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The Best Brunch Restaurants in San Diego

Spanish for Saint Didacus, San Diego sits in southern California along the Mexican border. It earned the nickname "the Birthplace of California" because San Diego marks the first location that European explorers visited along the West Coast. The historical city boasts a thriving economy, attracting millions of visitors from around the world to its glistening Pacific beaches. When it comes to brunch in San Diego, diners enjoy a universally delightful experience filled with sunshine, ocean views, and the finest farm-fresh produce and seafood. The city's hip, casual vibe mixes with diverse cultural influences creating a hyper-local cuisine in a style of its own. But where do the savviest, smartest diners go for the best brunch in San Diego? Discover our Tastemaker list, a list of the top venues among OpenTable's thousands of restaurants, compiled using data from our knowledgeable, seasoned diners. Book a table at these San Diego brunch spots offering bay views, Old Town heritage, and fabulous fusion food.

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The OpenTable Team
20 Restaurants
Updated 01 October 2021
Restaurants:Crown Room Brunch at Hotel del Coronado, Sugar and Scribe, Kairoa Brewing Company
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Breakfast, Brewery
Neighborhoods:Coronado, San Diego, University Heights
A photo of Crown Room Brunch at Hotel del Coronado restaurant

Crown Room Brunch at Hotel del Coronado

$$$$
Contemporary American
Coronado
4.5
819 reviews
Hotel del Coronado is an iconic San Diego landmark, a sprawling beach resort that's welcomed visitors for over 130 years. Its Crown Room – the venue for lavish, Sundays-only brunches – has a rich heritage of its own, having hosted banquets for royalty and the first state dinner outside the White House. Today's brunch-goers are certainly joining a lineage of the elite. The feast-like buffet reflects such a provenance, presenting a series of stations manned by sous chefs in white toques. There's a gourmet bloody Mary station, one for chilled seafood, another with charcuterie and artisan cheeses and carvery stations plying jamon iberico, wagyu brisket and roasted leg of lamb. Made-to-order cinnamon roll waffles and a candy/dessert station satisfy any sweet tooth.

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A photo of Sugar and Scribe restaurant

Sugar and Scribe

$$$$
Breakfast
San Diego
4.7
270 reviews
Sugar and Scribe is a bakery and restaurant in one, the brainchild of chef-owner Maeve Rochford, winner of the Food Network's "Holiday Baking Championship." The restaurant has an all-day breakfast menu along with a lunch menu, together presenting brunch dishes to suit all desires. Both have sweet and savory options spanning a range from light to decadent, along with drink options as ample as the foods. Among the latter are specialty coffees, bloody Marys and unusual mimosas such as lavender and lemon. The cuisine has a noticeable Irish influence, as in the shepherd's pie and full Irish breakfast with black and white puddings. Classic brunch items include an array of Benedicts, sandwiches and salads, many served with breads baked daily in-house.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Kairoa Brewing Company restaurant

Kairoa Brewing Company

$$$$
Brewery
University Heights
4.5
103 reviews
Along with its line of craft beers, Kairoa Brewing Company presents New Zealand comfort food with a SoCal spin. The venue resembles a modern farmhouse and features a lovely rooftop bar, with the overall vibe representative of its owners' love for their native New Zealand. At brunch, served on weekends only, this means enticing options such as smoked chook wings with a house-made golden ginger or Korean buffalo sauce, a twist on a Cobb salad with smoked lamb and poached egg, and both Kiwi and Yanks burgers, the former with a beet relish and tomato chutney, the latter a classic American cheeseburger. The brunch menu also features some vegan and vegetarian options, along with creative mimosas like elderflower-grapefruit and prickly pear-lime.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Humphreys SoCal Dining and Music restaurant

Humphreys SoCal Dining and Music

$$$$
American
Point Loma
4.2
1423 reviews
Humphreys SoCal Dining and Music presents its award-winning buffet brunch on Sundays only. The contemporary cuisine is SoCal-inspired with global influences, prepared using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The waterfront spot on Shelter Island has walls of windows overlooking the harbor, filling its dining room with natural light. Among the brunch options are local seafood (snow crab legs, oysters on the half shell, ceviche, steamed mussels and more), substantial savory items such as baby back ribs, roasted turkey and honey-glazed ham, and classic breakfast fare including eggs made to order. Sweet things include cakes, cookies, ice cream and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of 94th Aero Squadron - San Diego restaurant

