When in San Francisco, Brunch Like a Local at these 9 Restaurants
Whether you’re in the mood for Thai, American, French, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Southern, or Korean cuisines, you’ll find a brunch spot on this list to satisfy your craving.
Brunch is a weekend necessity when you’re visiting or living in San Francisco. If you’re not in town on the weekend, you can still enjoy brunch during the week at three places on this list—Zazie, Namu Gaji, and Blackwood. Of course, brunch isn’t complete without a cocktail. Many of these restaurants serve unique drinks to compliment your brunch.
Cole Valley - 941 Cole St. San Francisco, CA 94117 between Parnassus Ave & Carl St
Monday through Friday from 8AM to 2PM
Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to 3PM
Brunch isn’t only for weekends, at Zazie you can enjoy brunch all week. Opened in 1992, the restaurant strives to maintain a warm and welcoming vibe with a French flair.
Owner Jennifer Piallat is an advocate of hourly worker's rights which is why the menu prices “include a living wage, profit sharing, paid maternity/paternity leave, fully funded health and dental insurance, paid sick leave, and a 401(k) with employer match for all of [their] hard working employees” (http://www.zaziesf.com). Zazie’s is the first restaurant in San Francisco with a no tipping policy.
The local hot spot has tasty dishes like an oatmeal brûlée. Pair your meal with one of their many brunch spirits like the Le Metro. The refreshing champagne cocktail has sparkingling lemonade and lavender simple syrup.
Watch this video to learn more about the restaurant and the owner.
Alamo Square - 560 Divisadero St San Francisco, CA 94117 between Fell St & Hayes St
Saturday and Sunday from 11AM to 2:30PM
Serving seasonal ingredients from local vendors, Nopa is the brunch spot to go to when you want simple, yet delicious food. The weekend brunch menu consists of dishes using organic ingredients such as quinoa, delicata squash, spicy pickles, hachiya persimmons, parsnips, and spiced chickpeas. The sustainable meat and seafood also comes from nearby vendors.
Of course Nopa also serves classic brunch dishes like french toast, but with prepared with a wonderful spin by adding custard, a vanilla bean cream, and a citrus marmalade.
For grapefruit lovers, pair your meal with The Grapefruit Cocktail—hidalgo manzanilla, maraschino, and grapefruit juice. Or if you’re in the mood for a non-alcoholic brunch beverage, try the Cardamom Grapefruit—grapefruit juice, cardamom bitters, and tonic water.
Mission – 1199 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110 between 22nd St and 23rd St
Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM to 1:00PM
Beretta is an ideal choice for those who are vegetarian or vegan. The Italian comfort food restaurant gets ingredients from local farmers and is favored by locals.
Choosing a cocktail from their brunch cocktail menu may be difficult (so many interesting options). One cocktail in particular stands out, the Grand Larceny, a mix of lemon, bourbon, IPA, and hibiscus. Or try the French 75, a blend of gomme, gin, lemon, and sparkling rose.
As for your meal, choose between egg dishes like the prosciutto, asparagus, and mozzarella scramble dish with roasted potatoes and mixed greens on the side. Share an antipasto like the walnut bread with burrata and mushroom-truffle honey. Or settle on pizza for brunch. Pictured below is the carbonara pizza with bacon, eggs, mozzarella, and pecorino.
With so many delicious options your best choice is to order family style at Beretta.
Cole Valley - 901 Cole St San Francisco, CA 94117 between Parnassus Ave and Carl St
Friday from 11AM to 2:15PM
Saturday through Sunday from 10AM to 2:15PM
If you’re in the mood for Mexican food for brunch, check out Padrecito. Padrecito serves poultry and meat from local ranches, sustainable seafood, and organic/seasonal produce whenever possible. Not to mention, they also serve tortillas and salsas made in house.
One item on their menu, Huevos Benedictos—slow cooked eggs, griddled carnitas, and chipotle hollandaise on jalapeno/cheddar biscuits with a side of mixed marble potato rajas (pictured below).
As for the cocktails, there are plenty of unique drinks to choose from. Pictured on the left is the La Dama–a blend of kina apertif wine, peach, and lime. The delicious looking drink on the right is the Buenos Dias–a mix of eggwhite, cacao, bourbon/coffee, and cynar. Or stick to the classic brunch cocktail, a house bloody mary (Maria Sangrada).
Café de la Presse
Financial District, Union Square - 352 Grant Ave San Francisco, CA 94108 between Sutter St and Harlan Pl
Saturday and Sunday from 11:30AM to 4:30PM
Enjoy a taste of Paris at Café de la Presse. The old-world decor will make you feel like you stepped into a French bistro. While you wait for your table, browse through their extensive selection of foreign newspapers and magazines. Like many restaurants in Paris, Café de la Presse has outdoor seating available.
