The Best Brunch Spots In SF
photo credit: Melissa Zink
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 spots (but if you’re looking solely for bottomless brunch, use this guide). And while you’ll have to deal with a line and crowds 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.
If you tend to wake up on the later side of brunch for this city, El Mil Amores is your spot. This Mexico City-style cafe in the Mission serves their entire breakfast and lunch menu all the way until 5pm, making it the perfect place to meet up with a group of friends that can’t agree on a common wake-up time. Expect hearty platters like the CDMX plate with a mix of chilaquiles, soft scrambled eggs, and pillowy concha french toast—it's ideal for those who can’t decide between sweet and savory. And the best part is that all of the dishes here provide more than enough food to make you want to nap in the sun at Dolores Park—even if the sun is already setting.
If the sun rays coming through the huge skylight at Abacá don’t jolt you awake, the food certainly will. This upscale spot does weekend-only brunch full of Filipino classics with the sour, salty, and sweet flavors dialed up. There’s tocino slabs covered in a zippy pineapple marinade, an incredible ganache-crowned banana bread, and ensaymada french toast topped with hollandaise, bacon, caviar, and lime juice, which is simultaneously ultra-light and richness personified. Brunch service is pretty mellow, and it’s easy to grab a walk-in bar seat or a reservation—we’re not sure why, though, since a meal here is stellar, and will make you forget you're in a Fisherman’s Wharf hotel near where the tacky souvenir fleeces roam.
The classic Cantonese dim sum staples at this Richmond restaurant are some of the best in the city. Steamers loaded with plump and meaty siu mai, plates of wiggly XO noodles, and mounds of fried sticky rice fill every table in the big carpeted space. There will likely be a line here, especially on weekends when everyone in town wants to prematurely get over the Sunday scaries with a spread of baked, steamed, and pan-fried things. But things move quickly, so snag a paper number and wait your turn with the crowds.
If you’re looking for a space that lends itself to a cute brunch date with someone who you’re finally leaving situationship territory with, look no further than Lokma. Located in the Outer Richmond, this Turkish spot feels like a homey den with brick walls and window sills that are filled with a hodgepodge of found glass, bird feeders, and plants in mismatched pots. The menu is short, but it doesn’t matter because there’s one correct order here: the two-person Turkish breakfast spread of creamy scrambled eggs with chewy sujuk, pita, feta, olives, nutty muhammara, sweet hazelnut spread, fresh fruit, and kaymak with honey.
The dining room at this Outer Sunset spot looks like a beachside Airbnb 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 sticky buns 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.
With raised ceilings, Restoration Hardware-esque light fixtures, and a long, blue-tiled bar, Aziza feels more like a luxury resort on the outskirts of Marrakesh than a brunch spot in the Richmond—with gorgeously plated food to match. Try the spiced lebni yogurt that’s loaded up full of berries and granola or the beghrir pancakes with bee pollen that arrives on a plate resembling an inside-out shell. If you’re looking for something a little more savory, try the the shakshuka with a jellied egg so perfect, it looks like a movie prop.
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 10 mimosas if you want to.
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.
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, 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 occasion.
Mymy is a Nob Hill spot that labels itself as a coffee shop, but in reality it’s one of the hottest places for brunch in this part of town, as anyone who’s waited in their long line can attest. The menu spans the trusty list of brunch classics like benedicts, omelets, and french toast, but the bouncy lemon cottage cheese pancakes and not-so-greasy corned beef hash are the move. And on days when this corner of California St. isn’t a wind tunnel testing lab, the outdoor tables are a great place to sip one of the five mimosa options, like the always-refreshing guava.
Going to The Front Porch for brunch is never the wrong choice, especially when you can snag a table on their miniscule front patio that often sits right in the sun. This place on the border of the Mission and Bernal Heights makes Southern food like chicken and waffles, chicken fried steaks, and powdery beignets with a tart raspberry sauce. Everything here is so good (and hearty) it might inspire you to walk it off and then loop back to the red checkerboard-lined dining room for a fried chicken dinner.
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.
Brunch is only available at Piglet & Co on Sundays, but make the necessary rearrangements to your schedule and get here—it’s our favorite time to visit the Mission restaurant. The daytime menu at this Taiwanese night market-inspired spot is just a lot of fun, especially when enjoyed under the swinging red paper lanterns and big pig head mural on the wall. Think milk bread french toast zhuzhed up with strawberries and a scoop of boba, or breakfast burgers teetering high with a fried egg, brown sugar bacon, and a golden hash brown.
When you’re in the mood for brunch, but not in the mood to spend an hour of your precious time waiting for a table only to end up fighting with micro influencers over the seats with the best lighting, Tastebuds is your most straightforward option. The Richmond restaurant is a counter-service spot doing soul food-inspired staples, like shrimp and grits and omelets. But you’re really here for the chicken and waffles, which feature perfectly breaded tenders over a buttermilk waffle so light it could float. Get in, eat your fried chicken, and get out, with plenty of time left in the day to rot on the couch.
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 "miracle" pancakes and crispy home fries. 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.