Food & Drink

The Best New SF Brunches of 2015

Published On 12/30/2015 Published On 12/30/2015
The Dorian | Daisy Barringer/Thrillist


The Mission

We’ve been huge fans of ABV since the doors opened in 2014, so we were pretty stoked when the restaurant decided to add a weekend brunch. Sticking with the whole “no silverware” situation (which is not a gimmick, but rather so that bartenders can focus on making kick ass cocktails), the brunch offerings include a tasty breakfast sandwich that’s just the right size to conquer your hangover (when paired with a mezcal bloody, of course), a colorful avocado toast (there has to be avocado toast), and yes, the pimento cheese burger, which frankly we could eat for pretty much every meal of the week.

Declan Mckerr for Belga


Cow Hollow

Yes, it’s on Union St. No, that doesn’t stop the Belgian-inspired brasserie from being one of our faves for a lackadaisical brunch on the sidewalk (if you can snag a seat there, that is). Split the flatbread with smoked ham, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and sunny side-up eggs, and then get one of the egg dishes for yourself (the chicken confit hash is mmm mmm good). Whatever you do, don’t skip out on the sweet stuff or the cocktails. The brioche beignets and the waffle are both out of this world, and we like adding gin or vodka to one of the refreshing booze-free sodas.


The Marina

It’s no secret we die for Causwells' burger, but we haven’t yet told you how much we dig the brunch at this casual neighborhood bistro. And though we’d be big fat liars if we didn’t admit that a huge reason for that is because there’s a brunch burger (yes, it has a fried egg, and yes, it has bacon), but also, can we talk about the house-made buttermilk biscuits and gravy? Actually, less talk, more shoving it into our mouths.

Courtesy of Myriad Gastro Pub

Myriad Gastro Pub

The Mission

Brunch is all about gathering with friends (well, and curing your hangover), which is why we love brunch at the ever so friendly and chill Myriad Gastro Pub. The only thing is: you won’t want to gather with too many friends or you’ll be fighting over the ricotta zeppoles that you’re definitely ordering to start. You’ll also want to opt-in to the deviled eggs with salsa verde, the Mayan pork and potato hash with fried egg, and the five-spice challah French toast with bacon-bourbon maple syrup and pecan mascarpone. The one thing you won’t have to share (hopefully)? Your brunch cocktail. There are over 12 to choose from, but we can’t get enough of the Persephone’s on Fire (pomegranate, agave wine, Americano, lime, jalapeño, ancho chile) and not just because we feel a little bad about Persephone and that whole getting tricked into spending time in Hades situation.

The Dorian

The Dorian

The Marina

The Dorian’s more than just a pretty face; the Marina bar and restaurant also serves super tasty food. And that includes brunch. In a town where brunch is almost always about the breakfast and rarely about the lunch, we appreciate that The Dorian offers options like fish and chips, their burger with “fancy sauce,” and even some healthy salads (because yes, sometimes we want salad, seriously though, please don’t tell anyone). Of course, they also kill it with the souffléd French toast, and it’s a fact that the “cure all” flatbread with a sunny side-up egg, ribeye, cheddar cheese, and hot sauce really does cure all. Although the brunch cocktails also help in that regard.

Courtesy of Dosa


Mission (& Other Locations)

If you haven’t been to Dosa’s brunch in a while, you need to go back ‘cause the restaurant launched a brand new menu in November featuring authentic South Indian dishes, and it’s super tasty and a nice departure from the same ol’ same ol’ brunch scene. (No offense French toast and eggs Benedict; we still love you). Order a bunch of stuff to share, but don’t skip the Sunny Side Uttapam (tomato, onion & chili uttapam topped with two eggs) or the Nutella & banana dosa. Like you would ever skip the Nutella & banana dosa.

