Hike around this hilly city and find a restaurant in every block. With so many options to choose from, San Francisco is certainly home to the most chill brunch places in California. The last time I visited, I was overwhelmed by the numerous food choices I had to make in a week, which brought me to create this guide to charming restaurants that will make your visit more fulfilling.

Breakfast and Brunch:

Vive La tarte

Tucked between the elegant European-inspired homes, Vive La Tarte’s spacious interior draws in lots of natural light to get your brunch pictures right. Try sitting on the comfy mats placed on the wooden steps by the wall in the café. The brunch menu ranges from creative croissants to scrumptious salads. I highly recommend getting their umami smashed avocado toast and a glass of their “beermosa” for a perfect brunch afternoon. Here’s a toast to all the millennials out there.

Tartine Manufactory

Curious how to roast coffee or how to manufacture ice cream? Tartine has got you covered with an intriguing brunch space and a see-through kitchen. The warehouse-like cafe in Tartine lets you see how they make pastries from scratch. With an expansive brunch menu, you can never go wrong with their selection of tarts. I found out that the café roasts their own coffee beans too, and the quality is incredibly smooth.

Brenda’s French Soul Food

I’m sure you’ve heard of this famous brunch place before. Don’t be intimidated by the long lines, the queue moves by pretty quickly most of the time. Adorned with antique mirrors, the Brenda’s specializes in Southern food. My personal old-school faves are their smooth-textured shrimp and grits and fluffy, savory crawfish beignets. It was love at first bite. And their hyped fried chicken does not disappoint. It’s tender, crispy, and not too oily or dry.


La Taqueria

Stop by this Mexican restaurant for some of the best tacos and burritos. I’ve tried their carnitas burritos (with extra guac, of course), and they taste amazing. Whatever your combination is, you won’t get sick of overloading ingredients because this place knows how to balance your food.

Boudin Bakery

Famous for its sourdough bread, this restaurant chain has been open since 1849. You cannot miss tasting the thick and creamy clam chowder served in a warm, comforting sourdough bread bowl. The biggest Boudin restaurant located at Fisherman’s Wharf lets patrons observe the baking process from a glass window depicting their kitchen. The place is decorated with sourdough bread of all shapes, such as a teddy bear and a crab.  

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Located in the “most delicious building in San Francisco”, this seafood restaurant will not disappoint. You get the view of both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge while slurping on some fresh oysters here. Usually teeming with visitors, Hog Island’s selection of oysters will complete your SF experience. 


Mensho Tokyo

There are tons of ramen places to choose from in the Bay Area, but Mensho is one you must try at least once. Although the line gets crazy even before Mensho opens at 5 p.m. every day, it’s worth the wait. My love for their signature tori-paitan ramen is undying. In it, the thick and milky soup blends with its flavorful pork and duck chashu.

There’s something special about this bowl that makes consuming all the calories worth it in a night. For a dry option, they also serve the abura soba, which is ramen noodles topped with pork fat and shoyu sauce. You have the option of adding chili oil or vinegar.

Flour + Water

Hit Flour + Water place for some house-made pasta goodness. Their menu changes seasonally, so your experience will continuously change. The interior is dim and romantic, drawing couples throughout the year. Owned by chef Thomas McNaughton, the restaurant even wrote a cookbook for pasta-making and hold classes for participants to craft pasta.

(Pro-tip: Reserve this place days, or even weeks, before coming in. I had to wait two weeks to get a table via their website because the place is highly-anticipated. Their cramped restaurant doesn’t allow much space for many a night.)

Foreign Cinema 

What’s better than watching a movie while having your dinner in a restaurant, right? Foreign Cinema allows you to do just that; if you sit on the outdoor patio, you get a chance to catch a movie on the wall. Topped with fairy lights and unique concept, this is indeed where you should spend your night dining. Try their grilled five-spice duck breast for a scrumptious dinner entree, or go for their sesame fried chicken for an unusual combination that goes well.

Snacks on the go:

Bob's Donuts

Nothing will top your SF experience without getting a gigantic sprinkles donut from Bob’s. This place opens 24 hours, so don’t fret about it closing. This no-frills donut place has been operating since 1960, and it is now a frequented place for all alike. What’s more joy than a simple chocolate sprinkles donut?

Souvla's Greek Froyo

SF is big on froyos, which brings me to this popular Mediterranean restaurant that serves frozen greek yogurt. It has a silky texture with a subtle sour taste that doesn’t overpower its sweetness. You can choose to top it off with baklava crumbles, cherry syrup, Cretan honey, olive oil and sea salt or leave it plain. Souvla's also serves Mediterranean sandwiches and salads if you’re down for a full meal.

Boba Guys's Cannaboba

I can’t help but agree that the Golden State serves incredible boba drinks. This boba chain had so much success in the Bay Area that they have expanded worldwide. Boba Guys pride themselves on serving Grade A boba balls, which means that they are made from locally-sourced ingredients.

Go for their indulgent chocochata for their take on a chocolate horchata or strawberry matcha latte for a refreshing afternoon drink. For something funky, try their cannaboba: the first-ever cannabis-infused boba drink. 

Golden Gate Bakery Egg Tarts

Watch the crowd go crazy for these egg tarts. These freshly-baked egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery won’t disappoint your taste buds. The buttery crust holds the light, jiggly custard inside. With a hint of vanilla, the delectable egg tarts sell-out daily, so make sure to get there early to try your luck. There’s even a website that allows you to track the opening times of the bakery

Now that you've read this guide, go forth and eat your way through the hills of San Francisco.