Best Bet For Brunches

Mothers Day Dining

What better way to start off your week than with a pleasant, leisurely brunch at a charming local establishment? San Francisco holds a host of wonderful options for a scrumptious weekend treat. I’ve highlighted some of the grandest brunch options throughout varying neighborhoods of the city with unique dishes and fan favorite classics. Use this guide to find the one that best suits your brunch wants and needs!  

Foreign Cinema

Famed for its unique fusion of food and film, Foreign Cinema provides a dining experience that embodies the uniquely innovative urban vibe of the San Francisco dining scene—with an international twist.  By showing foreign films on the wall of their courtyard every night at dusk, Foreign Cinema stands apart from its competitors by complimenting their menu with alluring entertainment. And while brunch will not be accompanied by the latest French or Chinese drama, the excellent California/Mediterranean-inspired menu will be enough to have you emphatically gesturing and exclaiming like a true foreign film star.  The menu offers 11 different selections of oysters chosen from all over the Western hemisphere, to start.  Enjoy a Late Summer Champagne Omelet with golden chanterelles, crème fraiche, Fontina, and crispy potatoes, or Two Poached Eggs with Grilled Duck Breast, accompanied by warm salad greens, croutons, currants, shitakes, and sherry.  If your sweet tooth decides to chime in, consider Baguette French Toast with raspberries, blackberry sauce, mascarpone, and real maple syrup.  Or, for simplicity’s sake, try Foreign Cinema's house made organic fruit "Pop Tarts" with nectarine, fig, or apple filling.  If you’re a fan of lunch at brunch, consider one of their sandwiches: Croque Monsieur, Croque Madame or Dungeness Crab Croque Monsieur.  And this list is just scratching the surface on what this unique establishment has to offer.  Enjoy brunch at Foreign Cinema in the Mission District on Saturdays from 11:00am to 3:00pm and on Sundays from 11:00am to 3:30pm.

Garden Court

A jazz-accompanied buffet of grand proportions; allow The Palace’s Garden Court to blow you away with its vast and elegant brunch rooted in San Francisco tradition. This most beautiful and charming space with its whimsical lighting, foliage and turn-of-the-century décor will immerse you in age of grandeur unparalleled in today’s restaurants.  For brunch, you will surely find some classics, including an Omelet Station, Breakfast Breads and Pastries, and Crepes. To add some variety, an extensive Pasta Station with fresh filled pastas and a selection of sauces as well as an assortment of Dim Sum and Chinese Delicacies including Dumplings, Char Siu Ribs, Pot Stickers, and Peking Duck.  Expect to be delighted by the Kyo-ya Restaurant Signature Station offering a variety of Sushi and Sashimi, as well as Maxfield’s Restaurant Classics, offering a selection of California fare with local, sustainable artisan ingredients.  Last but not least, don’t miss the Dessert Station for an exquisite assortment of Cakes, Tarts, Pies, Truffles, Petit Fours and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.  Sunday Jazz Brunch lasts from 10:30am to 1:30pm and costs $68 for adults and $38 for children ages 5–12.

Greens Restaurant

If you are vegetarian, veg-friendly, or just plain veg-curious, Greens has a brunch that will delight the veggie-lover in you.  Greens’ simple décor provides a striking contrast to its incredible sprawling views of the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands.  Each of their seasonal dishes has a plethora of organic, local and sustainable ingredients that when combined are anything but dull.  For example, the Pinnacles Scramble; eggs are scrambled with yellow finn potatoes, poblano and chipotle chilies, scallions, cheddar and cilantro, and are then served on corn tortillas with chili, crème fraiche, fire roasted tomato and tomatillo salsas.  Also on the menu you’ll find Buttermilk Cornmeal Pancakes with Yerena Farm strawberries, Meyer lemon curd and warm maple syrup as well as Romaine Hearts, Watercress and Tardivo Radicchio with avocado, watermelon radish, jicama, pumpkin seeds and citrus chili vinaigrette.  Exquisitely fresh ingredients are combined to compliment one another in these culinary masterpieces. Greens is located in the Marina District and brunch is served from 10:30am to 2:00pm.