Courtesy of The Keystone

The Keystone


The Keystone started offering a new brunch menu that’s all about Southern-inspired comfort food, which is basically the best brunch food there is. Think: Southern fried chicken Benedict, biscuits and sausage gravy, and fried ribs and pickles (yeah, you read that right). And the best part? Two magic words: bottomless mimosas. Which as any dedicated bruncher knows, is the key to a successful outing.

Tory Putnam


Russian Hill

The saddest part about brunch is that most restaurants stop serving it around 2 or 3pm. Yeah: not Reverb. They know what’s up, so brunch is served until 9pm on Sundays. Brunch for dinner? Done. You can’t go wrong with the fancified fried egg sandwich (it has goat cheese, maitake mushrooms, and pesto -- you'll have to add bacon for $3) or the crispy chicken legs and waffle. But whatever you do, don’t walk out of there without getting the donuts. Life is too short to make those kinds of devastating mistakes.

Daisy Barringer/Thrillist


The Mission

First you place your order at the counter. Then you find a seat in the sun-filled courtyard. Then you wait as chef Thomas McNaughton makes you some of the best brunch food in the city. Start with the avocado toast, not just because yummmm avocado toast, but because the lime and chili give it a kick that earn it the best-avocado-toast-we’ve-ever-had award. Also, you’ll want the fried chicken egg sandwich with prosciutto and chili hollandaise, and you’re a fool if you skip the sticky bun. While you’re enjoying your food, you can also concoct your own breakfast beverages. $48 gets you a big carafe of bubbly wine, a half a carafe of fresh squeezed orange juice, garden-herb syrup, and bitters. SCIENCE!

Wes Rowe for Scotland Yard

Scotland Yard

The Marina

If you’re hungover, Scotland Yard will cure what ails you. The menu seems as if it were created by a genius stoner chef, and we mean that in the best way possible. Get the Brass Monkey -- a 40oz of Olde English and a carafe of OJ -- because it’s a 40oz of Old E and OJ. For breakfast. Then share the chicken and waffle bites (the chicken’s encrusted with Cap'n Crunch). Good luck choosing between the egg muffin sandwich, the carrot cake French toast (with brown butter frosting), and the Gold Rush biscuits & gravy, ‘cause you’re gonna want ‘em all. Oh, and did we mention the Yard burger (which is probably our favorite burger of 2015) is on the brunch menu? Yeah, you’re screwed. In the best way possible.

Wes Rowe

Sous Beurre Kitchen

The Mission

Sous Beurre’s brunch started out counter service-style, but it’s now full service, which is good news since brunch should really be as little work as possible. There are a couple of must-try dishes, including the waffle fried duck leg and the the crème brûlée battered grilled brioche French toast, but what we really die for is the Brunch Crunch: sous vide hash browns stuffed with a soft boiled egg and served with a side of bacon. Life is good, friends. Life is good.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. ABV 3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Though ABV is more than just a great whiskey bar, its whiskey menu isn't to be forgotten. You’ll find a surprising and thorough list of rare Scotches, Japanese whiskies, bourbons, ryes, and cask-strength bottles. Its bar snacks are definitely worth writing home about too, and -- it should be mentioned -- it serves an impressive brunch on the weekends. Win!

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2. Belga 2000 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (Cow Hollow)

The first thing you'll notice when you walk into this Belgian-inspired brasserie in Cow Hollow is the wall of refrigerated bottled beers, complete with a sliding ladder. Belga has both killer cocktails and an extensive Belgian beer menu (10 beers on tap, more than 50 in bottles), and a menu that's perfect for sharing (Belgian frites, oysters on the half shell, sausage plates). Oh, and it's got a really great brunch menu with waffles, beignets, and schnitzel with eggs.

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3. Causwells Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

This casual bistro from Alvin Garcia (Delarosa, Lolinda, Don Pisto's) and Tom Patella (California Wine Merchant) boasts classic American fare, like a deviled egg trio and pork belly confit, but the real star of the show is the the American Burger. The two patties have dry-aged fat in the mix, and are topped with American cheese, secret sauce (it's a mixture of Thousand Island and Worcestershire), and pickles. If that burger isn't enough to get you to the Marina, though, plan your meal around a visit to the Presidio Theater, which is located next door.

