Brunch is quite the occasion in San Francisco. Lines start winding around the block well before noon. The newest brunch spot is a common topic of conversation and people start making brunch plans a week in advance. To say brunch is a big deal in this city is an understatement.
So where is the best place for brunch? In no particular order, these are our picks for the top five brunch places in the city. Consistent, delicious and most certainly well worth the wait.
Source: Emily Dunham
Plow has one of the most attractive menus in town. Every item on their brunch menu is appealing, making it very difficult to pick your order. Adding to the challenge, the open kitchen allows a full view of the delicious items being prepared, while heaping plates of food are whisked around at rapid speed. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but the lemon ricotta pancakes are a must. These pancakes are the quintessential pancake dream. The pancakes arrive with golden griddle marks encrusted on both sides. Impossibly soft and warm, the pancake is not overly sweet with a freshing lemon flavor. Pure golden maple syrup comes on the side. Drizzle this over the pancake, and let it soak in for a delicious, sweet and citrusy combination. No matter what else you order, get a side of pancakes.
Source: Joey Chen
When the wait for Plow is unbearable, Serpentine is a fantastic alternative. The menu is simple and minimalist, similar to the loft-like décor of the restaurant. The Fried Egg Sandwich and Country Fried Steak are excellent choices. The Country Fried Steak arrives as a heaping plateful. The main star is the juicy flat iron steak lightly breaded and fried so delicately the breading gently slips off you slice into it. It is served with a non-traditional side of biscuit and gravy. The biscuit is soft and square, resembling a light corn cake. A savory peppery gravy is drizzled over the biscuit soaking into every nook and cranny. We also recommend ordering one of the buckwheat pancakes with fresh fruit and whipped cream to share as a side to balance out the savory dishes.
3. Slow Club
Slow Club offers delicious modern takes on traditional brunch dishes. The Bourbon French Toast is easily one of the best French toasts in the city. With every order, three luscious golden pieces arrive. The bread has been lightly griddled, creating a crusty exterior while maintaining the soft, fluffy center. The French toast is topped with sweet candied walnuts, juicy blackberries, sliced bananas, fresh strawberries and a decadent bourbon maple syrup. Drizzle the syrup over the French toast and watch it seep seamlessly into the the delicious folds of the bread. The Turkey Sausage Hash is a great savory dish to order with the French toast. The hash comes with two perfectly poached eggs over a plateful of corn, peppers and peppery turkey sausage. Pop the yolks and mix the creamy yellow goodness into the hash. Sop it all up with crusty toasted levain bread.
4. The Butler and the Chef
Source: Premshree Pillai
Head to Paris for brunch at the bistro-inspired The Butler and the Chef in South Beach. The menu consists of classic French bistro fare like French Onion Soup and Salad Lyonnaise, crepes and baguette sandwiches. Everything is fresh, delicate and well prepared. The Croque Monsieur made with Niman Ranch ham and emmenthal cheese is a delicious classic that will transport you to the cobble streets of Paris. The salty baked ham layered with mellow emmenthal cheese, creamy creme fraiche, briny cornichons is sandwiched between two pieces of organic white bread for the ultimate brunch meal.
5. Brenda’s French Soul Food
Source: Wyn Lok
At Brenda’s, you’ll find Southern classics such as beignets, Shrimp & Grits, and Gumbo alongside omelettes, pancakes and innovative dishes like the Grullades & Grits (beef cutlets braised in spicy creole gravy.) The New Orleans inspired menu is rich, indulgent and quite simply heavenly. For a taste of adventure, try the crawfish beignet spiced with cayenne, scallions and cheddar. The normally sweet treat gets a twist with juicy chunks of crawfish mixed into batter with chopped scallions, salty cheddar and a nice touch of spice from the cayenne.