Bar Tartine

Bar Tartine, located in the Mission, uses simple, fresh ingredients to transform worldly classic dishes into sophisticated reinterpretations.  Enjoy a charming setting in which the dark wood of the floors and tables highlights elegance, juxtaposed with the simplicity of bare sconces and white napkins. Enjoy a touch of the south with house-made Biscuits complimented by smoked duck gravy, fried eggs and mixed chicory salad or Squid Braise of Bacon with tomatoes and shelling beans topped with breadcrumbs and a slow egg.  For a little European flair, order the King Trumpet Mushroom and Braised Chard Panini with asiago and shoestring fries, or take a walk on the sweet side with Sonoma Foie Gras on Brioche with strawberry-red wine jam, rocket and green salad.  If your taste buds are craving something especially divine, treat them to the Crab Scramble with sweet herbs, shallots and green salad, or try the Open Faced Pork Belly Sandwich with avocado, egg salad, pickled jalapeno and shoestring fries.  Unique recipes are transformed into vibrant fare, bold in appearance and flavor!  Bar Tartine’s delightful brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30am to 2:30pm.

Farmerbrown

At the root of Farmerbrown’s tree of Southern comfort food is the desire to support local African American farmers and use organic and sustainable foods whenever possible.   Approaching the restaurant, located near the Civic Center, diners enter through the practically incognito curtain. Stepping inside, you’ll find an intriguing, dimly lit space, complete with dark wood tables, walls adorned with modern African American art and glass jars in place of drinking glasses for water.  Farmerbrown is famous for their fried chicken, a recommended star of the menu and a guaranteed offering at Sunday Brunch. You can also expect to find Stone Ground Grits with Tillamook cheddar, Fruit Salad, Scrambled Eggs, and savory Bacon and Sausage.  If you come on the right day, you may be pleasantly surprised with delectable slices of pie fitting for a Thanksgiving feast.  This Southern-inspired Brunch is available from 9:00am to 2:30pm every Saturday and Sunday, with live jazz from aspiring local bands starting at 11:00am.  The all-you-can-eat buffet costs $16.50, and just $15 for early bird diners between 9:00am and 10:00am.

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar

Step into this swank, boisterous French bistro in Hayes Valley and enjoy the simple elegance of a bygone era. Treat yourself to a fanciful cocktail off their imaginative drink menu, including a spin on the traditional Manhattan, the very popular lime and grapfruit Galapagos, along with a variety of Bloody Marys.  Moving on to the food menu, on the savory side, smokey fish options include Smoked Salmon with pickled cucumber & onion, chive crème fraîche, and crostini, and Deviled Eggs topped with smoked salmon and black tobiko caviar.  Perhaps your taste buds will be taunted by the Wild-Mushroom Omelet with caramelized onions, truffled pecorino, and fresh herbs or select the Duck Confit Hash with red peppers, onions, potatoes, mizuna salad, and poached eggs.  On the sweet side, try Banana-Blueberry Soufflé Pancakes with maple syrup and whipped cream or Ricotta-Stuffed French Toast topped with caramelized apples and powdered sugar.  Choose from the vast selection of Goat’s Milk, Sheep’s Milk, Cow’s Milk, Mixed Milk and Blue Cheeses or indulge in Oysters, Shellfish and Caviar.  If you’re more in the mood for lunch, the Absinthe Hamburger featuring Marin Sun Farms ground beef is very popular.  Enjoy Absinthe’s flavorful brunch Saturday or Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Any of these fine establishments promise to provide a unique weekend brunch experience that will set you on course for a great week. Masterfully designed menus with plentiful choices allow palates of varying cuisine preferences to be pleased.  The City is a haven for fantastic fare, so stop simply dreaming about sweet French toast or a delightful dish of eggs Benedict and make it a mouth-watering reality!

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