- Marcelina Morfin
With beautiful weather all-year-round and a rich history, it is easy to see why California’s second largest city, San Diego, is a popular tourist destination. Visitors not only have a plethora of activities from which to choose from but also a delectable array of restaurants, including late breakfast and brunch spots. We take a look at 10 of the most flavorful brunch-time options in San Diego.
Originating in Italy, Chocolat Cremerie is a lovely bistro specializing in chocolates, gelato and other sweet treats – as well as some savory options. Perfect for early or late-risers, this family-friendly restaurant features an all-day breakfast menu at its two locations in San Diego where hungry diners can feast upon a variety of brunch items from pancakes to breakfast pizzas. Tasty highlights include chestnut flour pancakes topped with crushed chestnuts, sweetened mascarpone cream, and sour cherries, or the portobello mushroom eggs Benedict topped with poached eggs, caramelized onions, and gorgonzola hollandaise sauce. Try a pomegranate mimosa for a full brunch experience and leave room for a sweet treat, such as hand-made chocolates or chili chocolate gelato.
Chocolat Cremerie (Gaslamp), 509 5th Ave., San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 238 9400
Cody’s La Jolla
Located in La Jolla in a former seaside cottage, Cody’s La Jolla is a friendly cafe specializing in American comfort food. While enjoying one of the best ocean views around, diners can feast upon a host of delectable brunch fare, from omelets to French toast. Highlights include a crispy fried chicken breast served with flaky buttermilk biscuits plus cracked pepper and onion gravy, and the breakfast salad with spinach, market greens, and poached eggs, plus an array of fresh vegetables tossed with a lemon-basil vinaigrette.
Cody’s La Jolla, 8030 Girard Ave., La Jolla, CA, USA, +1 858 459 0040
Serving breakfast and lunch since 1991, Kono’s Café is an establishment known for their generous portions. Diners visit to not only sample the tasty American cuisine but also to sit on one of the three outdoor spaces — two decks on the boardwalk plus one next to Crystal Pier — all of which provide excellent views of the ocean. Guests can sample a variety of breakfast fare from burritos to sweet options, with highlights being the fluffy pancakes and the big breakfast #2, which is a plate full of eggs, potatoes, bacon, an English muffin, and French toast.
Owned by Alex and Leyla Javadov, natives of Azerbaijan, Café 21 is an eclectic locale specializing in New American cuisine imbued with exotic international flavors. Within a charming and rustic environment, brunch aficionados can savor items such as the lamb sausage cast iron omelet with house-made kofta lamb meatballs, organic bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, goat’s cheese, and mozzarella. For something on the sweet side, the tiramisu pancakes with mascarpone cheese whip, cocoa powder, and maple espresso syrup is an excellent choice. There are several savory vegetarian options available as well.
Café 21 (Gaslamp Quarter), 802 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 795 0721
Hosting an award-winning Sunday brunch for over 40 years, The Westgate’s Le Fontainebleau is an elegant European-inspired dining room. Offering an impressive buffet, this establishment features an array of delectable options, from appetizers to breakfast items and more. Guests can build an omelet with a host of fresh ingredients, order eggs Benedict, or savor succulent sushi or other entrées, such as barbecue pork with macaroni and cheese. There are also numerous sweet desserts, including the pistachio panna cotta and chocolate hazelnut mousse. With live entertainment plus excellent service, this is one culinary experience not to be missed.
Owned by Sarah Mattinson, Olive Café is a welcoming cafe featuring home-style fare in a laid-back atmosphere. A place where breakfast is an all-day affair, lunch is also offered along with mouth-watering baked goods, including scones, pastries and coffee cake being some of the options. Diners seeking something a little heartier can take delight in a host of enticing dishes, including eggs lockerman scramble with sausage, ham, green pepper, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes accompanied by hash browns, or toast and berry brandy cream cheese French toast, smothered with a mixed berry brandy sauce. For those brunch lovers leaning towards the lunch side, try the tuna melt with cheddar cheese.
Olive Café, 805 Santa Clara Place, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 858 488 1224
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
With two successful locations in San Diego, Snooze — a smaller chain restaurant established in Colorado in 2006 — is a popular breakfast and brunch spot. Serving up innovative American cuisine seven days a week in a retro-inspired environment, this lively restaurant makes everything from scratch using only the best ingredients, which are locally sourced when available. Guests can choose from an array of savory and sweet items, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Highlights include the gyros benny, which is feta and herb bread pudding topped with braised lamb, poached eggs, and cream cheese hollandaise sauce, or the pineapple upside down pancakes served with house-made vanilla crème anglaise and cinnamon butter. Several brunch cocktails, including five different Bloody Marys, are also available at this tasty joint.
Snooze (Del Mar), 3435 Del Mar Heights Rd., San Diego, CA, USA, +1 858 703 5300
Named after the legendary schooner captain Philip Marion Africa, Spike Africa’s is an establishment featuring American cuisine with an emphasis on seafood and Californian flavors. Serving lunch and dinner daily, they also offer a Sunday brunch. Using the freshest seasonal ingredients, this restaurant offers seafood-loving brunch lovers a good balance of breakfast and lunch items plus brunch cocktails, such as cranberry mimosas. Tasty highlights include the seafaring biscuits and gravy – biscuits with shrimp, peppers, and bacon, cedar plank salmon Benedict with asparagus and hollandaise sauce, and brioche French toast with apricot compote and blackberries.
Spike’s Africa, 411 Broadway Ave., San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 795 3800
Housed in a renovated beach bungalow in the heart of La Jolla — a community of San Diego —The Cottage is a restaurant featuring American fare influenced by the fresh flavors of Southern California. Serving breakfast every day plus weekday lunches and seasonal dinners, this dining establishment features a lovely light-filled interior and a spacious patio. One notable menu highlight is the California eggs Benedict, which is an English muffin topped with sliced turkey breast, poached eggs, avocado, and hollandaise sauce. Between the tasty fare and friendly atmosphere, The Cottage is an ideal place for brunch lovers to start their day.
The Cottage, 7702 Fay Ave., La Jolla, CA, USA, +1 858 454 8409
The Mission Restaurant
A small local chain with three locations, The Mission features ‘conscientious cuisine,’ which includes healthy American fare plus China-Latino-inspired cuisine. Within a lively, art-infused environment complete with artworks by local artists, guests can take delight in delicious items, including granola banana pancakes, croissant sandwiches, and rancheros verde — flour tortillas with eggs, black beans, cheese, and roasted chile verde sauce. Meat lovers and those on a gluten-free diet also have an array of tasty dishes from which to choose.