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Brunch a Bunch Across OC!

OC's best brunches: The ethnic, the gorgeous views and the bottomless booze!

Brunch a Bunch Across OC!

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See even more Remember that episode of The Simpsons in which Marge nearly has an affair with Jacques the French bowling instructor, and the lothario invites her to brunch, but Marge doesn't know what brunch is? "It's not quite breakfast, it's not quite lunch, but it comes with a slice of cantaloupe at the end," Jacques explains. "You don't get completely what you would at breakfast, but you get a good meal!"

That episode originally aired in 1994, and thank God brunch has evolved from those trendy, yuppie days into something all of us can enjoy come weekend. (The other great Simpsons brunch quote: Homer wins an award at his high-school reunion for the alumnus who has gained the most weight. When asked how he did it, Homer replies, "I discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch!") Orange County now has three distinct brunch experiences: the ethnic, the ones with gorgeous views, and those where the mimosas and Bloody Marys usually never end. And below are those with the best food (Las Brisas in Laguna Beach has the most legendary view in OC and stiff drinks, but the food? Let's be honest—meh). There is overlap between the three, of course, but hey: view this as an easy guide to decide where to eat comfortably with your mother, your love or your pals who don't freak out that English isn't the primary language. Enjoy!

Ramos House Cafe
Meranda Carter
Ramos House Cafe
River's End Cafe
Meranda Carter
River's End Cafe

Location Info

Map

The Ritz-Carlton

1 Ritz-Carlton Way
Dana Point, CA 92629

Category: Hotels and Resorts

Region: Dana Point

River's End Cafe

15 First St.
Seal Beach, CA 90740

Category: Restaurant > Caribbean

Region: Seal Beach

Bruxie

292 N. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866

Category: Restaurant > Belgian

Region: Orange

The Restaurant At the Tustin Ranch Golf Club

12442 Tustin Ranch Road
Tustin, CA 92782

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Tustin

Storytellers Cafe

1600 S. Disneyland Drive Anaheim, CA
Anaheim, CA 92802

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Anaheim

Rick's Atomic Cafe

3100 Airway Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Costa Mesa

Irvine Certified Farmers' Market

Campus Drive and Bridge Road
Irvine, CA 92612

Category: Retail

Region: Irvine

Sugar Shack Cafe

213 1/2 Main St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Huntington Beach

Taqueria Zamora

3121 S. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92707

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Santa Ana

Amorelia Mexican Cafe

2200 Harbor Blvd., C110
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Costa Mesa

El Cabrito

1604 W. First St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Santa Ana

Crystal Jade

6511 Quail Hill Parkway
Irvine, CA 92614

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Irvine

King Lobster Palace

2045 N. Tustin St.
Orange, CA 92865

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Orange

Champion Food Co.

