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The Best Brunch Spots Around Balboa Park, San Diego
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The Best Brunch Spots Around Balboa Park, San Diego

Picture of Talitha Duncan-Todd
Updated: 24 November 2016
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.
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Café Mingei

Located in Balboa Park on the Plaza de Panama, Café Mingei is a destination for coffee, tea and treats. The cafe serves hot and iced espresso drinks made with coffee from local roaster West Bean, plus a selection of vibrant teas, gourmet hot chocolate and other refreshing beverages. Fresh, daily pastry selections are provided by a variety of local bakeries, including Cardamom and The Cravory. All purchases at Café Mingei support the exhibition and educational programs at Mingei International Museum.

2402, 2498 Pan American Rd E, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 239 0003

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Daniel’s Coffee Cart

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.

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 867 2860

Dinosaur Café

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.

1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA, USA +1 619 255 0317

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Galileo’s Café

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.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 238 1233

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Snack Carts

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.

1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA, USA

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The Tea Pavilion

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.

2215 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 231 0048

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World Beat Café

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.

2100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 324 4607

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Home Plate Café

This sports-themed grill located in the Hall of Champions Sports Museum offers a variety of sandwiches, salads, paninis and snacks named for some of San Diego’s greatest athletes. There is a cool and comfortable indoor dining area with flat-screen TVs and outdoor benches if you’d like to order your meal to-go. Beer and wine service is available as well. The Home Plate Café is the perfect place to watch your favorite sports teams, enjoy one of their 20 beers on tap, or indulge in their happy hour specials.

Rimac Annex, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 858 657 9111

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Cafe Bassam

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.

3088 5th Ave, San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619 557 0173