We love breakfast, lunch, and dinner - they're great meals that most of us enjoy every day. But there's one meal so special that most of us only have it once a month. Maybe even just a couple of times a year. We’re talking about brunch.
We have some incredible brunch spots in San Diego, but Chris from sdfoodies is going to break down the best brunches north, south, east, and west all over San Diego.
Click here to go ALL IN on San Diego's best brunch spots, or read on for all the tips!
Brunch is one of those meals that is an event - not just a meal. You don't go to brunch, just to get food. You go there to hang out with your friends for hours on end and have a great experience. Here are some of the best brunch spots around San Diego
Petite Madeline (Oceanside)
Petite Madeline in Oceanside is a little French bakery right by the ocean. They hand-make their own croissants and gorgeous little pastries. It's a nice little spot to go get a nice pastry, a cup of coffee and relax by the ocean. But they also have phenomenal eggs Benedict (a must-have on a brunch menu). They do brunch, they have mimosas, and they have your classic eggs Benedict and your classic specials but it’s a lighter brunch - not so much of a giant grandiose Coronado-style brunch. It might not be as bougie or as extra as a lot of places in San Diego, but a solid breakfast in Oceanside can be hard to get, and this is a spot that’s doing it right.
Jeune et Jolie (Carlsbad)
Jeune et Joilie was named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America (2019). It's bougie. It's fancy. It's French. It is the perfect place to go if you want to impress someone. Their menu is very small and it rotates so much, so it’s hard to say what to get, but you can’t go wrong with anything you get.
Succulent Café (Carlsbad)
This one is a succulent garden and a coffee shop built into one. It’s called Succulent Cafe, and it’s in the heart of Carlsbad. What's really cool about it is that you walk in and it's like a gardening store, with beautiful succulents, and then right in the middle of it is a coffee shop.
It's one of those spots that you order your coffee and then you spend 20 minutes just walking around, just browsing and it's really nice. It's really cute.
Naked Café (Encinitas - and Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Point Loma)
Naked Cafe is located right in the heart of Encinitas and it overlooks the ocean. It's really great if you're looking for a cute, more low-key, brunch spot. This spot is relatively healthy, which is surprising for San Diego brunch since brunches are typically going to be a lot of food and a lot of over-the-top stuff.
One of the best dishes is the pesto scramble. It’s egg whites, pesto, tomatoes, with grilled zucchini, spinach tortilla, homemade salsa.
One of the new restaurants that just opened up in San Diego is The Waverly in Cardiff. It’s right next to Cardiff Seaside Market. This is a phenomenal spot, crafted by Chef Brian Redzikowski, who's an amazing chef. If you are looking for waiter service, mimosas, and fanciness, definitely check out Waverly. You're going to be impressed. It's fantastic.
A few favorites are the Crème Brûlée French toast, which is super over the top. It has a little whipped cream, maple syrup, and fresh fruit over the top. It's definitely going to be what to get if you have a sweet tooth. If you like seafood, they have a soft-shell crab Benedict, which is amazing.
A Delight of France (Escondido)
Escondido is a great spot for some amazing brunches, and one really great one is A Delight of France. You can get the best almond croissants, amazing scrambles and Benedict's, and you can get champagne. It's adorable.
Cocina Del Charro (Escondido)
There's a Mexican place in Escondido that has a killer brunch called Cocina Del Charro.
It's very casual - literally the football game is on the TV kind of place - but it's solid.
You can get eggs, you can get pancakes, you can get a taco bar or a waffle bar. It's a fun, casual, brunch.
Farmer and the Seahorse (La Jolla)
Farmer and the Seahorse is unsuspecting, in an industrial park right on the bluff by UCSD. They are owned by another very popular restaurant, Common Stock in Hillcrest (which is fantastic). They have the best pancakes ever. You get a short stack of pancakes with these nice little roasted peach compote and whip mascarpone on top. It might be a seasonal thing, so you might not see it all the time.
The Marine Room (La Jolla)
This is one of the most romantic spots in San Diego by far, everyone knows about it. But everyone might not know that there is brunch there. The Marine Room has this thing called the “high tide brunch”, which is when there's a high tide in the morning, they set up this gorgeous buffet. You're talking about the waves crashing on the windows, white table cloths, sunshine. It's beautiful. You can't get a more elegant La Jolla brunch.
Sugar and Scribe (La Jolla)
Another phenomenal spot is Sugar and Scribe. Chef Maeve is a Food Network champion and she's been on like a bunch of pastry competitions. She knows her stuff and she has a phenomenal brunch there. They have an adorable little bakery with pastries, fancy, homemade marshmallows, cookies, everything you can get there. And then they have a full-service brunch there on their patio, which is just phenomenal.