94th Aero Squadron - San Diego

$$$$
American
Kearny Mesa
4.3
2759 reviews
With a vintage aviation theme and home inside a replica WWI French farmhouse overlooking Montgomery Field Airport, 94th Aero Squadron is a unique space for brunch. Vintage airplane wings hang over the dining room, and some tables have headphones that let diners listen live to the FAA control tower. The cuisine demands attention too – especially the restaurant's Sunday Champagne brunch, a serious contender for the best brunch in San Diego. Highlights of the comprehensive buffet include a signature prime rib, slow-roasted daily, and apple-walnut upside-down pie served warm. There are fajita and pasta stations, fish and chicken of the day, chilled seafood and a chocolate fountain at the dessert station.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Farmer's Table - Bay Park restaurant

Farmer's Table - Bay Park

$$$$
Farm-to-table
Bay Park
4.2
846 reviews
Brunch is available daily at Farmer's Table, a farm-to-table restaurant in Bay Park that thoroughly embraces the "farm" part of that concept in its decor and cuisine. The restaurant works closely with local San Diego farms, ranches, fisheries and bakeries in sourcing its organic ingredients. On the a la carte brunch menu, these go into produce-forward egg dishes, savory items with Mexican, Italian and Cajun flavors, wood-fired pizzas and sweet stuff including dessert-like French toasts. Farmer's Table's brunch signature is bloody Marys that present like a full meal. The Butcher's Block bloody Mary, for example, comes with braised short rib, andouille sausage, bacon and blue cheese-stuffed olives; the Barn Yard, which serves four or more, includes a whole roasted chicken.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Great Maple San Diego restaurant

Great Maple San Diego

$$$$
American
Hillcrest
4.7
3511 reviews
Great Maple, a small regional chain of upscale eateries, presents creatively elevated versions of classic American comfort food, including brunch seven days a week. Under the "brunch classics" section of the menu are apple pie with spicy pecans and salted caramel, French toast logs with maple-smoked bacon maple syrup and blueberries, and pigs in a blanket, which is pork sausage encased in a giant buttermilk pancake. Another section offers English popovers with poached eggs and Hollandaise plus various savory toppings. There are ample vegan and vegetarian options too, as well as fresh bakery items (such as beignets with lemon curd for dipping and maple-bacon donuts), several fancy mimosas and half a dozen bloody Marys.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar restaurant

Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar

$$$$
Contemporary American
Mission Hills
4.5
1001 reviews
The popular Mission Hills restaurant Harley Gray Kitchen and Bar presents an a la carte brunch on weekends. The menu includes a list of Benedicts including classic, veggie and lobster, and a small-plates section featuring a roasted beet salad, avocado toast with feta and an award-winning clam chowder. Lunch-type items include burgers, sandwiches and tacos, along with signature dishes such as macadamia nut banana pancakes, loco moco and chilaquiles. Brunch-goers might order free-flowing Champagne or mimosas, share a mimosa bowl or try the Sunday Funday mojito, the classic cocktail topped up with Champagne.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant & Cantina restaurant

Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant & Cantina

$$$$
Mexican
Old Town
4.0
937 reviews
On a sunny day, the rooftop of the Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant and Cantina is a delightful place to enjoy what is probably the best brunch in San Diego for anyone who loves authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant, inside the Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel adjacent to Heritage Park, is on a hillside overlooking Old Town, with views as far as Mission Bay. Its own special-edition tequilas go into the restaurant's signature giant margarita, although free-flowing Champange is the drink of choice during weekend brunches. In the bright and colorful buffet room are stations featuring build-your-own tacos, authentic pozole and menudo, chicken and beef machaco, fresh fruits and churros. On Sundays, sizzling fajitas are part of the spread.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Tom Hams Lighthouse restaurant

