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Sunday Brunch SF

We like the Elite Cafe, but looking for something to try something new. Canteen no longer has brunch according to their website. The Marina, Embarcadero or downtown are good locations--heading back to East Bay, but full bar is a must. Places with lines like Mama's won't work. Suggestions?

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  1. Wanted to thank you for the heads up on Canteen not serving Sunday brunch anymore. I am very sad but understand as it was a "lifestyle decision" apparently. It always floored me to see Chef Leary there cooking on a Sunday morning, when he is so frequently there for dinner service as well.

    Obviously different than the Elite (which looks beautiful) Cotogna has brunch (check out the Colazione) and a full bar. If their lunch offerings are any indication of the brunch calibre, I'd be trying it. Full bar with interesting cocktails.

      1. Check out 1300 Fillmore - they have Gospel Brunches which are pretty good AND musical.

        1. Sometimes I feel CH is a little parochial. SF is a very "brunch will full bar" town.
          For "finding new places", yelp is not a bad resource - you can search by time & bar
          (the focus on bloody mary is you said "brunch" and "full bar" which means bloody mary to me. I'm not actually a huge fan. If you don't like a bloody mary or bloody ceasar, I'm sure any place that can make a good bloody can do whatever you want)
          Many of these places take reservations (unlike Mamas), so you can call right before heading over

          Serpentine - great all arounder, upscale like your examples, not your geo area, but easy parking down there
          Zuni - bloody mary "thin and inconstant", worth a try
          Foreign Cinema - everyone's favorite brunch, may have full bar (yelp says yes, I remember no)
          Prospect - upscaler than thou, brunch & full bar on sunday though
          Zero Zero - wow! they have a brunch! perfect.
          Sam's in Tiburon - it's only a ferry hop!
          AQ - from RL
          1300 Fillmore - from CarrieWas
          Cotogna - from greyelf
          Absinthe - perfect, and very large so unlikely line
          Starbelly - what's not to like - other than the geo and parking -
          Sweet Maple - known for BACON - and a full bar
          Cliff House - no recent food reports, your side of town (sort of) - previous food reports were positive
          Luna Park - I always like the scene - can get loud - out of your geo - may have lines
          Bisou - looks like a nice choice, out of your geo range
          Radish (looks like they don't have a full bar, but do brunch standbys with soju, and the brunch looks REALLY GOOD, probable line action)
          Perry's - old school!
          Nopa - perfect, possible long line
          Double Play (potrero) - kitchen closes at 11am, dive, could be fun
          Slow Club - perfect in every way, except parking & maybe line
          Starlight Room (harry denton's) - drag brunch, looks like hotel food, but with killer bar and entertainment
          Brick House - haven't been, yelp says brunch + full bar
          The Plant - haven't been for a normal meal, calm and not party, yelp says brunch + full bar
          Chamber's at Phoenix Hotel - reviews as "best kept secret" - poolside brunch, strong bar
          Ironside - $12 bottomless build-your-own bloody bar - mission
          Oola - listed as a great bloody mary, probably your cup of tea
          Slanted Door - open for brunch with full bar
          Tangerine - Castro, probable line, asian fusion but apparently much local love
          Outerlands - claims full bar on Yelp, wouldn't have expected it, possible line, well reviewed
          Grand Cafe - huge place, so no line, average food but fun
          Jake's on Market (the 2223 place, may be closing? much beloved!)
          BottleCap - some press, not sure though
          Palimino - upscale and hushed, but fits the parameters
          Presidio Social Club - I think they have food at that hour
          The Old Clam House - recent revitalization and low visibility - probably good, with no lines
          Town Hall - perfect
          Park Tavern
          Tipsy Pig - perfect, right?
          Maven - looks great
          Market Bar - in the ferry building, covers all bases
          Elephant and Castle - especially if you like burgers
          Brandy Ho's - not what you're thinking of
          Nick's Crispy Tacos at Rouge - bar opens at 10:30am, they'd be a fool not to serve food
          Chez Maman West - probable line
          Cafe de le presse (limited menu, so french it hurts, may not do american drinks or vodka drinks)
          Dobb's ferry - open, seems to have bar, southern
          The Republic (marina - bottomless Bloody Marys - no food reports)
          The Ramp - excellent bloody mary, great outdoors area, funky in a good way
          Bar Jules - one of the best brunches in town, beer & wine only, possible line
          Liberty Cafe - also beer and wine only, sadly
          Momo - good bloody mary, nice outdoor area, average food
          Cafe Flore, I think they have a brunch
          Fog City Diner - I always liked the place, bar is better than you think
          Delancy Street - classic place, better food than you would think, surprised they have a full bar
          Pork Store Cafe - mission, didn't know they have a bar but it looks like they do
          Beretta - it's open, no obvious brunch menu, well known great bar
          Andalou - only been a few times, bad parking
          Cafe Bastile - never been
          Tupelo - southern, could be good, a little sports-bar-ish though
          Brick Yard - marina, at least, probably too frat boy
          Pier 23 - sure looks like full bar & brunch, in your geo range, probably not what you're looking for
          Parkside (out by the zoo - may do a "bottomless bloody", far from your geo area)
          Pier 40 - looks like it's between restaurants, sadly
          Sycamore - I dream about the pork belly doughnuts, but beer only, they have something called a "bloody murdy" on the brunch menu (soju?)
          Zeitgeist - also known for a good bloody, may be serving burgers early - not what you're looking for, likely too biker and rock n roll
          Reaction - what is this?
          Top of the Mark - seems to have a brunch, could be fun

          Just about everywhere in Fisherman's Wharf, like Scoma's

          If brunch starts at 11-ish, there are a lot of places - just not open at 10 -
          Moss room, La Mar, Dosa, Campton Place, Chaya, Tropisenuo, Lulu, Betelnut, Catch, Skool, Bluestem (yerba buena), Alembic (noon),

          Even more ---
          Farmerbrown, R & G lounge, Cha Cha Cha, Yank Sing, Waterbar, Hillstone

          Don't say you're out of brunch places in SF!!!!

