Brunch Part I

Delightful And Delicious, Boozy and Boujie, Classic And Comforting—These Local Brunches Make It A Whole Lot Easier To Rise And Shine

Here in Coastal Virginia, brunch options come as varied as garnishes for Bloody Marys. From bountiful buffets to beautiful benedicts, greasy spoons to gorgeous grits, fantastic French toast, a marvelous mimosa selection and everything in between, we've rounded up some of the best brunch spots in our region in Part I, Part II and Part III. In Part I, we cover Brunch With a View, Diner-Style, Best Buffets, Jazzed Up Waffles, Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar, Upscale Options, Fantastic French Toast and Brunch + Entertainment. So, grab a fork, knife, spoon, coffee cup, champagne flute and a hearty appetite—brunch is served.


Brunch With a View


The Chamberlin

Built in the Roaring ’20s, The Chamberlin sits on historic Fort Monroe, overlooking Old Point Comfort, where the Chesapeake Bay meets the James River. Once considered one of the most opulent hotels in the nation, the storied building now serves as a senior living facility. Fortunately for us, they still are open to the public when it comes to their Grand Sunday Brunch. Enjoy the soup and salad bar, the seafood bar, breakfast station with all the sides you love, omelet station, waffle bar, Chef’s table, carving station and dessert display. Although the ambiance feels nostalgic and formal, the dress code is semi-casual (no jeans or tank tops). Sundays 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 2 Fenwick Rd., Hampton. 757-637-7200. —BB


Riverwalk Restaurant Brunch With a View Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold at Riverwalk Restaurant
Photo by Jim Pile

Riverwalk Restaurant

Enhance your mid-day meal by feasting your eyes on an expansive view of the York River at Riverwalk Restaurant. Look left to take in the Coleman Bridge, across the river to Gloucester, right to observe where the mouth of the York meets the Chesapeake Bay … or down to appreciate the scrumptious sight on your plate. Specialties like Salmon & Tomato Hash or Benedict Arnold, a riff on the traditional dish including lump crab cakes, have this place looking good all around. Sundays 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 323 Water St., Suite A-1, Yorktown. 757-875-1522. —MMS


Waterman’s Surfside Grille

Sun, sand, surf, ships on the horizon. Runners, bikers, Frisbee flingers, and huffing-puffing-giggling families pedaling surreys. The jigsaw puzzle pieces of carefree beach life interlock as you watch from the boardwalk-hugging, all-season patio or multilevel, weathered wood interior of “Virginia’s Original Crush House” (as in Orange Crush: juice, orange vodka, Triple Sec and splash of Sprite). Of course, jewelry, handbags and more at upmarket Beach Nut Gift Shop inside make a pretty panorama while awaiting omelets and pancakes, too. Sundays 9 a.m.–2 p.m. 415 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach. 757-428-3644. —MM




The Belvedere Coffee Shop

Some mornings call for a hearty plate, with the quantity of grease directly corresponding to the level of debauchery the evening prior. Settle in at the counter or a booth at The Belvedere, a welcoming Oceanfront icon, and let a short order cook provide the cure with favorites like The Eye Opener—a fried egg topped with ham or bacon, cheese and fried tomatoes with parmesan served on an onion roll—or a quarter-pound burger with a side of onion rings. The only thing not offered is judgment. Daily 7 a.m. –2:30 p.m. Inside The Belvedere Beach Resort, 3601 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach. 757-425-0613. —MMS


D’Egg Diner

Diners are just about as American as baseball and apple pie, and D’Egg is certainly a staple in Norfolk. They’ve got a menu to tout about, with breakfast specials such as D’Feast where you can eat your weight in pancakes or French toast with add-on fillings such as strawberry cheesecake, three eggs any style you want and side dishes of your choice. The diner also has their own juicer for freshly squeezed orange juice and their Juice’d mixtures. Served daily from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. 204 E. Main St. and 1170 Lexan Ave., Norfolk. 757-626-3447 (d’Egg Diner Downtown) and 757-423-3447 (d’Egg West). —RM


