Expert Tips


Best Brunch in St. Petersburg / Clearwater

Popular Choices for Brunch in St Petersburg/Clearwater

According to one theory, "brunch" was a term coined in Britain in 1895 by writer Guy Beringer to describe a Sunday meal for "Saturday-night carousers." Whether fact or fiction fortunately for us, people on this side of the "pond" seem to have run with it and have discovered that brunch affords a pleasant social gathering - as a group affair with friends and family, or simply as a quiet breakfast.

St Petersburg/Clearwater offers a host of options where you can "do" brunch. Iconic resorts such as  the Don DeSar  and Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club are logical places for combining elegance and class with bountiful brunch buffets in their signature restaurants, while cozy bistros like Frog Pond,  Clear Sky Café  and Sweet Sage Café  (which even features a special menu for the dogs in your family) offer a blend of more home-style breakfast options.

The choices along these sunny shores are many. Whether you feel like dressing up - or down - you're sure to be satisfied with what you'll find. Fortunately, many of these eateries come with memorable ocean views!


St. Petersburg
O Bistro
Photo courtesy of O Bistro

Tucked into a non-descript strip mall on Central Avenue, O'Bistro is a popular neighborhood eatery dishing up very tasty breakfast fare. The "signature breakfast collection," showcases several varieties of "Benedicts," such as Florentine, crab cakes, Mediterranean and standard eggs Benedict. The popular "Oy" smoked salmon planter pairs thinly sliced salmon a New York style bagel, capers, vine ripened tomatoes, red onion and cream cheese. The crème brûlée French toast, made with thick slices of Challah bread, served with warm maple syrup is a crowd-pleaser while the bananas foster French toast with caramelized bananas, toasted pecans in a butter rum sauce is also a favorite. Special brunch "O Tinis," include a variety of flavored martinis and Bellinis.

Recommended for Brunch because: It's just a laid-back,friendly, neighborhood restaurant offering a tasty menu for the whole family.

Michelle's expert tip: Patience may be needed at times as they seem to be understaffed,however the wait will be worth it.

Read more about O Bistro →

Clearwater Beach
Sea Guini
Photo courtesy of Opal Sands Resort

One of Clearwater's newest resorts is home to the chic Sea-Guini, where you can treat yourself to tempting palate-pleasers to kick-start your day. Popular basics include steel-cut oatmeal, stone-ground grits and a variety of cereals. For something more exotic, indulge in the specialty Amaretto French toast with toasted almond, sweet mascarpone, bananas and warm maple syrup or the crispy Belgian waffles with berries and cream. For seafood lovers, the smoked salmon scramble, made served over cheddar cheese biscuits with a tangy horseradish cream, is a real palate pleaser. Traditionalists might prefer the selection of omelets and other egg dishes. The breakfast Panini beckons with cage-free eggs, fontina cheese, arugula, griddled ham, warm tomato on sourdough with roasted garlic aioli. Bloody Marys and chilled Mimosas provide the perfect finale.

Recommended for Brunch because: Sweeping views and delicious cuisine served in a beautiful venue, make it a top dining choice - day or night.

Michelle's expert tip: Ask for a seat near the window so that you can take in views of the Gulf.

Read more about Sea Guini →

Clearwater Beach
Clear Sky Café
Photo courtesy of Clear Sky Café

If you're an Eggs Benedict fanatic, then you've come to the right place. Clear Sky Café has been dishing up palate pleasing favorites to discerning patrons since they first opened in 2008. Topping the list are the "Bennies" (eggs Benedict) and Bloody Marys. With a wide range of choices, starting with the classic to sausage, Nova Scotia, or Filet Mignon Bennie to the more exotic Lobster Brie Bennie, you'll have a hard time deciding which way you want to go. Add to that a choice of more than a dozen omelets and seven varieties of French toast and a selection of "skillet" egg dishes, this is no ordinary breakfast menu! You can, of course order something simpler such as fruit, oatmeal, lox and bagels and more - but where's the fun in that? Their Bloody Mary bar, Bellinis, Mojitos and Mimosas are the perfect accompaniment to any breakfast choice.

Recommended for Brunch because: The setting, the service, the fresh, tasty food combine to make this a very popular place with locals and visitors alike.

Michelle's expert tip: During spring break and holidays, it's advisable to make a reservation as this is a very popular place.

Read more about Clear Sky Café →

Rusty's Bistro
Photo courtesy of Sheraton Sand Key Resort

Attentive staff and good food pave the way for the popular weekend breakfast buffet experience at Rusty's Bistro, located in Clearwater's Sheraton Sand Key Resort. The varied offerings include traditional favorites such as: assorted cereals, fresh fruit, delicious oatmeal, house potatoes, bacon and an assortment of fresh muffins, sweet and gourmet breads. Selections may vary but you'll typically find scrambled eggs and a specialty chef "egg creation" such as quiche, eggs Benedict and more top favorites. If you prefer a la carte choices, opt for a delicious breakfast pizza or the classic French crepes. The Sunday breakfast buffet is from 7 a.m. to noon.

Recommended for Brunch because: Rusty's Bistro's tasty menu options reflect the resort's family-friendly philosophy, drawing locals and visitors alike.

Michelle's expert tip: The fluffy scrambled eggs with sausage links, topped off with a freshly baked warm biscuit offer the perfect start to any day.

Read more about Rusty's Bistro →

Clearwater Beach
Caretta on the Gulf
Photo courtesy of Sandpearl Resort

Sunday brunch at this wonderful restaurant tucked into Sandpearl Resort is legendary. Sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico while you dine are just an added attraction. Whether you're craving a traditional breakfast or prefer to indulge in a bountiful brunch spread, you've come to the right place. From sweet to savory, there's something for everyone. Carving stations, made-to-order omelets, a waffle station, an assortment of flavored yogurts and smoothies are just a few of the options. Smoked salmon, pastries, fruit and breakfast staples such as sausage, bacon, eggs and pancakes are always a hit. The buffet is priced at $23 per person and a la carte items are priced on the menu.

