5 Brilliant Brunch Spots in San Francisco

My next guest blogger is Paroma Chakravaty from travel, food, pets and lifestyle blog yrofthemonkey.com. You can also find her on Instagram and twitter so do go and check out what she’s been up to (and eating) recently! San Francisco is high on my list of places I’d love to visit. And some of these brunch spots just look incredible! 

In my eight+ years of living in San Francisco as a food fiend, I have seen it all. Long lines and patient waits (we are not daunted by waits up to 1.5 hours to slurp that coveted Ramen or dig into that proverbial pancake) for almost all meals are a way of life here, thanks to ardent foodies highly connected via technology in this pint-sized city (we are only 49 square miles). Brunch is sacred to this city and the brunch scene is as diverse as the ever-changing culinary landscape.

So what better to showcase San Francisco’s food scene than dole out five must-visit brunch spots? These are as eclectic and varied in cuisine as the city itself. Forget the egged up everything brunches, these super popular San Francisco spots shed a new light on brunch. They are definitely worth checking out if you are in the city over the weekend. So, let’s get started on this lip-smacking ride!


This French cafe in the beautiful Cole valley neighbourhood San Francisco’s darling, and for all the right reasons. Not only is the food delicious (the pillowy soft pancakes are to die for) this is also a tip-free zone. This means the workers get all the benefits of health care and 401k, something which is still not the norm in the restaurant business in the USA. It is super difficult to get into Zazie, so arrive either very early or super late (they are open 9 AM -3 PM on weekends) to grab a table inside. Outside seating is first come, first serve so just hover around like a bee and grab the first seat you can. Monday nights are a special favourite with dog parents since Zazie allows for dinner on their inside garden patio with pooches.

Find them here: 941 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA

Zazie restaurant in San Francisco


if you are craving Hawaiian food on the mainland, head to Aina in San Francisco’s Dog Patch neighbourhood. ‘Aina’ means “earth” in Hawaiian and the menu pays homage to the bounty of the soil in Hawaii and its diversity. Think a mishmash of Portuguese, Chinese and native Hawaiian when it comes to food! Get some Punalu’u Bakery Taro French Toast (Punalu’u Bakery is the southernmost bakery of the USA and one that I have visited!) or dig into Kailua pork belly and finish off with the sugary sweetness of Malasadas. Whatever you choose, your taste buds will always thank you.

Find them here: 900 22nd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA

Aina restaurant in San Francisco


This “progressive Indian” restaurant in San Francisco’s SOMA neighbourhood. Thankfully NOT the greasy, creamy crap that is doled out in the name of “Indian food” in the USA (I am Indian by the way and hence so critical). It represents the new wave of Indian food married with Californian sensibility. Rich in taste but light and flavorful. Rooh has a separate brunch menu with mini kulcha (Indian stuffed bread), tasty chaats (Indian street food with a California spin), small plates and larger entrees plus a bevvy of cocktails and mocktails. Reservations are recommended, but not required. This is a must try place for a different kind of brunch.

Find them here: 333 Brannan St #150, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA

Rooh restaurant in San Francisco


Mexico city meets San Francisco in the culinary offerings of Hayes Valley’s Cala. It will delight you with its airy, light-filled interior and a fresh take on Mexican cuisine. Although the menu is a tad biased towards seafood, you do have vegetarian options as well. Sopes, trout tostadas, chilaquiles or ceviche, Cala puts its own spin on everything Mexican. The portions are on the smaller side, so be sure to order quite a few dishes to share. Reservations highly recommended for brunch.

Find them here: 149 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

Cala restaurant San Francisco


Ending the list with everyone’s favourite Californian-American neighbourhood joint Outerlands, located in the surf-friendly area of Outer Sunset. The food is worth the trek to the westernmost fringe of the city with American brunch favorites such as a hearty grilled cheese sandwich or  a sunny side up brekkie sandwich, but the restaurant keeps it interesting with sides of split pea soup, warm chicories and my Brussel sprouts and butternut squash, served with eggs on the side. Wait times can be long, so you are advised to arrive when the restaurant opens since they don’t accept reservation for brunch.

Find them here: 4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA

I hope you enjoyed reading this diverse list of brunch spots in San Francisco and are drooling to try them on your next visit. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The San Francisco food scene keeps on changing, with new brunch spots opening up every month! For more San Francisco eats, follow my blog at yrofthemonkey.com!

Thanks to Paroma for this delicious sounding roundup. If it’s made you hungry, why not try one of my brunch recipes? 


  1. 22nd February 2018 / 4:57 pm

    I’ve been to San Francisco a few times but not for over 15 years and we didn’t do brilliantly on the food side. I’d love to go back and try again armed with these recommendations from Paroma. I’m particularly intrigued by Aina, I’ve not eaten Hawaiian other than the trendy export of poke bowls… and I’d lvoe to try Cala’s modern Mexican cuisine.

    • 4th March 2018 / 4:39 pm

      Mahalo! We would love to have you come check us out! Cheryl (co-owner of ‘aina) 🌺

  2. Suze
    23rd February 2018 / 12:07 am

    I really want to visit San Francisco so these are some great brunch spots I’ll seek out if I do. The Hawaiian food at Aina sounds amazing. I’d love to try Outerlands too

  3. 23rd February 2018 / 7:06 pm

    I’ve never been to San Francisco, but you’ve just reaffirmed what I thought, that it is something of a foodie hotspot. Great ideas for when I DO get to visit

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