The Best Brunch Spots In SF
Breakfast burgers, lemon ricotta pancakes, dim sum, and more.
If you believe weekends should be spent absorbing as much maple syrup and prosecco as you possibly can, you're in the right place. This guide is filled with our all-time favorite San Francisco brunch restaurants. And while you’ll have to deal with a line and the masses at some of them, they’re all worth the wait.
The casual Potrero Hill spot with diner-style charm is breakfast royalty, and everybody knows it. Which is why there will be a line to get a seat inside the well-lit space. Do you know how crowded Warriors games are when LeBron is in town? Getting a table at Plow is like that. Everyone is here for the french toast, fried egg sandwiches, and scrambles with sides of bacon and crispy potatoes. But one of the best things you can get here is the lemon ricotta pancakes. They are light and fluffy, and the lemon curd on the side takes them over the top.
At night, the heated outdoor patio, twinkle lights, and movie playing on the big white wall in the back makes Foreign Cinema feel like a romantic drive-in theater. During the day, sunlight floods the Mission patio and makes it a bright, airy place to have croque madames big enough for four, herbed Persian omelettes with Dungeness crab, crispy potatoes you’ll be talking about for weeks, and homemade Pop Tarts. Movies won’t be playing on the wall, but you won't mind—the sunshine, the french toast, and Bloody Marys make Foreign Cinema a brunch spot to keep in your back pocket for cozy dates, or, really, any occassion.
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photo credit: Remy Galvan-Hale
Devil's Teeth Baking Company
If you’re looking for a cheap and excellent brunch in the Sunset, and also have no need for tables or chairs, then Devil’s Teeth is here to change your life. The takeout-only bakery makes a breakfast sandwich on a biscuit with special sauce, avocado, bacon, and cheese. It is a revelation. As is the cinnamon bun, a dense goliath with brown sugar paste. Seating is outdoor benches on the sidewalk, so get excited about lots of dog-watching.
Provided that you have infinite patience and nowhere else to be, getting on the waitlist for brunch at Tartine Manufactory will be the best thing you do all weekend. The line actually moves pretty fast at this Mission spot, and in any case it’s worth the wait (but do yourself a favor and make a reservation ahead of time). The pastries are fantastic, the space resembles a friend’s wedding at an organic farm in Napa, and the egg sandwiches and salads are stellar. They also have a mini coffee shop inside with pastries and fresh bread to-go. This is basically Disney World for people who love food.
The Front Porch
Going to The Front Porch for brunch is never the wrong move, unless you’re trying to do a lot of activity after, in which case, maybe think again. This place on the border of the Mission and Bernal Heights makes Southern food like chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, and chicken fried steaks. Everything here is so good—and hearty—it might inspire you to walk it off, and then loop back for the fried chicken for dinner.
photo credit: Yank Sing
Yank Sing has been around since 1958, and is a classic we come back to again and again—mostly because we crave their kurobuta pork and Napa cabbage-filled dumplings on a near-weekly basis. Also get the BBQ pork buns, potstickers, siu mai, and anything else you see whizzing by on one of the roving carts. They have two locations, but nothing beats eating as many dumplings as possible in the sunny atrium over at the Rincon Center.
photo credit: Remy Galvan-Hale
The Italian restaurant is chill and spacious and generally the best place in the Dogpatch for any meal you want to last for more than a few hours. They have excellent coffee and pastries on the sweet side, and very good pizzas and eggs. Also, the fact that you can walk in and easily grab a table is a major plus. This place is absolutely worth your time.
The dining room at this Outer Sunset spot looks like a beachside Vrbo ran into a lumber yard. And spending a morning in this wood-covered space just blocks from the ocean is an ideal pastime. Their brunch menu, which covers everything from breakfast sandwiches and french toast to chia bowls, is worth getting out of bed early for. Never leave without the dutch pancake, a fluffy behemoth loaded with berries, pecans, and a glob of housemade ricotta. Their sticky bun, covered in a sweet glaze that you can practically see your reflection in, should be on the table, too.
Jane on Fillmore
Most people think of Jane as a lunch spot, but brunch on the weekend is our favorite way to use this place. Yes, the line is usually miserable, but locals know to call in your order first and snag a table once you arrive. Get the breakfast biscuit or avocado toast and definitely top it off with a chocolate chip, corn flakes, and marshmallow-filled Crazy Cookie.
