Weekends call for eggs, day drinking, and meals not served from your office – an act you may know best as “brunch.” We’ve compiled a guide to every great place to get it in the city, sorted by neighborhoods (and even threw in a place in Sausalito if you’re feeling adventurous and want to test out if your Fastrak actually works).
These are our top San Francisco spots for Bloody Marys, breakfast burgers, bacon, and more. We fully endorse - and encourage - skipping your weekend workout to go to any and all of these places.
mission / soma / bernal heights
Provided that you have infinite patience and nowhere else to be, getting in line for brunch at Tartine Manufactory will be the best thing you do all weekend. The line actually moves pretty fast, and in any case it’s worth the wait. The pastries are fantastic, the space is airy and resembles your high school friend’s expensive wedding at an organic farm in Napa, and the egg sandwiches and salads are stellar. They have a mini coffee shop inside and soft serve ice cream for dessert, and it’s basically Disney World for people who love food.
If you’ve never been here during the day, you’re doing it wrong. As with dinner, the outdoor tables are essential, and the omelets and house-made Pop Tarts (get the strawberry) are superb. They take reservations, and you should absolutely make one.
Soft scrambled eggs and excellent sandwiches bring us back here again and again. Yes, there will be a wait, but that’s basically mandatory when it comes to brunch in the Bay Area. Settle in and occupy yourself with dreams of their banana bread, which you should order when you finally sit down.
A sleek space in SOMA with a serious patio situation, Bar Agricole has brunch down. There are baked eggs, and an insane French toast for vegetarians, and pork belly fried eggs for the carnivores. We are strong supporters of this spot.
Have you stolen some of your dad’s Lipitor? Yes? OK, let’s go. Chicken fried steak, chicken and waffles, hushpuppies and tons of other Southern goodness make this a neighborhood go-to.
dogpatch / potrero hill
If you want to push yourself outside your egg white omelet comfort zone and live a little, Aina is the place to do it and never look back. The menu is Hawaiian-Asian and generally awesome - especially the loco moco (short rib with eggs, rice, and magic sauce). This being said, if you need a safe space the French toast is your sanctuary. Other people are aware that this place is good so plan to wait, or better yet - make a reservation.
Piccino is the kind of spot that you want to stay in all day. It’s chill and spacious and generally the best place in the Dogpatch for any meal (hey guys, can you start serving breakfast too?). Excellent coffee and pastries on the sweet side, plus very good pizzas, eggs, and the requisite avocado toast and grain bowls. Under the radar and absolutely worth your time.
Plow is the king, and everyone knows it. You know how tough Warriors tickets are when LeBron is in town? Plow is kind of like that, but every day. Be there BEFORE OPENING. We’re not going to tell you it’s overrated, though. This is pancakes and eggs done perfectly.
A fancy-ish brunch option in the D-patch. The burger is a bit overrated (it’s fine), but the other options, from the pancakes to the breakfast sandwich, hit the spot. We hesitate to define restaurants in terms of other restaurants, but this is a great option if you get bounced at Plow.
You come here for beignets and hangtown fries in a quirky spot that doesn’t look like much from the outside. This is to trick all the non-locals (if those exist in the Dogpatch) into passing it by. The omelets can come with cornbread or grits rather than boring old toast and you should take full advantage of this.
If it’s been a long/rough weekend, brunch at Suppenküche might be the only thing to get your Sunday back on track. It’s much more low-key at brunch than it is at dinner, and a bit less meat-heavy too. The smoked salmon is one of our go-to’s, as are the potato pancakes because those are appropriate for any and all meals. Don’t go on a Saturday though - you’ll be stuck with no brunch, staring at the elaborate Burning Man tribute sculpture in the park.
On a corner in Hayes Valley you’ve probably driven by a million times, 20th Century Cafe is easy to miss if you don’t live in the hood. This is a travesty, because the honey cake should be eaten for brunch or breakfast or morning tea or whatever opportunity you get. If you don’t have a six-year-old’s sweet tooth, they do one of the best lox bagels around and a kickass reuben sandwich. It’s one of our favorites for dropping in for a quick impromptu brunch when you forgot to make reservations and also don’t feel like wearing anything besides stretchy pants.
While it’s pretty much impossible to get a dinner reservation at Cala, brunch is totally doable, and the high-ceilinged, garden vibe is arguably even better in daylight. Some of the awesome stuff from the dinner menu is still there, like the sopes and tostadas, plus killer chilaquiles and eggs. This place is fantastic.
Feeling horrible about eating pizza at 1am? In the timeless words of Taylor Swift, shake it off. Crawl into Little Gem, where the breakfast is wholesome and healthy and served until 11:30 on the weekends. There’s a morning salad (seriously), or if that doesn’t cut it, quinoa flour pancakes that are legitimately good.
Bacon apple french toast is on the menu. This is clearly not French, but je ne regrette rien because it’s incredible. If you want to go more savory, the duck confit hash should be your move. The floor-to-ceiling windows and corner location make this a perfect daytime spot with a bright, open feel. Even if you “aren’t really a planner,” do yourself and anyone you’re going with a favor and make a reservation.
nob hill / russian hill
Mymy really undersells itself by calling itself a coffee shop. It’s much more than that, with very good takes on brunch classics. The fact that the hash browns are the size of a small frisbee is also exciting. You’ll probably have to wait, but the benedicts are worth it.
Stones Throw will give you all the brunch delights you need. Specifically some Johnny Cake donuts and a duck hash that absolutely need to be on your table. Pimms cups pitchers are never a bad choice, either. The choose-your-own brunch is more fun than the set-menu dinner and we tend to prefer eating here during the daytime.
The hangry crowd outside Sweet Maple on the 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 that they decided to rebrand, so order that.
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.
Breakfast sandwiches, actual bagels (not just bread baked in a circle like most SF “bagels”), and (for some reason) pizza on a bagel make the Fillmore outpost of Wise Sons an excellent weekend brunch move. It’s ideal for a solo stop in since the seating is pretty limited.
You’ve definitely taken your parents here for dinner, but their Vietnamese spin on brunch is worth a trip of its own. The space is modern and bright, and the coconut sticky rice, beignets, and Five-Spice Chicken Over Rice are must-orders.
cow hollow / marina
This place is as much of a party when the sun is up as it is at night. You’ll be able to have your morning margarita and order some eggs to go with it. The chilaquiles and vegetable scramble are good, and there are lunch-y things if you’ve already had your egg quota for the weekend. You shouldn’t have any problem walking in and grabbing a table either, making it one of the less stressful options to grab brunch in the neighborhood.
Do you like Bloody Marys? Then Balboa Cafe’s outdoor tables (for watching the Kit & Ace fashion show that is Cow Hollow weekends) await. The simple brunch food (eggs benedict, french toast) will keep you happy and the bloodies will keep you the happiest.
Great for groups, The Dorian is a go-to spot for brunch in the hood - especially if you’re looking for a nice space and multiple orders of truffle fries. They also take reservations, which makes it ideal for that distant-relatives brunch you definitely don’t want to prolong by dealing with a wait.
Do yourself a favor and get the brunch burger at Causwell’s. 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. Causwell’s has become one of the more neighborhoody places in the Marina, with a bunch of outdoor tables and a kid-friendly vibe.
Plenty of outside seating and killer breakfast pizzas are the top draws of Rose’s. Also, they’re pretty chill about having dogs around. You’ll definitely have to wait for a table, so head across the street to Wrecking Ball to deal with your caffeine needs.
Dim sum brunch with a four-drink limit and 90-minute cap before they kick you out. We’ll accept that challenge. The Lombard Street location is usually packed on the weekends with people who are very down to party. Maybe too down to party. The food is quite good, and the always-excellent playlist makes even the foggiest, hungover-iest day better.
presidio / presidio heights
Lots of outdoor tables, excellent Bloody Marys, and a menu with everything from fish tacos to a charcuterie plate to avocado toast make this one of the better spots to keep everyone happy for brunch. The service can be a bit spotty, so get your drink orders in early and often. Oh, and save room for an ice cream sandwich for dessert.
The burger is always the right choice, and this Sunday-only brunch is definitely of the lapse into a food coma afterwards variety, so get some beignets to prime the pump. What the hell, throw in some caviar (on French toast) while you’re at it. You’re in Presidio Heights, but sometimes you need to act like you live in Presidio Terrace.
SC has excellent cocktails, an A+ croque madame, and a nice vibe that can turn brunch into a full afternoon activity. It’s breezy and bright and will make you wonder why the military ever gave up this sweet, almost-waterfront housing. It’s also a great place to host a bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday brunch if you’re looking to be moderately classy.
