Beretta | Aubrie Pick
Food & Drink

The Best Brunches in San Francisco Right Now

Updated On 07/25/2018 at 06:26PM EST
DOTTIE’S TRUE BLUE CAFE / JIM STONE PHOTOGRAPHY

Dottie's True Blue Cafe

SoMa

The wait for this down-home breakfast is definitely worth it
Dottie's is one of San Francisco's few diner experiences where you'll actually want to eat the baked goods (because they're freshly made and incredible), but in particular, get the house-made cinnamon pecan roll and the pecan French toast or the grilled chili-cheddar cornbread with jalapeño jelly.

Eric Wolfinger Photography

Park Tavern

North Beach

The perfect spot for when you want a side of elegance with your brunch
Start with a cocktail (the Park Paloma is a favorite), then order the avocado toast (seeded whole wheat, chile, lemon, sea salt) to share. As far as a main? You’ll be tempted to get the Marlowe burger because... well... it’s the Marlowe burger, but skip it this ONE time and get the cast iron-baked farm eggs with sautéed kale and shiitake, jamón Serrano, and Gruyère instead.

The Elite Cafe

The Elite Cafe

Lower Pacific Heights

New Orleans-inspired brunch in a swanky setting
Two words: meetinghouse biscuits. Get them plain. Get them with fried ham, cheddar, and a sunny-side egg. Get them with fried chicken. Get them with gravy. Just get them. If you have a sweet tooth, go for the bananas foster French toast (pro-tip: add bacon). And if you want something on the savory side, the andouille hash is the way to go. Pair your meal with any of the NOLA-inspired cocktails, especially the champagne julep and the Breakfast Collins.

Foreign Cinema

Mission

A crowd-pleasing favorite for a special occasion brunch
Foreign Cinema is the kind of brunch spot you’d take your parents or a date, but it’s also a legit option for when you’re hungover and want to dine alfresco on fresh oysters, an organic version of a Pop-Tart, and egg dishes that are so well made we simply can’t pick one (the Dungeness crab frittata does to come to mind, however). Be sure to make a reservation -- or come prepared to wait. 

Brenda's French Soul Food

Brenda's French Soul Food

Tenderloin

Hearty NOLA-style breakfasts make up for the very long wait
Despite the fact that you might be waiting for at least an hour in the Tenderloin, it's (sorta) totally worth it, for this Southern-style brunch. Especially if you get the beignets. Get the beignets.

Peter Belanger

Plow

Potrero Hill

Home to the best breakfast potatoes in all of SF
This is one of the most popular brunch spots in the city and they don’t accept reservations, so be prepared to wait. And wait. And wait. The good news is all of that waiting will make your meal that much more fulfilling, especially because you’ll have lots of room for The Plow: your choice of two eggs; choice of house-made pork sausage patties (get these), Nueske's bacon, or chicken apple sausage; the famous lemon ricotta pancakes, and Plow potatoes, which are hand-mashed and sprinkled with rosemary and thyme. And probably the best breakfast potatoes in all of SF.

Angie Silvy

Bluestem Brasserie

Union Square/SoMa

A delicious under-the-radar brunch in an elegant setting
For some reason, it’s still easy to get a reservation for/walk into Bluestem’s fantastic brunch. While that’s a huge bonus, it also makes zero sense because everything about the experience is fantastic. From the refreshing cocktails and impeccable service to the range of sweet and savory dishes (get the buttermilk biscuits and gravy and the beignets to share with the table, and either the croque madame or the cornmeal-crusted chicken sandwich for yourself), Bluestem is absolutely one of the best brunch spots in the city.

Nopa

Western Addition

An extremely popular brunch spot that actually takes reservations
Head on over to the neighborhood we refuse to call NOPA to... go to Nopa... for some obviously-gonna-be-good brunch items like a custard French toast with maple butter and caramelized apples.

Molly DeCoudreaux

Aina

Dogpatch

You won't find eggs Benedict on the menu at this modern Hawaiian eatery. That’s a good thing.
Trust us when we say it's worth the trek to the Dogpatch for what has become one of SF's most popular brunches. The food is “modern Hawaiian” and on the extensive menu, you’ll want to order the malasadas -- Portuguese-style donuts with guava filling and the house-made Spam musubi “ssam style.” There’s also a punch “bowl” for four, made with Cocchi Americano, cappelletti, lime juice, guava juice, a syrup of torched rosemary, and reduced guava -- which is obviously what you’re going to get even if there’s just two of you.

