If there’s one thing I absolutely love about San Francisco it has to be the scrumptious brunches. We tucked into a whole lot of brunches during our American adventure, from picnic brunches by the sea in the Big Sur to giant red velvet pancakes in Las Vegas (which are just as good as they sound by the way), but the City by the Bay served up some of the best.
San Francisco just knows how to do brunch right and so we spent all of our mornings there hunting down the best spots before we went off exploring the rest of the city.
As Mr Ayla correctly posted on his Facebook wall:
“You know you’re married to a travel blogging extraordinaire when it takes you two hours to get the best brunch. And apparently we’re doing it again tomorrow!”
Yes Alex, because brunch is totally worth it. I even had my fabulous brunch tee all ready for the occasion so we simply had to go in search of the best brunch spots in San Francisco because my outfit said so.
Brunch tee: WAKE ME UP GOODS
This is the place that had us rising at the crack of dawn and queuing for almost two hours and I thank my lovely husband that he patiently waited with me just for a bite of the sweet deliciousness that is Mama’s. And it was totally worth it.
Once we finally got inside, the small cosy atmosphere with patterned table cloths and colourful flowers adorning every table, had us feeling very snug and homely. We had scrolled through the menu on my phone while we were waiting outside, so we already knew what we wanted to eat, but inside they had a whole lot more delectable looking cakes and pastries on offer. So, as I’m sure anyone else would do in our situation, we just added on a few extra items and ended up ordering pretty much everything on the menu. Again, totally worth it.
If you’re a French toast lover, or a fan of anything sweet to be honest, then you will love it here. I am salivating right now just thinking of my plate full of the thickest French cinnamon toast, covered in strawberries and blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup.
The savoury dishes were just as tasty (although I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would order eggs over my plate of sweet delicious food porn) and Mama’s grilled potatoes were the perfect side order.
If you only have time for one brunch in San Francisco, Mama’s is the place to go.
♥ Sweet Maple
With a very laid-back and neighbourly atmosphere, Sweet Maple is a great place to meet up for a spot of brunch over the weekend. After the sweetness of Mama’s, I decided to go for the savoury option here, and also because I wanted to try their famous millionaire’s bacon. Extra thick and slow cooked for hours, this sweet and spicy addition to my eggs had me wishing I’d ordered a second plate.
We worked off all those brunch calories by taking the short walk uphill to nearby Alamo Square and the pretty row of Painted Ladies, where an afternoon nap on the grass seemed like the only thing to do after stuffing ourselves with yet another delicious brunch.
When we woke up late on our first morning in the city after a late flight the night before, Boudin was only a few steps from our hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf, so it seemed only fitting that we head straight in for some of their famous clam chowder. This may not be your typical brunch dish I know, but you cannot visit the Californian coast within trying it. Served in a huge sourdough bread bowl this was the tastiest we tried along the coast. It’s no surprise that they get through so much bread every day and you can even get a glimpse of the bakers hard at work through the window.
They also serve a huge range of other breads and pastries for those who’d prefer a more traditional breakfast. The smell of the freshly baked bread wafting its way along the waterfront is enough to tantalise anyone’s taste buds.
♥ The Cheesecake Factory
This well-known American chain can be found in most cities around the U.S. serving up everything from breakfast to dinner and, most importantly, the most amazing cheesecake EVER. If your idea of heaven involves lots of cake (I know mine does) then The Cheesecake Factory is pretty much heaven on earth.
My number one tip for anyone eating here is to not even bother ordering a main meal. They are tasty but, as it typical of American dishes, they are huge and you really don’t want to fill up on a main course. Just turn straight to the three pages of the menu that is chock-a-block full of the most ridiculous amounts of cheesecake you could possibly dream of. They have the originals and more simple choices such as Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake or Lemon Meringue; fun ones like Toasted Marshmallows S’Mores Galore or Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake; and then the downright orgasmic like the Kahlua Cocoa Coffee or the Oreo Dream Extreme.
Each slice is so ginormous, so rich and so mouth-wateringly scrumptious that our take away portions ended up lasting us for 3 days. I have never had a more enjoyable breakfast than eating leftover cheesecake out of the back of our campervan in Yosemite National Park.
No joke, I would get a slice (or a hundred slices) of their cheesecake mailed to me in the UK if I could. It really is that damn good.
And on that note I’m off to find myself a slice of cake. It’s totally acceptable for brunch right?!
Where’s your favourite brunch (or cake) spot in San Francisco? Let me know in the comments below or at:
25 thoughts on “Brunching in San Francisco”
So jealous! THe French toast looked SO good. IMO, nothing tops an American breakfast/brunch. We do it so well! I’m back in Seattle this weekend and am most excited to have ALL the brunch!
I’d heard a couple of people say how rubbish the brunches were in America but they couldn’t have been any more wrong! Hope you stuff yourself with lots of brunches while you’re there 🙂
I am literally drooling while reading this post! These brunches look amazing, and I would’ve also waited two hours for the french toast from Mama’s. I definitely need to get to San Francisco soon xxx
If I was with another blogger the two hour wait would have been fine but I did feel a little bad asking Alex to wait for so long. He was so good about it though and he agreed the food was just amazing! 🙂
I’m now dribbling all over my laptop – all looks amazing but that French Toast…. ❤
Oh yes, the French toast tops it all!
I’m so glad you loved Mamas – I think I would go all the way back there just for another brunch there!! And seriously, when will the owners of Cheesecake Factory realise how many of us are here in England just waiting for them to open up shop?!
I’ll come with you Shikha!! And I know! They should totally bring it over here! Although I think I’d go up a few dress sizes if they did 😉
So. Much. Brunch. Envy.
So so good 🙂
Yum yum yum!!
If only I could eat it all every day 😉
I heard amazing things about Boudin’s, it was so crowded when we tried to go but we loved the clam chowder elsewhere!
It does get really packed but we went just before the lunch rush so it wasn’t too busy when we were there. I think the clam chowder is great anywhere to be honest!
I’m such a brunch fan, and I love that you even have the t-shirt to prove it! Thanks for these fantastic recommendations
It’s the best meal of the day 🙂
Ahhh two hour queue!! It looks amazing but I don’t think I’d have the patience 🙂 Glad you loved it though!
That French toast was definitely worth the two hour wait!
did you eat EVERYTHING you took a picture of? 😉
Yup! So full but so totally worth it!
So happy to see you made it to Sweet Maple! It’s one of our favorites as well! And Mama’s and Boudin are SF classics! 🙂 YUM!
– Maddy @ http://www.travelalphas.com
I looove brunches too!! The American ones are just the best… bacon, french toasts, pancakes and everything in between, oh my. I’m so hungry right now! Next time I’m in London (November again 🙂 ) we have to go for a brunch, me you and Shikha 😀
Yay! So glad you’re coming back to London! Is this for WTM again? We definitely need to arrange a brunch date. Let us know the dates asap so we can get something in the diary 🙂