Skip the Wait: The Best Places to Grab Brunch in San Diego Without the Wait
Want to get brunch this weekend? Yeah, me too! Have a few hours to wait in line for a table? Yeah, me either! While there is a very good reason why some places have a two hour wait, sometimes, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” I’ve compiled a guide for the best places to grab brunch in San Diego, without the two hour wait, so you can spend less time waiting, more time brunching!
Beach, breeze, bloody….mary bar. Vessel Restaurant + Bar located in the Kona Kai Resort & Spa has amazing views of the harbor and the build your own bloody mary bar isn’t half bad either! There’s no wait for a table or for your bloody mary bar!
Vessel’s build your own bloody mary bar has some unique garnishes that you don’t see on bloodys typically such as capers, baby corn, mushrooms, and watermelon rinds. It’s nice to see some different options! The best part about the bloody mary bar is that it’s BOTTOMLESS!! Drink, season, and garnish to your heart's desire! Oh, and the fish tacos and lobster Benedict are scrumptiously amazing!!
Maybe one of the best-kept secrets in San Diego for Sunday brunch, Wheat & Water is the perfect spot to grab some friends and family and bring along your kiddos and furry friends for a chill brunch by the beach without a wait!
Wheat & Water’s award-winning wood-fired pizza is the perfect remedy to any ailing hangovers. But with hangovers aside, who doesn’t want pizza for breakfast?? You really can’t go wrong with any of the pizzas but for brunch purposes go with the Bird Rock Breakfast Pizza with béchamel, mozzarella, smoked bacon, eggs, and cherry tomato, or spice things up with the Mexican Breakfast Pizza with mozzarella, spicy sausage, eggs, cojita cheese, jalapeño, cherry tomato, caramelized onion and cilantro. SO GOOD!!!
San Diego’s only urban oasis, insideOUT brought to you by MO’s Universe is making big waves in Hillcrest, and not because there’s a giant pond and waterfall! Enjoy elevated brunch cocktails by co-owner Moe Girton in the atrium surrounded by calming water features and open skies! Moe’s seasonal mimosa flights or Rosè & Rose will help you woosa out of the work week and you can share a pitcher of house-made sangria with a friend. Or drink it to yourself, we’re not judging.
Executive Chef MJ Testa combines her California roots with her time working and living in Italy to bring California-Mediterranean seasonal brunch fare to Hillcrest. Nosh on the incredible Lamb Meatballs & Baked Eggs with asparagus, broccolini, light tomato sauce, pearl mozzarella, roasted garlic and crisp toast or the Strawberry & Rhubarb Waffle with toasted almonds, fresh mint, and ricotta whipped cream! Your oasis awaits…. without the wait!
One of the hippest spots in north county for brunch, Campfire in Carlsbad was created with the spirit of the campfire in mind; a place to gather with friends and family to share good food and drinks…and no waiting in line.
I pretty much would recommend anything on their brunch menu, all of Campfire’s brunch items are incredibly flavorful! My top picks are the Belgian Waffle with brown butter, pineapple, chili, ricotta, and cinnamon, the Quiche with market vegetables and accoutrement, or the Steak and Eggs with prager toast and Thai bird hot sauce. Literally trying to find an excuse to get up there for brunch as I’m typing this! For my bloody mary fans, their crafty and smoky bloody mary topped with potato chips is the perfect accompaniment to a fire-side brunch!
Brought to you by the owners of Trust Restaurant, Hundred Proof, brings a new and playful brunch menu to the quirky yet sophisticated space on Park Blvd that doesn’t boast a two hour wait like some of its neighbors. Tantalizing options such as whiskey syringe boozy donuts, Fried Chicken and French Toast (because waffles would be #basic), and mouthwatering Steak and Eggs dripping in peppercorn butter are just some of the yummy treats on Hundred Proof’s brunch menu.
Sip on Stephen Kurpinsky’s cereal inspired cocktails that will transport you back in time….to last Saturday, when you ate an entire box of Fruit Loops. For dinner. But like I said, we’re not judging. The Crunch Berry Clover Club and the Cinnamon Toast Punch are my two faves, but you’ll never be dissatisfied with any of Stephen’s cocktails!
Don’t you just love a great neighborhood bar? The Corner Drafthouse, situated on the corner of 5th and Laurel, just around the corner from historic Balboa Park, is a “down-to-earth space where you can enjoy “a noteworthy American gastropub” It’s the perfect spot to stop in after a long stroll around Balboa Park to refuel and reenergize without the long wait.
