We take brunch in San Diego very seriously, and just about every restaurant serves its own version. So where should you go for amazing French toast topped with mascarpone whipped cream or what should you eat when your appetite can't decide between breakfast and lunch? We have you covered with all that and more.
This East Village restaurant creates a masterful morning treat that even those who claim not to like French toast will submit to after the first bite. Served warm with a meld of custardy insides and crisp caramelized corners, this French toast (pictured above) comes topped with a crown of whipped mascarpone cream and fresh berries. Available on the weekends during brunch hours, this rendition is one of the most memorable in town.
Photo by Tiger! Tiger!/Facebook
San Diego is no stranger to beer brunches. One of the most popular belongs to this North Park bar, which hosts an extensive brunch-friendly menu that appeals to all tastes. Dig into chilaquiles, fried chicken with French toast and even housemade donuts. But beer isn't just an afterthought. Wash it all down with a rotating tap featuring local and regional breweries such as Ska Brewing, Monkey Paw and Modern Times.
3025 El Cajon Blvd.; 619-487-0401
Eggs, bacon and pancakes may not be everyone's ideal way to start the day. If that's you, try your luck with tacos. These friendly Mexican handhelds can be found with a breakfast spin at ¡Salud! in Barrio Logan, which packs housemade flour tortillas with chorizo, bacon, an over-easy egg, cheese and avocado. Of course, if you're looking for options that don't include breakfast meats, this funky restaurant also serves tacos filled with flamed grilled chicken, shredded pork, fish and beef. It's open every day except Monday.
2196 Logan Ave.; 619-255-3856
Photo by Darlene Horn
Donuts rule the breakfast pastry world with their fried goodness, and there's no lack of choices in San Diego. One of the best in the county comes from this North Park spot that melds unique flavors like coconut and taro or savory-sweet creations like corn cheddar jalapeño cake with rosemary and bacon. A rotating selection of other mouthwatering flavors are featured daily on Instagram, and they're sure to delight and satisfy those looking for something out of the ordinary.
4504 30th St.; 619-431-5000
Cafe 21's bartenders mix up delicious tomato juice-based cocktails to match with the crafty bites served up at both the Gaslamp and Adams Avenue eateries. For the restaurant's California Greenin', the Bloody Mary gets an infusion of flavor from housemade tomatillo mix. A seasonal selection of veggies and a three-cheese grilled cheese sandwich makes a nice foil.
Photo by StreetCar Merchants/Facebook
If chicken and waffles are in the name, you know it has to be good. And at this North Park hot spot, the dish is made-to-order featuring your choice of wings, Nashville hot boneless tenders or thighs, all available for brunch. The waffle selection isn't shabby either, and the fried bird can be paired with your choice of an original waffle, a red velvet version served with cream cheese or one that resembles corn bread in waffle form.
4002 30th St.; 619-546-9010
Pancakes tend to be the plain Janes in the world of breakfast foods, but dress them up with caramelized pineapple chunks, vanilla crème anglaise and cinnamon butter and you have a sweet offering worthy of braving the masses. You can find this popular menu item at both locations (Hillcrest and Del Mar), available by the stack or as part of the restaurant's pancake flight.
Photo by Hash House A Go Go/Facebook
When bacon and sausage just isn't enough, this Hillcrest restaurant throws a curve ball by offering a roasted pork tenderloin alongside its crispy breakfast potatoes. Served as a hash, the pork is plated with charred tomatoes, corn, green beans and mozzarella. This plays like a lunchtime affair but you'll only find this meat-tastic offering from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM.
3628 Fifth Ave.; 619-298-4646
Photo: Emerald Chinese Cuisine/Facebook
Take your taste buds on a trip and explore China by way of dim sum. A long-standing institution in the Convoy District for its authentic Chinese fare, this restaurant recently dispatched with its dim sum carts and instead serves orders of BBQ pork tarts, shrimp shu mai, turnip cakes and more fresh from the kitchen.
3709 Convoy St #101; 858-565-6888
Toast topped with smashed avocado is a Southern California tradition that speaks to the region's lifestyle as well as its eating habits. This version in Hillcrest pairs eggs whites, fresh basil and, of course, locally grown avocado on whole grain toast. Seasonal fruit on the side keeps with the theme acting as a healthy, sweet accompaniment.
4574 Park Blvd.; 619-295-7275