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All Things Brunch

We’ve rounded up all the best places to splurge and people-watch on a patio while sipping an over-the-top bloody mary.


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Photo by Sam Wells

Best Patios

Davanti Enoteca

The spacious back patio at this perennial brunch favorite features cozy cabana-style seating and a cluster of tables set beneath an olive tree that’s strung with lights and adorned with dangling pig ornaments. At once buzzy and snug, it’s a prime location to unwind and nosh on inventive options like cauliflower steak and the famous focaccia di Recco.
Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
1655 India Street, Little Italy

Decoy Dockside Dining

Executive Chef David Warner (formerly of Bottega Americano) tempts taste buds with classic and reimagined items—like “Avocado Smash” toast and pork shoulder hash—at this tranquil, lakefront locale with two wraparound patios perched above Lake San Marcos, with views of Double Peak Park in the distance.
Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
1035 La Bonita Drive, San Marcos

The MED

Set seven stories up, the alfresco terrace in La Valencia’s signature restaurant serves up sweeping ocean vistas and views of the hotel grounds, including colorful gardens bursting with blooms and the sparkling swimming pool. Charge your phone before you go; you’ll need your battery power for photos.
Saturday–Sunday 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla

Kettner Exchange | Photo by Sam Wells

Kettner Exchange

The well-appointed second- story patio (complete with a swinging daybed and semiprivate cabanas) is perfectly in step with chef Brian Redzikowski’s hip, internationally influenced menu, stocked with atypical options like royal red shrimp steamed buns and Vietnamese-inspired fried chicken.
Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
2001 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

 

Dig into Donuts

Photos by Paul Body

1. Pomegranate Rose Cotton Candy Donut

Nomad Donuts
North Park
Pomegranate glazed yeast donut with rose cotton candy (supplied by Get Fluffed Up).

2. Pretzel Donut

Donut Bar
Core-Columbia
Twisted variety with coarse salt and chocolate drizzle.

3. Carrot Cake Donut

Devil’s Dozen
Little Italy
Topped with honey cream cheese frosting and candied walnuts.

4. Thai Tea Creme

Donut Panic
Grantville
A vegan option with Thai tea–inspired glaze and creamy filling.

 

Places to Splurge

Bracero

Brunch at Bracero can be a budget-friendly outing, but the payoff is exponentially more enjoyable if you commit to a leisurely family-style feast featuring as many different dishes as you can manage. Standouts to consider include the chilaquiles, tres leches French toast, and compressed fruit bowl with granola and yogurt.
Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
1490 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy

Oceana Coastal Kitchen

This serene spot in the Catamaran Resort and Spa offers a Champagne brunch with health-conscious items like fresh fruit, salad, and a raw bar stocked with sushi, salmon, Pacific coast crab, and plated entrées. Snag a table on the patio for therapeutic views of Sail Bay.
Sunday 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
3999 Mission Boulevard, Mission Bay

The Crown Room at Hotel del Coronado

Sunday brunch in the Hotel Del’s Crown Room is an extravaganza for the senses. Featuring a glorious spread that includes chilled seafood, carving stations, international dishes, and an eye-popping array of desserts (including a design-your-own-donut station), it’s an experience you’ll remember for years to come.
Sunday 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado

The Westgate Hotel

The Westgate Hotel

Held in the regal Westgate Room, the Westgate’s brunch is about as chic as you can get, with an abundant selection of fancy fare like crepes, caviar, French cheese, a chocolate fountain, Champagne, and lots more.
Sunday 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 
1055 Second Avenue, Core-Columbia

The Marine Room

February is prime time to experience the High Tide Breakfast—a gourmet buffet served while waves crash against the restaurant’s picture windows.
February 9 and 10
2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla

 

Bottoms Up!

Photos by Paul Body

1. BLT Mary

Hash House a Go Go
Hillcrest
The mary that eats like a meal, garnished with the makings of a BLT (white toast, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a mayo packet).

2. One-Armed Mary

Great Maple
University Heights
A spicy option made with a healthy dose of horseradish, presented with a salt-and-pepper rim and a dangling octopus tentacle.

3. California Greenin

Café 21
Downtown
A tangy twist on the classic crafted from house-made tomatillo mix with assorted veggies, a bouquet of fresh basil, and a grilled cheese sandwich skewer.

4. Kindred’s Mary

Kindred
South Park
Exciting to the last sip, this vodka and mezcal mary is shaken with “Demon Tears,” a house-made mix with flavorful additions like olive juice and maple syrup—plus smoked carrot, peperoncini, olive, and celery garnish.

 

Restaurant Roundup

Bankers Hill / Hillcrest

  • Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant
  • Great Maple
  • Hash House A Go Go
  • Bertrand At Mister A’s
  • Snooze
  • Trust

Carlsbad / Encinitas

  • Cafe Topes
  • Lumberyard Tavern
  • Pipes Cafe
  • Swami’s

Coronado

  • Brigantine*
  • Crown Bistro
  • The Crown Room
  • Tartine

Core-Columbia / East Village / Gaslamp

  • Bottega Americano
  • Brian’s 24
  • Cafe 222
  • Cafe Chloe
  • Café Sevilla
  • Florent
  • Hornblower Cruises
  • Le Parfait Paris
  • Richard Walker’s Pancake House
  • The Westgate Hotel

Golden Hill / South Park

  • Big Kitchen Cafe
  • Counterpoint
  • Kindred
  • Piacere Mio
  • The Rose

Kensington

  • Bleu Bohème
  • Kensington Café

La Jolla

  • A.R. Valentien
  • Cody’s La Jolla
  • The Cottage
  • Galaxy Taco
  • Harry’s Coffee Shop
  • The Med at La Valencia
  • Nine-Ten
  • Prepkitchen
  • Whisknladle

Little Italy

  • Bracero Cocina
  • Café Gratitude
  • The Crack Shack
  • Craft & Commerce
  • Davanti Enoteca
  • Herb & Eatery
  • Kettner Exchange
  • Monello
  • Queenstown Public House

Mission Hills

  • Bar by Red Door
  • Brooklyn Girl
  • Farmer’s Bottega
  • The Red Door
  • The Patio on Goldfinch

Mission Valley

  • True Food Kitchen

Normal Heights / University Heights

  • Café 21*
  • Hanna’s Gourmet
  • The Rabbit Hole
  • Soda & Swine

North Park

  • Breakfast Republic
  • Dunedin North Park
  • The Mission*
  • Tribute Pizza
  • Urban Solace
  • Wow Wow Waffle

Ocean Beach / Point Loma

  • Bali Hai
  • Fig Tree Café*
  • Jimmy’s Famous
  • American Tavern
  • Little Lion Cafe
  • Sessions Public
  • Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

Oceanside

  • Beach Break Cafe
  • Hill Street Cafe and Gallery
  • Petite Madeline

Pacific Beach/ Mission Beach

  • Cerveza Jack’s
  • Crushed
  • Firehouse
  • Isabel’s Cantina
  • JRDN
  • Kono’s Cafe
  • Oceana Coastal Kitchen
  • World Famous

Solana Beach/ Del Mar

  • Beach Grass Café
  • Claire’s on Cedros
  • Cucina Enoteca
  • Flower Child
  • The Curious Fork
  • T’s Café

​*multiple locations

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