By Paul Rubio
In Miami, brunch is more of an event than a meal — it’s an indulgent occasion where libations flow endlessly, the joie de vivre is palpable, calories don’t seem to count, and hours-long conversations go by in minutes.
But despite its over-the-top reputation, the finest brunches certainly don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. From Sunny Isles to South Beach, these five restaurants offer artfully crafted cocktails, creative cuisine, and elevated ambiance for a luxurious brunch experience worth savoring. (Advanced reservations encouraged.)
AQ Chop House by Il Mulino, Sunny Isles Beach
Immerse yourself in the Miami good life with an all-you-can-everything Sunday brunch at AQ Chop House by Il Mulino. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views from a table on the outdoor terrace as you sip endless mimosas, mojitos, Bellinis, Prosecco, or Bloody Marys. (Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, one of each.) Guests are also invited to indulge at myriad gourmet food stations — during brunch, there’s a classic carving station, a pasta station (offering several of Il Mulino’s signature Italian dishes), omelets and waffles made-to-order, fresh fruit, and a variety of fish and vegetable dishes.
Set to the sounds of live music and ocean waves, brunch at Acqualina Resort & Spa is the perfect opportunity to raise a glass on Sunny Isles Beach.
Sundays, 12pm to 4pm
Le Zoo, Bal Harbour
Photo: Andrew Hektor
See and be seen at Stephen Starr’s personality-driven French brasserie at the prestigious Bal Harbour Shops. Inside, the meticulously curated décor transports brunch-goers to the heart of Paris — the furnishings, vintage ornaments, and even the bar itself (counter and all) were imported from France. Outside, the colorful chairs and trendy vibe channel more of a St. Tropez feel.
Le Zoo specializes in both classic and modern French dishes perfected, from the croque madame with vanilla Chantilly to the legendary seafood towers, which arrive in one of three sizes: petit, grand, and prestige. We recommend the latter for the ultimate artistic display of Kumamoto and East Coast oysters, littleneck clams, chilled lobster, and Alaskan king crab. Naturally, the fare at Le Zoo pairs best with bubbles. There are eight sparkling wines and fifteen Champagnes to choose from, including a double-magnum bottle of Perrier-Jouët ‘Belle Epoque’ Jeroboam.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 4pm
Swan, Design District
Backed by hospitality mogul David Grutman and artist Pharrell Williams, Swan is a magnet for Miami’s who’s-who and visiting glitterati — and the brunch at one of Miami’s most buzzed-about restaurants is exactly the scene you’d expect it to be. Swan is the place to show off haute couture, indulge in dishes that are equally decadent and photogenic, and sip large-format cocktails in the lush outdoor garden or the chic Palm Beach-inspired dining room.
For optimal Instagram footage, order the Smoked Salmon Tier, a vertical display of fresh bagels and all the fixings. And to pair with a pitcher of tequila-spiked, berry-infused “Weekend Warrior” frosé, consider the fresh-baked Bourbon caramel cinnamon roll or the coconut pancake, topped with banana ice cream and maple syrup.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 3pm
Beaker & Gray, Wynwood
Photo: Cortney Cates
Miami’s Wynwood Arts District is known for its cutting-edge creativity, spanning far beyond the neighborhood’s art installations and into its restaurants. Case in point: the brunch at Beaker & Gray, where imaginative dishes are certain to delight any palate.
On the savory side, order the cheeseburger hash with bacon, aji amarillo, and banana pepper (consider adding an extra side of coffee-glazed bacon, for good measure). Or, try the waffle panini layered with pork rillette, gruyere cheese, and maple mustard. For something sweet, opt for a Miami-inspired guava skillet cookie, rich in guava paste and brown sugar and topped with cortadito (coffee) ice cream. Afterwards, walk off brunch with a visit to the nearby Wynwood Walls.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 4pm
Juvia, South Beach
Atop the Herzog & de Meuron-designed 1111 Parking Garage on South Beach, this stylish rooftop restaurant is a grand showcase of sleek transitional indoor/outdoor space with the best panoramic views over South Beach. Gorgeous hanging gardens add a verdant touch to the modern space.
The food at Juvia is mélange of French, Japanese, and Peruvian cuisines, all reflected in their outstanding weekend brunch — menu options range from pink shrimp acevichado to smoked salmon eggs benedict with yuzu hollandaise sauce. Guests can order à la carte or through a $65 prix fixe menu, which includes choice of appetizer, main dish, and dessert, plus bottomless mimosas, Bellinis or Prosecco.
Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30am to 3pm
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Swan
About the Contributor
Travel journalist Paul Rubio is a Miami native who has traveled to more than 130 countries over the past fifteen years. Rubio’s writing appears in Condé Nast Traveler, LUXURY, Robb Report, Private Clubs, and The New York Times.