Whether you want to woo your lady, impress a client, or create family memories to last a lifetime, here’s our ultimate Orange County brunch guide. Step-up your game and brunch like a baller.
If you want to capture the charming feeling of living in Laguna Beach, Cafe Anastasia is the ideal spot to enjoy brunch with your significant other. Open seven days a week, this sleek and modern cafe, with European flair, offers indoor and outdoor seating, which is great for people watching. Stuck on what to order? Two words: Belgian Waffle. The eatery also houses a charming boutique, allowing you to enjoy an extra cup of coffee and soak in the sunshine, while that special woman in your life shops in Anastasia Boutique.
460 Ocean Ave, Laguna Beach
If you are in the mood for dishes that are fun and shareable, delivered with flair in a cool atmosphere, you owe it to yourself to visit Restaurant Marin. Tasty food, an inventive beverage program, hip ambiance, warm service – this place has it all. The space is quaint, cozy and petit, with bright, clean blue and white colors evoking a classic French diner. The menu at Restaurant Marin is delightful. Fresh muffins, donut holes, blueberry pancakes with sweet cream finish, coffee cake, smoked salmon, mini egg soufflé and lobster hash: “There’s something for everyone. Anything your heart desires,” explains Marin, the restaurant owner. “From an $8 breakfast muffin sandwich to $175 Chateaubriand; basic breakfast fare to super high-end cuts of meat. All my favorites!” With the general concept of “breakfast until midnight,” Restaurant Marin is a winning, delicious, and authentic addition to Orange County’s vibrant brunch scene.
3321 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa
Waterline at Balboa Bay Resort
Waterline is a sophisticated (yet casual) nautical-inspired waterfront restaurant. Rich in history, with photographs of old Hollywood greats adorning the walls, this special place offers an à la carte Sunday brunch. The “water-to-table” dining experience is led by executive chef Rachel Haggstrom. Guests enjoy this elegant experience in the main dining room with scenic harbor views, or even better, eating al fresco on the patio.
1221 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach
Established in 1990, Haute Cakes is tucked into a charming little corner of Newport Beach. This local brunch spot is situated outdoors, with tables and chairs arranged around tall trees. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious cup of speciality coffee or a really good stack of pancakes, their menu delivers. From scrambles to griddle items, Haute Cakes takes great care in bringing you one of the most delightful brunches you’ll ever eat.
1807 Westcliff Dr, Newport Beach
W Cafe & Tea Lounge
Tucked away on Westcliff Drive, is Newport Beach’s hidden gem. Chef and owner Wais Omar believes in a menu that is healthy and accommodates everyone. The breakfast burrito is a staple here at the NOBLEMAN office. For those with a sweet tooth, the Donut French Toast is a must-try. Brunch served daily from 8am-3pm.
1703 Westcliff Dr, Newport Beach
Located in North Laguna Beach, this hot spot is a favorite for visitors and locals alike. Newly built in 2016, the property was designed to replicate a sophisticated Cape Cod / Laguna Beach style cottage. With locations in Manhattan Beach, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena, this busy establishment serves the finest coffee. In fact, Urth Cafe is widely considered to be the first coffee roasting company in America to offer organically grown Heirloom coffees. Urth prides itself on its sustainability, serving only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. A fabulous food menu caters to all tastes; from strict vegan to pure decadence. Urth does not sell alcohol, but with their array of fruity smoothies and juices, one hardly notices.
308 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach
Fig & Olive
Known as a posh place to “see and be seen” in Orange County, Fig & Olive is more than just a pretty face, so to speak. Yes, the ambiance is breathtakingly beautiful; with clean lines, tons of open space, and stunning natural light. Lounge music and a generally packed house create a lively atmosphere, and the service is impeccable. Not to be lost in the shuffle, though, the food and drink also deliver, with an eye towards healthier fare. Plenty of vegetarian options too. Their crostini appetizers are not to be missed.
151 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach
Ramos House Café
Situated in the heart of the Los Rios Historical District in San Juan Capistrano, visit the oldest remaining residential street in California, dating back to 1794. The history is deep and the reputation profound with this spot. The idea of the Ramos House Café is simple. As in the old days, the owner lives and works at the house, wines are kept in the cellar, herbs are grown in the garden, and ice cream is churned out back. The menu is seasonal and pretty much changes daily, specializing in contemporary American cuisine, with a tilt towards breakfast and the South. Exterior patio seating surrounds a century old Mulberry tree. There’s no reservations for parties under 10, and at $44 prix fixe person, the meal is not cheap. But the experience is definitely worth every penny. Treat yourself, life is short. And don’t forget to ask about their world-famous Soju Blood Mary with a Scotch quail egg.
