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Mar 27, 2014 09:35 AM

Upscale yet delicious brunch places in San Francisco??

I'm looking for some good brunch spots in San Francisco that are more sophisticated (please don't list any hipster eateries in the Mission/SoMa/or any other newly gentrified area where you have to stand in line for two hours to dine on "new american" cuisine that you could've made at home in less time) - this is for a celebration, i'd prefer they take reservations. I'd like to go somewhere that's either Sir Francis Drake/Clift Hotel elegant or at least glizty new money style like The W.

Would also love if these places have deals on Mimosas, but not a must. Looking to spend ~$50/pp (pre drinks)

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  1. Well, as you've probably already found out from your own research - SF is not an upscale brunch city - the modern rhythms of the city don't allow for it.

    Spruce may work. Or forget about a unique to SF type experience and go to the Ritz (Parallel 37) for lunch.

    1. I've been to Murray Circle @ Cavallo Point (feels like a hotel resto) and 1300 Fillmore (very good food, although live music can be loud) that fit your bill. My sis went to Spruce recently for brunch and dn think the food was anything special, but if atmosphere is most important, then it will work. If you're willing to cross the bay, I'd recommend Camino or Flora in Oakland, great food and drink, no wait, relaxed way to start the day.

      7 Replies
      1. re: rubadubgdub

        foreign cinema isn't elegant per se, but the atmosphere is great, as is the food.

        1. re: vulber

          Foreign Cinema is in the Mission and I believe (could be mistaken) they only take reservations for dinner.

          1. re: goldangl95

            it's not hipster, and they do take reservations for brunch

            1. re: vulber

              Ah I see I was searching around and couldn't find available brunch times on Sunday. They do take them - they just book up. Makes sense.

              1. re: goldangl95

                You should give them a call, lots of places have more seats than they put online. Though Foreign Cinema is very popular.

                1. re: goldangl95

                  if you don't mind showing up at 10:45, it's also generally easy to get one of the 11am walk-in tables

                2. re: vulber

                  i agree. not hipster, elegantly casual, beautiful patio. special occasion place. great eggs.

          2. There's always the Garden Court. Maybe Campton Place.

            5 Replies
              1. re: wolfe

                Garden Court is beautiful but be warned that food is a slight level above airline standards.

                1. re: OliverB

                  First class or coach?
                  Air France or PSA?

                  1. re: wolfe

                    United Business Class.

                    For Singapore First Class prices! ;)

                    1. re: OliverB

                      A few years ago, I was pricing out a trip to a number of Asian countries. Turned out that flying in first class on Singapore Airlines saved me thousands of dollars compared to United. And don't get me started about the difference in the level of service.

                      The other thing I discovered was that Singapore Airlines has an "invitation-only" first-class lounge in Singapore. The regular first-class lounge is great, possibly one of the best in the world when it comes to food and service. But like most airline lounges, it's buffet-style dining. The "invitation-only" lounge has the same concept as any fine-dining restaurant: You order from a menu. It was in a vast space and the only person there ahead of us was someone who looked like an old hippy and who confidently walked around barefoot.

                      Going back to the original topic, Garden Court is indeed beautiful and feels pretty classy. As to getting a brunch anywhere that is better than airline food, good luck with that! You might also want to consider Waterbar as well for a nice location. Waterbar is a-la-carte for brunch so it's a little harder to predict how much you would spend compared to the fixed-price, all-you-can-eat buffet places.

            1. I ran across this list recently that recaps SF places that offer deals on bottomless mimosas, bellinis, etc. maybe there might be something that interests you.


                1. re: wolfe

                  Um, def in the Mission although there was no wait last Sat early afternoon. Also, you order at the counter and they bring your food, sometimes in paper containers. It's great for what it is, but perhaps not what the OP wants.

                  1. re: rubadubgdub

                    Namu Gaji is definitely not glitzy or elegant in the style of old-school hotels. The seating is stools and mostly if not entirely at bars and communal tables.


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Yes, Namu is very different in ambience from places like the Garden Court at the Palace hotel.

                      Nothing wrong with either. Just depends on what you are looking for.

                      1. re: nocharge

                        Of course, but the request is "somewhere that's either Sir Francis Drake/Clift Hotel elegant or at least glizty new money style like The W."

                        That's pretty much the opposite of the direction SF restaurants have been going. I think all the high-end hotel restaurants except the Garden Court and Campton Place have been made over into more casual spots or are in the process of being made over.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Agree. But the Garden Court seemed to be going strong the last time I was there. Maybe it helps the high-end niche if more places are going more casual.

                          1. re: nocharge

                            At the Garden Court you're paying for the setting. It's not really high-end except for the prices.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Well, you primarily pay for the ambience. I think the food is OK, though. Anything buffet-style catering to all kinds of tastes will have its limitations and I think Garden Court is serviceable when it comes to food and it has a reasonable selection.

                  2. re: wolfe

                    definitely hipsterish.

                    which i don't mind at all in my food.