The Corner Drafthouse brunch menu has more than enough options to please any palette. The gigantic stack that is Chicken and Waffles, Hazelnut Crusted French Toast or the Drafthouse Chilaquiles will more than satisfy your brunch cravings. A homage to beer, Corner Darfthouse has 70 beers on tap and they are no slouch in the bloody mary department either! With a full bloody mary menu and a secret off-the-menu bloody mary, garnished with all the things; the Corner Drafthouse is a perfect local eatery to pull up a seat and get brunchfaced!
Now that the baseball, sunshine, and warm weather are back, there isn’t a better place to get closer to the action then the 14th floor destination bar, The Nolen Rooftop. The Nolen has stunning panoramic views of Petco park, Coronado Bridge, and downtown San Diego.
The Sunday Requirement, has a diverse menu of four bloody marys with unique spins on the traditional bloody mary…Penelope and Sunday Morning Remedy are my favorites….some of the best in SD! A smaller brunch menu won’t have you overwhelmed with options that are thoughtful and delicious. Brunch entrees like the Smoked Salmon Benedict with smoked salmon, bacon, spinach avocado, hollandaise and poached eggs or the Chocolate Stuffed Croissant French Toast with old fashioned luxardo cherry maple syrup are amazing!
Nestled in the quiet yet bustling center of Del Mar, one block from the ocean is Sbicca in Del Mar. My favorite place to grab a seat is on the front patio with ocean views. Even though it is small, it never feels crowded and there’s a relaxed vibe with a calm ocean breeze and salty air! Usually, you can grab a seat on the patio but there’s also seating inside and upstairs with more ocean views!
For a savory and yummy start to your brunch, order Sbicca’s soft and fluffy popovers. For your main dish, I highly recommend the Sbicca omelet with 3 eggs, tomatoes, bacon, cilantro, and cheddar! You won’t be let down with the Short Rib Hash and Eggs made with two eggs any style with sautéed peppers and onions, breakfast potatoes, sliced tomatoes & mushroom cream sauce. Wash down all that delicious food with The Ultimate Bloody Mary! Topped with veggies, meats and a few slices of bacon, the smooth and flavorful mix makes for the perfect cocktail to pair with your brunch!
West Coast Tavern - North Park
There’s a not-so-hidden gem in North Park. Located adjacent to the famous North Park sign one of the first restaurants to open in the neighborhood, West Coast Tavern is still getting brunchafced every weekend after 10 years!
Chef Marcos has delivered a brunch menu that is epically good and will more than fill you up! Try the beautiful Toast Flight or dig into a Short Rib Loco Moco with braised short ribs, ginger steam rice, togarashi, shimeji mushroom, caramelized onions, gravy, and sunny side up eggs! If you’re looking for a filling and healthy option go with Quinoa Power Bowl with braised kale, edamame, grilled carrots, baby squash and zucchini, feta, poached eggs, nutritional yeast, and pea shoots! #hangoverbegone! Get totally brunchfaced and wash that down with one of their famous Big Ass Brunch Drinks!
Expansive garage doors spill onto the patio and the exuberant streets of 5th Ave at barleymash in the Gaslamp Quarter. With a prime location for people watching and a large space, there’s plenty of room for everyone, without a wait!
Get absolutely brunchfaced from the half pound juicy and delicious B’Fast Burger with aged cheddar, Applewood smoked bacon, two fried eggs and a brow-bourbon hollandaise sauce. One of the very best build your own bloody mary bars hangs out in the back of this massive dining establishment. A plethora of spices, herbs, hot sauces, veggies, meats, cheeses and a gigantic plate of bacon will make your garnish dreams come true!
Located in downtown Encinitas and footsteps from Cardiff Beach, Union Kitchen & Tap is the perfect spot for brunch without the wait for family, a group of friends or somewhere to catch a sports game in their spacious and open community bar area, so you can all get brunchfaced together!
Union Kitchen & Tap uses fresh and local ingredients for their menu items and has their own vegetable garden! The Union Avocado Toast is a fun twist on the traditional brunch dish with caramelized onion bread and grapefruit brûlée…so tasty! The Breakfast Flatbread with roasted tomato, bacon, sausage, farm eggs, and mozzarella is the perfect option to share or to keep all for yourself!