5 Superb SF Brunches for People Who Hate the Brunch Crowd

Turns out not all brunch plates are the same.

You got your sad stacks o’ carbs. Your weak salads. Your maple-cured bacon.

(OK, we like the bacon.)

But then you’ve got real chefs, doing real food, around midday on Saturday and Sunday, with options that look beyond French toast and mimosas.

So live a little: at these five superior Bay Area brunching spots.

Beats a couple beignets with salted caramel sauce, we’ll tell you that much.

Spot: Alba Ray’s

Neighborhood: The Mission

Vibe: Super high-gloss Louisiana, with a delectable menu

Order: Char-grilled oysters with herbed butter, followed by the crawfish omelette

Plus a little something sweet: These beignets with salted caramel sauce we mentioned

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Spot: Outerlands

Neighborhood: Outer Sunset

Vibe: Escape from the beach/fog in this new American refuge

Order: Lamb fritters with chili aioli with the levain toast and marmalade

Plus a little something sweet: Dutch pancakes with apples, sunflower kernels, and caramel

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Spot: The Saratoga

Neighborhood: TenderNob

Vibe: Industrial and masculine

Order: Skip the avocado toast even though it’s delicious (it’s basic and delicious, unfortunately) to get the mole flautas with braised chicken, red cabbage, and pico de gallo

Plus a little something sweet: In this case, the bacon will do—it’s made with molasses, rum and maple syrup.

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Spot: Marlowe

Neighborhood: SoMa

Vibe: Bright bistro with a top-notch burger

Order: There’s no point coming to Marlowe if you don’t get the burger. But maybe spot by Petit Marlowe for some bubbles later.

Plus a little something sweet: The bruléed citrus, with passionfruit curd and candied pistachio

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Spot: Presidio Social Club

Neighborhood: Presidio

Vibe: Officers’ quarters remade as styling brunch spot on the edge of the park—bring your hiking shoes.

Order: “Mission-style” chilaquiles with scrambled eggs, tomatillo, and cotija cheese

Plus a little something sweet: The brioche beignets

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