Beretta | Aubrie Pick
Food & Drink

The Best Brunches in San Francisco Right Now

Updated On 02/07/2018 at 05:13PM 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.

farmerbrown

Farmerbrown

Union Square

When you're craving chicken and waffles, this is the place to get 'em
You need reservations at this super-popular spot. Like, State Bird Provisions-style need them. You also need bottomless mimosas, and absolutely, unequivocally the chicken and waffles.

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.

The Tipsy Pig

Marina

It's worth hanging out with the Marina crowd for this tasty breakfast
First thing’s first: ask to be seated on the heated back patio, then order a Strawberry Fields. Be sure to bring someone who likes to share so that you can split the amazing huevos rancheros (three cheese enchiladas, tomatillo salsa, refried black beans, smashed avocado, pico de gallo, and an over-easy egg) and the Dutch pancake. Best of all, brunch is also served on Fridays.

New Rev Media

Rose's Café

Cow Hollow

Two words: Breakfast. Pizza.
Sure, there might be a line down the block for this tiny spot, but that's what happens when you make a breakfast pizza (with smoked ham, fontina, and eggs) as good as they do. It's also what happens when you only have said tiny spot.

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.

Courtesy of Presidio Social Club

Presidio Social Club

Presidio

A charming brunch spot with a Northern California vibe
PSC is the perfect place for a bite after a long hike through the Presidio... or even when the thought of hiking makes you want to hurl, in which case order the Painkiller to cure what ails you. Located in military barracks that were erected in 1903, the restaurant's space is expansive -- which usually means there’s not much of a wait (unless you want to dine on the outside patio). Order some baked goods for the table (hello, brioche beignets), and the seasonal fruit place for yourself. Kidding. The oven-baked eggs and Mission-style chilaquiles are the way to go.

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.

Aubrie Pick

Flores

Cow Hollow

Traditional Mexican brunch dishes and a lively atmosphere.
Sure, pancakes and mimosas are delicious, but sometimes you need a brunch with a little more oomph and a lot more margaritas. That’s when you head to this Mexican restaurant on Union Street for chilaquiles, huevos poblanos, house-made churros, and a pitcher of margaritas for the table. Flores is pretty big and there’s not a bad seat in the house, but the place to be on a nice day is at one of the bar tables in the front window.

Beretta

Mission

There for you when you need pizza and cocktails for breakfast
Somehow brunch at this Mission hotspot is still not on everyone’s radar, which means you won’t have to wait long (or at all) for your carbonara pizza with bacon, two eggs, mozzarella, pecorino, and cracked black pepper. There are also some more traditional brunch options, as well as a special brunch cocktail menu, including a “brunch punch” made with seasonal ingredients that’s a must.

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