The Best Brunch Spots Around Balboa Park, San Diego

Beautiful sunny summer day in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.
Beautiful sunny summer day in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. | © Hanna Tor / Alamy
Talitha Duncan-Todd

There are a number of restaurants that serve brunch in San Diego’s Balboa Park. Coffee carts and cafes are the main destinations to pick up a light snack to eat. Here, you can drink some of best coffee or tea and delve into the sweetest treats in Balboa Park. We have found the 10 best brunch spots within and around the area.

1. Daniel's Coffee Cart

Cafe, Coffee

Located in the courtyard of the House of Hospitality across from the Balboa Park Visitors Center, the coffee cart offers a variety of coffees, espresso drinks, bottled drinks, and pastries. Try the Mexican mocha or the matcha green tea frappé with mint to enjoy the unique taste of Daniel’s Coffee Cart. Here, visitors can enjoy the relatively cheap drinks with a great selection of options, complemented by a quick and friendly service.

2. Dinosaur Café


View of the Natural History Museum from across the Bea Evenson Fountain at sunrise. Balboa Park, San Diego, California, United
© joseph s giacalone / Alamy Stock Photo

Located in the NAT’s Atrium at the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Dino Café is the ideal place to rest and recharge before or after a visit to the museum. Managed by the Cohn Restaurant Group, the cafe features a wide assortment of sandwiches and salads as well as soups, pastries, gourmet coffee and tea beverages. There are soda pop, juices, juice packs, chips, and snacks available for the kids.

3. Galileo's Café

Cafe, Coffee

Galileo’s Café is a great location to pick up a quick snack or a light meal. The casual, friendly atmosphere and the great selection of items, including pretzels, pizza, salads and sandwiches, should satisfy any growling stomach. And if you’re looking for liquid refreshments, they also serve a variety of drinks, including sodas, juices and coffees. The best part is, admission to the Fleet is not required to visit the cafe. So stop by, grab a bite and enjoy the view at one of their outdoor fountain-side tables.

4. Snack Carts

Cafe, Coffee

There are a variety of snack carts along the El Prado pedestrian walkway and also near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion that serve hotdogs, ice cream, nachos and soda. Opening times vary according to each particular snack cart but they are sure to be present during meal hours.

5. The Tea Pavilion

Cafe, Restaurant, Tea Room, Tea , Japanese, Sushi

The Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park San Diego California
© Russ Bishop / Alamy
This lovely cafe, managed by the Cohn Restaurant Group, at the Japanese Friendship Garden serves traditional Japanese green tea, herbal and specialty teas as well as sushi, Japanese noodles, rice bowls, miso soup, salads and snacks. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent views from inside the Tea Pavilion or from the outdoor courtyard and deck. There are unique imported foods, beverages and gifts, as well as imported bulk teas, which are available to purchase, that are sure to fill your stomach.

6. World Beat Café

Cafe, Coffee, Tea

Jane Goodwin expanded her vision of creating a space for the community to gather by opening the World Beat Café, which is an oasis of calm where visitors can relax and linger with a cup of organic coffee or a pot of whole leaf tea. The cafe offers scrumptious and wholesome homemade treats, some of which are dairy and gluten-free, fresh juices and newly introduced raw food treats. The cafe also hosts art events and regular instructional coffee/tea mornings.

7. Cafe Bassam

Cafe, Coffee, Tea , Wine, Beer

DECEMBER 7, 2006, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA_ ................................. BASSAM SHAMMA owner of the Cafe Bassam in downtown San Diego on Market and 4th Avenue. Shamma has owned his coffee shop for the past 16 years, and should he stay his rent w
© ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
They make hot sandwiches, have some pastries, and sell varieties of coffee, tea, port, wine, and beer. If you get a cup of tea, you are given a large cup of hot water and then you are sent over to the rows of glass tea canisters to choose what you would like. At Bassam’s, you don’t pay until you are walking out of the door, which encourages patrons to sit and relax on one of the couches or talk with a friend without feeling rushed.

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