          6 Replies
          1. re: bbulkow

            Sycamore also has bottomless mimosas at brunch IIRC. Didn't love the pork belly doughnuts alas (maybe we got an off batch?), but the carnitas benedictos were pretty awesome. The scramble was nice too and they serve a lovely wee fruit salad with each plate. Hidden patio in the back as well.

            1. re: bbulkow

              After taking a look at bbulkow's list, I just wanted to put in a good word for Sweet Maple. They have an extensive menu that reminds me more of an East Coast diner than a San Francisco brunch spot. We got mimosas, pizza, and french toast, and all were executed well--not the best in SF by any means, but impressive given the lengthy menu. Although it was crowded when we were there, it seems to be a popular choice for larger groups and families. I believe they have beer and wine only.

              Starbelly doesn't have a full bar, but does have a beer and fortified wine cocktail menu that is more thoughtful than those you typically see. We went there this afternoon for an impromptu reunion with some friends. I was very happy that I was able to call at 7 PM last night and make a brunch reservation for six people at noon--wasn't in the mood to deal with a line this morning!

              Outerlands has really, really excellent toast, but also had a 90-minute wait when we got there at 10 AM a few months ago. We got young coconuts from the coffee shop next door and took them down to the beach. It was a longer brunch outing than we expected, but an enjoyable one.

              1. re: tripit

                Starbelly: I was fooled by the fact that they have a drinks menu, and an 21+ section in that menu, but looking closely no entry has hard liquor.

                Sycamore: yes to mimosas, no to full bar. Sorry the pork belly didn't float your boat - you'll agree that it's a fun little place if you like that kind of thing.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  Something about brunch in a bar on a Sunday morning, for sure. We sat in the sunny window and watched the Mission denizens go by. Plus they had some great beers on tap.

              2. re: bbulkow

                Looks like you got them all, or most.

                Not the cutting edge but I like Lulu because I've never experienced a line or a wait, ever and in the day it's nice airy space, full bar, kid friendly. Some interesting seasonal dishes, like corn on the cob with truffle butter.

                1. re: ML8000

                  Nova - second street - I loved it when it was infusion and had the jazz loft, haven't been since
                  (specializes in infused vodkas, should do a great hot pepper bloody mary)
                  Empress of China - not really brunch
                  Paragon - looks like AYCE buffet w/ bloody mary
                  Hotel Utah - pleasant bar, kitchen opens at 11am, mostly burgers
                  Butterfly - brunch menu, cocktails, water view
                  Citizen's Band - wine & beer only, but good food
                  Mars Bar - open @ 12, solid bar
                  Universal Cafe - wine & beer only, great food
                  Tempest - they have food, they have alcohol, they're open Sundays - "free food on Sundays with the football game" according to SFgate - but "brunch"?
                  21st Amendment - nice basic brunch menu, and heck, looks like they have Bloody Marys after all!
                  Triptych - wine only, but a nice looking menu - "artists and hens are raised without cages"
                  Fang - open at noon, full bar
                  The Chieftain - beer, full bar, sports, brunch menu, bloody mary noted in many yelp reviews, irish
                  Osha Thai - various - open at 11am, full bar
                  Max's Opera Cafe - huge dinner-style menu, fairly sure full bar
                  Annabelle's - open at noon, nice looking bar, no brunch-specific things
                  Garden Court - hotel brunch, hotel bar, but really old
                  Mission Bowling Club - 11am, brunch menu, full bar
                  Tommy's Joynt - I detest, but it's open and has a full bar
                  Hi Dive - actual brunch menu, full bar, better location than food
                  Straits - brunch menu, signature cocktails
                  Americano at Hotel Vitale - full bar, hotel breakfast menu, might be OK

                  I bet there's more

              3. I had brunch at Maven this morning in the Lower Haight, and it was great. http://www.maven-sf.com/ They have a full bar (dinner is their mainstay: small plates and cocktail pairings), and brunch includes "morning cocktails." The brunch menu is small/focused, with fresh ingredients from the farmers' market. Highly recommend it. I'm gonna start a new thread just about Maven, I liked it that much.

                Here's my Maven thread:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/870156

                1. ? re bbulkow's listing of "Palimino - upscale and hushed, but fits the parameters"

                  Do you mean Palomino in the old Folger's bldg (345 Spear St.)? The good are the parking lot underneath and the look-underneath-the-Bay-Bridge-and-partial-Bay view. The bad is the food. I have gone to Palomino periodically ever since they opened, and our last visit in 2011 for lunch gave us merely adequate food. Decent, but a long way down from how good they were at first.

                  Palomino has always been focused more on bar drinks than food, but one thing that really irritated me at lunch (which was a Saturday) was having to listen to two TVs turned to sports. The main dining room was closed off and service was in the bar area. Now, the chairs are actually more comfortable in the bar than in the dining room, but I wouldn't consider those TVs to create an upscale environment for brunch. If I were going on a Sunday I would call first and ask where they are serving meals - DR would be okay for a nice experience (and the view is better), but the bar is for drinks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jaiko

                    Palomino's one of the chains owned by Restaurants Unlimited, which also owns Kincaid's, Horatio's, and Skates.

                    http://www.r-u-i.com/

                  2. Waterbar on the embarcadero has the best bloody mary with shrimp and bacon as a garnish. Also has $1 oysters starting at 11a or 1130a. We were both very happy with our entrees as well.