Food & Drink

The 13 Best New Brunches in SF

Published On 03/26/2015 Published On 03/26/2015
Monsieur Benjamin

Since no one wants to eat the same tired brunch weekend after weekend, unless it's from Nopa -- we’d crush that French toast on the reg if it weren't for money/fat -- here are 13 of our favorite new brunches in SF, which run the brunch gamut (the brunmut, if you will), from classy charcuterie and stuff to bottomless revelry.

Libby Truesdell

Brenda's Meat & Three

Western Addition
We gave up waiting in the brunch line at Brenda’s French Soul Food years ago (yeah, we’re old), but we’re still game to give it a go at Brenda’s new spot on Divis. You can still get awesome, classic Brenda’s fare like po’ boys and shrimp & grits, plus welcome additions including a city ham steak with red-eye gravy and eggs, and calas -- the "lost rice doughnut of New Orleans," which we can all be glad they found.

Kris Esqueda

Huxley

TenderNob
We dig Huxley because it's been known to subtly play a little Notorious B.I.G. during dinnertime; also, because it has a smoked and whipped lard appetizer (uh-huh). The new-ish Sunday brunch is similarly epic, with dishes like avocado toast (yawn) with sea urchin (!!!), braised pork belly and fried eggs, and, oh yeah, a dry-aged New York strip steak and eggs. Bad. Ass.

Klyde Cafe & Wine Bar

Klyde Cafe & Wine Bar

Union Square
Normally, Union Square on weekends makes us shudder in fear at the thought of high school girls chasing us with Forever 21 bags/abruptly stopping in front of us with Forever 21 bags. Thankfully, Klyde’s weekend brunch is here to take off the edge, with rib-sticking classics like crab and fried green tomato Benedict and almond brioche French toast. Also, it’s a wine bar, so you can drink away the trauma if necessary.

Marlowe

Marlowe

SOMA
We would just go live at Marlowe if they’d let us (c’mon, guys... can we?!!), but we’ll take the concession prize of getting to go there for brunch on top of lunch and dinner. You can get the burger (thank God), plus buttermilk pancakes with smoked butter and bacon maple syrup, a Dungeness crab and rock shrimp crepe, and a tomato baked egg with chickpeas and harissa. And, oh right: THE BURGER. See you there.

Beso

Beso

Castro
Because you are hella classy on weekend mornings, sometimes, you like to drink cava instead of Andre and eat bistec con heuvos instead of steak and eggs. Fortunately, Beso’s Spanish-style brunch has you covered. In addition to tasty tapas classics, you can get things like octopus and fresh chorizo and garbanzo beans. Oh, you can also get that bottle of cava and fresh orange juice for $25, or head straight for the sangria.

Bonus: Beso’s sister restaurant Bisou just revamped its brunch menu, meaning you can do the same thing there, only en Francais.

Kevin Kluck

Plin

The Mission
We trust Plin with its brunch -- in part because it makes delicious pasta; in part, because it did an all-out, carbo-loaded, gluten-love celebration menu. The brunch is similarly decadent, with awesomely over-the-top dishes like braised oxtail with polenta cakes and poached eggs and a sweetbread (pancreas... yum) omelet. You should probably get an order of doughnuts for good measure (and also, carbs).
 

Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

Outer Sunset
We <3 Mexican food (duh), so an excuse to dig into a Sunday-only Mexican food menu and drink delicious craft beer is our favorite kind of excuse-making. Shiny new Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company’s just kicked off Domingo, a Sunday-only special menu, with extra specialness like chilaquiles, frijoles, and "tacos!" (SR's emphasis, not ours, ours would have double-!) on offer.

Monsieur Benjamin

Monsieur Benjamin

Hayes Valley
Sometimes, you just need a lil’ foie gras to start your weekend off right. Thankfully, you can get that, and a raw seafood plateau of oysters and shrimp and crab, plus eggs en meurette (aka poached in red wine) with duck confit at Monsieur Benjamin. The Hayes Valley French bistro is pretty much always full, and if you ever emerge from your foie gras coma, you’ll definitely understand the hype. Also, you may find yourself surprisingly fluent in French (though that might just be the tasty, tasty cocktails).

Trou Normand

Trou Normand

SOMA
The unbelievably extensive charcuterie and salumi selection at Trou Normand? It’s a great and delicious idea at any time of day, but maybe even a little bit better at brunch time. Trou Normand’s brand-new brunch service (on Saturdays and Sundays) has all of that charcuterie, plus tasty breakfast-y options like semolina pancakes with huckleberries and maple syrup, and an egg-topped croque madame layered with smoked ham and Brie.

Rena B. Meyer

Rye Project

SOMA
Rye Project is one of our go-to-iest spots for eating right now, so we were all kinds of psyched when we heard it's now open on Saturdays. In addition to being the place to get your smoked fish fill, you can count on a whole lotta matzoh ball soup, and... hot dogs! That’s right, hot delicious dogs for your Saturday brunch needs, topped Chicago-style, Cleveland-style, and maybe even a Surprise-style, or two. Oh yeah, you can totally get a big old pile of pastrami or corned beef, too. Just know that it's not open on Sundays and the hours every other day of the week are 11am-3pm, so plan accordingly.

Molly DeCoudreaux

Marla Bakery

Outer Richmond
Marla has long made some of the best baked goods in town, so it's no surprise its new brunch is delicious. Take your pick between ridiculous-sounding dishes like rabbit sausage and smoked potato hash (topped with a poached egg, 'natch), a house-made bagel plate served with farmers cheese and smoked sable, or a fresh-baked English muffin sandwiching smoked bacon, a fried egg, and "melted" Brussels sprouts (“melted” = butter and/or bacon fat are involved, "you" = super hungry right now).

