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San Francisco

What is your favorite brunch place in SF?

I'm talking mimosas, mochas, maybe a view and food you'd write home about. (Local/farm-to-table would be great)

13 Answers

top answer by
Debbie from San Francisco

SF brunch queen here -- brunch has got to be my favorite meal!  Can't say that there are many brunch places with a great view, but with the places that I recommend, you'll be guaranteed great people watching, good food to write home about that more than likely are full of buzzwords (local, organic, sustainable, etc), and amazing coffee and cocktails.  

Oh, and just so you know -- all of these typically have lines, sometimes up to an hour or two because apparently San Franciscans love waiting in line for things :P  I'll narrow it down to my top 10.  Here goes!

NopaNopa has really great brunch pastries and cocktails.  I got a cocktail with fancy sparkling grape juice in it once and it was very refreshing!  French toast and hamburger are delish for brunch.  Also great for dinner or a really late night drink.

Brenda's French Soul FoodBrenda's is most popular for her beignets!  Get a flight of them and you'll get one chocolate-filled one, one granny smith apple-filled, and one crawfish-filled.  So good!  And they have awesome grits!  Whatever you order, add grits on the side.  I really like their shrimp and grits.

Bisou Bistro

This place isn't so much about the food as it is about the ambiance and bottomless mimosas (I love the mimosas here because they put elderflower liqueur in it.).  And being that's San Francisco and the Castro, you might see a bottomless guy or two walk by (totally serious!).  Anyhoo, it feels like you're clubbing on a Saturday or Sunday morning when you're here.

ZazieOMG, their french toasts are to die for!  I love their Tahiti French toast with coconut cream.  I also love their poached egg dishes.  You can order 1, 2, or 3 eggs with your dish which is perfect when you want to sample things or aren't feeling too hungry or extra hungry.

Not many seats here.  There's a communal table inside plus some sidewalk tables, but the food and coffee are worth it!  As suggested by the name, this is a farm to table place.

Bar TartineSo tasty!  They have creative mimosas like beet mimosa.  Great Four Barrel coffee and your cup will never be empty.  Their bread dishes and their poached egg dishes are delicious, too.

Mission Beach CafeThe quintessential San Francisco brunch spot.  Their eggs benedict, pies, and giant mimosas that come in many different flavors are the things to get!

AQ Restaurant & Bar
This is a very nice restaurant.  Tasty duck confit with poached egg and I love their monkey bread.  If you're into bloody marys, they have a whole menu of creative bloody marys, including ones made with tequila.

If you still want a good view and like oysters, check out Waterbar.  This isn't a brunch spot per se, but you can order food during brunch time.  This is a really nice spot, but they have an awesome oyster happy hour 7 days a week from 11 AM to 5 PM.  Order some of those, some appetizers, a bottle of wine, and you're set!

Epic Roasthouse

Epic Roasthouse is right next to Waterbar and it's a brunch place proper. Very, very nice spot with the same view as Waterbar.  If you're looking for a more upscale brunch, this is the place to go.

Ferry BuildingIf you're feeling adventurous, go to the Ferry Building and pick up everything you need for a picnic!  You can grab bread Acme Bread Company, cheese at Cowgirl Creamery, meats and pate at Boccalone Salumeria, coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee, dessert at Miette Cakes, wine at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, and then some.  Then head out to the pier and just picnic there on benches, or walk over to Cupid's Span and sit on the grass.

Hope you have fun! :)

Edited to add (and I can't believe I forgot this!): The Butler and The Chef.  Such amazing eggs benedict and French toast!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nopa (restaurant)
  2. Brenda's French Soul Food (restaurant)
  3. Bisou Bistro (restaurant)
  4. Zazie (restaurant)
  5. farm:table (restaurant)
  6. Bar Tartine (restaurant)
  7. Mission Beach Cafe (restaurant)
  8. AQ Restaurant & Bar (restaurant)
  9. Waterbar (restaurant)
  10. Epic Roasthouse (attraction)
  11. Ferry Building (attraction)
  12. Acme Bread Company (restaurant)
  13. Cowgirl Creamery (attraction)
  14. Boccalone Salumeria (restaurant)
  15. Blue Bottle Coffee (restaurant)
  16. Miette Cakes (attraction)
  17. Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant (restaurant)
  18. Cupid's Span (attraction)
  19. The Butler and The Chef (restaurant)
27 thankscomments (10)

answered first by
Shannon from San Francisco

There are many tourist spots for brunch (Brenda's French Soul Food, Dottie's True Blue Cafe, Mama's), but Elite Cafe on Fillmore Street is pretty fabulous. Also, Zazie in Cole Valley is a locals' favorite. Also, a causal brunch on the water can be found at The Ramp in the Dogpatch. Pretty much everything is local farm-to-table around these parts. If you're looking for local specials on bottomless mimosa (there are plenty), some of the most popular are CIRCA (get the party started) and Mission Beach Cafe.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brenda's French Soul Food (restaurant)
  2. Dottie's True Blue Cafe (restaurant)
  3. Mama's (restaurant)
  4. Elite Cafe (restaurant)
  5. Zazie (restaurant)
  6. The Ramp (attraction)
  7. CIRCA (restaurant)
  8. Mission Beach Cafe (restaurant)
15 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Susan from Manhattan Beach

