We’re one week away from the official first day of spring and, if you can’t tell, we’re pretty excited about it. With the new season comes more sunny days and an overwhelming desire to get out and explore the city.
We think the best way to start is with a mimosa in hand on a garden patio awaiting a plate of artfully crafted food with classic California flare. Brunch, after all, is one of the most popular fair weather traditions. Tour our favorites in the city and around the Bay this season. Then, choose your own mainstays to come back to again and again all summer long!
Follow our simple key to make sure your brunch destination meets all your requirements.
During the week, Outerlands is one of San Francisco’s most sustainable restaurants serving locally sourced, organic fare in an inviting setting. On weekends, it also includes Sourdough Apple Fritters, Biscuits & Gravy, Dutch Pancakes baked in a cast iron pan — you name it! Stop by any day of the week to sample the breakfast menu (and get the artisan doughnut of the day!) but come back on Saturday and Sunday for a full, hearty brunch menu.
Photos courtesy of Outerlands
There are so many reasons to love Nopa. They’re a great option for date night and they offer an open, community atmosphere. But our favorite thing might just be their weekend brunch. The scratch kitchen, alternating menu and local, seasonal ingredients translate perfectly to breakfast. You can’t go wrong with a classic like Custard French Toast filled with Poached Citrus and Vanilla Butter, but if you’re feeling fancier this morning, try the House Smoked Trout Rillettes! And don’t skip the breakfast cocktails; there’s a reason Nopa is on our list of the best cocktails in the Bay Area!
Plow serves a breakfast menu every day with slightly different options on weekends. Come back for both so you can try the Dungeness Crab Scramble during the week and Max’s Buttermilk Biscuits + Gravy during the weekend! Due to the simple, seasonal ingredients they use every day, the menu is likely to change so you can continue to try new items with each visit.
Photo courtesy of Plow
Zazie offers brunch all week which is good because you’re going to want to come back as much as possible! You can expect to drool over a seasonal Eggs Benedict, Scrambled Egg plate or Griddle dish, but don’t expect to tip! All menu prices include a living wage, revenue share, paid family leave, fully funded health and dental insurance, paid time off, and a 401(k) for every employee.
Try the year-round Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict with avocados and chives and relax with a sparkling breakfast cocktail!
1300 on Fillmore doesn’t just do brunch; they do Sunday Gospel Brunch. Located in The Fillmore Jazz District, they dish up Southern classics with top-notch ingredients, creative libations and a posh supper club vibe. Add live Gospel music to that and you have the perfect recipe for a lively, unforgettable brunch experience. If you’ve never been, order David’s Fried Chicken & Rosemary Waffle because the fried chicken is the best in town!
If Bloody Marys and garden patios are part of your picture-perfect brunch, The Tipsy Pig is your new weekend destination! Their menu combines the centuries’ old tradition of English pub fare with the modern chef-driven approach to serving regional and seasonal comfort food. For brunch, we recommend the hearty Pulled Pork Hash with an order of Old-Fashioned Doughnuts on the side!
Punch Drunk Brunch is 15 Romolo’s best, most exciting secret. Another of our favorite cocktail bars in the city, they turn weekend brunch into a reason to celebrate. Stop by for a signature waffle shot and a cup of fresh adults-only punch. Or bring your whole group and split a pitcher of Sangria! It pairs perfectly with a Punch Drunk Brunch Burger topped with crispy bacon, cheddar, sliced tomato, special sauce, a fried egg and hashbrowns.
Photos courtesy of 15 Romolo and Balthazar Media
At heart, Marlowe is a neighborhood bistro. In this warm, butcher-themed restaurant, they serve a meat-centric menu of comfort food classics and unexpected, welcome surprises. For example, you can get a Smoked Salmon Bagel or opt for the Smoked Dungeness Crab & Rock Shrimp Benedict. Whatever you choose for breakfast, don’t miss the original, crafted cocktails!
Locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, west coast freshness, and time-honored southern recipes combine to make Farmerbrown a stand-out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stop by during the week for a classic breakfast and stop by during the weekend for Come and Get It Brunch — a buffet including their famous fried chicken, cornmeal catfish, waffles, cheesy grits, cajun potatoes and more!
Photos courtesy of Farmerbrown
At ‘āina, they merge Hawaiian-inspired cuisine and the hospitality of the island spirit with a refined sensibility. If you’ve never tried a traditional Hawaiian meal, you’re in for a tasty surprise! We have a feeling that with just one trip to ‘āina, you’ll discover a new breakfast staple. And the best part is, the menu is seasonal so you’ll have new favorites for fall, winter, spring and summer!
Magnolia has always been one of SF’s best beer bars and when they added brunch to the menu, they became one of our favorite weekend destinations as well. Pair your craft brew with a meat and cheese board, sugar dusted Beignets, the Full English Breakfast, or any of their Gastropub classics!
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery and Kaitlyn Chiu
Beretta opened in the Mission in 2008 and has been a local favorite ever since. Its contemporary, romantic atmosphere is the perfect complement to every dining occasion and gives brunch the perfect upscale air. The menu is heavily inspired by Italian fare, but if you’re feeling like a classic, you can still get French Toast topped with mixed berries and mascarpone!
Photo courtesy of Beretta
By night, Locanda is a Roman-inspired osteria and bar. But on Saturday and Sunday mornings, it’s a can’t-miss brunch experience. Get the Lemon-Ricotta “Corzetti” Pancakes for something sweet or the Eggs Benedict “Carbonara” for something savory. Read up on the top five reasons to plan your weekend around brunch at Locanda before you visit!
Photo courtesy of Locanda and Greta Miersma
With The Corner Store’s new chef, Matthew Rosson, comes a simpler menu that still pays homage to the original dishes we’ve come to love. It’s the perfect weekend destination if you’re craving the brunch classics — Egg Bennies, French Toast, Breakfast Sandwiches and more!
Photo courtesy of The Corner Store
Outside the City
Bette’s has been family owned and operated in Berkeley since 1982. Through the years, they’ve become one of the area’s favorite classic California diners with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and homemade fare. They bought the 1957 Seeburg jukebox before the stove; they have a slice of cherry pie hanging from the ceiling; and they’re famous for their pancakes — whether it’s buttermilk, cottage cheese, pumpkin or gingerbread!
Photo courtesy of Bette’s Oceanview Diner and Yuli Weeks
Over and over, we’ve heard Theresa & Johnny’s is Marin’s best breakfast — and we completely agree! They serve it every day, all day long so, by now, they’re basically breakfast experts. And fried chicken experts. In fact, they serve some of the best fried chicken in North Bay. Get it with a waffle or opt for the sweeter deep fried french toast!
This Oakland mainstay serves up the most impressive meal and atmosphere combo in town. Owner Charlie Hallowell began his culinary career at Chez Panisse in Gourmet Ghetto — so he knows his way around an outstanding, sustainable kitchens. At some point, you need to try everything, but you should start with the Sweet Potato & Beef Brisket Hash served with crème fraîche.
Photo courtesy of Boot and Shoe Service
Where do you brunch in the Bay?
Let us know which Bay Area brunch spot is your favorite!