The Essential Brunches of San Francisco

These places have the vibes, the food, and the drinks to turn any hangover around

Oh, you’re not that into brunch, you say? Then you must not have lived in San Francisco very long. Indulging in the weekend meal is more or less a sport in the city, something that locals, and the restaurants that cater to them, take as seriously as comparing yoga classes and complaining about Muni.

You’ll notice a few common themes in this list: Waits at the best places in town are unavoidable, and it always behooves you to arrive early or make a reservation when possible. Cocktails are as important as the food, and many places have morning-oriented drink lists distinct from their evening fare. And brunch is different from breakfast in that it feels like an occasion, a chance to meet up with friends to catch up or deconstruct the night before— one essential quality of a good brunch place is that it’s an exceedingly pleasant place to linger.

With that in mind, good luck, good morning, and happy brunching.

1 'āina

Chef Jordan Keao started 'āina as a brunch pop-up before securing his now-established Dogpatch brick-and-mortar, where he's expanded to dinner and even added a tasting menu. But the Big Island-born Keao still has a foot firmly planted in the brunch game, serving Hawaiian favorites with a twist — think kalbi loco moco and spam musubi "ssam style." Guava-custard filled malasadas are worth the inevitable wait — be prepared to put your name in and wander the neighborhood.