If you wake up on Sunday and the weather gods have blessed us with a nice day, arm your group with a Sportbrella, five to seven bottles of champagne, one small bottle of orange juice, and set forth to sample every truck Off the Grid at the Presidio has to offer. If you’re patient, the Del Popolo pizza is phenomenal and the Whole Beast does an awesome lamb burger and kale salad.
Log into OpenTable. Make a reservation at noon on a weekend at Park Tavern. Congratulations, you’ve won. If you would like very good brunch food without an hour-long wait, Park Tavern is your spot. We always get some polenta cakes and avocado toast for the table and go from there.
The site of our annual birthday brunch, Don Pisto’s makes superb brunch drinks served in the classic bottomless format. Their huevos rancheros and pork tamales with eggs have never let us down.
A neighborhood bar serving comfort food that will make you rethink your foundational belief that no one makes pancakes like your dad. The spot on Market St. is well-situated for a leisurely brunch (though it’s poorly situated for parking), and the fact that they take reservations makes it even better. The burger is phenomenal, and the breakfast dishes are excellent too.
One of the best spots in the city for 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, drink eight to ten mimosas and don’t complain about the wait.
Lark is a low-key Castro player, so it’s great when you wake up hungover and need a brunch spot stat. The French toast and truffle fries are good places to start, but the poached egg and lamb souvlaki cannot be skipped.
Yes, you will have to wait for brunch here, but an excellent life hack is to show up 30 minutes before they open and give them your name - you shouldn’t have to wait too long for the communal table. Either way, brunch here will be amazing and will erase the fact that you ever had to wait at all. The turnovers are awesome, the French toast is stupidly good, and the hamburger is exactly what you want. You could basically throw darts at the menu and be happy no matter where they land.
Perhaps you have noticed our love affair with Souvla, which started approximately the day it opened. For brunch, they do a breakfast sandwich, which is basically one of their crazy good gyros with eggs in the mix. It’s perfect for a last minute brunch or a to-go situation if you can’t summon the strength to sit through an entire meal in a public space.
haight-ashbury / cole valley
While there’s also a Mission location, the Haight Pork Store is the place to be. Great eggs, killer biscuits, and very good Bloody Marys that will cure a hangover - or just your hunger if you are perched on a moral bluff overlooking the rest of us in struggle city. It’s a little divey, but that just makes the food taste better.
A few outdoor tables and a very pro-dog policy make Zazie a neighborhood staple. The eggs benedict with crab and avocado is absurdly good, as is the French toast, and if there’s a line it’s never too slow to move through. There’s a strong possibility you’ll see your boss or some more-adult-than-you figure in your life - that’s the price you have to pay for venturing to Cole Valley.
Salads and tacos for the lunch crowd, frittatas and huevos rancheros for the breakfast people, and chipotle Bloody Marys for all. Padrecito is one of our favorites for brunch or dinner, and the vibe is always fun and high-energy.
A spot in the Richmond that opened after 1985 and is also delicious. Fiorella has some of our favorite pizza around, paired with genuinely friendly service. At brunch, the egg sandwich is your move. Plus some pizzas to share.
A definite curveball, but one worth having on your radar - the little (and we’d argue more accomplished) sister of Burma Superstar, B Star delivers a respectable brunch with tons of vegetarian options like an awesome tofu scramble. Stick to the more Burmese options and ignore things like French toast.
Marla Bakery is another reservation-taking brunch option. The pastries are excellent (the fancy cinnamon roll they call a Marla Bun and scones especially), the English muffin egg sandwich is one of the best around, and the back patio is stellar on a sunny day.
We fully acknowledge it may be far away for many people, but Outerlands also serves some of the best brunch in the city. There will inevitably be a wait, so kill two birds with one stone and get some Trouble Coffee toast to occupy your stomach while you loiter on the corner.
If you’re looking for a cheap and excellent brunch and also have little regard for the need for “tables” or “chairs,” then Devil’s Teeth is here to change your life. The breakfast sandwich (on a biscuit with special sauce and avocado and bacon and cheese) is a revelation, as is the preposterous cinnamon bun. There’s usually a line and the seating is outdoor benches on the sidewalk. Get excited for lots of baby and dog-observing.
Correct, we’re suggesting you drive over a body of water to eat an omelet. At least we’re not telling you to bike. Le Garage is in a pretty random location, i.e. a marina in Sausalito, but once you’re there it’s a magical little oasis. The French-ish brunch food is awesome (definitely get the chickpea fries) and on a nice sunny day the outdoor tables are close to perfect.