The Absolute Best Brunches in San Diego

Brunch is back!

Brockton Villa
Photo courtesy of Brockton Villa

What is it about brunch that puts a smile on everyone’s face? Is it the indulgence of sweet pastries and cinnamon buns, stacks of buttery, syrupy pancakes, or rich and saucy benedicts? Maybe it’s just being able to order hard liquor at 10 am without getting the side-eye. Whatever shape your brunch dreams take, San Diego can probably make those wishes a reality. Now that the weather is warm and indoor dining is back, we’ve got more options than ever for chilling on a rooftop deck, sipping bubbly by the beach, or lounging in cozy banquettes over bloody Marys. We’ve done the legwork and gathered a dozen of our favorite brunch spots, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy your mimosa.

619 Distillery
619 Distillery

North Park
Savor brunch at 619 Spirits Distillery & Tasting Room every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am–2 pm indoors, on the patio, or with takeout/delivery. The menu includes all your go-to faves like pancakes, egg skillets, breakfast sandwiches, and more. Mimosas and bellinis include fancy flavors like rhubarb, blackberry, and watermelon, and an assortment of mocktails to suit any taste. 
How to book: Indoor and patio seating are on a first-come, first-served basis. Order for pickup or delivery via Toast.

North Park
Atypical Waffle Company specializes in Liege waffles that are thick, rounded, and filled with clusters of caramelized pearl sugar. They’re embellished with an almost endless array of toppings—fruit, whipped cream, Nutella, brie and jam, bacon and avocado, lox, fried chicken, or Biscoff cookie butter. If you’re feeding the family, check out the takeout packs that give a nod to the current conditions: Keep Your Social Distance, I Have to Feed the Kids and Just Desserts Packs contain from four to eight waffles with a variety of toppings.
How to book: Patio patio seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Order online for pickup or delivery.

Breakfast Republic
Breakfast Republic

Various locations
You know the whole family loves Breakfast Republic—the only problem is deciding what to order. The benedicts come in versions that are both traditional and decidedly not—Cluck Madame is a mashup of a croque madame and a benny, while Jurassic Pork subs smoky bacon for the Canadian type. There’s sweet and savory pancakes and waffles, omelets and scrambles, and a big list of large plates. Try a bottle of their signature prosecco, specialty bloody Marys or cocktails, and maybe a flight of adaptogenic antioxidant shots (it couldn’t hurt). 
How to book: Patio seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Order online for pickup or delivery.

North Park, South Park
Café Madeline, the beloved North and South Park institutions, has Frenchified your brunch with crêpes of all kinds—savory chicken, ham and Swiss with béchamel, smoked salmon and crème fraiche, and sweet pear. Quiches, an impressive array of baguette sandwiches, and composed salads round out the bill of fare. At the North Park location you can also get omelettes, benedicts and frittatas as well as an Argentine panini stuffed with flat iron steak, avocado, red onion, jack cheese, and chimichurri sauce, served with frites. 
How to book: Indoor and patio seating are on a first-come, first-served basis, or call 619-693-5733 (North Park) or 619-544-1735 (South Park) for pickup or delivery.

Eclipse Chocolate
Eclipse Chocolate

South Park
While they haven’t reopened for in-house dining yet, Eclipse Chocolate has their fabulous brunch menu available every day for pickup or delivery. Signature dishes infuse traditional favorites with flavors of cacao, caramel, and vanilla. An avocado benedict is napped in a deliciously balanced chile burnt caramel hollandaise, as is the custardy tomato, leek and parmesan puff pastry quiche. Cocoa mole dresses up a crispy vegan quinoa and corn fritter while subtle hints of roasted white chocolate and vanilla spark up the biscuits and sausage gravy. Brunch specials serve six to eight people, including breakfast lasagna or sausage gravy chilaquiles casserole. You’ll also want to order a tray of chile-burnt caramel cinnamon rolls—just trust us. 
How to book: Order online for pickup or delivery.

