Brunch is a cherished institution in San Francisco and finding the perfect spot can be a daunting task. New and exciting restaurants open all the time but there are a few SF classics that have stood the test of time. Here’s a list of new and classic SF restaurants that will make your brunch dreams come true.
1. Foreign Cinema
This magical restaurant is famous for its romantic outdoor patio adorned with string lights and a large screen to project films. The soft lighting contrasts beautifully with the industrial concrete walls, a theme that applies to their indoor dining room as well. Their classic brunch items include their smoked salmon and trout rillettes, baguettes french toast with blood oranges and huckleberries, and an abundance of oysters, shellfish, and caviar to choose from.
📍:2534 Mission Street
Known for its fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes and no-reservation policy, Plow is definitely worth waiting in line for. The causal dining room and adjacent parklet offer are warm, and rustic and make you feel like you’re having breakfast at a friend’s house –a friend who happens to be an expert chef. The farm-to-table menu includes mouthwatering favorites like custard French toast, soft scrambled eggs with stinging nettles, and shiitake mushrooms, and prosciutto & gruyere toast, to name a few.
📍: 1299 18th Street
Located just a few blocks from Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset district, Outerlands celebrates its sandy, foggy, salty surroundings. The undulating wood-clad interior is an ideal setting to enjoy rustic classics like their puffy dutch pancake, nourishing soups, and mouthwatering grilled cheese sandwiches. A mug of their house-made ginger-lemon apple cider, with or without bourbon, is a perfect way to warm up after a foggy stroll on the beach.
📍: 4001 Judah Street
The Dogpatch neighborhood has changed quite a bit over the years but luckily Piccino has endured. There’s a lot to love about this sprawling all-day cafe and restaurant but a few standout classics are their house-made ginger scones, savory bread pudding, and extraordinary seasonal pizzas.
📍: 1001 Minnesota Street
5. Mama’s on Washington Square
Ask a few San Franciscans about brunch in North Beach, and 9 out of 10 will immediately mention Mama’s. For over 60 years, they’ve been known for both their long lines and deeply satisfying food. You can get hearty breakfast classics like omelets, benedicts, and their famously flavorful french toast.
📍: 1701 Stockton Street
6. Brenda’s French Soul Food
For a taste of New Orleans in SF it’s tough to beat Brenda’s. Both the original location downtown and Brenda’s Meat and Three are well worth a visit. Pillowy beignets, plus gourmet takes on southern classics like biscuits and gravy, and shrimp and grits are served with a side of classic Southern hospitality.
📍: 652 Polk Street
This French-inspired restaurant in Cole Valley is known for its house-made treats like its buttermilk coffee cake, pain de mie French toast, and even a flight of pancakes (buttermilk, ginger, and french toast). Indoor seating is airy and charming but the heated back patio is the restaurant’s crown jewel.
📍: 941 Cole Street
8. Tartine Manufactory
This bread-focused restaurant is best known for its mouthwatering sourdough bread and gorgeous pastries, but its variety of open-faced sandwiches (tartines), seasonal soups salads, and quiches are all worth the visit. The sun-drenched industrial warehouse that the restaurant sits in is also home to a massive bread bakery, where you can watch the entire bread-making process from tubs of dough to perfectly baked loaves.
📍: 595 Alabama Street
9. Hilda and Jesse
Multi-course tasting menus aren’t just for dinner. North Beach’s Hilda and Jesse offers a 3-dish tasting menu for $49, the chef’s adventure menu for $85, and plenty of a la carte options if you want to add on or build your own. Some current favorites include a rolled Latvian pancake, fried duck wings, and a decadent take on steak and eggs.
📍: 701 Union Street
In the mood for a smörgåsbord? This Scandinavian-inspired cafe and bakery serve one of the most unique and delicious brunches in SF. You can order individual items like a breakfast sandwich or porridge, or build your own unique 5-7 item brunch spread. Some of these items include a soft scrambled egg with herbs, smoked trout salad, housemade yogurt and granola, curried pickled herring, and more.
📍: 1906 Market Street