Food & Drink

San Francisco's 15 Best Brunches

Updated On 07/27/2017 at 05:50PM EST Updated On 07/27/2017 at 05:50PM EST
DOTTIE’S TRUE BLUE CAFE / JIM STONE PHOTOGRAPHY

Dottie's True Blue Cafe

SoMa

Dottie's is one of San Francisco's few diner experiences where you'll actually want to eat the pastries (because they're freshly made and mind-blowing), but in particular, get the house-made cinnamon pecan roll and the pecan French toast.

Eric Wolfinger Photography

Park Tavern

North Beach

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

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

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

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).

Brenda's French Soul Food

Brenda's French Soul Food

Tenderloin

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

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.

New Rev Media

Rose's Café

Cow Hollow

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

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.

1300 on Fillmore

1300 on Fillmore

Fillmore District

The Sunday Gospel Brunch at 1300 on Fillmore is the perfect way to enjoy soulful live music while eating indulgent Southern food. Start with the cinnamon-dusted beignets with caramel sauce and then don’t even bother reading the rest of the menu because you’ll be tempted by all of it. Realistically, the one thing you need to order is the fried chicken and waffles with chili maple syrup. The Fillmore Fizz (Junípero gin, pineapple juice, lemon, soda) is the perfect cocktail to sip while nodding your head and tapping your feet to the music. Seatings are at 11am and 1pm. And you’ll absolutely want to make a reservation.

The Tipsy Pig

Marina

First thing’s first: ask to be seated on the heated back patio, then order a Pimms #1 Cup. 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.

Molly DeCoudreaux

Aina

Dogpatch

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

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

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

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).