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4. Myriad Gastro Pub 2491 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Hidden in the less-hip part of The Mission (in the former Nombe space), you’ll find beer-friendly bites courtesy of Chef Tricia Tracey, who hails from ThirstyBear Brewing Company, Momo’s, and Roti. Enjoy small plates or larger entrees inspired by global cuisines and flavors, like spiced shrimp with creamy grits, pappardelle with pork cheeks, and pan-roasted salmon with guanciale. Sip from an extensive list of wine and beers, or try one of the intriguing low-ABV cocktails made with fortified wines, aperitifs, and port. Bring a date and snack on deviled eggs with salsa verde and small plates of bone marrow, chicken-liver mousse, and salt-cod fritters.

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5. The Dorian 2001 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

The Dorian is an opulent oasis with classic cocktails, a separate martini menu, and a sophisticated list of more than 75 whiskeys. Enjoy $1 oysters and half-off champagne during happy hour in the light-filled dining room (where you can also enjoy classic American fare), then retire to the lofted study that overlooks the main rectangular bar.

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6. Dosa 995 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Dosa began its tenure as a beacon of brilliant South Indian cooking when it opened in the Mission more than a decade ago. It's still the best Indian cuisine in the city, and restaurant's namesake dosas are made from inventive fusion batters and served with fresh coconut and tomato chutneys and sambar, a lentil and vegetable dipping sauce. The restaurant also has excellent cocktails, especially the Gin and Tonic made with house-made fig and cardamom tonic.

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7. The Keystone 68 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Soma)

This SoMa tavern, which is filled with copper finishes, pendant lighting, warm mahogany accents, and the requisite Edison bulbs, makes for a stylish, lively place to sip creative cocktails (like a Porcini Negroni) and chow down on the likes of collard greens lumpia and soy and calamansi glazed fried ribs. The best seat in the house is the chef’s counter near the open kitchen, while the large high-top communal table in the center offers the perfect setting to stoke conversation among masculine accents and reclaimed wood.

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8. Reverb Kitchen & Bar 2323 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Russian Hill)

This sleek, modern restaurant in Russian Hill supplies elegant, American-style comfort food, such as mushroom risotto, poutine gnocchi, and duck à l’orange, in a sexy, dark wood and exposed brick interior. Reverb is also known for its popular brunch hour, season cocktails, and donuts, which are expertly crafted with ricotta mousse, alternating fruit sauces, and cinnamon and sugar dust.

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9. Salumeria 3000 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

From the team behind Flour + Water, this Mission deli combines Italian cured meats and San Francisco bread to serve an all-star lunch combination. Aside from salumi and prosciutto sandwiches, there are daily specials, like meatball Monday and wild card Wednesday. Salumeria also has a standout weekend brunch with fancy egg sandwiches and sourdough avocado toast. Whatever you do, don't walk out without getting the apple cinnamon donuts.

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10. Scotland Yard 3232 Scott St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

Everything on the menu at this Marina gastropub is worth trying: the burger with two kinds of cheese, the clam chowder puff pie, and the truffle fries. On weekends, Scotland Yard takes brunch to new levels with classy dishes like egg muffin sandwiches and brioche peanut butter & jelly. The interior is gorgeous in a Victorian-chic kind of way, and the back patio is definitely a plus.

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11. Sous Beurre Kitchen 2862 24th St., San Francisco, CA 94110 (Mission Bay)

The fact that “Sous Beurre” means “in butter” should be enough to convince you to check this place out. But in case you need more, the chef is *doing Provencal French cuisine starring seasonal local ingredients, like steak tartare, a bavette steak au poivre, and an $85 tasting menu that will change, but currently includes dishes like Mendocino uni and Bone marrow French onion soup.



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