Brunch: is it a noun or verb? Is it breakfast or lunch? At what time is it too early or too late to call it brunch? These are all questions swirling around the trendy, socially driven phenomenon. While the answers are up for debate, one thing is for sure: we have the top spots that should be on your radar here in Laguna Beach.
Brunch available everyday (Breakfast 7am-11am, Lunch 11am-4pm)
Nestled into Ocean Avenue with a large yet intimate storefront and garden patio, Zinc Café & Market is a go-to option for healthy, vegetarian-friendly, and delicious options all day long. The place itself is simple and bright, with a few quaint charms to make it feel like home. Zinc's mission is to be a place where a community can gather and feel at ease, and that is exactly what this neighborhood favorite has accomplished. From couples to young families, to fitness-buffs for a post-workout meal, to patrons looking to spend a quiet morning alone, you'll discover a wide range of customers. Zinc has built that community right within itself with a sense of unity and understanding, stemming from the fact that there is no formal way to come and dine here. You casually order up front and pick a table outside. You can come for a full-on brunch with alcoholic drinks and food galore, or choose from their extensive coffee list, order a drink, and read a book. Its' menu and setup caters to this, and that, in addition to their fantastic food, is why they thrive. Our proposition? Come early before the crowds and order their Huevos Rancheros and French Press Coffee.
Brunch on weekends only (Saturday/Sunday 9am-3pm)
Chef and Owner Azmin Ghahreman has years of culinary international experience, and he has successfully brought his expertise under one, unique restaurant for the past ten years. Named after the stone Azmin used when proposing to his wife, Sapphire Laguna emanates that level of love and life throughout. When dining, you are meant to feel like a guest in Ghahreman's home. Through the staff's genuine passion and belief in the restaurant, they remarkably succeed in providing you with that level of comfort. The food itself is inspired by multinational flavors and ethnicities, and it allows you to, as Azmin says, "get a global tour of the world without a passport." You cannot go wrong because all the dishes and cocktails are stars, each eclectic and distinct. The menu here changes seasonally, and for brunch, the Study of Eggs Benedict and Buttermilk Pancakes change every week, allowing you to come back often and eat something new. However, after saying hello to the special Pork Belly Eggs Benedict with Cilantro Hollandaise and Steamed Rice from last week, we wish we didn't have to say goodbye. So, don't get too attached or you may experience separation anxiety like us.
Brunch on weekends only (starts at 8AM)
In their large, industrial chic space, Reunion Kitchen + Drink redefines American comfort food by innovating on classics in a fresh and creative way. The food menu is expansive with options for everyone, and along with the purchase of an entrée, the restaurant offers Bottomless Mimosas ($13.95) or Champagne ($10.95) for two hours! Come with your crew and get ready to be bubbling over with delightfully crafted food and cocktails. Reunion Kitchen + Drink's location is also perfect for large groups looking for fun without worrying about tables nearby. The restaurant itself is sizeable, and you'll have no trouble finding parking around here unlike on the busier streets of Laguna. For entrees, we savored the simplicity of the Grilled Breakfast Sandwich with sausage, egg, and cheese on sourdough bread - it's flavorful, buttery, and as deliciously toasted as you may get from those bottomless drinks. For something a bit more adventurous, we also loved the tender and hearty Short Rib Machaca.
Brunch on weekends only (Breakfast 7:30-11:30AM, Lunch starts 11AM)
Committed to quality and excellence for almost ten years now, Nick's Laguna Beach achieves just that by serving straightforward yet superbly executed New-American and California-inspired comfort cuisine. Customers come back for signatures like the Fried Chicken & Waffle with crunchy fried chicken, salty bacon, airy and slightly crispy waffle, and a decadently creamy sausage gravy. The El Jefe Breakfast Burrito sure is the boss with a big size but even bigger flavor; the ingredients all work together beautifully in this ultimate brunch dish. Can't decide between coffee or a cocktail? At Nick's, you don't have to. Their signature Spanish Café Carajillo has Licor 43, Espresso, and one large King Cube, making for an unassuming yet dangerously addictive drink.
Thanks a brunch for reading along! If you head to any of these spots, be sure to share your experiences with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging us @VisitLaguna and utilizing our citywide hashtag, #MyLagunaBeach.