple cider glaze. This modern American tavern serves up lunch, dinner and boozy brunch, and their Bloody Mary, made with Southwestern-style chipotle, cilantro, horseradish and agave wine, is not one to miss.

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3. China Pavilion 10041 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024 (Pembroke Pines)

This Pembroke Pines spot has a great dim sum featuring items like steamed shrimp hargao, scallion and shrimp hargao, crispy custard puffs, turnip cakes, chicken feet(!), and baked pork buns.

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4. Pincho Factory 32 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Coral Gables)

It's BYOB at PF's second outpost in Coral Gables, where they're serving the same delicious American eats, including their award-winning Best Burger in South Florida. The place is hellbent on countering your quinoa intake with bacon dogs and frighteningly awesome burgers, but they don't just stop there: PF also serves up killer breakfast eats like French toast soaked in a homemade custard, spiked with their banana bread beer reduction and smothered in caramelized bananas and maple syrup.

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5. Tongue & Cheek 431 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

This down-home American spot is serving up awesome craft 'tails and twists on classic eats like meatballs and gravy, fried chicken, cured pork belly, and fish-n-chips.

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6. Macchialina Taverna Rustica 820 Alton Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

After heading up the Miami outpost of Scarpetta, Chef Michael Pirolo went out on his own with Macchialina Taverna Rustica, an Italian comfort destination on Alton Road. His handmade pastas --topped with baby meatballs and pancetta or tossed with clams, rock shrimp, and tomato -- is something for the books, as are shareable appetizers like local burrata, margherita pizza, and the polenta board with meatballs, sausage, truffled mushrooms, and pickled fruit. The wine selection is slim but highly curated, featuring reds, whites, and sparkling wines from across Italy.

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7. Mignonette 210 NE 18th St, Miami, FL 33132

Danny Serfer brings you this shellfish-devoted venture with an oyster heavy menu that’s also filled with lobster deviled eggs, caviar, scallops with polenta, and croissants with lobster butter.

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8. Front Porch Cafe 1458 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (Miami Beach)

This trendy Miami Beach spot offers breakfast ALL DAY in huge portions. We're talking everything from French toast to the Sicilian omelette.

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9. Eating House 804 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Miami, FL 33134 (Coral Gables)

Eating House isn't a regular restaurant, it's a cool restaurant. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli's spot began as a pop-up in 2012 before it took a permanent, brick-and-mortar turn in Coral Gables a few years later. It's hard to decide what Rapicavoli does better: local ingredient-driven dinner or over-the-top brunch. Whatever it is, all the dishes coming out of the kitchen -- like Cap'n Crunch pancakes or black truffle carbonara -- are similar in their sheer creativity.

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10. Pubbelly 1418 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

Pubbelly's an Asian-inspired gastropub that (you guessed it!) combines Asian food, Western eats and beer. It hails from three better-known vets: Casa Tua, Nobu, and Sushi Samba.

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11. Blue Collar Restaurant 6730 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138

Blue Collar's mission is to give off a true neighborhood hang-out vibe, which it successfully does with a huge menu of comfort food staples. Every day, the kitchen serves a different rib dish (baby back, short ribs, spare ribs, etc), parmesan dish (chicken, veal, pork, eggplant, etc), and a braised dish (brisket, pot roast, ox tails, pork shoulder). There's a whole chalkboard of vegetable sides to counter the meaty entrées, and appetizers like definitely-order-or-you'll-regret-it potato latkes. Don't even get us started on brunch -- just make sure you get there early.

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12. JugoFresh 1935 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

The brainchild of a local nutritionist who previously juiced concoctions for athletes in his own kitchen, JugoFresh just opened up shop on the beach to peddle (and eventually deliver to your door) everything from extreme cleanses to custom, enzyme-rich elixirs that can do everything from cure your hangover to ensure your stomach doesn't hangover your belt.

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13. Golden Fig Restaurant 1250 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130

This modern American spot offers farm to table eats in a trendy environment. Go for brunch and get the huevos rancheros, you won't be disappointed.

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14. Matador Room 2901 Collins Ave, Miami, FL 33140 (Miami Beach)

The Matador Room takes on Latin and Caribbean food, but it puts a nice twist on classics with stuff like gulf white shrimp in “agua Diablo” (devil’s water).

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15. Ortanique on the Mile 278 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Coral Gables)

No place does tropical quite this Coral Gables spot. Yes, the menu’s packed with fresh seafood and more ways to use mangoes and pineapples than you ever thought possible, but it's also got a Certified Angus filet that could go toe to toe with any steakhouse cut in the city.