Start your brunch off by sharing a salad like this Salade Frisée aux Lardons—a warm poached egg, croutons, bacon, topped with chives, and a baton dijon mustard vinaigrette with garlic.
Indulge in something cheesy like the Soupe à l’Oignon—onion soup topped with melted cheese.
Wash your meal down with an eight-ounce bloody mary, made with house vodka and served with pickled okra (pictured below). Or go big with the 22-ounce Grand Bloody Mary served with bacon and shrimp.
Marina/Cow Hollow - 2001 Chestnut St San Francisco, CA 94123 between Fillmore St and Mallorca Way
Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM to 3:30PM
The Dorian is a present-day parlor serving classic American dishes and stiff drinks. The small menu is full of appetizing dishes that may leave you indecisive. Order a classic brunch dish like a souffléd french toast or splurge on seafood from the raw bar.
Pictured below is the perfect brunch for those who want sweet and savory. The Cinnamon Sticky Bun is drenched in a bourbon caramel sauce. On the left is The “Cure All” Flatbread–topped with a sunnyside-up eggs and ribeye, aged cheddar cheese, and Dorian’s house-made hot sauce. The bottom right dish is the Pilsner Fish and Chips made with local rock cod, which comes with a side of tartar sauce.
Another dish worth mentioning is the Cast-Iron Chicken Hash, made with fennel poblano and sweet potato, and topped with a sunnyside-up egg (pictured below).
Good luck deciding!
Mission - 499 Dolores St San Francisco, CA 94110 between 18th St and Dorland St
Wednesday through Friday from 11:30AM to 3PM
Saturday and Sunday 10:30AM to 4PM
Switch up your typical brunch for Asian inspired dishes at Namu Gaji. The family-owned business uses organic ingredients from their own farm. Watch this video to learn about their farming practices.
Pictured below is the Soba Salad made with soba noodles, tofu, fried walnuts, and cucumbers with a kimchee sesame dressing (chicken can be added for an additional cost).
Another delectable dish is the Kimchee Fried Rice, made with namu kimchee, a 4505 hot dog (a meat company in San Francisco), namu bacon, a fried egg, onions, and nori.
Or if you’re in the mood for a sweet dish, order the Bourbon Challah French Toast–made with egg, bourbon, vanilla, cream, real maple syrup, and fruit.
Going with a group? Order a bottle of prosecco and OJ or try their soju bloody mary. This is definitely a restaurant you’ll revisit to try something new.
Brenda’s French Soul Food
Tenderloin - 652 Polk St San Francisco, CA 94102 between Turk St and Eddy St
Saturday from 8AM to 3PM
Sunday from 8AM to 8PM
Small, cozy, and always worth the wait, at Brenda’s French Soul Food you’ll find flavorful Creole, Southern, and French cuisines. Customers always come back for the beignets. There are four types of tasty beignets to choose from: plain, chocolate, granny smith apple, and crawfish. However, there is no need to decide on one type, order the Beignet Flight (you’ll be happy you did).
Make the beignets your appetizer and order one of the house favorites as your main course, like the Hangtown Fry–crispy oysters, bacon, and a scallion scramble. Choose between grits or hash and toast or a cream biscuit.
This is another restaurant on the list where you’ll want to order family-style because you’ll want to try everything.
Marina/Cow Hollow - 2150 Chestnut St San Francisco, CA 94123 between Steiner St and Pierce St
Everyday from 9AM to 4PM
You can’t go wrong with fusion restaurants. Blackwood serves Thai-American cuisines with a twist. One item you’ll find in their dishes, Millionaire Bacon, was created at the San Francisco restaurant, Sweet Maple. The Millionaire Bacon is a delicious blend of ingredients, giving the smoked applewood bacon a spicy, sweet, salty, and smoky taste. Reviewers rave that the candied bacon is a must while you’re dining at Blackwood.
There are many poached eggs entrées like this Blackstone Benedict, which includes millionaire’s bacon, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and Myer lemon hollandaise sauce.
Or choose the BW Benedict—mushrooms, pork wine sausage, and cilantro, topped with crispy yam and a Thai chili hollandaise sauce.
Make your brunch extra special by ordering bottomless mimosas. Or for you beer and wine lovers, Blackwood has 16 beers to choose from and an extensive wine list.
All in all, each one of these restaurants has something unique to offer. Luckily in San Francisco you can experience flavors from around the world. The only downside is having to decide on one restaurant!
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