Little Dog Diner Diner-Style Brunch
Little Dog Diner
Photo by Jim Pile

Little Dog Diner

“We get very, very, very busy on weekends,” says a waitress sweetly, hair piled atop her head in a bun. “Food can take an hour because everything’s made fresh.” So come early to this corrugated canteen to scarf down just-baked biscuits and corned beef hash. Or pass the time sipping sorbet mimosas. Snag a laminated counter stool to catch kitchen pass-through bustle, or people-watch from the front patio where you can dine with your own little dog. Weekdays 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Weekends 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1917 Colley Ave., Norfolk. 757-333-4137. —MM


Best Buffets

Schlesinger's Opus 9 Best Buffets Brunch
Photo by Jim Pile

Schlesinger’s and Opus 9

You may not think “brunch buffet” when considering meal options at two of the finest, multi-award-winning steakhouses on the Peninsula (both owned by Steve Lewis), but this could very well change your mind. Choose from a carving station featuring two selections each week, rotating between prime rib, whole roasted turkey, fresh baked ham or loin of pork. Other hot offerings include a Belgian Waffle and Omelet Station with all the fixings you could ever want. You’ll also find warm sides such as eggs, veggie frittatas, bacon, sausage, cheese grits, home fries, sautéed vegetables and fresh seafood. Sundays 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Schlesinger’s Steakhouse: 1106 William Styron Square S., Newport News. 757-599-4700. Opus 9 Steakhouse: 5143 Main St., Williamsburg. 757-645-4779. —BB


HK on the Bay

Brunch with bae is so much better when it’s on the bay. Come to think of it, everything’s better on the bay. Maybe that’s why we’re so smitten with HK on the Bay’s Sunday Brunch buffet, complete with a custom omelet station, she-crab soup, biscuits and gravy, bagels, bacon, sausage and fresh fruit. After brunch, wander several hundred feet down to Chic’s Beach and make a lazy Sunday of it. Sundays 9 a.m.–2 p.m. 4600 Lookout Rd., Virginia Beach. 757-605-3024. —AB


Swan Terrace Grill

Enjoy a mimosa and soothing music from The Founders Inn and Spa’s resident pianist while savoring a feast of fresh seafood, locally grown fruits and vegetables and a carving station that is unmatched on the Southside. Delectable deserts? You better believe it, painstakingly crafted by the in-house pastry chefs. Sundays 11 a.m.–2 p.m. 5641 Indian River Rd., Virginia Beach. 757-366-5777. —BB


Jazzed Up Waffles


Lobster Waffle at Omar’s Carriage House

Once you’ve had the lobster waffle at Omar’s, it’s hard to think about ordinary waffles ever again. There’s nothing dense about this waffle. Rather, it’s light, airy and buttery, created from a pressed puff pastry. Inside, there’s chunks of lobster, and on top, sherry cream seeps into each luscious, sunken square. The succulent confection sits atop a bed of wilted arugula, splashed with lemon, adding a citrusy balance to this otherwise richly splendid dish. Sundays 10 a.m.–3 p.m. 313 West Bute St., Norfolk. 757-622-4990. —AB


Chicken & Waffle at Public House

Are you all about combining sweet and savory? Well, grab a fork and dig in—this chicken and waffle from Public House brings five phenomenal layers of flavor. A hearty Belgian waffle cradles a substantial piece of fried chicken, crispy on the outside, tender and juicy inside. A fried egg rests on top, just waiting for that bright, yellow yolk to be broken. Next is a layer of house-made apple slaw, followed by a syrupy blueberry compote, drizzling down each incredible layer. Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 1112 Colley Ave., Norfolk. 757-227-9064. —AB


Waffletina Jazzed Up Waffles Brunch


Just when you thought waffles were simply capped with fresh fruit and whipped cream, think again. Waffletina transforms your waffle perceptions, topping them with everything from pulled pork and pickles, to maple meringue and candied pecans. That’s right, choose your team—savory or sweet, or both. One thing’s for certain: There’s no wrong waffle at Waffletina. Norfolk-based pop-up, and soon-to-be brick and mortar, they might be at The Birch one week, and another week, they'll be slingin’ waffles at local breweries like Commonwealth or O’Connor. Wherever the location, bring an appetite. Reservations not required. Schedule posted under Events tab on Facebook. —AL


Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar

Oceans & Ale Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar Brunch
Oceans & Ale
Photo by Jim Pile