Breakfast Republic (Pacific Beach and 7 other locations)
There is a reason why there are eight locations of Breakfast Republic in San Diego. They are a go-to. They are good. They are solid. You're going to have way too much food. You're going to have a way too many mimosas, but you're going to have a good time.
They are known for their sweet offerings. They have a can get a pancake flight where they around nine pancakes and you can to choose three or four of them. Some options include a pineapple upside-down, an Oreo pancake and French toast pancake.
Also, their Jurassic bacon, which is thick-cut bacon that is tossed in brown sugar and it is awesome. The sweet and salt combination is fantastic.
This is one of those places where, no matter where you are in the county, you're probably 20-30 minutes tops from one, because there are so many. Also, AJ said it’s a place he always felt comfortable taking his kids.
Fig Tree Café (PB)
Fig Tree Café is an institution here in San Diego. It's been around for a long time. They have some of the best benedicts: lobster benedict, blue crab cake benedict, beef short rib benedict. It has fun vibe but is a little more “low-key”.
It's a fantastic spot to get brunch. And if you are going there, you got to try their breakfast sushi (which sounds weird) - it's a bacon roll with scrambled eggs, green onions, avocado, all rolled up. It's interesting, but it is fantastic.
Flap Your Jacks (North Park)
This is an interactive brunch spot where you get to literally flap your own pancakes - Flap Your Jacks. There's a griddle, a Benihana-style griddle, right in the middle of your table and you order batter and you order your add-ins – for example, you could say “I want to do buttermilk or I want to do a red velvet pancakes” and then you decide “I want strawberries. I want blueberries. I want chocolate chips” or whatever on top. It all it comes to your table and then you get to build it. The batter is in a little squeeze bottle, and you make your pancakes. They also have other things on the menu. They have a nice eggs Benedict, and some nice savory options too. It’s a great spot for kids too.
Great Maple (Hillcrest and La Jolla)
Great Maple is a must-try for San Diego. Two things to try are the fruity pebble pancake and their smoked beef brisket hash – both are awesome.
If you like cereal and you like pancakes, get both in the fruity pebble pancakes.
The smoked beef brisket hash is house-smoked with potatoes, bacon, onions, kale, cherry tomatoes, and a spicy pepper hollandaise sauce with poached eggs over that too.
Also, they are known for is their maple bacon donuts. They are just covered with maple donut glaze, then they top that with candied bacon. So, you got that sweet and the salty.
Morning Glory (Little Italy)
If you are looking for the over-the-top, bougie, extra brunch, you have to go to Morning Glory. The entire dining room is pink. It is gorgeous. The waiters wear overalls and they have eighties, nineties R&B playing. It's a fun scene.
Everybody has to get at least one order of their famous souffle pancakes. This is a Japanese-style pancake where they incorporate a lot of egg whites into the batter which makes the pancake really, fluffy. The pancakes are four or five inches thick, but they are not doughy because all the egg whites give so much air to it.
Straight up, it's like eating a maple syrup covered cloud. They are phenomenal.
The only issue is the souffle pancakes is they are wildly unpredictable on how they get prepared. When you order them, the waiter will usually say “they come when they come”. Sometimes they come in five minutes, sometimes its 45 minutes. So, keep that mind when you order them.
Order a bunch of things and just let it come when it comes.
Morning Glory also has a breakfast fried rice, which is just fantastic. There is a soft egg right on top and it is the perfect counterpart to the souffle pancakes.
DZ Akins (La Mesa)
DZ Akins is an institution here in San Diego. If you haven't been, you must go. It is a very classic Jewish-style deli, where you're going to get your big classic brunch items.
You know it's good when they've been in business for over 40 years and they haven't changed a single thing.
There are no fancy garnishes here, you're not there to be impressed by their fancy decor or their cool music. They're there just to serve you great food and that's all that really matters.
Their French toast is good and the fried chicken and waffles are great too.
Sea180 (Imperial Beach)
Sea180 in IB is in the bottom of a hotel and it has just an absolute beautiful panoramic of the Imperial beach coastline. You're right there on the sand. It's part of the Cohen restaurant group, which is a huge chain here in San Diego doing a really great job.
Great food, great mimosas, and you just have this gorgeous view. It's a great place. If you're down south looking for that little special place to take a date or take your mom, go to Sea180. It's just a great classy spot.
Chris has more tips and details about brunch in the episode. Listen to it here!
One of the ways to keep up with the best places to go is to follow people like Chris on Instagram, so check him out! He’s a great follow to find deliciousness in San Diego.
If you want to check out one of San Diego's best parks after brunch check out ParksinSanDiego.