Courtesy of Zazie

Zazie

Cole Valley

Quite possibly SF's most popular brunch spot. For good reason.
Good things come to those who wait, and wait you will. People line up for brunch outside this adorable French-inspired restaurant from open to close. Even on the weekdays. The place to sit is on the covered and heated patio. The thing to order is... anything, but especially the cream cheese coffee cake, the Dungeness crab eggs Benedict, whatever the pancake special is that week, and the croque-madame.

Eric Wolfinger

Outerlands

Outer Sunset

A cozy restaurant that's very popular, despite being "all the way" in the Outer Sunset
If the wait for brunch at this cozy, rustic, and popular spot is too long and you feel yourself getting hangry, tide yourself over with the $4 cinnamon toast from Trouble, which is just down the block. But don’t fill up because you’re not going to want to waste a single bite of the eggs-in-jail or Dutch pancake (baked in a cast-iron pan).

Tartine Manufactory

Tartine Manufactory

Mission

A carb lover's paradise with a great cup of coffee
This spacious bakery/coffee bar/ice cream shop/restaurant can be pretty hectic, so it’s probably not the place to go if you’re regretting last night’s decisions. However, if you’re feeling patient, then you’ll find the savory dishes and baked goods at this counter service spot are totally worth it. Good luck choosing between the morning bun, croissants, and poppy coffee cake. So don’t, and get them all. You may also want to try the porchetta and fried egg sandwich, which would have been obvious as soon as you saw the menu. Just get there early because breakfast ends at 11am. And when the pastries run out, they’re gone for the day.

Yank Sing

Yank Sing

Financial District

A popular, but pricey place for quality dim sum
The wait for dim sum at this enormous restaurant (on the weekend, an additional 250 guests can sit in the Rincon Center’s lobby) is almost always shorter than quoted, probably because the rolling carts start showing up at the table mere seconds after guests have been seated. Of course, after any kind of wait, that’s a good thing. Say “yes, please” to the Shanghai dumplings, har gow (shrimp dumplings), barbecue pork buns, and egg custard tarts, but skip the non-traditional dishes unless you want to end up with a bill that’s much more than you ever thought you’d pay for dim sum.

Zuni Café

Hayes Valley

Brunch is the time to get the famous burger at this SF institution
Zuni’s light, airy space is perfect for a leisurely meal with friends. You might be tempted to order the famous roast chicken for two, but the ultimate brunch move is to order either the burger (house-ground, grass-fed, and on grilled rosemary focaccia) or one of the wood-fired brick oven pizzas that aren’t on the menu during dinner. Also, the Balsamic Bloody Mary, which substitutes a six-year old balsamic for Worcestershire, something you’ll wish every bartender did after just one sip.

Comstock saloon

Comstock Saloon

North Beach

Indulgent, creative dishes inspired by North Beach and Chinatown
Let’s be real: while brunch is delicious, there’s nothing very groundbreaking about it. Or there wasn’t until Comstock Saloon’s mid-day weekend meal came into the picture. This brunch is over-the-top indulgent, so go really hungry (and maybe a little hungover), because what could cure a night of excess better than a breakfast poutine with whole hog sausage, scrambled eggs, and cheddar that’s smothered in a Szechuan pepper gravy? Maybe the Ham & Fontina Croque Madame that’s covered in that same gravy and topped with a confit egg yolk and caviar? And definitely the enormous Char Siu Pork Egg Benedict that’s basically a barbecue pork bun like you’d get at a dim sum spot except made with focaccia, topped with a poached egg, covered with hollandaise, and sprinkled with nora chili flakes. So yeah… like any barbecue pork bun you’d get at dim sum except, you know, better.

