America’s 25 Most Extravagant Brunches Gallery
February 14, 2017
Want to sample any of these restaurants for brunch? Better start saving up
America’s 25 Most Extravagant Brunches
We tend to think of brunch as a casual meal washed down with plenty of mimosas and enjoyed among friends over a lazy weekend afternoon at a neighborhood restaurant. Brunch is usually inexpensive and fun, the opposite of what you might refer to as “exclusive.” But there’s another end to the brunch spectrum, one overflowing with Champagne, caviar, and opulence. These are the restaurants where you’ll find the 25 most extravagant and exclusive brunches in America.
#25 The Garden, Four Seasons Hotel, New York City
The Four Seasons Hotel in New York is home to The Garden restaurant, which is evocative of an enchanted forest thanks to giant African acacia trees throughout the room. The brunch dishes served there are decidedly high-end; start by sharing some local foie gras mousse, then perhaps move on to local burrata with green olive oil and pistachio caponata, lemon ricotta pancakes with chicken sausage and maple sugar, or seared salmon with white asparagus and hon shimeji mushrooms. With main dishes averaging more than $30, it can all quickly add up.
#24 Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills
If none other than Wolfgang Puck is attaching his name to a Sunday brunch, you know it’s going to be good. Puck’s unique brand of California cuisine is on full display at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, with ingredients sourced from Chino Farms and local farmers markets. To start, opt for garden vegetable crudité with olive tapenade, lemon vinaigrette, and tzatziki; house-cured smoked salmon with herbed crème fraiche; or heirloom tomato soup. Then, follow up with a soft French-style omelette with wild mushrooms and gruyere; Alaskan halibut with summer squash and shelling beans; or blueberry buttermilk pancakes with Vermont maple syrup and salted maple butter.
#23 Arabelle at the Plaza Athénée, New York City
Head to the stately dining room inside this lovely old New York hotel for its Sunday brunch, take a seat, and you’ll immediately be gifted with a basket filled with scones, croissants, and muffins, with clotted cream, preserves, honey, and butter. The $49 three-course brunch continues with starters including lemon ricotta crêpes or smoked Atlantic salmon and a New York bagel; a main course whose options include lobster scrambled eggs, steak and eggs, or eggs Benedict topped with shaved black truffle; and banana bread pudding, crème brûlée trio, or a cheese plate for dessert.
#22 Bouchon Bistro, Various Locations
Thomas Keller plus brunch equals insane levels of deliciousness. There are three locations of his Bouchon Bistro – in the Napa Valley town of Yountville, Las Vegas, and Beverly Hills – and their traditional French brunch is second-to-none. Start with a Grand Plateau of fresh shellfish, then share some fresh pastries and beignets. Foie gras served with a toasted baguette sounds like a good follow-up, with steak and eggs or trout amandine as a main course. Some pommes frites with truffles on the side? Sure, why not. That meal will set you back more than $200 before cocktails, but hey, it’s Keller.
#21 Allium, Four Seasons, Chicago
Located in the richly decorated Four Seasons in Chicago, Allium offers a Sunday brunch fit for a king. There’s an extensive raw bar featuring platters that can feed six people, bottomless mimosas and pitchers of Bloody Marys, seasonal pastries, and entrées including prime hanger steak and eggs, crab and Maine lobster Benedict, and a house-smoked salmon tartine. Add on a side of Nueske’s slab bacon and you’re in business.
#20 Nero’s, Caesars, Atlantic City, N.J.
The best Sunday brunch in Atlantic City can be found at Nero’s Italian Steakhouse inside Caesars. Overlooking the ocean, the restaurant offers many different stations serving everything from breakfast classics like made-to-order waffles, pancakes, crêpes, and omelettes to fresh-made sushi, shrimp cocktail, pasta, prime rib, oysters, crab legs, and a huge variety of desserts. All-you-care-to-drink mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Champagne certainly doesn’t hurt, either. It’s not cheap at about $63 per person, but they could get away with charging a lot more.
