A place as stunning as San Diego has to have incredible foods, specifically brunches, to match its beautiful scenery and weather, right? Well, we have compiled a list of the best brunch spots spread out across the beautiful city that are delicious, affordable, and offer extensive selections of authentic cuisines.
Located on the cute little corner of downtown’s Fifth Avenue, Cafe 21 is a quaint and delicious brunch spot that always welcomes a long, hungry line ready to devour. Not just your average cafe, Cafe 21 has a wide variety assortment of heavenly dutch pancakes and crepes straight from the cast iron itself filled with organic and local ingredients.
From fluffy tiramisu pancakes smothered in espresso syrup and powdered sugar to food-filled crepes like the roasted chicken breast drenched in caramelized onions, feta, and mozzarella, Cafe 21 is guaranteed to be your next favorite brunch spot in San Diego.
Besides having one of the most distinctive and savory brunch menus in the city, Bottega Americano is the place to go for a “Sunday Funday” alcoholic brunch bash. As a classy Italian bistro, Bottega carries the essential selection of reds and whites, but its fabulous mimosa choices may just be too good to be true.
The lush brunch-inspired drinks can range from the typical champagne and orange juice combo that never fails to a grapefruit surprise full of flavor and fresh local ingredients. Other cocktails that we highly recommend are the Caffe Fresco, a vanilla-infused vodka mixed with refreshing cold brewed coffee and the Al Fresco Sour! Enjoy their power frittata or grilled ciabatta avocado toast sprinkled with zesty, cracked black pepper. It’s seriously all delicious at Bottega Americano!
Fig Tree Cafe
San Diego’s Fig Tree Cafe is so amazing that they have a total of three locations spread within 10 minutes each of each other. Located in PB, Hillcrest, and at Liberty Station, this one of the best brunches you will find in the city.
Easily one of the best Eggs Benedict you have ever had, the Tuscan was sent from heaven itself and don’t even get us started on the Braised Angus Beef Short Ribs Benedict that literally melts in your mouth. If you’re a fan of french toast and pancakes (who isn’t?) their large and blissful selection will have your mouth watering at the sight of the menu. If you haven’t already stopped by one of these locations, definitely give it a glance.
For a global perspective on incredible foods spawned from the different corners of countries spread all over the world, San Diego’s Hanna’s Gourmet houses them all.
Eggs a la France, Eggs a la Espana, Eggs a la Africana, Eggs a la Marrakech…okay enough with the eggs, but Hanna’s really does everything from all over the world and it’s amazing. With biscuits and gravy that taste as if they came straight off of the levee and a Havarti three cheese egg sandwich that will stop your heart (years l, ter) you will die for this gourmet location on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.
Hillcrest hesitantly welcomes massive lines on the weekends for Great Maple’s one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world signature maple bacon donut. But, regardless of the popularity for one of the best and freshest donuts you have ever had in your life, their menu actually has a quite a bit to choose from.
You might find yourself tempted by the free-range scrambled melts or fluffy silver dollar pancakes with your choice of peanut butter and banana, salted caramel, fresh and local blueberries and even chocolate bacon that will definitely have you pawing at the door. Did we forget to mention the incredible Proscuitto Di Parma Flatbread? Oh wow, you have to try it.
Madison on Park
With a name like Madison on Park, you would expect this to be quite the classy joint and you are correct. The epic University Heights bistro is understanding of group sharing so their “Share It” section has amazing appetizer choices like the insane waffled churro sticks accompanied by their signature maple cream cheese sauce that could actually complete your existence.
One of the favorites of Madison is the Mediterranean Breakfast portion that offers any 2 eggs of your choice, sliced cucumbers, cherry heirlooms, avocado, house hummus, and grilled pita bread with an addition of bacon that hits the spot. Their orange pineapple kale mimosa is sure to happily drown your taste buds, along with the cucumber honey and Honeycrisp apple pomegranate drinks that will make your heart (and blood alcohol level) soar.
Claire’s on Cedros
You haven’t tasted heaven until you have Solana Beach’s Claire’s on Cedros’ Quinoa Cake Benedict dripping with fresh vegetables like zucchini, corn, tomatoes, and onions smothered in arugula and jalapeño and, of course, their signature hollandaise sauce. We also recommend the Short Rib Hash with its “smear” of signature salsa negra atop the rich herb roasted potatoes, bell peppers, and peperonata.
