10 Places to Enjoy Brunch in Newport Beach
Is there anything more relaxing than brunch? The ingenious breakfast-lunch hybrid involves family and friends and can drag on for hours with no ill effects. Some restaurants even offer the experience daily, for people with time to partake. Learn about 10 restaurants that either have a dedicated brunch menu or offer a de facto version.
This dock-and-dine restaurant from Jeff Reuter has been located right by Lower Newport Bay, and near the entrance to Linda Island, since 2005. The space features stone-clad columns, wood accents, and sumptuous brown and green cushioned banquettes. Weekends from 9am – 2pm, 3-Thirty-3 is popular for pancakes, eggs Benedict and huevos rancheros. BYOB is also crucial, but not how you might think. Here, the acronym stands for Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar with a choice of vodka and condiments like olives, onions, baby corn and celery. You can also Build Your Own Burrito.
It’s hard to beat the views at American Junkie, which features a patio with lounge chairs overlooking the marina. Yes, they also have a spacious interior with wood flooring and blue striped banquettes, but it’s all about being close to the water. Their brunch menu includes items both righteous (garden omelette) and truly jones worthy (Grandma’s waffles or the morning burrito). $15 brunch brings bottomless mimosas, Champagne and Bloody Marys. If you decide to go that booze-soaked route, be sure to budget for an Uber ride.
This Newport favorite has thrived along Pacific Coast Highway since 1957. The facade features a sea blue mural of surfers, palm trees, crashing waves and underwater dolphins. Inside, murals continue. Their breakfast menu provides plenty of fuel for a day at the beach, with hearty options like T-Bone and eggs, a pancake sandwich with sausage and eggs, or a California omelette with bacon, avocado, tomato and cheddar. At lunch, food’s just as fierce, complete with Prime rib melts and triple-decker sandwiches.
This luxurious Mediterranean restaurant at Fashion Island from Laurent Halasz features white walls and furniture with wood beams and splashes of terra cotta and olive green. The airy dining room also has a live olive tree, true to their name. During weekend brunch, Fig & Olive offers a Mediterranean brunch spread for $27 that’s loaded with seasonal favorites. If you prefer a la carte, consider crostini topped with combinations like crab, heirloom tomato, and zucchini puree. Riviera Salad is a nod to the South of France, with tiger shrimp, seared salmon, citrus, ricotta vegetables and Arbequina olive oil. Crab Benedict and the Riviera salmon burger on thyme brioche are also popular.
This Westcliff institution since 1990 features a glass front, shady plant-lined patio, and an interior with communal seating and fully loaded pastry case. They don’t have a dedicated brunch menu, but do serve breakfast, lunch and pastries daily from 7 am – 3 pm. Early in the day, consider All-American or Mexican scrambles, blueberry cornmeal haute cakes with maple syrup, or Swiss-style Mueslix if you’re feeling skittish. Lunch brings salads and sandwiches like Brie on baguette with oven-roasted tomatoes, basil and balsamic.
The Fashion Island outpost of Alain Coumont’s Brussels-born chain features communal seating and brunch every day. The space also has counters and racks jam-packed with pastries and breads, and an inviting planter-lined patio. Customers settle down for foods like French toast or Crunola parfait, a combination of yogurt and raw, vegan granola with buckwheat, almonds, flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, Thompson raisins and goji berries. Popular beverages include Mimosa, raspberry lemonade, and hot chocolate.
This Newport Beach institution resurfaced at GP’s Landing thanks to a partnership between Charles Mathewson and Grill Concepts. The airy restaurant accommodates over 200 seats, indoors and out, and brings chic luxury to the harbor front. Brunch is a great time to enjoy The Ritz, with prime views and a fully loaded Bloody Mary Bar. $20 grants guests a choice of vodka, gin or tequila, along with fun garnishes like Kurobuta bacon, Roquefort stuffed olives, or atomic horseradish. Seafood factors into deluxe dishes like lobster Benedict with Thai basil Bearnaise and caviar on brioche, but don’t ignore meaty alternatives. A cornbread waffle comes with duck confit, cranberry gastrique, pecans and maple syrup. The bison burger is also a beast, piled with foie gras, shishito aioli and onion marmalade. Consider ricotta blueberry pancakes if you prefer something sweet.
Located at the intersection of Newport Balboa Bike Trail and the path to Balboa Pier, Orange Blossom Cafe features canary yellow walls, wood flooring, a blackboard menu, and a full coffee program. Crepes are especially popular, including the Elvis with peanut butter and banana, or the Blue Goat with goat cheese and blueberry preserves. If you’re looking for something savory, consider the BLT omelette with bacon, mozzarella, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and chipotle aioli. Smoothies are also popular.
This is a charming Napa-inspired restaurant in Eastbluff from chef Cathy Pavlos. The space contains raised garden beds to grow produce in-house, a wood trellis for shade, white cushioned seats, exposed wood beams, and full bar. Provenance turns out some beautiful food during weekend brunch. Wild salmon gravlax is cured with whisky and brown sugar and served Benedict style on a house-made English muffin with slow-cooked farm eggs, dill Hollandaise, crispy Brussels sprout leaves and fried capers. Snake River Farms pork carnitas breakfast tacos are also popular, as is the Key lime pie cocktail. On the wagon? Consider the silky Earl Grey Manhattan cream soda.
This popular café resides near Beacon Bay, between PCH and Balboa Island, in Bayside Center Shopping Center. The coat is light yellow, and brown umbrellas shield outdoor diners. Inside, the color scheme is almost entirely white, apart from an elaborate crystal chandelier and exposed ductwork. The Waffle Affair’s biggest sellers are the bacon and cheddar waffle, turkey and Havarti waffle, and toasted coconut waffle. Frothy, brunch-friendly lattes comes in flavors like vanilla and lavender honey.