Buzzworthy Brunch: Top 5 Hidden Gem Brunch Spots in Santa Cruz County

Brunch is the perfect marriage of breakfast and lunch where you can sit back, relax, and indulge in delicious culinary delights. Santa Cruz has no shortage of excellent restaurants and when it comes to brunch offerings it can feel like there are too many great options to choose from! Traditional brunch favorites like Walnut Avenue Cafe, the Harbor Cafe, Linda’s Seabreeze Cafe, Zachary’s Restaurant, and Cafe Brasil never fail to hungry weekend crowds. In addition to these classic spots, Santa Cruz has even more options just waiting to be discovered! These hidden gem brunch spots offer twists on your favorite brunch items and unparalleled culinary experiences that will leave you feeling pampered and full.

1) Heavenly Roadside Cafe

Heavenly Cafe’s House-Made Waffle, Crab Benedict, and Huevos Rancheros | 1210 Mt Hermon Road, Scotts Valley

Heavenly Roadside Cafe lives up to its name and dishes out a truly heavenly brunch service daily featuring huge portions of your favorite brunch plates. Stepping through Heavenly’s doors feels like coming home and sitting down at a table with family that shares their love through giant plates of delicious food. The distinctly homey, down-to-earth approach Heavenly takes speaks to the deepest roots of comfort food that anyone could hope for in a restaurant. They are known for their special waffles that seasonally change toppings and always highlight fresh ingredients in a perfectly aesthetic presentation. Heavenly Cafe offers the epitome of indulgence with rich crab benedicts, mountains of french toast, flavorful mimosas, and chocolate-drenched mochas.

2) Süda

Süda Brunch Spread including Italian Sausage Hash, French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, Bloody Mary, and more | 3910 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz

Süda has one of the best hidden gem brunch weekend offerings you can find in Santa Cruz County. The gorgeous interior is only outdone by the outdoor patio area filled with fire pits where you can enjoy your meal. They serve up some wonderful brunch dishes like their Central Coast Hash bursting with flavor from the sausage and fresh veggies. The Hook Benedict with kale and smoked salmon is a must as well as their incredible Creme Brulee French Toast topped with raspberry whipped cream and fresh berries. Don’t miss out on Süda’s delicious crispy potatoes known as “brunch spuds” that complete every dish. If you’re looking for a boozy brunch option, look no further than Süda which offers a huge brunch cocktail menu with everything from brunch classics like a decked-out bloody mary or Irish coffee to cold brew martinis made with Cat and Cloud coffee. There is so much to try on Süda’s brunch menu from food to cocktails, that you will be craving for more days in the weekend!

3) East End Gastropub

East End Fried Chicken, French Toast, and Banh Mi | 1501 41st Avenue, Capitola

While known for its outstanding dinner service, East End Gastropub also has a spectacular brunch open on the weekends that you have to try! East End has incredible brunch dishes that twist tradition into creative delicacies bursting with flavor like their breakfast banh mi, fried chicken on crispy cornbread, churro french toast, and shrimp toast salad. Even the crispy breakfast potatoes are unique with a dusting of old bay seasoning and the addition of pepperoncini to spice up the plate! Pair your meal with a guava mimosa or a steaming pot of French Press coffee to complete your meal. If you’re looking for a fresh new take on your brunch experience at a place without a huge brunch crowd, definitely check out East End Gastropub’s weekend brunch!

4) Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge

Jack O’Neill Pacific Catch Halibut Tacos and Dungeness Crab Benedict | 175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz

If you’re looking for brunch with the best view in town, head down to the Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge! Located right next to the base of the wharf, this gorgeous restaurant has sweeping views of the ocean, wharf, and beach. Kick back with an amazing cocktail like their Violet Spritz and dig into locally sourced seafood dishes like their decadent Dungeness crab benedict or the pacific catch fish tacos. It’s hard to get fish fresher than what Jack O’Neill Restaurant is serving up in their delicious brunch menu. Whether you are a local looking for a bite or a visitor staying at the Dream Inn, the Jack O’Neill Restaurant serves up fresh ingredients that represent the culinary wealth the Santa Cruz area has to offer.

5) Flower Bar

Flower Bar Brunch Board with Mimosas and Coffee | 912 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz

You might not expect to find a delicious brunch spot in a plant and flower shop, but Downtown Santa Cruz’s Flower Bar is full of surprises! The Flower Bar is both a full-service flower studio and a charming café. From artisanal chocolates and coffee to brunch boards and wine, you have to check out this unique hidden gem of a brunch spot! Grab mimosas and relax in a jungle of plants and flowers while eating hand-crafted pastries like banana bread, or other small bites like avocado toast, frittata cakes, and waffles. You can even build your own bouquet of flowers after you finish eating!

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