Best Brunch in San Diego: A Locals Guide
San Diego is a city that’s famous for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and thriving food scene. With so many delicious restaurants and cafes to choose from, it’s no surprise that San Diego is also a great place to indulge in a fabulous brunch.
Whether you’re in the mood for a classic American breakfast or something more creative, San Diego has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. From cozy cafes in the heart of the city to beachside restaurants with ocean views, there’s a brunch spot for everyone in San Diego. So, grab your friends and family and get ready to enjoy a delicious meal and relaxed atmosphere at one of the many incredible brunch spots in San Diego. Cheers!
Little Italy + Downtown
Herb & Wood
Famous chef Brian Malarkey is the man behind Herb & Wood. Not only are they known for 5-star dinners but they also serve brunch on Sundays. Featuring brunch classics with a rustic/seasonal twist, you have to try their dutch baby souffle pancake. It was a solid 9/10! Finally, opt for seating in the courtyard where there is a retractable roof. It’s the perfect setting for those perfect San Diego days.
Address: 2210 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
The Nolen Rooftop
The Nolen is a rooftop bar high atop the 14th story in Downtown San Diego. With sweeping views of the city that stretches from the Coronado Bridge to Point Loma, this weekend brunch spot is a vibe! They have a small menu that serves the classics as well as a few vegan options. Since The Nolen is only open for brunch on Sundays, reservations are encouraged. Finally, our top pick is the French Toast it was so delicious!
Address: 453 Sixth Ave #7007, San Diego, CA 92101
Morning Glory (Top Pick)
The star of the show when it comes to San Diego brunch. Morning Glory is the insta-famous brunch spot located in Little Italy. The decor is classic Consortium Holdings, cool, unique, and retro! Their claim to fame is their souffle pancakes which live up to the hype. Also, the fried rice and bloody marys are another fan favorite. Finally, be prepared to wait hours for a table (unless you get there first thing in the AM on a Tuesday/Wednesday) they do not take reservations but this San Diego local approves.
Address: 550 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101
Cafe Gratitude (Vegan Pick)
Cafe Gratitude has a small chain of restaurants known for their plant-based food. If you’re looking for a healthy brunch then this is your spot in Little Italy. They also serve multiple vegan and gluten-free dishes. Finally, if you’re in a hurry they have order pickup so it’s a great option for a quick brunch on the go!
Address: 1980 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Le Parfait Paris (Affordable Pick)
This Parisian-styled cafe is perfect if you’re looking for an affordable/quick option. You order ahead and then sit and the best part about Le Parfait Paris is the portions are big! We tried the Croque madame, quiche, french toast, and macaroons. All were delicious! Finally, their coffee menu is great – my top pick is the creme brulee latte.
Address: 555 G St, San Diego, CA 92101
This late-night diner had a full makeover in 2019 and is now a popular go-to spot in the San Diego restaurant scene. Adorned with pink and green decor, it’s perfect for a girly brunch date. They serve classic brunch items with a fun twist. Their stuffed french toast and lattes topped with your favorite cereals we’re our favorite!
Address: 828 6th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 (currently open 7 am-2 pm)
The Mission – East Village
For my East Village pick check out The Mission. Featuring healthy-inspired Latin American breakfast cuisine and a great lunch menu. This no-frills restaurant is a local favorite. Finally, they have another location in Mission Beach with the same great food and chill atmosphere.
Address: 1250 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
La Jolla Brunch
Caroline’s Seaside Cafe (Top Pick)
This casual brunch spot is one of my favorites in San Diego because of the view. You are overlooking La Jolla shores beach and the people-watching (surfers galore) is prime. This is another local favorite with menu items such as acai bowls, smoked salmon on a bagel, and delicious pancakes. They are open 8 am to 3 pm and they also serve lunch. Finally, on the weekends this place get’s busy so best to visit during the week.
The Cottage has been serving breakfast in La Jolla for 25 years and is a staple in the community. The restaurant is literally a small cottage, specializing in traditional California cuisine, which makes for a cozy dining experience. They serve fresh baked goods daily and have gluten-free options available. On the weekends it can be upwards of an hour to wait for a table but it’s worth it.
Address: 7702 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Med at La Valencia
The iconic La Valencia hotel is another staple in the La Jolla community. You feel as though you’ve been transported to Italy when visiting this hotel. The Med serves a classic breakfast. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the food however, the vibes of this hotel make up for it. Finally, the one thing that was delicious was the La Valencia cinnamon roll, highly recommend that.
Address: 1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
North Park + Hillcrest Brunch
Madi (New + Noteworthy)
This new and noteworthy brunch spot opened in 2022 in Normal Heights and has easily become my go-to brunch spot. It’s the same owners of the popular Madison on Park restaurant. Since opening, I’ve personally visited 3 times and always love the food and ambiance. Favorites include the Ham Benny, Pancakes, Vanilla Bean Latte, and breakfast tacos. Being that it’s a new spot make reservations in advance.
Address: 3737 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Flap Your Jacks (Kid Friendly)
This new North Park gem is the perfect casual restaurant for kids! Each table has a griddle in the middle and you can pick your own batter and order all the toppings to quite literally “Flap Your Jacks”. The brunch menu was surprisingly very good and they have a full bar for the parents to enjoy.