Their griddle selection is pretty killer with healthy alternatives to the fluffy heart attacks you normally order at restaurants and even offer gluten free “claire cakes.” Any of the omelets and scrambles are solid choices as well, especially the Southwestern. Basically, everything at Claire’s is incredible so go try it now.
La Jolla’s Herringbone has always been a solid go-to dinner spot in San Diego, but many underestimate their brunch menu. Before you devour the amazing main menu, may we suggest that you sample or share the raspberry pop tarts? Served with a heavenly lime custard and chocolate dipping sauce, you might just have to eat dessert before you even get to the meal.
While you are munching down on some savory custard, feel free to try the bottomless mimosas that are available until 2 pm or check out the signature Herringbone Bloody Mary compliments of Ballast Point. And for the main course? We heavily suggest between the Maine Lobster Roll or the Soft Shell Crab Benedict coated in hollandaise and pancetta; both are too delicious to even describe.
There is no San Diego brunch without Coronado’s classy Crown Room, home to the greatest and fanciest brunch in the city. Imagine the most beautiful buffet stuffed with an incredible and fresh seafood bar, delicious tarts, treats and candies, personalized omelets, tender carving stations, an endless supply of mimosa refreshments and even a gourmet Bloody Mary bar!
There is even a design-your-own donut station for goodness sake, how could you ever pass that up? Held every Sunday at Coronado’s Crown Room, the lavish brunch is $96 per person, $35 for kids but well worth the price. You will eat like royalty at the classiest brunch in San Diego.
This authentic New York style eatery welcomes the city of San Diego with delicious dishes wreaking of East Coast traditions like the Crab Crake Benedict consumed in “Old Bay” hollandaise accompanied by a sweet side of mashed potatoes.
Or how about the Way, Way South Brooklyn’s fresh corn, beans, jalapeno, chipotle chiles and green scallion guacamole all atop sunny side eggs and crisp fried plantains? What could sound better than that? Mission Hills’ Brooklyn Girl also specializes in the “hair of the dog” with Bloody Mary’s and Cereal Milk (a Bourbon with espresso infused vermouth, creme de cacao, milk and even Cocoa Krispies).
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what the heck this amazing treat you see below is. It’s the one and only Breakfast Republic’s S’mores French Toast with your average graham cracker crusted brioche bread topped with toasted marshmallows and chocolate sauce.
We know, we know, you don’t need to hear anything else on the menu. We get it, but just hear us out! Among our other favorites are the Jurassic Pork Benedict, Churro Pancakes (yes, churro we said churro), Mint Chocolate Chip pancakes, and the Steak n’ Eggs and Breakfast Jambalaya. Enjoy any or all of these and more with their delicious cranberry, grapefruit or orange juice mimosas.
Wonderland Ocean Pub
The first thing that needs to be said about Ocean Beach’s Wonderland Ocean Pub’s brunch is that they offer $10 bottles of champagne. Now we have your interest, don’t we? Okay, well here we go. Wonderland’s brunch menu provides a varied assortment of typical brunch food with a twist like the Big Buddha Breakfast’s two eggs, griddled beef patty, Portuguese sausage, chicken longanisa, spam and rice covered in a moat of melt-in-your-mouth gravy.
We also definitely recommend the Old Aztec Scramble, or the OB Hippie Scramble just to bring the peace-love vibes from the awesome town into your dish. But, our absolute favorite? The heavenly, wondrous Shrimp & Goat Cheese scramble with blackened shrimp, grape tomatoes, melted goat cheese, spinach and caramelized onions. What more could you ask for?
While you are awaiting your authentic Spanish cuisine at Bankers Hill’s Barrio Star, feel free to sip on their classic Hola Screwdriver, Bloody Maria, Beer Rita, or incredible Sangrias that come in both a pitcher and glass (just the Sangria).
Enjoy chorizo? The Soy Chorizo Scramble is pretty amazing, served with fresh rosemary potatoes. Or how about the Morning Torta encompassed in their signature guajillo chile sauce? You really cannot go wrong at this amazing brunch spot, especially with the tacos. From chicken to spicy shrimp, these people really know how to make a taco. Hopefully, you’re convinced that you should definitely check out Barrio Star next time you are craving a delicious Latin-inspired brunch with friends.
Before anything else is mentioned, we have to point out that out of all of San Diego’s French restaurants, downtown’s Cafe Chloe was awarded the best in the city. As that sets the tone for their insatiable brunch selection, let’s get into it, shall we? Starting with the cocktails (as the French do) Chloe supplies the finest wines, Bloody Mary’s, and sorbet mimosas San Diego has ever seen.
