As far as quaint beach towns go, Half Moon Bay is among the most sought-after destinations in northern California. With many different casual and upscale settings to choose from, there is something for everyone in this charming coastline community. Check out our top 7 picks for the best places to grab brunch in Half Moon Bay.
Restaurant, Seafood, French, $$$
For a quiet luncheon by the seaside, visit Navio of the Ritz-Carlton, and enjoy the upscale environment and extensive seafood menu. Renowned Chef de Cuisine Jason Pringle grew up in the Bay Area himself, and now specializes in French cuisine, which he demonstrates in both his main dinner menu, and the seasonal tasting menu. Although closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, Navio does offer a variety of private room options, so be sure to call in advance if you need to arrange to dine in a larger group.
It’s Italia serves award winning pizza in addition to gourmet pastas and salads, opening in 1997 in San Francisco and later moving to the Half Moon Bay Inn. With a Tuscan style patio area, it’s an ideal location for large parties and group outings. There is additionally a full bar, with an extensive wine list: It’s Italia boasts 150 bottles of wine from around the globe. The restaurant’s management emphasizes sustainability and locally grown foods as well as its mission statement: ‘to restore, rejuvenate, and relax.’ Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm, and is reservation only due to its popularity.
With its roots in the Prohibition era as a roadhouse formerly known as the Ocean Beach Hotel, Miramar Beach Restaurant is a coastside restaurant with a lot of character. At specific dates and times, there are even live performances by renowned pianist and composer Terry Disley. With an incredible view of the ocean and frequent dolphin and whale sightings, Miramar Beach Restaurant is a prime location for wedding receptions and other private events. Brunch is served on Sundays from 11am to 12pm.
For 25 years, Pasta Moon’s greatest emphasis has been on the farm to table concept. With daily specials made with fresh, locally grown ingredients, the restaurant takes pride in serving only the best quality produce. Head chef and restaurant owner Kim Levin is committed to the community of farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and artisans supporting Half Moon Bay, and has created several menus which all incorporate seasonal Italian cuisine. With the Pilarcitos Creek and a large garden just outside, Pasta Moon also offers quite the private dining experience.
A comfortable European-style bakery, Moonside Bakery & Cafe specializes in tarts, danishes, and other pastries; perfect for a quick breakfast or afternoon sugar fix. The bakery also caters to all the major holidays, and cakes and pastries can be ordered for special events or birthdays by contacting Thomas Grauke, master pastry chef and owner. In addition to pastries, the menu also includes wood-fired pizza, homemade soups, and salads if you are looking for more hearty options.
A close-knit neighborhood grill, Mainstreet Grill specializes in American comfort food. Much to everyone’s delight, breakfast is served all day! Whether it’s Grandma’s special recipes or the ultimate hangover cure, Mainstreet Grill has you covered. After a satisfying meal, take a walk around the town and visit the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau for more information on the area and any upcoming events you may want to partake in before heading out.
Mezza Luna is a Southern Italian restaurant started by three friends with a shared experience and passion for the industry. With a strong focus on providing the best meat, fish, and pasta, Mezza Luna is located in the Princeton Landing building, which was built in 1908 to foster support for local merchants and events. With large windows that overlook the ocean, be sure to keep an eye out for those Maverick waves if it’s that time of year!