Just For You Cafe
The Dogpatch spot is nothing fancy, but we don't need it to be. It's exactly where we go when we crave a straightforward brunch plate of eggs, roasted potatoes, and some kind of protein. Which is usually when a hangover lingers. Old vintage posters and a big marlin wall mount behind the counter add to this small place's homey feel. And then there are the all manner of pancakes, French toast, and egg combinations, especially designed to rescue your body from its deep dark place.
The small, casual Nob Hill spot really undersells itself by calling itself a coffee shop. It’s much more than that. Mymy does excellent takes on brunch classics, from lemon cottage cheese pancakes to corned beef hash. The lines can be long at brunch, but get there early and you should be set. On nice days the outdoor tables are great, although the service can be a bit slower. Mimosas can help with that.
photo credit: Krescent Carasso
Palette Tea House
This dim sum spot in Ghirardelli Square is from the people behind Dragon Beaux, and has a massive dining room and patio that makes it ideal for groups. When you’re here, share a big spread of dumplings like the xiao long bao in five different flavors, or har gow which include pipettes of lobster butter. If you don’t want to think too hard about what to order, there’s a family-style prix fixe menu, which comes with a bunch of small plates, larger entrées, and desserts.
Starbelly is a casual neighborhood spot in the Castro. We like it for their weekend brunch that offers a more eclectic mix of things, like chilaquiles, loco moco, challah French toast, pizzas, and more. Another plus to this spot is the chill back deck, which always inspires us to have a Bloody Mary in hand.
Do yourself a favor and get the brunch burger at Causwells. If that’s a little too much for 11am, the rest of the menu isn’t super long but has everything you need: cocktails, eggs, salads, and a buttermilk biscuit side that is a necessity. Causwells has become one of the more neighborhood-y places in the Marina, with a bunch of outdoor tables and a big parklet.
The French bistro in Cole Valley is a brunch staple thanks to their absurdly good french toast, “miracle” pancakes, and range of benedicts and scrambles. The service is friendly to both humans and animals, and there's a nice heated back patio to enjoy your casual meal in. The only problem: Zazie doesn't take reservations. So, similar to many spots on this guide, expect to wait on the morning your hankering for brunch kicks in.
photo credit: Kitchen Story
One of the best spots in the city for weekend bottomless brunch. We’re not sure what makes the brown sugar, pepper, and cayenne dusted bacon “millionaire’s bacon,” but we’re glad we don’t have to be an actual millionaire to eat it. Go with friends, sit outside, and drink eight to ten mimosas if you want to.
The weekend-only brunch at this fine dining restaurant in Presidio Heights is definitely of the lapse-into-a-food-coma-afterwards variety. So get some beignets to prime the pump, and throw in some caviar (on French toast) while you’re at it.
photo credit: Krescent Cassaro
Do you like Bloody Marys? Then Balboa Cafe’s outdoor tables (for watching the Vuori fashion show that is Cow Hollow weekends) await. They have lighter, shareable brunch food like salad, fried calamari, and deviled eggs, plus heartier dishes like eggs benedict, pastrami hash, fried chicken sandwiches. But the bloodies will keep you the happiest.
Salads and tacos for the lunch crowd, huevos rancheros for the breakfast people, and chipotle Bloody Marys for all. Padrecito is one of our favorites for brunch in Cole Valley, and the vibe is always fun and high-energy.
The Mexican restaurant in North Beach is fun and loud, and the sangria and margaritas are dangerously strong. Free chips are great and the huevos rancheros are extra great. Also great—this place takes reservations. And be warned: once you mention on the group chat that bottomless brunch is an option here, you’re probably going to get a lot of takers.
The hangry crowd outside of this casual Pacific Heights spot on weekends is reminiscent of a scene from The Walking Dead, but if you can survive small talk with other rabid diners then it’s definitely worth the wait. The French toast tastes like funnel cake (in a great way), so order that. Sweet Maple is the sister restaurant to Kitchen Story, so it’s a necessary stop if you’re doing a walking tour of millionaire’s bacon in the city.
B Star Bar
The smaller (and we’d argue, more accomplished) sister of Burma Superstar, B Star delivers a respectable brunch. This Richmond spot has tons of great vegetarian options like an awesome tofu scramble, plus noodles, jook, and brunch bowls with longanisa or kimchi fried rice.