If you aren’t feeling the Sunday Funday drinking vibe, sip on their insanely delicious lavender lemonade that is guaranteed to carry you off into another dimension. As for what you should savor the rest of your stay, the absolutely fabulous and authentic brioche french toast may even have you speaking French. If that doesn’t get you talking, check out their delicious Hand Chopped Steak Tartare or the signature Chloe Burger! Everything Chloe has to offer will exceed your prior brunch expectations tenfold. Guaranteed.
Eclipse Chocolate Bar & Bistro
With a name so delicious, you would hope that the food matches, right? Well at South Park’s Eclipse Chocolate Bar and Bistro it goes even higher than the delicious name with insatiable treats and plates like the incredible Bacon and Buttermilk Toast you see below and so much more. Glistening with pure maple syrup, the dish includes maple muscovado glazed bacon, buttermilk toast, a savory side of fresh jam, and the most luscious orange vanilla butter in the world to top it off. How amazing does that sound?
And that’s just one thing on the menu! Along with soups, fresh salads, and stuffed red peppers that will stop your heart, the restaurant’s signature is their “drinking chocolate.” From rosemary mint to chile burnt caramel, these are the most delicious drinks you will ever have.
Fitting along the perfected and elegant lines of Coronado’s Crown Room brunch, Shelter Island’s Humphrey’s is a close second. Seafood caught right underneath the classy joint’s docks, tender and savory carving stations, fresh, local fruit, cookie, pie, and cake platters, and free-flowing champagne and mimosas, Humphrey’s really has it all.
Served from 10-2 on Sundays, adults can eat for $50 a person while children only cost $20.00 and it really is a steal for what you’re getting. On top of the sweet and tasty assortment, guests are welcomed with the sounds of live music to enjoy while they eat the finest foods San Diego has to offer.
Voted the best breakfast in all of Carlsbad, Cafe Topes offers incredible benedicts like Pork Belly, Mac n’ Benedict with real crab and avocado, the Chorizo and Joely bountiful in fresh salmon, brie cheese, and capers. And don’t forget that “Crack” benedict with their signature crack sprinkled over two poached eggs and an English muffin.
They also offer vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options for eaters of all particular walks of life. As for their pancake selection, you can choose pancakes with M&M’s, Oreros, Bananas, Cinnamon Rolls, and Croissants. Yes, Cafe Topes has it all. And did we forget to mention that breakfast is served all dang day? Oh yeah, it’s that good.
Dolci Cafe Italiano
Using only organic eggs, El Cajon’s Dolci Cafe Italiano creates heavenly Benedicts that cannot be described well enough to match their taste, like the Salmonato with two poached eggs, goat cheese, smoked salmon topped with caramelized onions all under a wave of hollandaise atop a delicious piece of toasted ciabatta.
Other favorites are the house-made Roast Beef Hash, Chilaquiles Verdes, and of course, the Kobe Burger & Eggs topped with the chipotle hollandaise sauce made by the gods themselves. Dolci also has amazing sweets like strawberry and Nutella crepes and Belgian waffles and a daily pastries selection that is too sweet to pass up.
One major reason to check our Kettner Exchange’s epic brunch is the odd selection that they offer compared to most other places. The menu includes things like 3Big-Eye Tuna Tacos, Drunken Noodles, Spicy Shrimp, Brussel Sprouts mixed in with delicious tender pig ear and their pork steam bun covered in crushed peanuts, this brunch is definitely not one to miss.
Although they have a few of the typical brunch choices like the bennie and french toast, Kettner’s fresh take on lunch portion of brunch is well-received absolutely divine. Not to mention their selection of wines, craft beers and signature hair of the dog drinks is pretty impressive too!
Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe
Served all Sunday and Saturday long, Scripps Ranch’s Nutmeg Bakery & Cafe is quite a treat! Offering all of the favorite brunch meals, nutmeg makes sure to keep up on the season when it comes to the additions of the dishes.
“In August your French toast might come with a pumpkin-spice batter. In May, it’ll probably be topped with fresh strawberries. But, don’t expect to find spring garlic in your hash browns until April!” This insatiable artisan bakery/ restaurant has only the best local, organic and sustainable treats to munch on and will definitely be your new favorite, but expect a line on the weekends.