#19 Arnaud’s, New Orleans
Since 1918, Arnaud’s has been one of the grand dames of Creole cuisine in New Orleans, and its Jazz Brunch is nearly as legendary as the restaurant itself. A Dixieland jazz band plays while diners enjoy a traditional Creole items including their famous shrimp remoulade, turtle soup, seafood gumbo, grillades and grits, eggs Sardou (with artichoke, creamed spinach, and hollandaise), eggs Hussarde (with Canadian bacon and tomato on French bread crostini with hollandaise and marchand de vin sauces), crabmeat cheesecake, Gulf fish meuniere, oysters en brochette, and chicken Pontalba. For dessert, don’t miss the bananas Foster. Wash it down with a café brûlot, spiced and spiked coffee flamed with brandy. It’s the quintessential Creole New Orleans brunch.
#18 The Carlyle, New York City
The Carlyle is synonymous with luxury, and the legendary hotel’s restaurant doesn’t disappoint. Mirrored alcoves, six-foot floral arrangements, and English hunting scenes on the walls serve as the backdrop to a $65 three-course Sunday brunch. Start with lobster bisque, oysters, or a foie gras terrine before moving onto braised short rib hash, a Kobe beef burger, steak frites, or wild striped bass, and top it off with a chocolate mousse tower or crème brûlée. With a glass of prosecco thrown in, brunch may be the best way to experience this hallowed dining room.
#17 Commander’s Palace, New Orleans
Just because a brunch is expensive and lavish doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun and lively, especially not in New Orleans. Drop into the sprawling, legendary Commander’s Palace for the most famous jazz brunch in the world, and you’ll get to sample not only fabled Commander’s dishes like turtle soup, Creole gumbo, and Creole bread pudding soufflé, but also such classic New Orleans fare as grillades and grits, barbecued gulf shrimp, and Paul Prudhomme’s blackened gulf fish. Request “When the Saints Go Marching In” from the roaming jazz band when they arrive at your table, savor the cooking of James Beard Award-winning chef Tory McPhail, and be glad you made it here. Two courses run from $36 to $45, but it’s well worth it.
#16 The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills
When you picture “brunch at the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel,” do you picture bellinis and sangria, the sun shining onto a lush garden, live jazz, and perhaps dishes including an asparagus and goat cheese frittata, soft scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and diver scallops? Well, congratulations, because you hit the nail on the head. For $75, you can choose from a lovely cocktail list (it is one of the best bars in America, after all) and two courses. There are few better ways to while away a Sunday afternoon in Beverly Hills.
#15 Cavatina, Sunset Marquis, West Hollywood
Located inside West Hollywood’s renowned A-lister hangout the Sunset Marquis, Cavatina offers a $60 Champagne brunch buffet with unlimited Champagne and mimosas and six stations: seafood (shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon and trout with accompaniments, sushi); salad (fruit salad, burrata, baby greens and endives, grilled vegetables); cheese and charcuterie with breads and condiments; made-to-order omelettes, bacon, sausage, and potatoes; carving station (prime rib, salmon Wellington), and dessert (bread pudding, pastries, and petits fours. Try not to stare if someone famous is at the next table.
#14 The Buffet, Wynn, Las Vegas
Steve Wynn, the man behind Bellagio’s legendary buffet, outdid himself with the stunningly gorgeous Wynn Buffet, full of fresh flowers and natural light. With a whopping 15 cooking stations, it’s easy to get lost in the selection, but you can’t go wrong with prime rib, sushi, homemade pastas, ceviche, lamb chops, soups, pizza, Mexican food, jerk chicken, Thai beef, made-to-order crêpes, brisket, crème brûlée, waffles, and tiramisù. On second thought, just have one of everything.
#13 Stripsteak by Michael Mina, Miami Beach
Located inside the legendary Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Michael Mina’s Stripsteak is chic and stylish, and even home to an in-house butcher shop. This classic American steakhouse offers a $68 two-course brunch: Start off with duck confit hash, yellowtail sashimi with uni, or Scottish smoked salmon with fennel and apple slaw; and follow it up with Florida lobster Benedict, American Wagyu steak and eggs, fried chicken and waffles, or wood grilled skirt steak. Shellfish, cured meats, tuna tartare, cheeses, and artisanal desserts are included. There are also plenty of supplements, including caviar ($80-$180), bottomless mimosas and bellinis ($25), and unlimited Champagne ($45-$250) for those with especially deep pockets.
