There’s something about going to a weekend brunch that just feels like vacation. You could be in the middle of the busiest, most hectic week of your life, but as soon as you’re seated with a mimosa in hand, Florentine Benedict on your plate and a cup of steaming coffee nearby—life feels like one big party. Especially when that brunch is happening at one of California’s best brunch destinations. We’ll be truthful—with a state as grand and vast as California, there are a lot of tantalizing choices out there. But we decided to share five spots that consistently land on our (and everyone else’s) unforgettable list. Yes, there may be a long wait at the door (we’re warning you now!) but oh will it be worth it. Take a look!
1. Bob Morris’ Paradise Cove Café
28128 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Malibu, California 90265
The hands-down winner for the most beautiful brunch spot in Southern California has to go to the Paradise Cove Beach Café. Known for its relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere, this adorable cafe is set on the sands of one of Malibu’s most beautiful secluded beaches and serves up huge portions of deliciously prepared omelets, eggs benedicts (including Lobster Benedict), French Toast and specialties like the decadent Macadamia-Coconut Pancakes. Reservations suggested.
2. Mama’s on Washington Square
1701 Stockton St. (at Filbert St.)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Ask anyone in San Fran: “What’s the best breakfast in town” and you have a pretty good chance of hearing “Mama’s in North Beach!” as the definitive answer. For 50+ years, Mama’s has been a staple brunch favorite among locals and tourists alike, with most folks going gaga over the weekend-only Dungeness Crab Benedict, five incredible varieties of French Toast and the restaurant’s can’t-miss homemade jam. *Don’t miss Mama’s take-home Bake Shop goodies—order 48-hours in advance to ensure availability.
3. Willow Wood Market Café
9020 Graton Road
Graton, CA 95444
Just 15 minutes outside of Santa Rosa is the charming town of Graton, where you’ll find North Bay’s secret treasure: Willow Wood Market Café. This roadside eatery is filled with perfectly prepared brunch staples every Sunday like Challah French Toast, the one-of-a-kind Willow Wood Cristo (that’s Challah French Toast stuffed with Black Forest ham and Jarlsberg cheese), Huevos Rancheros and Steak & Eggs. After eating, don’t forget to take a look around the general store for a few kitschy souvenirs!
4. Capitol Garage
1500 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
With unlimited Champagne Mimosas for just $7.95, it’s no wonder that Capitol Garage is downtown Sacramento’s favorite brunch spot! Of course that’s not the only reason—the food is fantastic. Capitol Garage is renowned for its inventive twists on every day brunch food with standout items like the Donuggets (a vegan’s decadent dream-come-true), the Leaky Omelet (Hickory turkey, carmelized onions, Muenster cheese, apples and hollandaise sauce), the Brisket Benedict and the Berries and Cream French Toast. Yes, you may be leaving with some doggy bags.
5. Hash House a Go Go
3628 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
With a slogan like “Twisted Farm Food,” how can you not try a Hash House a Go Go brunch? The San Diego location (there are now other locations in Chicago, Connecticut, Orlando and Las Vegas) has been a town favorite since 2000, winning Best Breakfast and Best Brunch awards numerous years in a row. The menu is extensive and portions are huge, so come hungry and try one of the House Hash dishes (varieties include Roasted Chicken, HH Famous Meatloaf, Fresh Mushroom and the standard Corned Beef), the enormous flapjacks (traditional Buttermilk, Snickers, Butterscotch Almond, Mango Coconut and more) or one of five different Benedicts (including “Sage Fried Chicken”). Warning: You could be full for a week.
Do you have a favorite brunch spot? Let us know if you’ve tried any of the hotspots above!