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16. Zuma 270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131 (Downtown)

Izakaya-inspired restaurant Zuma in Downtown Miami combines a bright, modern setting with exquisite presentation of its ocean-fresh sushi dishes, like the Dynamite Spider Roll with soft-shell crab, chili, and wasabi tobiko sauce. From the robata grill, opt for tender beef and shishito pepper skewers with smoked chili soy, or baby artichoke with truffle wafu dressing. If it’s something crispy you’re craving, crunch on rock shrimp tempura with lime and chili mayonnaise, lobster tempura with spicy ponzu, or grouper tempura with chili onions. Brunch offerings include a selection of premium sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls.

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17. The Oceanaire Seafood Room 900 S Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33130

They only serve the top-of-the-catch because they only want to serve the freshest seafood. The menu changes frequently depending on the availability of the market.

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18. Red, The Steakhouse 119 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (South Beach)

Once voted Sexiest Steakhouse of the Year (by Playboy, no less) and beloved by A-listers, Red delivers on all the swanky fronts. But we suggest you let the food -- from appetizers like seared foie gras and caviar with crème fraiche to the steak and seafood entrées -- do the talking. Throw in a fully-loaded wine list, and the fact that Red is one of the few places in the country to use Miyazaki beef (like Kobe but more marbled), and you've got a steak night to remember.

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19. Fontana at The Biltmore 1200 Anastasia Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Coral Gables)

Fontana is the Biltmore Hotel’s upscale Italian ristorante, known for its elegant décor, refined dinner menu, and tastefully over-the-top brunch. The indoor dining room is bookended by ornate vaulted ceilings and parquet wooden floors, while patio dining is situated in a lavish courtyard with a fountain surrounded by columned arcades. The European charm is reflected in Fontana’s food program; Chef Beppe Galazzi uses local and farm-fresh ingredients when stocking the breakfast buffet of eggs, meats, fruits, pastries, and yogurt, and the à la carte dinner of homemade pastas, meats, and antipasti.

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20. 3030 Ocean 3030 Holiday Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (Fort Lauderdale)

3030 Ocean offers some truly incredible seafood that is worth every penny... and you will be spending a lot of pennies on items like tuna ceviche and seared Maine scallops.

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21. Josh's Deli 9517 Harding Ave, Miami, FL 33154 (North Miami Beach)

Josh's Deli is a "homey", kosher-style deli that has a menu that offers breakfast, soups, salads, and obviously "sandwiches and stuff".

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22. Station 5 Table and Bar 5845 Sunset Dr, South Miami, FL 33143 (South Miami)

This South Miami spot puts a modern twist on American classics. It's got a great happy hour too with half-priced beer, glasses of wine, and well drinks, plus $5 “cheffy snacks” like duck foie gras toast and gluten-free fried pickles.

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23. Blackbrick 3451 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33137 (Midtown)

Blackbrick pust a Floridian twist on Chinese with stuff like General Tso’s Florida Gator and Swank farms eggplant with Oyster sauce.

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24. Semilla Eatery and Bar 1330 Alton Road, Miami, FL 33140 (Miami Beach)

This Alton Rd eatery's got some of SoFla's best craft brews on tap. With organic eats and happy hour specials, this gastropub has plenty of local character.

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25. Brasserie Azur 3252 NE 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33137

This Miami spot has the trifecta: a rotisserie station, a pizza oven, and a chariot de desserts a la Francaise (a glorious French dessert cart, that is). And if, for some absurd reason, none of these appeal, the joint has a foosball table, happy hour until 8pm, and a full menu of upscale Mediterranean dishes. Beyond pizza and pastries, the chefs at this trendy eatery are serving things like grilled filet of salmon, rigatoni with house-made bolognese, and steak tartare prepared table-side. The patio space is littered with palm trees and string lights, and the dining room is equally charming, with exposed red brick, and ceilings lined with ivy. Brunch is served on the weekends, complete with bottomless mimosas, and happy hour at the bar means 5$ cocktails, and a whole bunch of free gourmet snacks (no catch, I swear).

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26. The Local Craft Food & Drink 150 Giralda Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Coral Gables)

Rumor has it that the guys behind The Local used to go to DC on the weekends to drink affordable craft beer and revel in laid-back nightlife, both of which Miami sorely lacked back in the day. No more, thanks to their Coral Gables gastropub that serves a rotating selection of 18 craft beers, small-batch wine, and innovative comfort food like fried spare ribs, hen & dumplings, and fried chicken with bacon and cornbread dressing. The Local's burger, made with a short rib and brisket-blended patty and topped with two slices of American cheese, pickles, and Mississippi Comeback sauce, is one of the best in the 305.

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27. Wagon's West Restaurant 11311 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156

At Wagon's West you can get a real country meal, including breakfast.



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