Oceans & Ale

There are as many different recipes for the “perfect” Bloody Mary as there are tomatoes on the Eastern Shore in August. So, Oceans & Ale has come up with a fantastic way to let you develop your own personal recipe. Their Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar provides you with a glass filled with ice and a generous splash of vodka to get started. Choose from regular tomato juice or a pre-spiced Zing Zang mix, then go to town on extras like peppers, pickles, celery, bacon, cheese, pepperoni, hot sauce, Sriracha sauce and more. At $3 each, you can test out a few different combinations to find your Nirvana. Sunday Funday from 11:30 a.m.­–3 p.m. 5601 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg. 757-253-2253. —BB


219 Bistro

You’re brought an Old Bay-rimmed, vodka-cradling glass, now sidle to a patch of bar set with tomato juice, Clamato, Zing Zang and, fieriest-of-them-all, chef’s “Spicy Blend.” Hotshot? Doctor with horseradish. Then engage a gaggle of garnishes including asparagus spears, sliced cucumbers, leafy celery stalks, lemons, limes, pepperoncini, olives, grape tomatoes, pickles and bacon strips. Perch on a nearby stool to observe bloody virtuosos for inspiration (and be closer for round two). Sundays 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (Saturdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m. but without BYO bloody bar). 219 Granby St., Norfolk. 757-416-6219. —MM


Twisted Pig

At most Bloody Mary bars, would-be mixologists just belly up and have at it. But at this neighborhood smoke and ale house where a pool table supports 35 items like cubed cheese, baby corn, deviled eggs, pepperoni and bacon rashers, DIY-ers should be one part bartender, two parts architect. Or milliner. Skewers chockablock with stuffed olives and mushrooms jutting from top-shelf vodkas conjure up new wave Carmen Mirandas. There’s a mimosa bar, too, and local craft beers on tap. Sundays 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 722 Mount Vernon Ave., Portsmouth. 757-399-7557. —MM


Upscale Options

Le Yaca Upscale Options Brunch
Le Yaca
Photo by Anne Leonard

Le Yaca

Step up your Sunday brunch game, and perhaps your ensemble, with a visit to French restaurant Le Yaca. Every Sunday, indulge in their four-course brunch menu complete with French delicacies, like Soupe à l’Oignon, that almost transport you to the cafe tables in Paris. Brunch begins with an endlessly flaky chocolate croissant and your choice of beverage, be it a mimosa, Bloody Mary, or Kir Royale, a classic French apéritif. From there, choose your second course of either a soup or house salad. Third course features everything from succulent Scottish salmon to beef tenderloin deglazed with Cognac. Fourth course brings you back to where you started—on a sweet note. Sundays 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 1430 High St., Williamsburg. 757-220-3616. 741 First Colonial Rd., Virginia Beach. —AL


Blue Talon Bistro

You would be very pleased at Blue Talon just pairing engaging conversation with their Basket of Pastry, fresh-baked croissants with apricot preserves or Country Style Pâté, but we recommend elevating your French bistro-style brunch by indulging in Escargots Bourguignon, Meatloaf Meurette or Blackened Fish Reuben. If the dishes sound a bit fancy (and equally decadent), they are. However, the atmosphere is upscale yet approachable and the perfect way to add some elegance to your weekend eats. Bon appétit. Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 420 Prince George St., Williamsburg. 757-476-2583. —MMS


Catch 31

At Catch 31, the brunch menu changes daily, but the options are always extravagant, fresh and seafood-focused. Start raw, whether you’re indulging in oysters on the half shell or an iced shellfish tower (lobster, shrimp, blue crab, mussels, oysters and clams—need we say more?). From there, let your palate lead the way through savory (sandwiches and benedicts), sweet (French toast and waffles) or boozy (build-your-own Bloody Mary and Fresh mimosa bar)—all enjoyed in the opulent atmosphere accented by cobalt blue. Sundays 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 3001 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach. 757-213-3472. —AB


