6 Orlando Brunch Places With a Twist

Brunch is one of America’s favorite pastimes. Here are six Central Florida spots, all offering al fresco dining, to add to your brunch bucket list.

How do you define brunch? Is it lunch in the morning, or breakfast after noon? Is it just eating eggs with a cocktail? Whatever your criteria, brunch grants permission to slow down and linger at the table just a little longer than we normally would, while indulging in the dishes and drinks that are often reserved for a different time of day. The fact that every week, a new restaurant in Orlando starts offering brunch points to its increasing popularity. 

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Reyes Mezcaleria offers authentic Mexican flavors for your next brunch date. (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

But if you’re looking for something a little different this weekend, here are some out-of-the-box options to try.

Reyes Mezcaleria

Helmed by Michoacán native Chef Wendy Lopez, this popular spot in Downtown’s North Quarter takes its commitment to honoring Mexican cuisine and interpreting it with care seriously. If you’re looking for something more interesting than your garden variety eggs and bacon, Reyes is an outstanding option.

To begin, the Chorizo Brioche is a breakfast sandwich that dazzles, with chorizo, tomato and egg, topped with salsa verde on a brioche bun. Or consider Tres Leches French Toast—brioche soaked in a three-milk custard and topped with candied nuts and Chantilly cream. For a savory plant-based option, try the vegan xChorizo hash, featuring faux chorizo, cauliflower rice and potatoes, topped with pickled onions. Or opt for a fresh twist on a favorite: Brussels Sprouts Tacos with tamarind glaze and cotija cheese.

Alongside the creative culinary spread, don’t forget to sample a beverage or two: with more than 140 agave spirits on offer, I doubt you’ll have trouble finding something to your liking. 821 N. Orange Ave., Orlando. reyesmex.com

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen & Bar

For the seafood-loving bruncher in your crew, head to Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen & Bar in Winter Park. This welcoming locally-owned spot is the type of restaurant you’d expect to find in your favorite sleepy beach town, with the freshest of fresh catches, thoughtfully and sustainably sourced.

Begin with a BOGO brunch drink special (choose from a superb Bloody Mary, or opt for a refreshing Mimosa, Sangria or Tequila Sunrise) before moving onto tempting entrees, like Shrimp and Grits featuring sweet Mayport shrimp and flavorful Tasso ham gravy.

For another seaside twist, the Benedict option here offers up Crab Cakes, which are far preferable to any Canadian Bacon I’ve ever tasted. The on-trend Shrimp and Avocado Toast comes topped with an egg for a delightful array of flavors stacked neatly together. Rustic French Toast is a good alternative for those who prefer a less sea-centric meal. 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park. reelfishcoastal.com

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Brunch pizza and smoked brisket hash at Delaney’s Tavern (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

Delaney’s Tavern

When this hotspot opened in SoDo’s Delaney Hotel just a couple of years ago, its goal was to become a neighborhood hangout, and the team has succeeded. And while Chef Anthony Albino continues to make a name for himself at all times of day serving New American fare, brunch earns rave reviews from critics and locals alike.

Begin your meal with bottomless Mimosas or Rosé all Day for a celebratory start before indulging in sassy shareables, like Heather’s Big Ass Cinnamon Roll. How can you resist? Bring a hearty appetite and be prepared to share, so you can move onto entrees such as Brunch Pizza, a pleasing combination of bacon, roasted apple, brie and caramelized onion, topped with smoked sage aioli and sunny side up egg. Or dig into Chicken & Waffles, made with chicken thighs and finished with a berry compote butter and Aleppo maple syrup. Can’t make it in for Sunday brunch? Look for the rollout of weekly Breakfast for Dinner specials; follow Delaney’s Tavern on social media for more details. 1315 S. Orange Ave., Suite B, Orlando. eatdt.com

Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant

Although we may not be able to travel to Ireland right now, that doesn’t mean that we can’t journey there through our taste buds. And if you’re yearning to tuck into that glorious breakfast known as the Full Irish, then make a beeline for Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant in Disney Springs for a meal that will keep you going all day long (or send you to the weekend nap of your dreams. You choose.) Two fried eggs share center stage with a plethora of meats—an Irish banger, black and white puddings and a rasher of bacon. Roasties, mushrooms, and a broiled tomato round out the platter.

There are other items to choose from, however. Pancakes Diaspora with creme fraiche, maple syrup and berry compote offer a sweet option, while Pork Hash Tagged incorporates pork belly into a substantial hash topped with two eggs. If you’re after “lunchy stuff” instead, try The Shepherd Went Vegan, the pub’s new plant-based shepherd’s pie, made with a savory mix of faro barley and vegetables, topped with an olive oil-laced potato mash and burnt onion gravy. Disney Springs, 1640 Buena Vista Dr., Orlando. raglanroad.com

Mia’s Italian Kitchen

Will the pandemic spell the end of buffets as we know them? Only time will tell. But if you crave an all-you-care-to-enjoy approach to brunch, reserve a table at Mia’s Italian Kitchen on International Drive for their Bottomless Brunch.

For $26 per person, diners can choose as many items as they like from a set menu, which changes periodically, but typically incorporates some of Mia’s most delicious offerings. These include Breakfast Bruschetta—thick slices of tender brioche topped with honey-mascarpone mousse, lemon curd and macerated berries; as well as another standout, Breakfast Pizza, topped with guanciale and whole eggs. Available both Saturday and Sunday, your whole party will need to choose the Bottomless Brunch to take advantage. 8717 International Dr., Orlando. miasitalian.com

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Carrot Cake Pancakes at Sixty Vines (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)

Sixty Vines

When wine, wine and also some wine is your idea of brunch, then Sixty Vines is the place for you. The Winter Park restaurant opened last March, and has done a terrific job of creating a place for itself during a difficult year with a menu that offers small plates and the cuisine of Wine Country.

Brunch is served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and includes many of the restaurant’s shareable mainstays, like salumi and cheese. But beyond the standards, look for decidedly decadent flavors including Orange Morning Bread, brown butter cinnamon bites with nuggets of candied walnuts and a citrus icing. Mains range from the sweet satisfaction of Carrot Cake Pancakes to thoroughly savory and filling affairs like the Cabernet Brunch Burger—cab-soaked patties topped with a free-range egg, white cheddar and caramelized onions. Wash it all down with a full complement of wines—all available in 2.5, 5, or 8-ounce pours. 110 Orlando Ave., #12, Winter Park. sixtyvines.com

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink