POPSUGAR Celebrity

Brunch! 10 San Francisco Spots That Can't Be Missed

Sep 20 2010 - 8:00am

There's rarely a weekend when I don't seize the chance to eat out between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for my favorite feast of the day: brunch. After all, is there anything better than a filler-upper that offers the benefits of both breakfast and lunch?

In San Francisco, brunch isn't just an offering — it's a way of life in the City by the Bay, a time for friends to catch up on one another's lives while recharging on eggs, baked goods, and hangover remedies. It'd be hard to choose the best brunch in a city that's full of winning midday meals, but here are a few spots that I like to frequent.

Brenda's French Soul Food

I'm not normally one to wait an hour for a table [1], something that's a typical expectation when it comes to dining at Brenda's French Soul Food [2]. But try the crawfish and chocolate beignets, the hangtown fry (scrambled eggs, oysters, and bacon), and the thousands-of-flakes biscuits, and you'll be willing to brave the wait, too.

The Little Chihuahua

Hidden at the end of San Francisco's Divisadero Corridor is The Little Chihuahua [3], a hole-in-the-wall eatery with a diminutive name but big, bold, Mexican-inspired flavors. Aside from being well-priced, the restaurant's hearty dishes will quell any appetite the morning after a night of too much drinking. My favorite order is the chilaquiles; the tortilla chips are soft yet still slightly crunchy, dressed with a complex vegetable sauce, and topped with the fluffiest possible eggs.

Foreign Cinema

In a city full of brunch spots, Foreign Cinema [4] is the place to have a midday meal. This San Francisco landmark serves up creative California-Mediterranean combinations — like baked fromage blanc wrapped in fig leaves — in a loftlike space in the heart of the Mission District.

Bar Jules

Jessica Boncutter, the chef at Bar Jules [5] in Hayes Valley, knows there's something to be said for simplicity. Her elemental brunch — composed of dishes like these slow-scrambled eggs with green beans — is made with local ingredients and plenty of care.

Kate's Kitchen

One of San Francisco's best-kept brunch secrets is out! Kate's Kitchen [6] is a favorite among Lower Haight residents, and for good reason. Kate's charges ridiculously low prices to go with its generous portions of everything from standard breakfast platters to bacon and cheddar cornmeal pancakes.

The Liberty Cafe

My current favorite spot for brunch is The Liberty Cafe [7] in residential Bernal Heights. Despite the fact that it's square away on the opposite side of town, I can't help but return to the bakery and restaurant time after time for its huevos rancheros, which are, hands down, the best I've ever had.

The Magic Flute

There's a reason why an unassuming Italian family restaurant like The Magic Flute [8] is the go-to spot for ladies who lunch: its peaceful patio, hidden in the back of a quaint space in the city's posh Presidio Heights neighborhood. The menu, which offers everything from truffled scrambles to roasted chicken hash, never fails to please, and Phil LaCavera, the patriarch of the family operation, is always there to personally greet and seat customers.

The Golden West

The Golden West [9] takeout window is the newest enterprise from Dennis Leary, the owner of famous city sandwich shop The Sentinel [10]. While it's not a seated brunch option, the venture offers delicious sweet and savory specialties like creamed ham biscuits and pork, gigante beans, and a poached egg — all for under $5.

Little Skillet

There's no better sweet-savory brunch combo [11] than waffles and fried chicken. As a back-alley takeout shop, farmerbrown's Little Skillet [12] doesn't look like much — but nobody does this soul food duo better.


One of the longest queues at the Ferry Building farmers market [13] can be found at Primavera [14], known across town not only for its signature tamales but also for its tostadas, chilaquiles, and aguas frescas. The slow-cooked black beans? Their depth of flavor gets me every time.

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