31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano
The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach
The Loft’s Chef de Cuisine Michael Campbell presents an expansive weekend brunch menu, with contemporary twists on traditional menu items such as: Montage benedict with crispy mortadella, pastrami hash with guajillo chile, pork shoulder chile verde, and apple mascarpone crepes. Libations include cold pressed juices, smoothies and a fun cocktail menu. Inspired by the arts and crafts movement and the artistic roots of Laguna Beach, The Loft brings the outdoors in with its expansive floor to ceiling windows and outdoor patios overlooking the Pacific Ocean. After brunch, the Montage Laguna Beach’s stunning grounds prove to be an ideal spot to linger for a weekend stroll, after stuffing yourself to the gills.
30801 Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach
Oak Grill- ISLAND HOTEL
Guests at Oak Grill choose from expansive outdoor seating on one of Newport’s largest decks, or the sophisticated yet relaxed dining room, replete with floor-to-ceiling windows. Brunch specialties include: the best Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries and vanilla bean whipped cream; the fried chicken and big biscuit with two eggs and sausage gravy; and the cinnamon roll french toast with Myers’s rum, cream cheese glaze and fresh berries. Other favorites include the Maine lobster chopped salad, the classic reuben panini and the house-cured, cold-smoked salmon. Oak Grill is a true Newport Beach original, full of inviting elegance and modern flair. As their website declares: “Classic Influences. Contemporary Cuisine.”
690 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach
Dining at Red O is an experience like no other – offering classic Mexican dishes as well as contemporary brunch dishes, showcased through flavorful and inspired preparations of local and sustainable ingredients. The restaurant’s team of friendly employees create a welcoming atmosphere that parallels the luxury resort-style interior. Red O also features an impressive bar and lounge, where you’ll find their specialty cocktails, an extensive tequila list, award winning wine list, and live entertainment. Located in Fashion Island Newport Beach, Red O serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm, and features eight signature Mexican inspired dishes (as well as chocolate chip pancakes for the children). The option to add on “endless drinks” at $20 per person, includes tequila sunrises, bloody Mary’s, sangria and mimosas.
143 Newport Center Dr, Newport Beach
AVEO at Monarch Beach Resort
This just might be the Sunday brunch to beat in Orange County. Drawing inspiration from the South of France, Executive Chef Collin Thornton also borrows flavors from across the Mediterranean, from Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco. A feast for the eyes, AVEO Table + Bar’s lavish brunch encompasses the entirety of the restaurant; spanning the bar, terrace, and dining rooms with a buffet featuring ten over-the-top brunch stations. Inventive offerings include: a “Little Italy” station with made-to-order pastas and risotto, a sushi station brimming with nigiri, and a mobile Bloody Mary cart. The buffet brunch is truly a work of art, with each station as unique and spectacular as the next.
1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point
Raya at The Ritz-Carlton
Raya showcases coastal cuisine prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, organic meat and Chef Richard Sandoval’s signature Pan-Latin flavors. Situated in an awe-inspiring Dana Point location 150 feet above sea level, large windows afford spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The dress code is “resort casual,” and the hotel itself is breathtaking; definitely worth exploring after you are fully sated. Raya offers an indulgent à la carte Sunday Brunch served 11am – 2pm. Go for the bottomless mimosas, and be sure to save room for dessert (especially the caramel custard churros).
1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Dana Point
The Coliseum at Pelican Hill Resort
Welcome to a special brunch, where the coastal breeze is as fresh as the farm-to-table ingredients. The Coliseum Grill offers seasonal menus and an ocean-view setting, so you can enjoy your meal with a side of breathtaking scenery. The Coliseum Infinity Pool features over one million glass mosaic tiles, each of them meticulously laid by hand. Drop by with friends and family, and enjoy live entertainment and handcrafted cocktails, giving you even more reasons to lounge and linger. For a dining experience that will thrill your entire party, served in a magnificent setting, enjoy the relaxing and vacation-like experience at Pelican Hill.
22701 S Pelican Hill Rd, Newport Coast
Come for the view, and be wowed by the food and vibrant atmosphere. The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar pairs contemporary California regional cuisine with a hip, vibrant setting, creating a cutting-edge dining experience. Located on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach, The Winery was named “Restaurant of the Year” by the Orange County Concierge Association. This breezy eatery features patio seating, harbor views, and an extensive global wine list with over 650 selections. The Sunday Brunch Menu is outstanding, with highlights like: chili lime rubbed Hawaiian mahi-mahi, Loco Moco beef patty with fried eggs, jasmine rice and mushroom sauce, and Brandt family reserve cajun flatiron steak.
3131 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach
By Laura Buckle, Jesse Stirling, Alissa Circle, Alandra Chavarria
Photography by Alandra Chavarria