The definitive guide to brunching in San Francisco
Ask any San Franciscan what the most important meal of the day is, and they’ll tell you it’s brunch – at least on weekends. San Francisco is a brunch lover’s dream destination. You could eat at a new brunch restaurant every weekend of the year without having time to visit all of them.
The best brunch spots don’t take reservations, so prepare to wait before you get a table. On a sunny Saturday morning, you might have to stay on the line even an hour or two. That’s why it’s not necessarily a great idea to head to another place if you see a long line outside the restaurant; in all likelihood, the other restaurants are going to be just as busy.
Kitchen Story (Castro)
In addition to your basic Benedicts, pancakes and omelettes, Kitchen Story serves breakfasts with an Asian twist. The food is delicious. If you thought bacon couldn’t get any unhealthier, you should try their speciality, Millionaire’s Bacon – bacon deep fried in maple syrup. The owners of Kitchen Story also run Blackwood in the Marina and Sweet Maple in Pacific Heights. All three have similar menus, but Kitchen Story probably has the nicest vibe with outdoor seating.
What to eat here: Eggs Benedict with millionaire’s bacon.
Mission Rock Resort (Dogpatch)
If you’d like to enjoy your brunch in gorgeous location by the sea, head to Mission Rock Resort. The deck in this restaurant sits on top of the water, and you’ll be able to view sailboats passing by or look at the cranes in the Port of Oakland on the opposite shore. The menu covers basic American breakfast items with a seafood twist. The Raw Bar at Mission Rock Resort serves oysters, crabs and seafood cocktails.
What to eat here: Fresh Dungeness Crab Benedict.
Stacks (Hayes Valley)
You won’t find too many hipsters at Stacks! The vibe is quite traditional, the clientele is slightly older and you’ll see a lot of families out brunching. The breakfast menu at Stack is extensive and has a Mexican twist. Their Huevos Rancheros won’t leave you hungry! The restaurant is fairly large and the line outside moves fast. While you’re waiting, you can grab a coffee or tea free of charge. Hayes Valley is a lovely area, so if the foggy chilliness has disappeared, you can sit outside and do some people-watching.
What to eat here: In addition to Rancheros, we recommend coconut macadamia pancakes with maple syrup. Crazy good, but be warned: even looking at this sugary portion will probably give you diabetes!
Brenda’s French Soul Food (Tenderloin)
Brenda's, located at the dreary end of Polk Street, serves Southern/Creole delicacies with a French twist, just like the name suggests. It has a peaceful atmosphere with white tablecloths. Don’t be scared of the rough-looking area, just step in!
What to eat here: Beignet, a doughnut-like pastry that has either a sweet or savoury filling. Continue with a typical Southern shrimp and grits.
Also worth checking out:
- Mymy in Nob Hill. Excellent food, and a nice spot for sitting outside and people watching. The spicy pop scramble and the seafood Benedict are to die for!
- Outerlands at Outer Sunset. The place has nice décor and they’re famous for their delicious bread. Popular with surfers because it’s close to Ocean Beach.
- Dottie’s True Blue Cafe in Soma. The area looks rough, but the atmosphere is cosy and the food is good. You’ll see a lot of SFPD employees eating here.
- The Ramp in Dogpatch. Close to Mission Rock Resort, there is a huge terrace by the sea and chill vibes.
- Plow in Potrero Hill. Exclusive breakfasts in a nice ambience, if you can queue for three hours. You should come here on a Tuesday morning when everyone else is working!
- Mama’s in North Beach. Delicious pancakes for those who are ready.