Recommended for Brunch because: The restaurant is tucked into a AAA Award-winning resort and the setting overlooking the Gulf of Mexico is stunning.

Michelle's expert tip: Don't miss a chance to try their Sunday brunch. It's one of the best in the area.

Read more about Caretta on the Gulf →

Island Way Grill
Photo courtesy of Island Way Grill

This popular Clearwater restaurant offers stunning harbor views along with tasty fresh seafood and a long list of local favorites. Sunday brunch is a "must" with an array of options – kicked off by a complimentary Mimosa or glass of champagne - featuring fresh seafood, a sushi bar, oysters, blueberry blintzes and fresh pasta, as well waffle and dessert stations. Added to that are: smoked salmon, lox and bagels, roast beef, salads and an assortment of fresh pastries, so who could ask for more? Add a Bloody Mary to the experience for only $6 and top it off with a choice of 15 garnishes.

Recommended for Brunch because: The fresh food and good service, combined with the magnificent harbor views make this one of the most popular places around.

Michelle's expert tip: This is a "hot spot," so be sure to make reservations, or you could be in for a long wait.

Read more about Island Way Grill →

North Redington Beach
Sweet Sage Cafe
Photo courtesy of Sweet Sage Café

Deemed by locals and visitors alike as "beachy, but classy," a visit to the Sweet Sage Café is a "feel good" experience. Typical breakfast buffet includes a decadent chocolate fountain, as well as fresh fruit, creamy scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, French toast and waffle bites, along with hash brown casserole, biscuits and sausage gravy and corned beef hash. A la carte menu items feature breakfast wraps, omelets, crepes and a variety of "Benedicts." One of the few places where you can take dogs, they even have a patio and special menu just for them. Wake up Little Shih Tzu" (creamy scrambled eggs), "These Paws are Made for Walking (toast with peanut butter), "Can't Take my Paws Off of You' (ham or turkey) and "Mutt Loaf" (4 oz. of ground sirloin) are just a few of the Canine Cuisine offerings.

Recommended for Brunch because: Not only is the food tasty, but it's one of the few places where you can take your dog and order food just for them.

Michelle's expert tip: Check out their history wall for a peek into the area's past as well as celebrity photos.

Read more about Sweet Sage Cafe →

St. Pete Beach
The Frog Pond
Photo courtesy of The Frog Pond

This St. Pete Beach favorite, with its whimsical amphibian-themed décor, has been wowing locals and visitors alike since it opened in 1982. The family-friendly atmosphere and tasty food make it a good choice for brunch. While famous for its six-egg omelets and ample selection of Eggs Benedict it also is known for homemade quiches, delicious Belgian waffles and cinnamon roll French toast. The list of "Benedicts" is endless with choices ranging from the Jacque Cousteau to the Lox or Bacon Benedict being among the favorites. The Frog Benedict combines poached eggs, Canadian bacon, mushrooms and Swiss cheese on top of an English muffin, topped off by Hollandaise sauce. The portions are legendary and the place is packed - especially on the weekend. There are two other locations: in North Reddington Beach and the recently opened downtown St Petersburg.

Recommended for Brunch because: It's been a favorite with locals and visitors since 1982. The food is good, portions are generous and service is stellar.

Michelle's expert tip: It's a very popular place so plan to arrive early or be prepared to wait for a table.

Read more about The Frog Pond →

Sea Porch Café  - Don CeSar
Photo courtesy of Sea Porch

Tucked into the legendary Don CeSar - one the area's venerable landmarks - Sea Porch Café offers a popular bountiful brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. The champagne brunch buffet features traditional selections such as made-to-order omelets, poached eggs, waffles, muffins and more, along with custom carving stations, fresh salads and mouth-watering desserts. The cinnamon Monkey Break with warm toffee sauce - ordered a la carte - is a "must. The "bottomless mimosas" and classic cocktails, combined with the bountiful buffet should carry you through the rest of the day. A varied selection of coffees, teas, frosty smoothies add to the experience. The setting isn't too shabby either with tropical indoor-outdoor seating boasting sweeping views of the bay.

Recommended for Brunch because: A beautiful setting, delicious cuisine set in a classy, historic ambiance. Who could ask for more?

Michelle's expert tip: When the weather is nice, be sure to get there early to snag a table on the patio. Outdoor tables fill up quickly and feature views of the pool and the beach beyond.

Read more about Sea Porch Café - Don CeSar →

Marchand's Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Marchand's

Located in the iconic Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, Marchand's Bar & Grill blends glimpses into the past with modern-day chic and a refined dining experience. The elegant setting with accents of marble, mahogany and stunning bay views offer the perfect backdrop for the legendary Sunday brunch. Served from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. it features an "all you can eat" experience with seasonal selections, as well as unlimited mimosas and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Unlimited Mimosas and Bellini's are available with the buffet for an extra cost. Insider's tip: the banana pudding French toast is decadent. First opened in 1926, the hotel was named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the Historic Hotels of America.

Recommended for Brunch because: It's one of St Petersburg's landmark sites and has been a favorite with Hollywood glitterati since it first opened.

Michelle's expert tip: Be sure to notice the restored 1920s ceiling frescoes lining the walls of the restaurant - they're a throwback to a bygone era!

Read more about Marchand's Bar & Grill →


Meet Michelle da Silva Richmond

Michelle da Silva Richmond is an award-winning travel editor and member of the Society of American Travel Writers and other journalism organizations. 

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