The Golden Gate city is known for a lot of things: iconic bridges, cable cars, friendly people, beautiful parks, and sometimes very unreliable weather. But if there's one thing the Bay Area is super famous for, it’s got to be its brunches. Yes, the art of downing breakfast at lunchtime in San Francisco is not so much as just a mere meal as it is a sacred ritual, especially on the weekends, when the entire city goes crazy over fluffy eggs, roasted potatoes, fantastic flapjacks, and other delights all done up in their Sunday’s best.
Nobody can deny that brunchin’ is, in fact, the most versatile and decadent experience one can have with family and friends. It’s the perfect way to enjoy gourmet food and fine wine on any late morning in the springtime—not to mention the best way to get you rolling out from under those comfy duvet covers. So linger over some strawberry waffles, have a hearty omelet with crispy bacon, sip a glass of fresh OJ (or champagne!), and dive into a succulent plate of crabs' legs, or a bowl of warm creamy grits. Let’s just say that this NorCal city is home to a flavorful bunch of brunch spots. Here are a few that will have your taste buds and your belly giving thanks for sure. We present six S.F. brunch spots worth waiting for.
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Best Brunch in San Francisco
With high ceilings, tall windows, and greenery on the walls, this more than modern restaurant is a favorite brunch spot for numerous tourists and local San Franciscans alike. It definitely boasts an upscale and trendy vibe, with a second level featuring a bar that sits adjacent to contemporary couches and sofas surrounding the corner fireplace, offering guests with a much more intimate ambience. What’s even better is that though the menu isn’t quite as extensive choice-wise, everything is absolutely delicious. Plus, quality is always better than quantity anyways, right?!
Choose between sweet options like brioche doughnut holes, bread pudding French toast, and caramelized pancakes, or something more savory like their famous Egg Shakshuka, made with two poached eggs and Israeli spiced ratatouille. Try out the popular duck hash and make sure to down some of the most memorable mixed drinks you’ll ever find. Seriously, Maven is super well-known when it comes to their fine cocktails, as every single menu option is actually paired with a cocktail listed right next to it! Plus, all are naturally made without the use of any artificial ingredients. What more could you ask for?
Maven is located 598 Haight Street in San Francisco
It’s an iconic breakfast destination all on its own, a farm-to-table favorite serving pure comfort food. Located in Portrero Hill, this ‘breakfastination’ has some of the best crispy breakfast potatoes in the city, as well as the greatest spins of simple breakfast goodies such as The Plow, their take on farm-fresh eggs with your choice of bacon, house made pork sausage, or chicken apple sausage, crispy breakfast potatoes, and lemon ricotta pancakes. Or how about the Eggs Benny, with addable cold-smoked salmon?
The beautiful space is simply outfitted with gleaming reclaimed wood tables and floor-to-ceiling windows, the perfect place to spend any morning or afternoon. Be sure try out the legendary house-made biscuits topped in honey butter, scallions, and ham or sausage. There’s even a list of lighter fare to choose from, including chia seed pudding served with almond milk, bananas, coconut, almonds, honey, and bee pollen.
Plow is located 1299 18th Street in San Francisco
3. The Corner Store
It’s American cuisine with a modern twist and the perfect place for brunch on the weekends. With delicious options such as breakfast sandwiches, benedicts (classic, salmon or spinach), chicken and grits, as well as tons of other tasty dishes, including two of their bestsellers-- the Corner Store Burger made with their flavorful bacon jam, and the Hangover Biscuit, which is made with their special housemade chicken gravy-- brunching in San Francisco really isn’t complete without a quick visit to this retro-styled eatery.
Along with the awesome all-American chow it offers, the hotspot also has a boatload of creative cocktails and spiked shakes. I mean, brunch really isn’t brunch without some mimosas, are we right?! So enjoy some bottomless mimosas for only fifteen bucks, grab an alcoholic milkshake, and then bite into The Mission-approved Red Flannel Hash, which consists of beef short rib, Kennebec potato, baby beets, arugula, caramelized onion, poached egg, chowchow, and maple syrup. Or just simply grab the burger with bacon jam. A bevy of good eats is waiting excitedly for you.
The Corner Store is located 5 Masonic Ave. in San Francisco
4. Park Tavern
Located right in the middle of Washington Park in North Beach, this hotspot is minutes away from Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown, and offers a variety of tasty brunch choices from sugary options like pastries, oatmeal walnut raisin pancakes, and French toast, to more savory options including smoked deviled eggs, smoked salmon benedict, or shrimp and grits. The lively and trendy bistro is a fantastic place to grab some creative American-style eats, all within a stylish space with wood-beamed ceilings.
Plus, they specialize in making delicious Bloody Mary’s and micheladas with their very own housemade hot sauce. So if you’re looking to add some spice to your day, make sure to grab one, two, or maybe even three of these delicious babies. Pair those kickers up with some avocado toast (seeded whole wheat, chile, lemon, sea salt) with an entrée of the fried duck egg sandwich with Nueske’s bacon, avocado, frisée, and green garlic pesto, and you’ll be good to go for a more than fabulous rest of the day.
Park Tavern is located at 1652 Stockton Street. in San Francisco
Want a pleasant brunch within a cozy French bistro? Look no further than this Bay Area local gem that has customers coming back for more and more despite its long, out-the-door lines. Tucked away in central and idyllic Cole Valley, just a few blocks from Haight Street and Golden Gate Park and right along the convenient N-Judah line, there’s always a late-morning rush for a spot on their glorious back patio, especially on warm sunny days. So make sure to be an early bird to savor up those renowned gingerbread pancakes, stuffed French toast, or scrambled egg plates with chicken-apple sausage.
There are plenty of attractive sandwiches and salads to choose from on their multipage menu, which by itself, lists classic dishes as well as more creative spins. If you’re looking for variation, try your eggs out Benedict-style with the “La Mer,” which is piled high with Dungeness crab, avocado, and green onions. You can even concoct your own mimosas with orange, mango, cranberry, or grapefruit juice. Imagine a heaping plate of Crab Eggs Benedict or Caramelized Banana and Walnut French Toast paired with a delicious blackcurrant mimosa. Heaven indeed.
Zazie is located 941 Cole Street in San Francisco
Located in the heart of the city, this hip, industrial-style eatery with an all-you-can-eat live jazz brunch uses locally sourced seasonal ingredients and time-honored Southern recipes to create the perfect modern American cuisine. You’ll definitely need reservations at this super-popular spot, but once you get a sip of those bottomless mimosas and the famous fried chicken and waffles, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for having bore the heavy burden of such a long wait. With choices like cornmeal catfish, Cajun potatoes, mushroom or sausage gravy, pecan brownies, and many other delightful choices, as well as their very own house special burger, The Farmerbrown (made with half a pound of house-ground chuck on a toasted housemade bun with remoulade), it truly is soul food at its very best.
Go ahead and get your brunch on at this hotspot within an even hotter luxury style hotel. Make sure to choose a drink or two off of their extensive list of cocktails and mixed drinks. May we suggest the most crowd-pleasing drink, their farmhouse lemonade, which is made with vodka, seasonal fresh fruit purée, mint and, of course, their special homemade lemonade, all served in a 16 oz. mason jar. Yum.
Farmerbrown is located at 25 Mason Street in San Francisco in Hotel Metropolis San Francisco
This article was written by Pamela Chan.