- Priyunka Maheshwari
Sometimes breakfast isn’t enough, but lunch is too much — so San Franciscans opt for brunch: the tasty way to make morning dining into an art form. The foodie scene of San Francisco reveals many brunch options, including French, Mexican, and California-inspired late breakfasts. Discover our 10 favourite brunch-serving restaurants on the West Coast by reading our updated guide to the city’s very best breakfast eats.
Brenda’s French Soul Food
Named after Brenda, a trained and experienced chef who loves fishing, cooking and baking with crabs, Brenda’s French Soul Food composes seafood dishes for patrons seeking a hearty brunch. Brenda’s aims to provide soulful French food that appeals to cosmopolitan tastes, while being San Franciscan in their approach. Try the crispy oysters, scallion scramble, and sautéed shrimp, the spicy tomato-bacon gravy or the cheddar grits, which are good enough to welcome in diners from far and wide.
Brenda’s French Soul Food, 652 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 345 8100
With two locations within the city limits, Nopalito lets its fans enjoy the benefits of eating here without travelling far. Nopalito offers a traditional Mexican brunch made out of sustainably sourced ingredients, similar to the rural processes in authentic Mexican diners. All dishes are surprisingly old-school: the most modern aspect of this rustic menu is the tequila bloody maria, which is perfect for brunch. Indulge in an mid morning breakfast at Nopalito, which brands itself as a neighbourhood kitchen, or dine on their range of delicious Mexican dishes at their 9th avenue location. The communal-style tables will make you feel right at home.
Nopalito, Broderick St, 306 Broderick Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 535 3969, Nopalito, 1224 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA +1 415 233 6699
Park Tavern brands itself as an upscale American tavern serving delicate and cosmopolitan items for brunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Anna and Jennifer, who started Park Tavern, made a classic seating area that has something for everyone depending on their tastes Try brunch outside on the patio, so long as the weather is nice, with a bourbon smoothie or espresso. The food and drinks will start your morning off perfectly, so show up for weekend brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and enjoy the scenery of Washington Square by lounging outside.
Park Tavern, 1652 Stockton Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 989 7300
For those interested in an design-focused meal, come by Maven for a living wall (a wall covered with carefully tended vegetation), finely crafted ceramics and perfect cocktails. The earthly décor is set off by wood, plants, and candles all around the restaurant. With burgers, biscuits, and gravy Benedict, there isn’t anything too pretentious at Maven, although the nettle pesto flatbread might be something you haven’t tried before. Try the Maven’s Johnnycakes, a speciality from Chef Isaac Miller.
Maven, 598 Haight Street, Lower Haight, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 829 7982
Mission Bowling Club
Brunch in San Francisco is done right if chilaquiles are present, so drop by Mission Bowling Club for great Mexican fare, as well as French toast and eggs Benedict. Located in the trendy Mission, this West Coast experience offers a round of ten-pin bowling before or after eating the delicious fare created in this multicultural restaurant. The patio is a great place to sit if there is space during brunch so you can watch a game of bowls, and the relaxed atmosphere that comes with dining here at the start of the day. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Mission Bowling Club, 3176 17th Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 863 2695
With delicious food and friendly service to match, Rose’s Cafe is the best place to enjoy a quick yet satisfying brunch in a fine dining establishment that feels like mum’s kitchen. A favourite in the Cow Hollow neighbourhood, Rose’s is a great hangout for locals who wish to enjoy sidewalk tables and cappuccino breaks. Or stay for brunch and try consistent food made in Italian style from organic local produce, fresh seafood, free-range meats and poultry, all selected daily. The artisan bakers also make a daily selection of pastries, desserts, and breads to wow the general public.
Rose’s Cafe, 2298 Union St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 775 2200
A Southern Louisiana restaurant found on the West Coast is rare, but don’t forget Boxing Room, which opened in June 2011 in a 19th century shirt factory. Chef Justin Simoneaux celebrates the Cajun and Creole dishes back in his home state of Louisiana by introducing California ingredients to this established cuisine. With beer and wine on tap, brunch is best celebrated with the crispy boudin balls or gulf shrimp and grits. Boxing Room has been named one of 7X7 Magazine’s ‘Best New Restaurants,’ so stop on by to experience this Southern favourite at the right time of day. With a new bar program and classic New Orleans cocktails like the Drive-Thru Daiquiri, Hurricane, and Sazerac on the menu, this eatery is a great place to sip refreshing drinks. During Sunday brunch, Gaucho (a gypsy jazz sextet) plays live music.
Boxing Room, 399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 430 6590
The Tipsy Pig
The Tipsy Pig is an American gastro-tavern that prides itself on being a ‘home away from home’. With a large beer selection alongside a constantly changing menu, The Tipsy Pig was recently awarded the distinction of ‘Top 10 New Restaurants’ by Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle. The staff is exceptionally friendly and enjoys conversing with patrons while they dine away to their heart’s content. Brunch is served Friday through Sunday at 11 a.m., so drop by to try the duck confit hash or Dutch pancake in a comfortable setting. The Tipsy Pig represents the constantly evolving American foodie scene, so enjoy one of the dishes that could soon change the culinary landscape.
The Tipsy Pig, 2231 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 292 2300
‘A French bistro in the heart of Cole Valley’—that’s the motto of Zazie, a lovely neighbourhood bistro famous for American-style brunches. With a hidden patio where dinners are served, bring-your-dog nights on Mondays, and no-corkage Tuesdays, Zazie is proving to be an exciting and quirky find in a sea of restaurants. At brunch, try oatmeal brulee and gingerbread pancakes with delicious lemon curd on top. The mimosas are amazing, and patrons often order one after waiting in the crowds that flock to Zazie on weekends. Arrive early because brunch starts at 8am and queues form quickly.
Zazie, 941 Cole St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 564 5332
The Corner Store
New American meets traditional American in The Corner Store, which is a bar, fountain, and restaurant all in one. Be prepared to put your name on the queue for brunch, which offers a tantalising menu full of pancakes, gravy and sandwiches. The servers are happy to make recommendations, but if you come in wanting to order the Cambridge house smoked salmon you are ready to go. Bottomless mimosas are also perfect for a sluggish morning that requires a wake-up call, and the biscuits are known to cure hangovers the morning after. The vibe is just right, especially with the outdoor seating that is perfect for enjoying the scenery and dining patrons.
The Corner Store, 5 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 359 1800