Fun, funky and fresh: brunch spots to try

Brunch is what you get when you mix breakfast, lunch and alcohol — if you're 21 or older — which makes it a popular weekend activity for college students.

Brunch starts later than breakfast, so it means sleeping in. It also means it is socially acceptable to drink alcohol during the day. There are quite a few places to enjoy brunch in the Tampa Bay area, however each place will make your experience different from the rest in some way or another. Here are some USF student favorites:


1. Oxford Exchange: 420 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606

Oxford Exchange is a restaurant, coffee shop, bookstore and shop all rolled into one.

The space was decorated based off of English design styles, which creates a very inviting and relaxing atmosphere. Oxford Exchange combines fresh ingredients with uncommon flavors to make for an unforgettable meal at a high, but worthy price.

“Brunch is all about catching up on the week’s events with close friends,” Samantha Jenkins, a health science major, said. “It’s a time to sit and gossip over mimosas and poached eggs, and Oxford Exchange is the perfect place for this.”

Oxford Exchange is open weekends from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


2. Datz: 2616 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa, FL 33629

Datz is restaurant that gives you a not-so-typical brunch, and the atmosphere is fun and lively. Your options range from Datchos to the Chicken N’Waffle Benedict. Datchos are potato chips topped with chili, cheese, jalapeño, sour cream, blue cheese drizzle and scallions. The Chicken N’Waffle Benedict is exactly what it sounds like — fried chicken with waffles and poached eggs. Datz takes traditional American breakfast and lunch foods and adds its own flare.

“I feel like brunch isn’t normally seen as a way for guys to just hang out with their friends, but Datz makes it one,” Donald Lloyd, a mass communications major, said. “Who doesn’t like Bloody Marys with bacon flavors.”

Datz has a cocktail called Datz-A-Mary, which is a Bloody Mary to which you can add bacon, heat or smoke flavors. Another cocktail option is the Spaaa Blahblahblah, which contains gin, lemon juice, cucumber and soda. The cocktail menu makes brunch even more exciting.

Datz serves brunch Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


3. First Watch: 2726 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612

First Watch is located close to campus and offers healthy options. It was recently renovated to create a modern and open feel. They’re known for their fresh ingredients, and students can try old favorites with a healthy twist, such as the Floridian French Toast, which is French toast with fresh fruit.

“You can rarely find healthy, high quality food at such a reasonable price,” advertising major Anna Scordato said. “First watch is my go-to brunch destination, whether I am with friends or family.”

First Watch is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.