Hello readers! Another day, another ‘best of’ list! This is going to be another divisive one, I can feel it. People are very passionate about their brunch in San Diego! Something about eating dessert for breakfast and getting wasted before noon! I’ve tried many a brunch in San Diego, and the list below reflects brunch spots I believe are not only delicious but unique in what they offer to San Diego.
1. Cocina de Barrio
You want stunning dishes? Cocina de Barrio has stunning dishes. You want bold flavors? Cocina de Barrio has bold flavors. You want a gorgeous instagrammable patio with drinks to match? YEP, THEY GOT EM. Cocina de Barrio delivers a brunch lover’s dream with a Mexican twist! Because it’s San Diego of course, we got all the good Mexican shit. I’ve been back quite a few time already, if only for their luscious churro French toast, which comes with actual churros and vanilla ice cream!
You HAVE to start off with their #1 hit brunch drink: their popsicle margarita! Tequila blanco, agave, fresh lime juice and your choice of homemade popsicle flavor, which rotates daily! This drink is so much fun to take pictures with, and if you wait long enough it’ll melt into the drink, giving you a dessert margarita! You can’t go wrong with their other brunch cocktails either- they’ve got sangria, mimosas, cold brew cocktails, and of course mezcal (a smokier, earthier version of tequila).
2. Huntress Steak House
Huntress is one of my top bougie spots in SD- and they have one of the best brunches too to boot. The vibe is much more casual during the day, and perfect for an elegant brunch! Huntress is the place to go if you want really well done classics, such as French toast, pancakes, bennies, avocado toast, omelets, hashes! Since Huntress is a steakhouse, they of course have some steak themed dishes- steak and eggs, steak frites, and my favorite, steak and benedict! You’re not a true steak fan unless you like eating it for breakfast right?
While I would once again recommend everything on the menu, the true standouts for me were the bagels and lox and lemon ricotta pancakes. The bagel and lox was DIVINE, with the salmon cushioned on herb cream cheese,and heirloom tomato pickled onion. Best lox I’ve ever had. No I’m not exaggerating! See the pics below, they are simply *chef’s kiss*.
3. Carte Blanche
Ah, the gem of Oceanside. Carte Blanche describes itself as a French Mexican Bistro and Bar, with their brunch dishes representing those and other nationalities (breakfast poutine anyone?). You’ll find items like beignets, ceviche, a tartine, a hash, and a croquet madame.
I adore CB’s hash, as it has one of my favorite proteins, octopus! They do an amazing job of making it the star of the dish without muddling the other flavors- something very hard to do with octopus, as it has such a delicate flavor.
4. Flap Your Jacks
Flap Your Jacks brings a very unique concept to San Diego…. it’s the only FLIP YOUR OWN PANCAKE spot in town! Each table has a griddle in the middle of it and you get to choose your batter, your syrups, and your toppings! Batter options include banana bread, red velvet, oreo and peanut butter! It was so much fun trying to spell out words or creating pictures with the batter (though it’s much harder than it actually looks. You’ll mess up many a pancake unless you’re an artist or something). This is a great place to bring you S.O, your family, your friends, really anyone! Unless they don’t have a sweet tooth, which in that case, I recommend ending the friendship. They do have a selection of savory brunch items as well so you can balance the meal out. This includes the rather unique MONTE CRISTO FRENCH TOAST, with crispy brioche, smoked ham, melted Gruyère cheese, fresh berries, raspberry syrup, and their signature breakfast potatoes. You’ve got all your typical brunch beverages as well, with a few different types of bloody marys. I spotted a peach bellini, which is quite the treat if you've never tried. It’s a light, bubbly peach drink that hails from Italy. If I see it on any menu, I get it, no questions asked.