Tom Hams Lighthouse

$$$$
Seafood
Downtown / Gaslamp
4.7
5437 reviews
Tom Ham's Lighthouse has welcomed San Diego diners since 1971, and today the second generation of the Ham family runs the restaurant. It's a landmark of San Diego, with a working lighthouse incorporated into its design and unrivaled views of the bay, skyline and Coronado Bridge. Brunch, on Sundays only, includes free-flowing Champagne or mimosas, plus unlimited options from a lavish buffet. Classic breakfast dishes include made-to-order omelets, whole-grain pancakes, corned beef hash and Benedicts made with buttermilk biscuits and cured ham feature. Lunch-type items include salads, made-to-order pasta dishes, brisket and grilled market fish. There's also a raw bar with smoked salmon, oysters, crab legs and more.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The French Gourmet restaurant

The French Gourmet

$$$$
French
Pacific Beach
4.6
1251 reviews
Brunch at The French Gourmet, a Pacific Beach restaurant, wine bar and French bakery in one, combines separate a la carte breakfast and lunch menus, both available daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant specializes in California-influenced French cuisine, including hand-made crepes stuffed with sweet or savory concoctions, rustic pate samplers, house-made quiches and both traditional and fancy egg preparations. There's a duck confit eggs Benedict, a vegetarian omelet filled with ratatouille, and moules marineres representing fine French cuisine. California-influenced items include wraps, burgers and paninis.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Cosmopolitan Restaurant restaurant

Cosmopolitan Restaurant

$$$$
American
Old Town
4.0
331 reviews
Cosmopolitan Restaurant claims a remarkable heritage, occupying an adobe home built in 1927, now inside Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The building served as a restaurant and stagecoach office and an olive cannery before it was restored as the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant. The cuisine, including a la carte brunches on weekends only, is classic American fare with a modern touch along with some Mexican flavors. Traditional brunch items include biscuits and gravy, buttermilk pancakes and a selection of Benedicts on house-made buttermilk biscuits. Interesting lunch-type items include fried chicken and churros with jalapeno and bacon-infused maple syrup, and a carnitas grilled cheese. Fruity mimosas, margaritas, red and white sangrias and a classic bloody Mary are available too.

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A photo of Jeune et Jolie restaurant

Jeune et Jolie

$$$$
Contemporary French
Carlsbad
4.9
2518 reviews
A chic, Art-Deco-inspired space in Carlsbad, Jeune et Jolie is a 90-seat bistro adorned in blush tones with modern art on its walls. The cuisine is nouvelle French, with a pared-down brunch menu offered on weekends. The menu dedicates a full third of its space to seafood, with oysters, prawns, Maine lobster and Alaskan king crab legs among the options. Elegant French-style egg preparations feature as well, such as the "ouef" with fried egg, mushrooms, bacon, pommes puree and demi glace, an omelette with Boursin and fine herbs, and a freshly baked baguette with ham, butter and gruyere. A handful of sweet options includes beignets with jam and cream, and brioche bostock, a French toast with almond cream and fruit. The drinks menu is minimalist too, comprising perfectly brewed coffee, espresso or cappuccino and a few fresh juices.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Parc Bistro-Brasserie restaurant

Parc Bistro-Brasserie

$$$$
French
Banker's Hill
4.7
2051 reviews
Sophisticated French-inspired bistro fare prepared with fresh ingredients is the specialty of Parc Bistro-Brasserie near Balboa Park, which presents an a la carte brunch on weekends. The brunch menu includes a raw bar section with ceviche, smoked salmon bagels and seafood towers, along with sweet and savory main dishes. These include the Viennoiserie pastry basket with croissant, pain au chocolate and toasted batard with fig jam, and a breakfast burrito with pork belly. Decadent options include the churro French toast with creme anglaise and fresh berries, and the fried chicken and waffle. There's also lighter fare such as a tuna nicoise and French onion soup. Handcrafted cocktails with a French vibe are a brunch highlight.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Mediterranean Room - La Valencia Hotel restaurant