#12 Culina, the Four Seasons, Los Angeles
The dining room at this glamorous hotel on the edge of Beverly Hills is home to one of the city’s most renowned brunches. For $85 per person (up $10 from last year), you can feast on a lavish buffet with 10 food stations, a fresh juice bar, and a Bloody Mary bar. Made-to-order Belgian waffles and omelettes, eggs Benedict, sushi, dim sum, quesadillas, salads, prime rib, and plenty of dessert treats (including a chocolate fountain) make this a no-brainer.
#11 Asiate, Mandarin Oriental, New York
Towering high above Central Park in New York’s Time Warner Center is the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and its restaurant, Asiate, which provides some of the most stunning views of the city you’ll encounter from any restaurant. For $64, you can start with an amuse of Spanish octopus or smoked duck breast, followed by an appetizer of mango parfait, wild mushroom velouté, or heirloom tomato salad. Next choose either seared Icelandic cod, smoked salmon eggs benedict, roasted chicken, duck leg confit and waffles, prime flat iron steak with egg toast, or mushroom risotto. Then for dessert, choose between caramel chocolate mousse and cheesecake. Add in wine pairings for $44 (or endless bloody marys or mimosas for $35), or wash it down with a Barrique75, made with Breuckelen oaked gin, lemon, and Champagne.
#10 Auberge Du Soleil, Rutherford, Calif.
Arguably the most renowned resort in the Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil offers no shortage of spectacular dining. In fact, the resort got its start as Napa’s first fine dining restaurant back in 1981, when restaurateur Claude Rouas set out to open a restaurant that resembled the sun-drenched eateries of his native Provence; the inn and spa came later. Visit the restaurant today for its $65 three-course brunch and you’ll see what all the hoopla has been about; it’s spectacular, and a perfect showcase for seasonal ingredients. Appetizers include sweet white corn soup with Maine rock crab and chervil oil; poached wild shrimp with butter lettuce, avocado, and orange; onion tartlette with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and watercress; and sautéed foie gras with chocolate pain perdu, cherries, and cacao nibs ($15 supplement). For your entrée, choose between items like blueberry buttermilk pancakes; Maine lobster omelette with tarragon, leek, and ricotta; duck confit hash with slow cooked farm eggs; Sonoma chicken with haricots verts; or heirloom tomato risotto with bacon and wild Gulf shrimp. The bad news is that it’ll be nearly impossible to decide what to order. The good news is that no matter what you decide on, it’ll be delicious.
#9 Sunday City Brunch, The Langham, Boston
The Langham is one of Boston’s most luxurious hotels, housed in the former Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Their Sunday City Brunch, held at the hotel’s Café Fleuri, is the most elaborate brunch in the city, a buffet held in a sunlit atrium accompanied by the musical stylings of the Robert Rivera Ensemble. Available September through June, the $75 brunch (including a mimosa) is a veritable extravaganza of breakfast dishes, seafood, charcuterie, meats, cheeses, and fresh produce, but make sure to save room for the ever-popular chocolate bar.
#8 Seasons, Four Seasons Hotel, Georgetown, Washington, DC
The super-luxe Four Seasons Georgetown is home to Seasons Restaurant, where power brokers and movers and shakers rub shoulders with regular folks in search of the city’s finest brunch buffet. For $85, diners can enjoy a selection of meat, fish, and game (grilled lamb chops, braised short ribs, Maryland crab cakes, seafood gumbo); seafood (shrimp cocktail, oysters, crab claws, house smoked salmon, grilled octopus poke, blackened tuna, scallops, lobster salad, ceviche); salads (grilled endive, Cobb, escarole with caramelized pear, baby kale and Brussels sprouts); omelettes with fillings including shiitake mushrooms and jumbo lump crab; a wide variety of sides; assorted cheeses and charcuterie; Vietnamese crêpes; and an astounding array of housemade desserts. Bring your appetite!
#7 Edge Steak & Bar, Miami
Edge Steak & Bar is one of Miami’s most popular restaurants, and for $95 you can go all-out with unlimited cocktails, skirt steak that’s grilled-to-order on the terrace, slow-roasted suckling pig, smoked ribs, charcuterie, local ceviche, fresh fruit, oysters, stone crab claws, waffles, Benedicts, paella, arepas, and four different varieties of tacos with an assortment of condiments. There’s no other brunch buffet in America that’s quite like this one.
