Food & Drink

Plan This Weekend Around San Francisco's Best Brunches for Under $10

Published On 07/18/2016 Published On 07/18/2016
New Taraval Cafe
New Taraval Cafe | Jeff Waraniak

Universal Bakery

Bernal Heights

Welcome to breakfast sandwich heaven. There are plenty of solid options here, but your best bet is the Pan con todo ,which combines soft white cheese, sour cream, black beans, and perfectly scrambled eggs, all stuffed into a thick, fresh roll. You'll want to add a splash of heat with their bright yellow hot sauce, too. Best of all, the whole thing'll set you back less than $5 -- in fact, if you want to tack on a side of plantains and a coffee, you'll still land under the $10 mark.

Cinderella Bakery and Cafe

Cinderella Bakery and Cafe

Inner Richmond

It’s the go-to spot for delicious Russian pastries and sunny outdoor seating, but did you know Cinderella Bakery also serves an incredible breakfast menu? Try the luscious French toast, made with Russian white bread and strawberries; a breakfast sandwich on a fresh, buttery croissant; or order its traditional, nutty oatmeal kasha (all of those options will run you less than $7). Plus, you can enjoy a Ritual coffee with your highly affordable brunch. Cinderella’s breakfast menu is only available until 11:30am, but you can create your own brunch any time with a pile of pastries, an order of delicious Russian crepes, and plenty of coffee.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Excelsior

Some days, you just need a giant skillet full of tater tots to get started (especially if you had a really amazing time the night before). You’re in luck: Breakfast at Tiffany’s has a whole menu of tater tot skillets, starting at under $8. The "San Bruno Ave" tops an overflowing pan full of perfectly crisp tots with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and melted Jack cheese. It’s a big, comforting pile of delicious fried potatoes, served up in an airy diner where your coffee will always stay filled, and the service is excellent. And if you're not in a potato mood, it has a full menu of all-day brunch favorites like crustless French toast, omelettes, Benedicts, and more.

It’s Tops Coffee Shop | Flickr/thomas hawk

It's Tops Coffee Shop

Mission

Prepare to travel through at It’s Tops Coffee Shop, a retro '50s dining experience complete with vinyl booths and a chrome jukebox on every table playing an old-school soundtrack. The menu is chock-full of classic diner faves, including giant breakfast specials and tons of twists on waffles and pancakes, including the remarkable stuffed waffles. The apple pie waffle is a standout, featuring sweet apple pie filling surrounded by a fluffy waffle. Add whipped cream or ice cream to transform this dish into brunch a la mode.

Art's Cafe | Flickr/pix.plz

Art's Cafe

Inner Sunset

Art’s Cafe offers classic diner dishes with a flavorful Korean twist. Get your bi bim bop with a side of bacon and eggs, or have a coffee with your tofu juru. The standout dish is the hash brown sandwich, a marriage made in diner brunch heaven. Instead of your typical bagel or roll, Art’s Cafe stuffs a perfectly fried sheet of crisp hash browns with a range of breakfast sandwich fillings. The chicken teriyaki-filled hash brown sandwich is a classic, and all sandwiches come with a side of eggs. Seating is limited to a long counter, and the wait can get lengthy, so get there early on weekends to snag a couple stools.

Red Cafe

Red Cafe

Mission

This cozy neighborhood spot is known for its incredible chilaquiles, breakfast quesadillas, and mouthwatering scrambles paired with warm corn tortillas. The warm, nutty oatmeal pancakes are a can’t-miss dish, served with fresh strawberries and maple syrup. Pair your order with the best diner coffee in town, and enjoy the endless refills. A crispy side of bacon is the perfect accompaniment to any dish on this super-affordable menu.

New Taraval Cafe

Parkside

New Taraval Cafe has the best breakfast combo in town, a serious smorgasbord of breakfast favorites for a wacky low price. Two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage, two pancakes or toast… for $4.50. Show up before 10am and the price drops to $4. Splurge and add a side of home-fried potatoes for an extra $1.50 -- it’s worth it. You can order everything from a classic Irish breakfast to steak & eggs in this joint, and we challenge you to find a way to drop more than 10 bucks.

Bebebar (edited)

Bebebar

Castro

Go for a genuinely healthy brunch without losing an ounce of deliciousness at Bebebar. Its Brazilian menu is full of satisfying breakfast options, bursting with feel-good ingredients and flavors. Pair a vibrant acai bowl with a fresh juice and Brazilian coffee, or try the bolo de mandioca, a gluten-free yuca & coconut cake that’s only available on the weekends. Bebebar is right down the street from Dolores Park, so you could even get your acai bowl to go and enjoy it in the sunshine.

