It’s finally here. It’s that week everyone has been impatiently waiting for — spring break.
This means everyone should have a new bathing suit (fingers crossed it doesn’t rain), a nice pair of sunglasses and brunch reservations.
I’ve made it my mission and sacrificed my liver, I mean my weekend, “sleeping in” to bring to the students of Orange Coast College the best brunch spots for spring break.
The first stop is SOCIAL on West 19th Street in Costa Mesa. Visitors will notice two things upon entering the building — a giant marquee sign of the restaurant name and a neon pink sign that says “good vibes only.” That’s just how it feels in the quaint little gastropub, accompanied with the smell of warm sugar cinnamon doughnuts and freshly brewed coffee.
That smell matches exactly what should be ordered. The doughnuts come with a horchata glaze and homemade vanilla ice cream that I didn’t want to share with anyone. SOCIAL’s coffee, mi vida mocha, is made of chocolate, turbinado sugar and cold brew.
Those less inclined toward sweets can order the Social Benedict. It’s a buttermilk biscuit topped with pulled pork, poached egg and a creole mustard hollandaise sauce so delicious you’ll forget your name.
Another worthy contender in the brunch-bash is Habana on Bristol Street in Costa Mesa. Those without a reservation will find themselves waiting hours and being squished in a forgotten corner probably next to the bathrooms.
It’s recommended to sit outside next to the beautiful — and I mean beautiful — buffet spread that includes pastries and pies, omelets and waffle stations, paellas, empanadas and a street cart with a variety of vibrant fresh fruit.
The atmosphere was eclectic and gave the feeling of being on vacation in a tropical destination. Live music was a bonus.
The next stop is Bosscat Kitchen & Libations on MacArthur Boulevard in Newport Beach, which offers a unique spin on ordinary brunch fare and a young crowd to go along with it.
There is only one rule. Don’t count calories.
Instead of deciding between cereal and french toast, get them both and order the Fruity Pebbles French toast. Those in mood for doughnuts and a burger can get the donut burger. Trust me, no one will judge.
Don’t forget about the red velvet churros offered. It comes with a gooey cream cheese dip that might make you order another round, like I did.
Anyone looking for an excuse to eat pizza for breakfast should try the bacon and egg pizza from North Italia on Michelson Drive in Irvine.
Pair that with the restaurant’s baked french toast, which is brioche bread pulled apart and soaked in secret egg wash then put back together and topped with ripe juicy berries and house made whipped cream. Excuse me while I wipe the drool from my mouth.
The eatery’s ginger vanilla greyhound was truly refreshing and sitting on the patio is also a must as it is open, airy, and perfect for sunny days.
Rounding out the pack is Gratitude Kitchen & Bar on Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach. This café offers a pleasant main room and outdoor seating area with a boho chic vibe.
The avocado toast and matcha lattes, are high on the list of things to try.
Gratitude also has a refreshing sangria that can be ordered by the pitcher to share with a group of friends.
Gratitude is entirely vegan and extremely accommodating to food allergies, so not a single waiter will roll their eyes at a gluten-free request.
Now go be free, enjoy spring break and please drink responsibly.