If you don’t want to wait till 5 p.m. for Bruno’s garlic knots or a slice of Crimson Ghost pizza, Pizza Bruno opens at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with a menu that adds six brunch items. You might start with a Michelada with Bruno’s Bloody Mary mix, Modelo beer and a spiced rim, served with hot pickled veggies. Then move on to shrimp and grits with rock shrimp, spicy arrabiata sauce, sunny-side egg and Calabrian oil (lighter than it sounds); the frittata with heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, arugula salad, ricotta and honey toast, or Eggs in Purgatory with grits and lots of spicy arrabiata sauce.
“We’re a little limited with just the wood oven,” says Bruno Zacchini. “Look for more changes as we settle in with brunch.” If you can’t imagine a meal without one of his pizzas, try the breakfast version: pizza Amatriciana with pecorino, guanciale, red onion, Calabrian chile and a fried farm egg on top. Or the calzone with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, Cheddar and pepperoni.
We found plenty to love, but the pièce de résistance was Bruno’s Dutch baby pancake, dense and fluffy all in one bite, served with whipped butter and fresh local strawberries. Order at least one for the table to share.
3990 Curry Ford Road, Orlando; pizzabrunofl.com
East End Market
If you’re brunching with fickle eaters, head to East End Market, where everybody can find something to suit their palate—create your own buffet from various vendors or just sip a smoothie or cold-pressed juice from Skyebird, or artisan coffee from Lineage. East End Market brunch is on Saturdays and Sunday (hours vary).
Farm & Haus. They tout their “award-winning” French toast, and we have to agree it’s the top pref, especially with a sunny-side-up egg, but their generous burrito with house-made chorizo, scrambled eggs and queso fresco runs a close second. Savory bowls—one vegetarian, one with chorizo—and a classic English muffin sammie with sausage, Gouda and egg round out the menu.
Florida & Co. Two breakfast bowls are big enough to share (but you won’t want to): the Southern Spicy Shrimp Bowl and Datil Pepper & Kumquat BBQ Pork Bowl. All local, all good. Add a mimosa made with Florida OJ or grapefruit juice or a cocktail with artisan shrubs.
Houndstooth. Their version of egg-avo toast is on millet bread with fresh tomato and sprouts, and you can add bacon and Cheddar. Or try the Bialy Bagel (our pick)—poppy seed and onion with their house-made Boursin spread and fresh tomato.
La Femme du Fromage. Sip a Bad Hombre Sangria or Mimosa or Champagne cocktails while you peruse a menu that puts cheese front and center. Top choice is the Bacon Jam Sandwich, which features Lineage Coffee bacon jam, egg, four-cheese blend and arugula on an Olde Hearth croissant. Or the Parisian Hash with potatoes, crispy prosciutto and grilled chicken topped with an egg and house-made truffle Mornay sauce.
Olde Hearth Bread Company. Croissants, muffins, baguettes, scones, cinnamon rolls, Danish pastries, breads and more—we go old school and tear off a hunk of fig and anise baguette and enjoy with a flat white from Lineage and The New York Times for the perfect start to a Sunday.
3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando; eastendmkt.com
Kick off or cap a Sunday stroll in College Park with Southern-style brunch specialties from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at this longtime neighborhood favorite. Pastry chef Michelle Hubert’s scratch biscuits star as a starter or in an entrée of fried chicken and sausage gravy. They also come topped with crispy pork belly, poached eggs and hot-sauce hollandaise in the hearty Pork Belly Benedict.
Diners with a sweet tooth will swoon over the seasonal waffle; at press time, the offering was a s’mores waffle—a graham waffle crowned with marshmallow fluff and chocolate chips and served with a side of house bacon for a savory foil. And the sweetest treat of all: K now boasts a full bar that serves up bloody Marys and mimosas by the carafe along with their extensive selection of wine and beer.
1710 Edgewater Drive, Orlando; krestaurant.net
Orange County Brewers
Starting at 11 a.m. on Sundays, downtown brewpub Orange County Brewers offers a weekly beer brunch in their taproom featuring live music and $5 “Beermosas.” An array of omelet-pizza combos, including the Ragin’ Cajun with chicken, onion, pepper, mozzarella and provolone as well as meat-free options, is available from the wood-fired oven at the on-site Orlando Pizza & Wing Co.
Enthusiasts who prefer their brew minus the OJ will nonetheless enjoy the citrusy notes from the Florida orange peels that head brewer Amanda Roberts uses in the OCB Green Tea IPA. Darker brews like the Perculator Milk Stout or Coco-Mon Porter pair well with sweet snacks like the house-baked cinnamon and sugar pretzels.
131 North Orange Avenue, Orlando; theocbrewers.com
Japanese ‘Asagohan’ Breakfast
The award-winning team at Kadence in Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District now offers asagohan, or Japanese breakfast, from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 9 to 10 a.m. on Sundays. Asagohan typically includes some combination of grilled fish, rice, veggie dishes, pickles, egg and soup. A few seats are available at the nine-seat sushi bar for advanced reservations, and walk-ins are also welcome. 1809 Winter Park Road; kadenceorlando.com; [email protected]