San Jalisco

Mission

San Jalisco is a Mexican breakfast paradise. Choose from a menu filled with breakfast favorites, including huevos a la Mexicana, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and more. Create your dream breakfast burrito by selecting from a menu of different burrito fillings, including bacon and eggs, chorizo, machaca, and more -- all for less than $8. Every breakfast comes with sides of homemade corn tortillas, Mexican rice, and your choice of beans. And if you want to make it a boozy brunch (you do), San Jalisco is known for its legendary spicy micheladas.

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1. Universal Bakery 3458 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110-5437

Universal Bakery gives the city by the bay a taste of Guatemalan cuisine with its sweet and savory aromas of pan dulce, empanadas, and chile rellenos. Its all-day menu will force you to break away from your usual repertoire; for example, the chow mein noodles with black beans and queso, whose unexpected flavor combination is miraculously delicious. The mom-and-pop shop might not have the most expedited service, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for with a friendly and homey atmosphere.

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2. Cinderella Bakery & Café 436 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94118

What's a Russian pastry, you ask? Come to Cinderella Bakery and you'll discover cream cheese-filled vatrushkas, brioche whose centers have been dented with blueberries and slivered almonds; savory Siberian pies stuffed with beef and shredded egg; and blinchiki crepes with caviar or nutella. Any of Cinderella's treats make great grab-and-go items, but the sunny patio is also a welcoming place to sit and enjoy the cafe menu of French toast, boiled dumplings, and the like.

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3. Breakfast at Tiffany's 2499 San Bruno Ave, San Francisco, CA 94134

This classic, no-frills diner in the heart of San Francisco's Portola neighborhood guarantees unlimited (coffee) refills and homey brunch favorites with a twist, like crustless French toast, fried chicken Benedicts, and tater-tot skillet plates. While the decor doesn't add up to much more than four-top tables and a long countertop, the space is clean and spacious, making it the perfect spot for a laid-back breakfast.

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4. It's Tops Coffee Shop 1801 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Run by the same family for decades, this retro 1950s diner is the kind of place you'd base an entire burger chain off of. To the tunes of its old-school jukebox, It's Tops serves classic diner faves like breakfast specials (stuffed waffles, sourdough French toast, make-your-own-omelettes) and giant burgers with hand-cut fries. You can enjoy it all in a cozy, neon-lit, and wood-paneled space that's retained the same charm since its mid-century opening.

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5. Art's Cafe 747 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Inner Sunset)

This Inner Sunset brunch spot is an archetypal greasy spoon with a twist -- aside from American diner classics, the menu includes Korean-style dishes like beef bibimbap and bulgogi. The hash browns here are fried to a perfect golden brown then folded into a quesadilla-like sandwich filled with anything from bacon and avocado to chicken teriyaki. The counter-seating lets you watch the line cooks deftly flip meat and crack eggs behind the counter while you wait for your food.

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6. Red Cafe 2894 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

This unpretentious Mexican diner in the Mission complements the slew of tacos and burritos in the area with a brunch menu that's served every day. The kitchen staff works to robotic productivity, churning out savory, greasy, and guacamole-packed dishes like breakfast quesadillas, chilaquiles, and nutty oatmeal pancakes. Pair your order with some of the best diner coffee in town, and enjoy the endless refills.

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7. New Taraval Cafe 1054 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116 (Parkside)

Large portions, a social waitstaff, and curiously enough, freshly-cut fruit, are all highlights at this small diner with red booths in Parkside. The prices might strike you as unreasonably low, but the breakfast combo -- two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage, two pancakes or toast for $4.50 -- is an actual steal, and you should take advantage of it as many times as you can before management realizes the mistake they've made.

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8. BeBeBar 3809 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

This family-owned and operated juice and snack bar on the border of the Castro and the Mission serves healthful and sweet acai bowls, Brazilian tropical juices, smoothies, and coffee. The airy space has seating inside, but the cafe is a short walk from Dolores Park, so it's worth it to take your cold treat to go.

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9. San Jalisco 901 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

This spacious and homey Mexican spot serves all three meals, but it definitely nails breakfast with its bacon- and eggs-packed favorites, like huevos a la Mexicana, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and more. On Fridays and weekends, birria, or barbecue goat, is served with a house-made sauce and onions, cilantro, and lemon. It should absolutely be paired with a Michelada for a brag-worthy boozy brunch.

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