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Best Brunches in Orange County

Best Brunches in Orange County

Costa Mesa Edition

Brunch was created by the brilliant idea of combining breakfast and lunch. It usually starts around 10 a.m. and finishes around 2 p.m. For many, this is a great time to gather with friends and loved ones to enjoy good food and conversation.

What makes a good brunch? A prix fixe menu, or an unlimited buffet with prime offerings and a price point to prove it? That may be exactly what you’re looking for, or you may simply want to enjoy your favorite restaurant anytime of day, and therefore you can find a delicious offering of breakfast or lunch items to satisfy your craving.

Ambiance is often as important in choosing where to dine, as is deciding what to eat.

Habana has been hailed by Open Table as one of the best outdoor dining experiences in the U.S. This Cuban-inspired restaurant has been a mainstay at The LAB Anti-Mall, serving lunch and dinner for decades. Most recently, a Sunday brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You won't be disappointed with the decadent seafood tower, carving station, made-to-order omelets and dessert platters. Adults: $49; Children: $19. Upgrade your meal with made-to-order mojitos, a glass of sparking rose or a rum-infused coconut mojito. Enjoy! Reservations can be made online or by calling 714.556.0176. 


Plums Café is often mentioned on social media by groups of girlfriends spending time here while catching up over delicious food and drinks. Plums Café is also a great place for celebrating moms, dads and grads. The breakfast, lunch and brunch menus are inspired by the Pacific Northwest like the Northwest Berry Waffle, Plum’s own Dutch Baby deep-dish baked pancake, and many dishes served with Oregon pepper bacon. With salads, sandwiches and mouthwatering homemade desserts, there is something for everyone. The drink menu itself is reason enough to head to Plums Café, whether you want to try the special Plums Friendship Blend coffee, the Breakfast Old Fashioned or Farm Stand Bellinis, the list is endless with crafted cocktails and refreshing non-alcoholic beverages, too. Open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, reservations can be made online


Old Vine
Take a tour of Italy when visiting Mark McDonald’s indoor/outdoor café at The CAMP. Known for their made-to-order espressos, you might want to consider starting off with their extra-large homemade cinnamon roll. It makes for a delicious treat to share before diving into the full menu. From the sweet caramel apple French toast to the savory Lengua omelet (slow-cooked beef tongue, queso fresco and spicy tomatillo salsa) and the comfort of the “Southern Brunch,” which comes with eggs, a fresh baked biscuit with apple butter and panko-crusted fried green tomato. There are some big decisions to make as you work your way through this decadent menu. Breakfast and lunch is served here daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are not accepted during breakfast, so give yourself time as this place fills up, even midweek.


Water Grill
Start your brunch with a First Class Flight at Water Grill. You’ll enjoy a bottle of bele casel extra dry prosecco, complemented with carafes of orange and grapefruit juice to sip and savor the day. If mimosas aren’t your thing, the Water Grill Bloody Mary is garnished with blackened shrimp and thick-cut bacon – an appetizer, for sure. The specially crafted brunch menu presents a half-page of beverages to select from. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with vanilla syrup are a delicious, not-too-sweet entrée, or dive into the Crab Benedict with blue lump crab, organic poached eggs and asparagus. A selection of side orders include Salmon Creek Farms sausage, Parmesan roasted potatoes or a warm, glazed cinnamon roll with raisins.  Make a reservation to ensure they are expecting you, then sit back and enjoy the feeling of being on a refurbished ship where the nautical theme is created by locally sourced woods and rustic and iron finishes. Offering a Mother’s Day menu.



Outpost Kitchen
Breakfast, all day, every day. That’s what makes this place a favorite. Plus it’s a hidden gem located on the Westside of Costa Mesa. If you bring your friends, you may fill up this cozy space, but the friendly staff will accommodate your every need. Jay and Elizabeth are locals whose intent was to bring out the best in Costa Mesa’s arts and craftsman community. Outpost Kitchen creates a neighborhood meeting spot, where you feel at home and can always count on good food. Start with a craft coffee, fresh smoothie or juice. Then comes the hard part, selecting from Three Amigos, a selection of three toasts, one with avocado and egg, another chocolate hazelnut schmear and strawberries and pear jam with Egyptian spice, Dukkah. There are many more selections that combine unexpected ingredients to perfectly compliment each other. Try the Tall Poppy Pancakes with lemon poppy seeds, blackberry chutney, sunflower seeds and cinnamon maple. If you’re adventurous, order The Mongrel...it’s the chef’s choice. Check out the Outpost Kitchen Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch, and Sundays until 1 p.m. for breakfast only.


Eat Chow
From the a.m. Burger to the Breakfast Salad, to Eric’s Breakfast Enchiladas and Pulled Pork Benedict, it’s lunch for breakfast, or breakfast for lunch until 11 a.m. on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends at Eat Chow. The full breakfast menu offers dozens of breakfast favorites, and a whole selection of Mexican chow. It's a great spot for huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos. The lunch menu offers a lot of small plates for sharing, and for dessert, banana chocolate chip bread pudding is a must! This place is just off the main thoroughfare of Newport Blvd., between Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, and pulls in local crowds at lunch.  They say if the locals eat there, it’s the place to go. No reservations needed.


Rooster Café
Consistently referred to as “delicious” with “friendly staff” and “my favorite breakfast place,” Rooster Café is a great go-to spot any time of day, in fact, they are open from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m.… almost all day. If you’re looking for a traditional breakfast menu – eggs, bacon, etc. – you’ll find it here. But, they also serve up a popular huevos rancheros and a Mexican mocha that’s worth making the trip for. And, the breakfast burrito is huge and may be one of the best in town. For these reasons, Rooster Café has become quite popular, gets busy on weekends, but deserves to be recognized for its positive vibes, accolades by patrons and reasonably priced menu. Find Rooster Café tucked behind The CAMP in the SoBeCa District. Call 714.754.1544.


Whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, or simply just enjoy a good brunch on a weekend, these are just a few of the restaurants making up Costa Mesa’s unforgettable dining scene.


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