17090 Magnolia St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Fountain Valley

Tacos El Chavito

301 E. Florida Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Huntington Beach

Tacos El Chavito

Morgan St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Huntington Beach

Kareem's Restaurant

1208 S. Brookhurst St.
Anaheim, CA 92804

Category: Restaurant > Middle Eastern

Region: Anaheim

Pinoy Fiesta

160 W. Lincoln Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92805

Category: Restaurant > Filipino

Region: Anaheim

Irvine China Garden

14825 Jeffrey Road
Irvine, CA 92618

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Irvine

Pho 86 Restaurant

14576 Brookhurst St.
Westminster, CA 92683

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Westminster

Jang Mo Gip

9816 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92844

Category: Restaurant > Vietnamese

Region: Garden Grove

Loreley Restaurant

1340 S. Sanderson Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92806

Category: Restaurant > German

Region: Anaheim

Plum's Café and Catering

369 E. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: Costa Mesa

Break of Dawn Restaurant

24351 Avenida De La Carlota, Ste. N-6
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: Laguna Hills

Ramos House Cafe

31752 Los Rios St.
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: San Juan Capistrano

Taco Rosa

2632 San Miguel Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Newport Beach

Taco Rosa

13792 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92602

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Irvine

TAPS Fish House & Brewery

101 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92821

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Brea

Lucca Cafe

6507 Quail Hill Parkway
Irvine, CA 92603

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Irvine

Nick's Laguna Beach

440 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Laguna Beach

Old Vine Cafe

2937 Bristol St., Ste. A-102
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Category: Restaurant > Eclectic

Region: Costa Mesa

Avanti Cafe

259 E. 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Category: Restaurant > Fusion

Region: Costa Mesa

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BRUNCH WITH A VIEW

Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel
All these years later, even as its cost has risen from $50 just five years ago to today's $65 and gas prices have made a visit to Dana Point nearly impossible for most of Orange County, the Ritz-Carlton's Sunday champagne brunch remains the standard by which all OC brunches are compared. It's no longer the all-you-can-eat buffet-table excess of years past, but now held at the resort's excellent RAYA as a three-course special with endless bubbly. The stunning views remain, as does the Ritz's impeccable service, making even the most yeoman among us feel like one of the lords of Orange County—if only for an omelet. 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Point, (949) 240-2000; www.ritzcarlton.com.

River's End Cafe
Here is perhaps the only place in Orange County outside San Clemente where brunch on the beach is affordable and delicious: patio dining alongside the mouth of the San Gabriel River, with families, beach bums and tourists alike sipping Bloody Marys and enjoying the restaurant's mix of Mexican (quesadillas, crunchy chilaquiles), American (omelets, puffy pancakes, sweet French toast) and Mexican-American (a greasy-good chorizo scramble, hefty breakfast burritos). Brunch like a Corona del Mar-er at Stanton prices. 15 First St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-5558; www.riversendcafe.com.

Bruxie
Belgian waffles just like you'd find in Belgium! In fact, you'll find two kinds of waffles at this buzzed-about place: the dense, sweet Liège-style waffle studded inside with crunchy pearls of sugar and the savory, light, Brussels-style kind that Bruxie uses to make its namesake sandwiches. What's the difference? American waffles use baking powder for lift, while waffles in Belgium rely also on yeast to give them an even airier, lighter and crisp texture. The unsweetened Brussels waffle makes a versatile vehicle for both savory and sweet sandwiches. Bruxie's regular menu features favorites such as the smoked salmon, cucumber and herbed cream cheese; the applewood-smoked bacon and Tillamook Cheddar sandwich; and the Belgian chocolate, graham cracker and toasted-marshmallow cream. But there's also a rotating menu of daily specials, which, on Saturdays, might make use of whatever ingredients the farmers bring to the Orange Home Grown market just two blocks away. And afterward, you can mosey through Old Towne Orange, the best post-brunch, non-coast stroll in the county. 292 N. Glassell St., Orange, (888) 927-8943; www.bruxie.com.

The Restaurant at Tustin Ranch Golf Club
If you've ever craved seafood and prime rib at 10 in the morning and relish flushing it down with bottomless mimosas, then the Restaurant a Tustin Ranch Golf Club just might be your mecca. A Sunday brunch here includes foods you'd expect (waffles and eggs from their own stations), as well as some you don't (sashimi and Korean chicken). As you gaze over the green, undulating hills of the course, you eat it all, drink yourself tipsy on the never-ending mimosas, for this, you realize, is the last hurrah for a weekend that'll be over in less than 24 hours. 12442 Tustin Ranch Rd., Tustin, (714) 734-2111; www.tustinranchgolf.com.

Storytellers Café at Disney Grand Californian Hotel
Disney did a lot of things wrong when it built that second theme park, mistakes it's trying very hard to correct now. But one thing it got right is the Storytellers Café, the Vegas-style buffet inside the Grand Californian Hotel, which doesn't surprise you so much as it fulfills your every Disney-fan expectations. What Disney lacks in kitchen panache, it makes up for it with consistency and efficiency. Costumed Disney characters frolic to delight your kids, and Mickey Mouse-head waffles dusted with powdered sugar are sized exactly to fit inside little hands. It all sets the right tone and gets you in the mood for a day at the park. 1600 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 635-2300.

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7 comments
Ben Baysic
Ben Baysic

Eric Rosenthal, Heather Filsinger-Cunliffe!!! What's for brunch???

OCLocal
OCLocal

A taco truck is not a brunch spot.

JP
JP

Jang Mo Gip is Korean....not Vietnamese.

VickieChang
VickieChang

Read the blurb again, it doesn't say it's Vietnamese.

 
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