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A table set with brunch dishes and a mimosa
Photograph: Abrazo

The best brunch in San Francisco

Get up and get in line for the best brunch in San Francisco, featuring over-the-top eggs and morning cocktails

Written by
Shoshi Parks
&
Amy Sherman
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It takes a lot to get us out of bed at a reasonable hour on a weekend. One of the few things that does it? Brunch. Purveyors of the best brunch in San Francisco take the leisurely meal to another level. Weekends are made for brunch: Saturday brunch is the best time to gear up for the night ahead and Sundays are perfect for winding down the weekend. A weekday brunch? That’s a rare treat designated for days off.

It doesn’t matter so much when you do it, but where you do it is key. Now more than ever, weekends are for indulgent, extended brunches accompanied by a steady stream of mimosas and crisp bacon. These San Francisco brunch spots—ranging from casual local hangouts to fine dining destinations—offer inventive takes on eggs Benedict, perfectly done brunch classics like waffles and pancakes, and a steady stream of well-crafted Bloody Marys to kick-start your day. And it's not just restaurants—some of the best bars in San Francisco also serve up noteworthy brunches.

There are plenty of places to enjoy a nourishing but less-involved breakfast in San Francisco (or even just an excellent coffee), but is there a better way to start your day—or keep the party going—than a killer brunch? We think not.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in San Francisco

Best brunch in San Francisco

  • Restaurants
  • Californian
  • Mission
  • price 3 of 4

It should come as no surprise that brunch at Foreign Cinema is a culinary romp that rivals the beloved restaurant's evening meals. On the seasonal, globally-influenced morning menu, find sweet bites like organic guava "pop tarts," savory shareables like provencal brandade (blended salt cod, whipped potatoes, garlic, chilis and toast) and hearty meals like the champagne truffle omelet or duck leg confit. Lines can be long at brunch so make a reservation to secure your spot. Luckily, if they can't fit you in, Laszlo next door serves the same menu.

  • Restaurants
  • Union Square
  • price 4 of 4

Indian brunch is the newest trend in San Francisco and no one does it quite like Campton Place. In an elegant dining room, feast on a variety of small and large plates including a Maine lobster roll with luscious coconut curry sauce or Bellwether Farms ricotta dumplings with squash, basil and red cherry makhani sauce. You can also go for classic American cuisine with a cheeseburger, crab benedict or French toast with strawberry vanilla compote. Start your meal with signature warm naan buns flavored with everything bagel spice.

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  • Restaurants
  • Tenderloin
  • price 2 of 4

A longtime SF staple, Brenda’s French Soul Food cultivates a New Orleans aesthetic both in decor and on the plate. But Brenda's is doing something far more interesting than the typical chicken and waffles. Here, there are beignets stuffed with crawfish and cheddar cheese, fried catfish benedict, grillades and grits in spicy creole gravy and butter pecan brioche french toast. Like mouthwatering meals, interminable waits are par for the course at this Tenderloin favorite.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Fisherman's Wharf

SF's newest dim sum spot is also one of the splashiest. Located at Ghirardelli Square, Palette Tea House focuses on fresh seafood and Instagram-worthy dumplings such as rainbow-colored soup dumplings, matcha lava bao filled with salted egg custard, black swan taro puffs and squid ink dumplings filled with pork, jicama and peanuts. The restaurant was founded by the same family that runs Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Potrero Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Simply outfitted with gleaming reclaimed wood tables and floor-to-ceiling windows, Plow is a beautiful space to spend a morning. You’ll find standout dishes on both the sweet and savory ends of the spectrum: From the legendary lemon ricotta pancakes and rhubarb coffee to the cold-smoked salmon toast and house-made biscuits topped in honey butter, scallions and ham or sausage. (Nab a biscuit while you can—they’ve been known to run out on busy mornings.) Even lighter fare is memorable here, like the chia seed pudding served with almond milk, bananas, coconut, almonds, honey and bee pollen. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mission
  • price 2 of 4

Beretta's weekend brunch is a welcome mix of Italian-influenced brunch fare (think pasta chilaquiles or prosciutto scrambles) and the restaurant's beloved Neapolitan-style pizzas, some, like the creamy spinach with mushrooms and eggs, with a brunch twist of their own. Outdoor seating is ample, as long as you get there around 11am to avoid a long wait. If you're stuck in line, order a brunch cocktail like the breakfast cobbler (sherry, raspberry & curacao) or weekend tryst (campari, grapefruit & moscato) straight from the bar to pass the time.

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  • Restaurants
  • Presidio
  • price 2 of 4

The Presidio Social Club, once a military barrack, is at the heart of what is arguably San Francisco's most picturesque park. The unfussy restaurant is a sort of modern, upscale diner with a long bar inside and a handful of tables on an outdoor patio. On the eclectic brunch menu, choose from Asian, Mexican and American favorites like Mission-style chilaquiles, East West chicken noodle soup and challah French toast. Brunch cocktails, including mango passion coladas and aperol spritzes, nicely complement whatever you're in the mood for.

  • Restaurants
  • Californian
  • Outer Sunset
  • price 2 of 4

Temporarily closed
Weekend brunch at Outerlands has been drawing people to this driftwood-paneled Outer Sunset spot for years. You can't go wrong with the restaurant's famed cast-iron baked dutch baby—served sweet with apples, walnuts and yogurt or savory with Dungeness crab and sour cream. Many things on the menu are vegetarian-friendly, but carnivores can add a fried slabs of bacon or pulled pork to dishes like the tostada ranchero.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • SoMa
  • price 3 of 4

With the temporary closure of Hong Kong Lounge II, our dim sum go-to for weekend brunch has shifted to the downtown favorite, Yank Sing. Though this Michelin Bib Gourmand winner is pricier than some of the city's other dim sum joints, their food doesn't disappoint. Yank Sing's Shanghai dumplings are iconic, as are their har gow (shrimp dumplings), but we also love the snow pea shoots and taro root dumplings.

Need more breakfast inspiration?

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