Brunch is a way of life in San Francisco. Out-of-towners marvel that
we'll wait an hour-and-a-half for a stack of pancakes, and the morning
cocktail scene is lively -- even if the drinks are made with soju
instead of vodka. On Saturday night we may share bottles of Zinfandel
and exotic preparations of Brussels sprouts, but come Sunday morning,
it's all back to the roots of eating for pleasure. Runny, cheesy eggs.
Thick bacon. Crispy hash browns. Warm, creamy grits. The staples we love
and crave, but elevated to a whole new level.
This city is home to many flavors of brunch spots, from chichi raw
bar restaurants to good old-fashioned American breakfast diners. We have
brunches based in almost every cuisine at almost every price level in
almost every neighborhood. It's tough to narrow down a meal so close to
our hearts and bellies, but SF Weekly has given it our best shot,
rounding up our favorite places to gather on foggy weekend mornings with
friends. Here are our 10 favorite current spots for brunch:
3296 22nd St. (at Valencia)
You won't find any crispy pork belly or garlic confit at Boogaloos, but customers love that about the Mission breakfast staple. And the menu
is far more interesting than that of your average pancake house, stocked with chorizo and andouille, plenty of vegetarian options and a full
"kitchen cupboard" of ingredients to fill your custom scramble or omelet. Grease is abundant and portions are huge, but it's all really
tasty and unexpected. Fun, casual and kitsch, Boogaloos is a place you'll want to come back to.
snobby waitstaff). Dishes are fresh and seasonal, of course, but they're also creative without making a big deal about it. Unlikely
combinations of braised brisket, roasted beets and poached eggs are well balanced, served in generous portions for a reasonable price.
corner in Paris -- not just a ham and cheese crepe or Nicoise salad, but a duck rillette, too. Here you'll find what's truly the most rich and decadent Croque Monsieur in San Francisco, perfectly crisp on the outside and meltingly creamy on the inside. It's a revelation, and cause for a nap.
Sweet Maple has attracted its crowds by taking good old-fashioned American breakfast fare to the next level. The huge menu is full of standard staples, from Benedicts and two-egg breakfasts to morning sandwiches and French toast -- there's nothing "nouveau" about it. What is remarkable, though, is the food itself. Locally sourced, organic and abundant with fresh ingredients, it's unpretentious, reasonably priced breakfast chain food done extremely well. Don't skip
the Millionaire's Bacon, but be warned it could ruin bacon for you forever.
The Sunset doesn't see a lot of love in the culinary world, but Outerlands gives us a reason to make the trek. A few reasons, in fact: a rustic, calming space; the smell of fresh-baked levain; and a short menu of simple, delightful brunch dishes. In each, a few ingredients shine, unadorned with frills, like poached eggs and braised chard served on a bed of creamy grits. If your Sunday is empty and your mood is patient, Outerlands is a cozy retreat.