Chubby Noodle Marina

Chubby Noodle Marina

The Marina
Four words: bottomless dim sum brunch. A whole bunch of other words: you should go get that at Chubby Noodle in the Marina, where $37 buys you 90 minutes of dumpling- and noodle-filled indulgence, washed down with all of the Sapporo you can swallow. There are rubber duckies involved, too -- just accept the brilliance and give in.

The Hall

The Hall

Mid-Market
Get your mid-Market on in excellent Sunday style at The Hall’s Saturday and Sunday brunch, which features bottomless mimosas, shandys, and micheladas, brunch-style specials from a tasty collection of vendors, and live blues music. That’s going to look super rad on Instagram, amiright?

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Lauren Sloss is basically a professional brunch eater, and firmly believes that 98.4% of things are better when you put an egg on them. Tell her if you like yours poached or fried @laurensloss.

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1. Huxley 848 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (The Tenderloin)

Designed to be a small neighborhood restaurant, Huxley is worth traveling to, even if the Tenderloin isn't where you usually think to go for dinner. Saison's former owner and Bar Agricole's former sous chef serves up a simple, rustic menu they describe as "new American bistro-style," which includes courses like wild mushroom risotto, eggplant soup, and gourmet brunch toast that's bound to have made the rounds on your social media feed already. The restaurant only has 25 seats (10 of which are at the bar), so reservations are recommended.

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2. Klyde Cafe & Wine Bar 386 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Union Square)

A pleasant oasis from the tourist-driven madness of Union Square, Klyde's will welcome you with open arms and $5 glasses of wine at their 3-7pm weekday happy hour. If you can brave the Forever 21 bag-toting hordes on weekends, the crab and fried green tomato benedict on the brunch menu will make you glad you did.

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3. Marlowe 500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

This French-American bistro in SOMA has all the things that make a neighborhood restaurant so recommendable: excellent brunch; a fine wine selection featuring French, Italian, and Californian wines; an outdoor patio; and last but definitely not least: one of the best burgers in the city. Served with fries, the $16 Marlowe Burger is stacked with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish aioli. It's so darn good that it's also served at sister restaurants Park Tavern and The Cavalier.

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4. Beso Bistronomia 4058A 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94114 (The Castro)

Beso Bistronomia brings high-quality Catalan-influenced tapas to the Castro area. The place is decked out with large tables, perfect for sharing lots of dishes with a big group.

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5. Plin 280 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Plin is all about the seafood, but there's not one thing on the menu that feels traditional or expected, which explains why two of the sections are named "Explore" and "Discover". Like any Italian restaurant, Plin has an extensive wine list, but there is also a focus on cocktails and a full bar.

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6. Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company 1735 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Outer Sunset)

This microbrewery in the Outer Sunset is a great spot to enjoy handcrafted beers and tasty food… and it’s an even better spot to fill your growler. If you don’t have one, they sell one of the highest quality growlers available: it’s stainless steel, double walled, and thermal insulated. A 1L filled growler will cost you $40, and the 2L runs $60. If you have your own or want a refill, it’s $10 for the 1L and $20 for the 2L. FYI: If you want the Dry Irish Stout, you’ll have to enjoy it in-house… that one isn’t available to-go.

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7. Monsieur Benjamin 451 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

The options can get a little pricey at this Hayes Valley French spot, but they're worth the price for a pleasant ambience and tastes that definitely live up to the hype, such as their "fully dressed" hamburger and steak frites.

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8. Trou Normand 140 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105 (Financial District)

Trou Normand focuses on whole-animal butchery and offers 40 types of salumi and charcuterie made from high quality meats such as rare Mangalitsa pigs. This SoMa eatery offers sandwiches and coffee for lunch, chophouse style cuts of meat for dinner, and also has an extensive cocktail list based on classic, turn-of-the-century recipes. Trou Normand is pricey and popular (reservations are accepted), but has a large outdoor space to complement its cozy, den-like interior.

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9. Rye Project 180 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

Deli Board’s Adam Mesnick brings Old World Jewish deli favorites to SoMa's Rye Project. The small deli has a short menu of tried-and-true lunch classics, with just a bit of updating. Nosh on a bagel with lox, cream cheese, pickled onions, cucumber, and sprouts, or experience the sheer bliss of a true Chicago-style hot dog with sport peppers, pickle, relish, onion, celery salt, onion, mustard, and absolutely no ketchup.

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10. Marla Bakery 3619 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121 (The Richmond)

Marla fills more than one niche -- show up for coffee and a donut in the morning, or come in at night for dinner options like pork chops with bulgur wheat and sautéed king trumpet pioppini mushrooms. We highly recommend Marla's to anyone who is looking for a cute place to eat outside.

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11. Chubby Noodle 2205 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

San Francisco’s Asian fusion gem Chubby Noodle has a perpetually long line and crazy loud music, but they (and their fans) wouldn’t have it any other way. Their Lombard Street location is packed in with tables for big groups and booths for small parties - both of which you’ll see brimming with food and cocktails during their weekend dim sum specials. The brunch crowd goes wild for peking duck steamed buns, salt and pepper shrimp, and chubby chow mein, and that’s just the beginning of their gut-busting flavor marathon.

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12. The Hall 1028 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Head to The Hall, where you can choose from six independent local food vendors: Cassia (Moroccan and Peruvian), Fine & Rare (seafood, mostly), The Whole Beast (do we really need to explain?), Raj & Singh (curry), Little Green Cyclo (banh mi and pho), and Dignitá (yummy baked goods). Everything's around $5-15, so you can't really go wrong.

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