Mediterranean Room - La Valencia Hotel

$$$$
American
La Jolla
4.6
1254 reviews
The Med is the flagship restaurant of the historic La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, an iconic local landmark of pink-hued Mediterranean architecture built in 1926. A coastal setting, with incredible views of La Jolla Cove from its terrace, plus fine, Spanish-inspired California cuisine make The Med's daily brunch one of the best in San Diego. The brunch menu showcases seasonal seafood and local ingredients, and is divided into light, sweet and savory sections. Seafood signatures include a lobster roll with brown butter on brioche, and Baja shrimp chilaquiles. House-made cinnamon rolls are a highlight of the sweet section.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Madison restaurant

Madison

$$$$
Modern European
University Heights
4.7
2130 reviews
Madison presents sophisticated, Mediterranean-influenced cuisine in a beautifully designed space full of wood and light. Its weekend brunches are a la carte and feature shareable plates such as waffle churro sticks and "goat points," levain bread spread with Sonoma goat cheese and apricot-habanero jam. Other toasts with creative toppings feature too, as do signature entrees like the G.O.A.T. breakfast sandwich and a white bean shakshuka with carnitas. Brunch also presents mimosas designed for a wellness-minded crowd, such as the black magic with organic apple, lemon, alkaline water, blood orange agave and activated charcoal.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Decoy Dockside restaurant

Decoy Dockside

$$$$
American
San Marcos
4.3
744 reviews
Decoy Dockside, a two-story, lodge-inspired venue at Lakehouse Hotel and Resort in San Marcos, presents a Sunday brunch buffet that includes bottomless Champagne. A favorite among brunch regulars is the lemon ricotta French toast, one of numerous breakfast classics available alongside fresh breads and pastries. Savory options include a carving station, omelet station and an array of fresh seafood. There's a dessert station as well. Diners can follow brunch with a boat ride on Lake San Marcos – boat rentals are available at the resort.

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A photo of Bali Hai Restaurant restaurant

Bali Hai Restaurant

$$$$
Polynesian
Shelter Island / San Diego Bay
4.5
4967 reviews
The Sunday brunch buffet at Bali Hai Restaurant on the San Diego Harbor comes with free-flowing Champagne to accompany Polynesian-inspired cuisine. The comprehensive buffet spread includes creative fusion-style breakfast, lunch and dessert options, among them a cold seafood bar, make-your-own pho, Hawaiian-style omelets and a hand-carved prime rib station. Items like Korean chicken, kalua pork, island-style macaroni salad and linguica pigs in a blanket represent the restaurant's signature Poynesian-Asian fusion cuisine. Vegetarian and vegan options include made-to-order stir-fries. Finish with cookies, brownies or a build-your-own sundae.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant restaurant

Veranda Fireside Lounge & Restaurant

$$$$
Californian
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
4.5
2051 reviews
Veranda Fireside Lounge and Restaurant, one of four dining venues at the chic Rancho Bernardo Inn, offers an a la carte brunch on Sundays only. Breakfast highlights include a healthy egg-white omelet with foraged mushrooms and grilled vegetable hash, and a short-rib hash with poached egg. Lunch classics like a California BLT feature along with a cheeseburger and French dip. The menu includes some Mexican-inspired items too, such as the machaca breakfast burrito. Specialty cocktails, mimosas and bloody Marys augment the brunch menu, as do some interesting nonalcoholic "refreshers" like carrot-ginger lemonade.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Backyard Kitchen and Tap restaurant

Backyard Kitchen and Tap

$$$$
American
Pacific Beach
4.3
225 reviews
Weekend brunches at Backyard Kitchen and Tap in Pacific Beach are among the best brunches in San Diego for those who appreciate all-American cuisine, local beers and craft cocktails. The atmosphere is fun and lively, with a DJ-provided soundtrack, indoor/outdoor bar with fire pits and a dog-friendly patio. The a la carte brunch menu includes shared plates, flat breads, bowls, soups, sandwiches, salads and brunch classics such as cheddar-scallion biscuits with farm-fresh eggs and gravy, and a banana loaf French toast with whipped salted caramel mascarpone. On Saturdays, the restaurant has specials on bottomless mimosas and endless fancy pancakes; on Sundays it offers happy-hour prices on mimosas and bloody Marys.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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