The Buena Vista Cafe - If you're looking for a place with a little more historical flair and you LOVE whiskey, this could be your spot. It opened in 1916 and is credited for creating the Irish Coffee (hot coffee, irish whiskey, and whip cream). Good food, great boozy drinks, and great view!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Buena Vista Cafe (restaurant)
13 thanks

answered by
Shauna from San Francisco

Mission Beach Cafe hits all your requirements. A wide range of bowl-sized mimosas with fresh juices that go beyond your standard orange, local/sustainable/organic, amazing food, great coffee by Blue Bottle (try the New Orleans style iced coffee...milky, sweet and delicious). The line is long on weekends so arrive early and be prepared to wait. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mission Beach Cafe (restaurant)
13 thanks

answered by
Eric from San Francisco

I will probably get flamed for writing this (either from people who love it and want to keep it a secret or hate it because it's not food snobby), but Delancey Street Restaurant on the Embarcadero probably fits most of those requirements. The food is simple and consistently good, the mimosas and coffee drinks are solid and the views are about as good as they get. Black tie service, all backing a pretty awesome cause.

For foodies, I'd recommend Beast and the Hare or Kitchen Story

You'll have to remember that brunching is the national sport of San Francisco. It's competitive, there are winners and losers, tears, fits of anger and you have to SHOW UP EARLY. 10-10:30 max if you don't want to wait over an hour.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Delancey Street Restaurant (restaurant)
  2. Beast and the Hare (restaurant)
  3. Kitchen Story (restaurant)
12 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Luke from San Francisco

Waterbar has the best view

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Waterbar (restaurant)
7 thankscomments (2)

answered by

I would check out Mama's for brunch. The lines can be a little long sometimes, but it's decent. If you want something a little more off the beaten path, check out Outerlands in the Sunset.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mama's (restaurant)
  2. Outerlands (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mission Beach Cafe (restaurant)
  2. Nopa (restaurant)
  3. Brenda's French Soul Food (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Nitin from Copenhagen

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brenda's French Soul Food (restaurant)
  2. Kate's Kitchen (restaurant)
6 thanks

answered by
Kelsey from Los Angeles

Definitely Bar Tartine . There are so many options so if you can't decide on whether you want something sweet or something savory you can have a little of each. Coffee is killer. I highly recommend their morning bun and bread pudding (the fruits they use vary based on what is in season but it's always delicious). 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bar Tartine (restaurant)
4 thanks

answered by
Jeff from Frisco

If I fly in on a Sunday, I always make sure that I go in early, drop the bags at the Omni Hotel San Francisco, then head to my reservation at Boulette's Larder in the Ferry Building

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Omni Hotel San Francisco (hotel)
  2. Boulette's Larder (restaurant)
4 thanks

answered by
Krista from San Francisco

Where to begin? San Francisco is definitely in the running for 'best of brunch' awards. Here are my five faves:

  • Zazie Love, love, love this quaint Cole Valley breakfast spot! The line can be long, but the outdoor patio is worth it. The eggs benedict is one of the best I've ever had.

  • Plow "The Plow" is everything you've been dreaming about: eggs, pancakes and meat. Add avocado or another delicious side if you're planning to split it.

  • Luna Park Everything is downright delicious, but the popovers are out of this world.

  • Judy's Cafe Definitely order the french toast! Note: Judy's is also cash only.

  • Park Chow Lemon ricotta pancakes are a standard here. Golden Gate Park is close by, which will provide a nice opportunity for getting some steps in after polishing them off. :)

Hope you have a great brunch!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Zazie (restaurant)
  2. Plow (restaurant)
  3. Luna Park (restaurant)
  4. Judy's Cafe (restaurant)
  5. Park Chow (restaurant)
  6. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Hayden from Cleveland

After dining at most of the spots mentioned, I did became a frequenter of a couple. Drum roll please....

Bar Tartine is the spot I frequented and took all my out-of-state visitors. Below you can see my favorite part, the black garlic potatoes. I'm a sucker for good spuds and man, these are the best I've had thus far. In addition, I love the seasonal menu. Even the mimosas change by the season. This summer I couldn't get enough of the potato flatbread with peaches. It tasted like a healthy funnel cake. OH and that bread is to die for.When it comes to brunch, mimosas are my favorite morning beverage and Bisou Bistro had it down. The crazy place was packed and instead of making the drinks pitcher by pitcher, the bartender was pouring orange juice straight into the champagne bottles to mix it. Needless to say, it was awesome and they really are bottomless. The food was really tasty too, I ate the chorizo Benedict. As for Kitchen Story and Beast and the Hare, these became places I preferred for dinner. Kitchen Story has the best bacon I've ever had in my life. Plus, the burger and Thai fried rice is amazing. Beast and the Hare made me feel a little at home with it's Southern infusion. The charcuterie boards are phenomenal to start with and I loved the grilled bone in pork chop, which was served different ways depending on the week. It's hard to be impressed by beignets when you frequent New Orleans, but these were great. Have any new places? 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bar Tartine (restaurant)
  2. Bisou Bistro (restaurant)
  3. Kitchen Story (restaurant)
  4. Beast and the Hare (restaurant)
2 thanks

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