Madison on Park
Madison on Park

University Heights
Cozy banquette seating against sleek, polished wood plank walls and a high, arched ceiling provide the backdrop for an eye-popping array of mimosas like the cobalt-colored Blue Dream and silky, ebony Black Magic, available by the glass or pitcher. Hearty, savory dishes include white bean shakshuka and a carnitas waffle stack with manchego, potatoes, pinto beans, and a poached egg, or indulge your sweet tooth with churro waffle sticks with maple cream cheese sauce, or strawberry banana Nutella French toast.  
How to book: Reserve an indoor or patio table by calling 619-269-6566 or online via OpenTable, or order delivery via Doordash or Postmates.

Various locations
Enjoy Parakeet Cafe’s fresh and healthy Early Bird All Day menu every day! Choose from bennies, Belgian waffles, beet-cured organic smoked salmon and eggs, scrambles, various toasts, chilaquiles, pastries, and bowls. Don’t forget the dozens of specialty coffees, elixirs and teas. Note: The Little Italy location is temporarily closed.  
How to book: Indoor and patio patio seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Order online for pickup or delivery.

Parkhouse Eatery
Parkhouse Eatery

University Heights
Parkhouse Eatery’s menu features all your faves—churro, lemon ricotta, and blue corn pancakes, luscious pistachio cream cheese-stuffed challah French toast, red or green chilaquiles, pan-fried linguini and eggs, scrambles, sandwiches, and a grilled breakfast pizza big enough to share. Check their Facebook or Instagram pages for specials and dishes that don’t appear on the regular menu.
How to book: Reserve an indoor or patio table by calling 619.295.7275. Order online for pickup.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

Hillcrest, La Jolla, Del Mar
Snooze does brunch just how you like it—big plates of savory benedicts, hashes, breakfast pot pie, classic egg dishes, pancakes, and French toast (the last two can be made gluten-free). Boozy beverages include a half-dozen bloodies, an array of mimosas, and brew and café cocktails. 
How to book: Indoor seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Order online for pickup or delivery.

Farmer & The Seahorse
Photo courtesy of Farmer & The Seahorse

Sorrento Valley
A recently updated cocktail menu includes the usual mims and Marys, sangrias, sangritas, and micheladas, plus high-test libations including Coffee Spike with Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream, Licor 43, and Frangelico. Favorite menu items include three different toasts—smashed avocado, truffled mushroom, or beet-cured salmon—plus chilaquiles, Bananas Foster French toast, hefty grass fed burgers, and lobster rolls. Their spacious, shaded and string-lit patio offers a stunning view of the restaurant’s gardens, encouraging guests to kick back and stay for a while (or at least until you reach the two-hour dining limit)

How to book:
Reserve a table via Resy or order online for delivery via DoorDash.

TRUST
Photo courtesy of TRUST

Hillcrest
Try to get to TRUST early enough to order one of their Ultimate Sticky Buns, an enormous, fluffy roll drenched in caramelly, sticky syrup and topped with a scoop of ice cream. Balance all that sweetness with savory chilaquiles rojo, smoked pork shoulder hash, or flavorful baked eggs in Moroccan sauce, peppers, tomatoes, tzatziki, kale, chickpeas, and feta cheese.
How to book: Reserve a table via Tock or order online via Toast for pickup or delivery.

La Jolla
With its sweeping vistas of La Jolla Cove from either inside or on the deck, Brockton Villa is perfect when you have visitors who want to brunch with an ocean view. Do not pass on the award winning Coast Toast, a fluffy, souffle-like French toast with lovely orange zest notes. Other offerings include house-made, beer-brined corned beef with eggs and chive horseradish creme fraiche, warmly spiced cinnamon roll pancakes and Jorge’s Breakfast Burrito, a yummy concoction with shredded chicken mole, roasted poblanos, and steamed eggs wrapped in a warm cheddar flour tortilla.  
How to book: Reserve a table via OpenTable or order online via Toast for pickup.

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting various vegetables and beverages, reading cookbooks and traveling through Mexico. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.