#6 Sterling Brunch, Bally’s Steakhouse, Las Vegas
The Sterling Brunch is one of the most expensive in the city, at $85, and is only available on Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but it’s nothing short of a wonder to behold. Held in Bally’s Steakhouse, the best way to describe it is to simply list off what’s available: unlimited Perrier-Jouët and Mumm’s Champagne, whole lobsters, crab legs, caviar, filet mignon, truffles, prime rib, rack of lamb, oysters, sushi, and made-to-order desserts. It’s the ultimate in luxury.
#5 Caviar Russe, New York City
This luxurious caviar-focused Madison Avenue restaurant boasts the most expensive non-buffet brunch in New York, tipping the scales at $95 for three courses and $145 for five. If you’re looking for a fine dining brunch, this is it: Offerings include Shigoku oyster with green apple, coconut, and caviar; foie gras terrine with huckleberry, celery, and almond; risotto with King crab, fennel, and lemongrass; tagliatelle with white truffle, parmesan, and brown butter; and dry aged ribeye. While you’re there, you might as well top it off with a $395 caviar tasting!
#4 Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria, New York City
New York’s Waldorf-Astoria is synonymous with high-end amenities and high-class people, so it’s only fitting that the hotel’s Sunday brunch, served at Peacock Alley just off the lobby, would be upscale and decadent. But nothing prepares you for the sheer level of opulence that this brunch buffet offers: it’s truly spectacular. There’s a huge raw bar with lobster, littleneck clams, Long Island oysters, shrimp, five varieties of house-smoked salmon, and four varieties of caviar. Breakfast selections include pancakes, breakfast potatoes, thick-cut bacon, and made-to-order eggs Benedict; rotating hot entrées include braised short ribs, pan-seared fish, pastas, and quiche; and roasted leg of lamb and beef Wellington are carved to order at carving stations. Make sure you save room for dessert, though, because more than 20 items are available, including made-to-order baked Alaska “lollipops,” a dark chocolate fountain, Norman Love truffles, croissant bread pudding, and limoncello tiramisù. It’s clear that a lot of care goes into each item served here, and the $145 price tag ($85 for children), while steep, is certainly justified when you’re enjoying a meal like this in the heart of one of the world’s most famous hotels.
#3 Top of the Mark, San Francisco
This San Francisco landmark, offering 360-degree views of the city from 19 stories above Nob Hill, has been a destination for the well-heeled since it first opened in 1939. Their $95 Sunday Champagne brunch buffet is certainly worthy of a hotel of this caliber. Guests can dine on specialties including smoked fish, salads, fresh Dungeness crab, shrimp cocktail, caviar, leg of lamb, prime rib, filet mignon medallions au poivre, stuffed chicken, croque madame Benedict, crêpes, and dim sum while enjoying unlimited bubbly and the musical stylings of Elias Nash on piano. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.
#2 Rainbow Room, New York City
The Sunday brunch at the newly reopened Rainbow Room definitely suits the space; both are insanely lavish. Tipping the scales at $125 per person, the brunch buffet showcases the international influence of chef Jonathan Wright, with plenty of roasted meats, fresh and smoked seafood, Thai curry, pork buns, cheese, charcuterie, pastries, and tableside-delivered desserts including freshly-fried beignets.
#1 The Circle, The Breakers, Palm Beach, Fla.
The Italian Renaissance-style Breakers Palm Beach has been one of the country’s premier high-end destinations since tycoon Henry Flagler had it built back in 1896 (the current incarnation was completed in 1926). There’s no shortage of spectacular dining options at this luxurious retreat, but for brunch one option rises head and shoulders above the rest: Sunday Brunch in The Circle’s splendid and opulent dining room (think ocean views, 30-foot frescoed ceilings, and oval murals depicting Renaissance-era landscapes) — a tradition for more than 25 years. Alaskan king crab legs, sushi, caviar, smoked fish, lamb chops, carved-to-order ham and beef tenderloin, Belgian waffles, eggs Benedict, fresh-baked pastries and muffins, omelettes, cheeses, pâté, and more than 30 desserts are all for the taking, with a harpist strolling from table to table to boot. The Champagne, mimosas, and Bloody Marys are free-flowing. The price is $110 per person, before tax and tip. Come hungry, and it’ll be well worth the expense.