The Best Brunch Spots In San Francisco

In his 1895 essay Brunch: A Plea, Guy Beringer––who first coined the portmanteau––described brunch as “cheerful, sociable and inciting…it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” It’s unlikely Beringer’s adulations were inspired by a perfectly mixed mimosa or a stack of ginger pancakes, but the sentiment behind his words still rings true. More than a century later brunch has become a calendar-setting meal and continues to provide patrons with a delicious excuse to sleep in.
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North Beach: Better Than Mom’s

A mere two-hour wait may seem a little less daunting when you consider that diners have been lining up every weekend for 50 years to get a plate from Mama’s. Patience is rewarded handsomely with fresh-squeezed mimosas and omelets stuffed with Dungeness crab and brie.

Downtown/Civic Center: Breakfast Cocktails

Not many restaurants publish their own books, so you know that if Absinthe’s cocktails went from bar menu to bound edition, they must be special. Bartenders Jeff Hollinger and Rob Schwartz curate a menu of brunch cocktails that includes turn-of-the-century concoctions, reinvented classics, and even a liquid homage to Kurt Vonnegut.

Mission: Gourmet Pop Tarts

Looking for a refined way to relive childhood mornings spent watching cartoons? This hip locale serves up mouthfuls of sophisticated nostalgia via apple-pear pop tarts and baguette French toast smeared with orange-cardamom butter.

Multiple Locations: Traditional Tea Service

Four locations across the city delight guests with traditional tea services from around the world, including an English service that pairs black breakfast tea with a three-tiered platter of veggies, wild smoked-salmon quiche, and scones. The Page Street location is particularly beloved for its roaring fireplace and cozy nooks.

South of Market: Cornbread with a Kick

Guy Fieri of _Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives_ may not have had to endure the typical wait that befalls regulars to Dottie’s. But by the time he left, he did share their appreciation for the fresh-made cornbread, cooked on a griddle for extra texture and served with a house-made jalapeño jam.

Inner Sunset: Rustic Refinement

Wooden columns divvy up the dining room and intersect with overhead rafters, creating a log cabin ambiance reinforced by a fireplace and the soft glow of antique lamps. This farmhouse comfort also permeates dishes such as organic eggs scrambled with veggies or organic pork and flanked by home fries.

Mission: Breakfast and Bowling

Hangover sufferers beware––the comfort food at Mission Bowling Club comes with its own crashing soundtrack. Inside this converted warehouse, diners can blast pins at six brand new bowling lanes while enjoying executive chef Anthony Myint’s brunch menu, which includes fried chicken and waffles and chilaquiles with jerk pork shoulder.

Excelsior: Comfort Food, Cocktails, and Cartoons

On Saturday mornings, HD TVs broadcast cartoons in the back room of this bar and restaurant while hungry patrons devour bananas-foster waffles with butter-rum sauce or omelets named after Popeye. Bartenders also mix hangover helpers and serve bottomless mimosas to help kick start the weekend.