Fantastic French Toast


Mango Mangeaux

Mangoes accent much—cocktails, vinaigrette, ginger shrimp, even power smoothies at Tuesday morning rooftop yoga—beyond the “Mango Mango” preserves that launched this sophisticated bistro on a picturesque block of Phoebus. We’re especially sweet on the French toast—served with a dip blending cream cheese and that luscious amalgam of mangoes, sugar, lime juice and vanilla extract seen on “Shark Tank,” QVC and at Whole Foods (including internationally). Crave more? The owners’ Simply Panache spa nearby offers mangolicious manicures. Breakfast Tuesdays–Sundays 9–11 a.m. 33 E. Mellen St., Hampton. 757-224-9189. —MM


Pasha Mezze

French toast gets a Turkish twist thanks to artisan bread soaked in a simple syrup of spices that evoke an Istanbul bazaar, brightened with lemon, before being fried until golden and topped with walnuts, sour cherry jam, powdered sugar, whipped cream and cinnamon. Crispy outside, as cushy inside as the pillows you might be seated upon, the slices can also sandwich a halal Monte Cristo with turkey bacon at this stunning cosmopolitan casbah whose array of Mediterranean dishes are healthy and transporting. Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.–3 p.m. 340 W. 22nd St., Norfolk. 757-627-1318. —MM


The Plaid Turnip Brunch Fantastic French Toast
The Plaid Turnip
Photo by Jim Pile

The Plaid Turnip

All French toasts start looking the same—that is, until someone comes up with the bright idea to make it out of angel food cake. At the Plaid Turnip, they experiment with such a heavenly offering—as well as a Hawaiian bread French toast—each served with a breakfast side. For just $3 extra, you can get it stuffed with banana Nutella or fruit with cream cheese (you know you want to). Sunday brunch starts at noon. 115 North Main St., Suffolk. 757-923-9740. —AB


Brunch + Entertainment


Beats, Beer and Brunch at Esoteric

When the DJ spins old favorites like Outkast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” upon arrival, you know you’ve entered a whole new level of brunch. No two brunches are alike at Esoteric’s almost-monthly editions of Beats, Beer and Brunch, featuring a tap takeover stocked with stellar, hard-to-find beers with their own curated menu or an exclusive menu collaboration with a local chef. Whether that be with LeGrand Kitchen and Shiptown’s Stephen Marsh or The Stockpot’s Anne Galante, the folks at Esoteric know how to create a vibin’ brunch experience that’s hipster-approved. Visit the Events tab on for details on the next brunch installment. 501 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. 757-822-6008. —AL


Croc's 19th Street Bistro Drag Me To Brunch Brunch + Entertainment
Photo by David Uhrin

Drag Yourself to Brunch at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

Drinks and drag queens add pizzazz to an anything but typical breakfast experience at Croc’s Drag Yourself to Brunch. Each Sunday, Victoria L. Foster and her team of queens perform high energy song and dance acts to an audience of giddy brunch-goers. It’s a bawdy good time complemented by creative cocktails and cuisine. Go light with The Skinny Bitch yogurt parfait, or indulge in the Sassy Shrimp-N-Grits. Just don’t forget those dollar bills. Reservations required. Sundays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 620 19th St., Virginia Beach. 757-428-5444. —AB


Champagne Jazz Brunch Cruise On The Spirit of Norfolk

Complete with live music from a three-piece band, it’s “anchors a’sway” on the Spirit of Norfolk when their weekly Sunday brunch turns into a two-hour jazz party once a quarter. Your first glass is on the house, er boat, at the champagne buffet as you glide along the Elizabeth River, drinking in views of the Atlantic Fleet, Old Fort Norfolk and city skylines. Giant Jenga and classic shuffleboard to rhythms and riffs enhance the water’s romance. Board at 12:30 p.m. at Otter Berth near Town Point Park, Norfolk. 866-451-3866. —MM


Check out Part II and Part III for more brunch.

Barrett Baker
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Angela Blue
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Anne Leonard
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Marisa Marsey Headshot
Marisa Marsey
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Marisa Marsey is a food, beverage and travel writer whose awards include 1st place Food Writing from the Virginia Press Association. A Johnson & Wales University representative, she has sipped Château d'Yquem '75 with Jean-Louis Palladin, sherpa-ed for Edna Lewis and savored interviews with Wolfgang Puck and Patrick O’Connell.

Ryan Miller
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Melissa M. Stewart
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