Address: 3020 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Cafe 21 (Top Pick)
Cafe 21 is a farm-to-table brunch spot with multiple locations around San Diego. They serve health-conscious meals and offer gluten-free and vegan options. Get the tiramisu pancakes and lavender mimosa and thank me later! Finally, they are open from 8 am to 3 pm Wednesdays – Sundays.
Address: 2736 Adams Ave, San Diego CA 92116
Cocina de Barrio (New + Noteworthy)
A newer brunch spot located in the heart of Hillcrest. Serving modern Mexican cuisine. They are known for their delicious chilaquiles, loaded french toast, and delicious popsicle margaritas. I personally loved the lime popsicle margarita and chilaquiles – stick to that when visiting! Finally, the offer happy hour specials throughout the week if you just want to grab a cocktail.
Address: 3707 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
A retro dinette located in Hillcrest, Great Maple is another great family-friendly restaurant. Their claim to fame is their french toast logs, pigs and a blanket, and Cerrillos Chilaquiles. They also have multiple pancake topping options for the kids to enjoy. We recommend beef brisket hash and beignets. Finally, they have a full-on Bloody Mary + Mimosa menu for the parents.
Address: 1451 Washington Street, San Diego, CA 92103
Pacific Beach + Shelter Island
Konos (#1 Top Pick)
This hidden gem is located at the end of PB Pier and is my favorite breakfast spot in all of San Diego. For many reasons. One is their casual atmosphere. Two are their huge portion sizes and finally their secret patio view. I have been coming here since 2006 and it hasn’t changed much including the sign where they state “we haven’t raised our prices in X days” and some of the same employees working since 2006. Konos does a great job making it feel like home. Finally, the food is amazing (order the Big Breakfast #2) and they have a small coffee cart on the patio serving artisanal coffees.
Pro tip: to find the secret patio with a view of the beach – walk past the wind chimes shop located across from the entrance.
Address: 704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
JRDN Restaurant – Tower 23
Another brunch spot with incredible views of the ocean (and a little more upscale) is JRDN located at the Tower 23 hotel. They serve local farm-to-table menu items daily from 9 am to 11 am. Their egg rancheros are amazing!
Address: 723 Felspar Street, Pacific Beach, 92109
Palmy’s (Casual Pick)
Set in a victorian home, Palmy’s is a new and noteworthy spot in the PB area. Featuring healthy brunch options, smoothies, and delicious coffee. The outdoor vibes remind me so much of Tulum. It can be hard to find a table during peak hours but this casual spot is a great option if you’re in the area!
Bali Hai (Top Pick)
Bali Hai is known for its epic Sunday Brunch buffet and stunning San Diego skyline views. This Polynesian-themed buffet is a local legend and it lives up to the hype! Serving a full seafood bar along with breakfast favorites such as baked goods, build-your-own omelets, and carved ham. There are so many options! It’s best to make a reservation as they are known to book up weeks in advance.
- Adults are $62, Children 6- 12 $20, and Kids under 5 are free
- Only served Sundays 9:30 am – 2 pm
- Address: 2230 Shelter Island Drive
Known as the neighborhood restaurant, The Henry is a newer open dining spot located on Orange Avenue. They serve artisanal coffees and brunch classics. It’s popular for brunch on the weekends due to its amazing cocktails (get the grapefruit mimosa). Finally, if you’re looking for to-go food to take to the beach – they have a walk-up window where you can order baked goods and coffees to-go.
Address: 1031 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
Parisian style bistro serving brunch Friday – Sunday 9 am – 3 pm. They use locally sourced ingredients and serve french favorites such as Bruléed Pain Perdu, freshly made crepes, and Croque monsieur.
Address: 1166 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA, 92118
Hotel Del (Special Events)
The iconic crown room has served presidents, celebrities, and even the Prince of Wales since 1911. Suffice it to say Sunday brunch at the Crown Room is a treat! Before the pandemic, it was every Sunday but now they reserve it for special events such as easter, mother’s day, Christmas, etc. They serve seafood bars, carving stations, and all of the breakfast classics. For more information check out their website.
North County San Diego Brunch
The Waverly is a newer spot located in the Cardiff community. It’s part of the nationally acclaimed restaurant group SDCM and its decor is hands down the prettiest on this entire list. The executive chef, Brian Redzikowski, has won the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award. Finally, they serve a mix of health-conscious meals (smoothies, acai bowls, grain bowls) and sweet breakfast classics (funfetti pancakes + creme brulee toast).
Address: 2005 San Elijo Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007
We are Parakeet Cafe stands on this blog! Another favorite of this list and lucky for you they have multiple locations. Serving organic whole foods with ethically sourced ingredients. Our favorite menu items are the acai bowl and the Belgian waffle. Finally, the One Paseo location is the best since it’s located amongst other cute shops so you can make an afternoon out of it!
Address: 3745 Paseo Pl #820, San Diego, CA 92130
Stratford Court Cafe
The most charming cafe is set in the garden of a 1900s home. Located near Seagrove Park in Del Mar this spot is perfect for a casual brunch or lunch. I personally loved the bagels and acai bowls. Finally, there is a beach down the way called Tabletops and it’s one of my favorites.
Well, there you have it fam! Thank you for reading my “Ultimate Brunch Guide to San Diego”. Do you have any spots that you love that I need to add to the list? Drop them below and make sure to check out my Best San Diego Restaurants Guide!
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