Kaya

Mid-Market

When you need a rum cocktail at brunch, Kaya is there for you
Kaya’s brunch menu might even be better than its dinner menu. That’s because it’s got all of the favorites from its nighttime menu (salt fish fritters, fried plantains, jerk chicken wings) and an assortment of sweet and savory breakfast dishes that will satisfy any type of brunch craving. Go traditional with a Jamaican breakfast of salt fish, ackee, fried dumplings, and bammy (cassava flatbread) or satisfy your sweet tooth with cinnamon French toast. There are also two ways to order Kaya’s delicious jerk chicken -- in a salad or on a sandwich with coleslaw -- and honestly, they might both be better than the traditional dish you get at dinner. Also: so many rum cocktails, several of which you can get in a punch bowl, and you know you love a punch bowl.

barcino

Barcino

Hayes Valley

Catalan-inspired brunch with killer “daytime” cocktails
The good news: Barcino’s insanely delicious hand-sliced jamon iberico de bellota with toasted Catalan tomato bread is on the brunch menu. The bad news? It still costs $30. That being said, if you’re going there, it’s a must-order. Dishes you won’t find on the dinner menu include a cinnamon French toast with caramel apples, slow-poached eggs and a chorizo hash, and a scrambled egg sandwich with jamon Serrano and mahon cheese on a brioche bun. While it’s super easy to go to this Hayes Valley hot spot for dinner and drop way more cash than you were expecting, brunch is a little more reasonably priced (save for the $30 jamon), although if you order more than one of the creative boozy brunch beverages and add on apps or dessert, you might experience a bit of sticker shock when the bill arrives. Still, it’s a worthy destination for a special occasion or if your tech stock vested and money isn’t an object.

barvale

Barvale

Divisadero Corridor

Tapas dishes in a bright, airy, bustling space
This vibrant Spanish tapas restaurant is open brunch from 11am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday and offers a good mix of the hot and cold tapas from the dinner menu, as well as a bunch of affordable dishes that are desayuno-specific. The piperade with baked eggs and grilled bread (add jamon) is a satisfying classic, or if you’re craving something sweet, there’s an indulgent French toast with sherry custard, date syrup, almonds, bananas, and cream. As far as cocktails go, there are a couple of low ABV options, but if you’re looking to really commit to the day drinking, you can also order from the entire cocktail menu, including the four signature gin and tonics. Lastly, while the pan con tomate with jamon at Barvale may not be quite as mouthwatering as what you’ll get at Barcino, it’s $21 less, which is reason enough to order it.

Boogaloos

Mission

An SF institution housed in an old drugstore
A greedy landlord and a one-alarm fire almost shut down this popular Mission breakfast and lunch spot, but after a two-year hiatus, Boogaloos is back in its original space with over-the-top dishes that will cure even the worst of hangovers. There are a few new dishes on the menu, but you’ll still find all of the old favorites, including the famous Temple O’ Spuds and chorizo hash and eggs. The “mood elevators” menu is limited, but if your hangover requires a mimosa, screwdriver, or Bloody Mary, Boogaloos has you covered. Plus, the turnover is fast, so there’s never too long of a wait.

the snug

The Snug

Lower Pac Heights

Come for the brunch; stay for the cocktails and cozy vibe
When The Snug opened up earlier this year, it instantly became the coolest bar on Fillmore Street... a street that really needed a bar that was cool. Of course, the coolness factor means pretty intense crowds, but it’s worth the wait to score a table. The brunch menu is fairly limited, but it would be hard not to find something to order unless you’re a person who doesn’t like avocado toast, eggs Benedict, a breakfast burger, or pasta (there are a couple of other options as well). The brunch cocktail menu also appeals to all kind of palates, but our two favorites are a brown buttered coffee with bourbon, coffee, chestnut, butter, and amaro cream, and the “Breakfast” -- one part French single malt, one part glass, one part blueberry muffin.

Wooden spoon

Wooden Spoon

Duboce Triangle

A chic brunch spot that serves healthy fare, indulgent dishes, and everything in between
Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to order at this sunshine-filled (pending the fog’s behavior) breakfast and lunch spot from the folks behind Woodhouse Fish Co. There are toasts, bowls, eggs, pancakes, French toast, a Benedict, salads, open-faced grilled cheese, corned beef, and chicken salad sandwiches, and a cocktail menu that’s hard to resist. Best of all, Wooden Spoon is open from 8am to 3pm Wednesday through Sunday (Monday and Tuesday are happening soon), so you don’t have to wait for the weekend to get your Bloody and bacon fix.

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