Where to Have Sunday Brunch With Style in Phoenix and Scottsdale

SumoMaya Scottsdale
••• Brunch Starters at SumoMaya in Scottsdale. Judy Hedding

If you are looking for a special place to take a client, sweetheart, or in-laws-to-be for an extravagant Sunday brunch in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, look no further than these popular options. You can't go wrong at any of these establishments for an elegant, memorable Sunday brunch experience.

SumoMaya (Scottsdale)

You don't have to wait until Sunday to enjoy one of the finest brunches in the Valley of the Sun.

That's because SumoMaya offers brunch on Saturday, too. SumoMaya takes the best parts of brunch and combines an à la carte, full-service experience with its all-you-can-eat "Bottomless Brunch." 

The first round of small plates includes Mexican breads, an amazing oatmeal brûlée, fruit, yogurt, and hummus. Don't let the small plates description fool you; you might be totally satisfied after just this first round. But there's more. The second round offers choices that include eggs, guacamole, and sushi rolls. Time to leave? Not by a long shot. You haven't had your entrée yet, and there are many choices —from egg dishes to specialty waffles, French toast and pancakes, Mexican entrées, and nigiri. Family-style desserts follow.

Enjoy a variety of culinary delights prepared in the open kitchen visible from most tables in this very Scottsdale-esque, cool-vibe dining room. Carnivores, vegetarians, and those following gluten-free diets can all be happy here.

All dishes are prepared to order, so you can have the best of all brunch worlds: freshly prepared and beautifully presented foods, served at your table, and suitable for sharing, along with your own entrée choice. Brunch cocktails are also available as an add-on to the prix-fixe brunch. Family-friendly and a bit noisy.

Nellie Cashman's (Scottsdale)

Nellie Cashman's is located within The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, noted as one of the finest resorts in the Phoenix area. It's modern and stylish with tables arranged in different rooms and with separators to minimize noise. Some tables have a view of the courtyard, with flowers in the garden, and some have a view of the lake and the golf course with mountains in the background. Patio dining is available.

Upon checking in for brunch, you are presented with a sheet of paper outlining the hot specials of the day. Fresh, house-made breads, muffins, and rolls complement the cold seafood, cheese, and salad offerings. An attractive selection of cakes, fruit and custard tarts, chocolate-covered strawberries, brownies, and mousses are offered for dessert. The menu emphasizes superfood offerings for those who wish to eat ​extra healthy. On Sundays at Nellie Cashman's, you can order from the regular menu if you prefer. This a nice option for groups if some people want a buffet and some don't.

elements (Paradise Valley)

elements (with a lower case "e"!) is the premier dining experience at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. The elegance at this resort and spa is actually quite understated—no huge mirrored lobbies or grand entryways.

Similarly, elements is a not-too-big dining room adjacent to jade bar, a smallish, popular bar with live music on Friday nights. Both elements and jade connect to the outdoor patio. The dining room decor is stylish and modern but warm with comfortably spaced tables and booths. You'll love the wonderful exterior view.

Anyone who regularly dines in the Valley of the Sun would recognize the name of Executive Chef Beau MacMillan, a regular on the Food Network television programs. Known for his preparation using local, organic ingredients where possible and creating his gourmet dishes with an Asian influence, the Sunday seasonal à la carte brunch menu does not stray. Along with antipasti, fruit, salmon, chilled shrimp, and salads, there's also the Spa Bento Box special featuring miso salmon, barbecue tofu, roasted chicken, or grilled shrimp, each served with brown rice, steamed vegetables, and pickled cucumber salad.

Your server will deliver warm and delicious cinnamon rolls to your table, which are complimentary with your meal. On certain holidays, such as Easter and Mother's Day, elements offers a more elaborate buffet brunch.

LON'S (Paradise Valley)

A visit to LON'S always invokes a strong sense of Southwest spirit. You'll find it at The Hermosa Inn, a luxury boutique hotel off the beaten path, in upscale Paradise Valley. The restaurant was named for artist Lon Megargee, whose artwork incorporating cowboys and ranch life of the Wild West graces the walls. The patio at LON'S is one of the loveliest places for al fresco dining. There is no hotel-ish feel to this restaurant—in fact, you may come, enjoy, and leave without even noticing that there is a hotel here.

The brunch menu includes à la carte items as well as the Hacienda Brunch. Prices are reasonable compared with other luxury resort brunches. The chef at LON'S describes the food here as comfort cuisine with Arizona flavors created with European techniques. Don't even consider eating here without starting with the fresh-baked monkey bread. Although this is not one of your deluxe all-you-can-eat buffet brunches (LON'S sometimes offers those on holidays), you can certainly have a special meal here for brunch. It just goes to show that gourmet food doesn't have to break the bank.

Wright's (Phoenix)

Wright's at the Biltmore is the signature dining experience at the renowned Arizona Biltmore in Central Phoenix. Although it is a hotel restaurant, it has a unique style that is appealing and comfortable. This isn't the old, stuffy Arizona Biltmore. In this classic setting with a modern nod to architect Frank Lloyd Wright, light pours in through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows and tables are arranged in smaller, multilevel sections to give a more intimate feel to the dining room. The servers are clad in black uniforms—no jeans or T-shirts here—and are experienced and professional. 

The Sunday brunch is uniquely structured, with the menu changing weekly. Here there is a buffet and a selection of small plates of hot entrees. The buffet includes cold appetizers and seafood, fruits, cheeses, artisan breads, salads, and desserts. You'll be given a menu describing the small plates offered that day. You could do very well just opting for the cold buffet, but the small plates are delicious. The dessert choices are extensive and beautiful. What's great about this Sunday brunch is the absence of steam tables. No lukewarm meats or dry fish. The hot foods are served directly from the kitchen, and the cold foods, fruits, breads, and desserts are on the buffet.

Geordie's Restaurant at Wrigley Mansion (Phoenix)

The dining room at Wrigley Mansion sits about 100 feet above street level, and, with its large glass windows, is acclaimed for the lovely views of the Valley of the Sun. Wrigley Mansion was built in 1929 by William Wrigley Jr. of chewing gum fame, as a gift for his wife; it was an actual home, with 24 rooms. The objective of the mansion's restoration is to maintain that era of charm and sophistication, so to some, it might seem old or antique. Certainly, it appeals to people who have lived in the Valley for many years, people who appreciate a perspective from the past, or for those who enjoy a bit of unique history sitting in the middle of one of the largest cities in the country.

The first thing to mention about Sunday brunch at Wrigley Mansion is that it can be a challenge just getting there. After you figure out how to get up the hill, parking can be an issue. You can self-park and then walk up the hill, or you can valet park for a fee. Keep in mind that the mansion wasn't originally built as a restaurant. Once you make it to the buffet area and dining room for brunch, you will be rewarded with a gorgeous view, tablecloths, immediate offers of mimosas, and live jazz music.

Note that some diners prefer to sit in the large dining room early in the day to avoid the sun that shines into the smaller dining room on the southwest side. The downside of brunch in the main dining room is the noise. It is a much larger room than the southwest room, and, because all the rooms have hardwood flooring, it is noisiest where there are large groups. This isn't the most extravagant or luxurious brunch you will ever experience, but it is reasonably priced and includes items that you might not find at other brunches. 

When making Sunday brunch reservations, you can also arrange to take a guided tour of the Wrigley Mansion. There is an extra charge for the tour, but it makes for an interesting addition to your visit and provides the history and background of this unique property.