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Jan 18, 2012 01:58 PM

Such thing as a delicious brunch buffet in SF?

Hi Chowfolk -- My better half for some reason has a passion for brunch buffets. I'm not convinced there's a good one in SF but he says I must be wrong. Are there any brunch buffets -- hotel or otherwise -- that you like out there?

For regular brunch -- my list of favorites includes Foreign Cinema, Brenda's, and the Universal Café.


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  1. Garden Court, Palace Hotel $$$$. Not San Francisco Navio Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay $$$$

    1. The only brunch buffets I can think of in SF are the Palace Hotel and the Top of the Mark...both hotels.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        Great, thank you -- how would you compare them?

      2. I've been to the one at Hotel Nikko once. It was fine, in the way that buffets are fine, never great. But HN is cheaper than some of the other hotels and there was enough "fancy" stuff to make it seem like you were getting some value. The only really good one that I've been to is at Yosemite's Awahnee, if you're ever out there. But it may have had something to do with skiing out to Glacier Point the day before. . .

        5 Replies
        1. re: rubadubgdub

          The Nikko totally sucks. I am going to modify that with the fact that this was many years ago and the service was beyond gross. My mother got sick (nothing to do with the mediocre food), they did zero to help and the doorman made snarkey remarks becaude I didn't give him a tip because I was totally preoccupied with trying to get her back to her nursing home before something worse happened. Sucks. sucks sucks. That being said, I loved the Nikko in Mexico City when I worked there. I just found the management at the time at the SF Nikko beyond inexcusable.

          The Cliff House has a buffet .. skip it.

          Near the Cliff House is the Beach Chalet which is slightly better but not exactly fabulous.

          Amber India has a Sunday bruch with mango bellinies, but i've never tried it, so maybe someone else can comment.

          It seems The Ritz has brought back its buffet brunch. I haven't tried it recently so can't say. It was pretty extensive in the past but there were flaws. Great service though.

          Ducca on third st has a sunday brunch buffet but haven't tried it so hope someone can comment

          The Palace is pleasant. It is nice but it is a buffet .... and doesn't rise above that ... a better buffet ... but not anthing that might match something off a brunch menu that gets love. I liked the Top of the Mark but it is too long agon to be valid.

          If you are ever in Napa, Brix makes the best brunch buffet in the bay area. I also want to try the Ritz in Half Moon Bay as it has gotten some raves.

          The Hyatt Embarcadero once had one of the best brunch buffets but sadly it was discontinued long ago.

          Hmm ... seems like time to check out the buffets again.

          If you don't want to lose restaurant address links ... speak up ... Occupy Chow

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            1. re: rworange

              If you like Indian food, Amber India's Sunday brunch is quite good. The food is freshly made and there is more variety than your typical all you can eat Indian buffet. When I was there, there was a guy who was making minidosas and uttappam to order.

              1. re: sfbing

                how were they? given amber's northern slant, that seems a bit odd....

              2. re: rworange

                thought i'd add Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City. haven't been in years but i recall lots of seafood, good omelettes and crepes - and much more affordable than other fancy hotel buffets.

            2. Farmer Brown's has a weekend brunch for $16.50 pp. It features fried chicken and excellent biscuits. It's not a huge spread but it's very reasonably priced if you like the following limited items in addition to those already mentioned: scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage gravy, mushroom gravy, thick cut bacon, thin slices of pecan/red-velvet/chocolate cakes, and fresh fruit of some sort.
              There is always a live jazz-type band playing.

              6 Replies
                1. re: rworange

                  It is, and it's very good. And very crowded; the website recommends reservations.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Sorry I missed your question. Ernie in Berkeley is correct that it is a buffet, and reservations are pretty much required unless you are there by yourself and don't mind trying to grab a seat at the bar. By the way, I had a virgin bloody mary there about a year ago that was exceptional.

                    1. re: jillyju

                      The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Sunday Brunch buffet is great but expensive..!

                      Palace Hotel's is decent but not stellar.

                      Traveling the world in search of the most lavash buffet.. Conrad in Hong Kong is pretty stellar.

                  2. re: jillyju

                    I'm afraid I'm going to disagree: as a Southerner by birth, I found their versions of staples (e.g. grits) relatively unpalatable and the last time I went, everything seemed a bit crusty and stale.

                    1. re: allieha

                      I have never eaten the grits, so I can neither agree or disagree. However, I was there for the brunch last weekend and I thought it was still decent for the price. I like their biscuits, and I enjoy the fried chicken, which was tasty and fresh from the fryer. I thought their sausage gravy had gone downhill, but the waffle I had tasted was better than many places that make them to order

                  3. The $12 weekend brunch buffet at Medjool is quite good if you don't mind a non-traditional buffet and are looking for a great breakfast bargain. It's sort of a mix between Mediterranean, Mexican, and American on the buffet tables. The $12 price includes juice and coffee. The $3 mimosa they serve is kind of a rip-off compared to the brunch and non-alcoholic beverage spread.
                    I personally liked the Mediterranean offerings best: lentil soup with dates, Mediterranean eggs, hummus and vegetables, yogurt and fruits...

                    The last time we went, there were no other customers at all - which we really appreciated but we understand that some might not. They also only serve on the roof-top now and only when weather permits.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: possumspice

                        Yeah, a call in advance is best but that article states "the popular roof deck bar remains open, as Medjool, serving both food and drinks, with the downstairs dining room closed as of this week." From : The rooftop terrace will remain open as weather permitting. Weekend Brunch on the Rooftop Terrace Every Saturday & Sunday 10AM - 2PM