What’s the best part of life when everybody’s workin’ for the weekend? If you’re like a lot of us, it’s brunch in downtown San Diego. Sure, you’ve got a fantastic coffee subscription bringing your favorite beans to your doorstep on a monthly basis, but nothing beats a bottomless mimosas brunch in downtown San Diego. One of life’s greatest pleasures and indulgences is getting together with loved ones to either lament or celebrate the previous week for an awesome brunch.
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Finding the Best Brunch in Downtown San Diego
When you live in a city like San Diego, it can be hard to decide who has the best brunch in downtown San Diego, but thankfully, there are many options to choose from. Whether people in your party have dietary restrictions or decide to eat a certain way as part of their lifestyle, there are many places to choose from that can accommodate everyone, from the plant-based vegan to your most carnivorous companions. So, let’s take a look at some of your options for brunch places in downtown San Diego.
Cafe 21 is a go-to for many people looking for a delicious brunch, offering farm-to-table fare. Known for their signature drink menu, you’re sure to have a fun brunch, maybe even a little too much fun? They offer live music and events as well, which makes it a lively experience if you’re there during an event. The food is so delicious, and you’ll be happy to know they offer take-out and are available for catering services as well—definitely a solid option for your next Sunday brunch in downtown San Diego.
- Gaslamp Location Address: 802 5th Ave, San Diego, CA
- Phone: (619) 795-0721
- Everyday Hours: Wed-Sun 8:00 a.m. –3:00 p.m.
With Luca’s contemporary design, it’s as pleasing to the eye as it is to your belly. They offer a predominantly Mediterranean menu composed of seasonal ingredients sourced from California. While it’s one of the top La Jolla breakfast spots, it has a special brunch menu that will leave you wanting to come back for lunch and dinner as well. Some fan favorites for brunch from Luca are the short rib omelette, banana oat pancakes, and of course – eggs Benedict.
- Address: 500 W Broadway, San Diego, CA
- Phone: (619) 764-5160
- Everyday Hours: Temporarily Closed until 30 Oct 2021
Technically Morning Glory is located in what is classified as the Bankers Hill/Little Italy area, but that’s close enough to downtown to make this list. (We’re going to stretch the rules a bit for Kettner Exchange down below, too.) The restaurant group Consortium Holdings outdid themselves when they designed this particular breakfast spot. The first thing you should notice about Morning Glory is that the interior design is a light pink hue–vaguely reminding us of Holy Matcha, which has pink-toned locations in both the East Village and North Park. The other thing you want to notice is the cool menu, with section titles like “Pancake Lords,” “Carbs with Culture,” “Eggs a la Benedick,” and “Green Eggs, No Ham.” If you’re looking for brunch and you want it in the downtown area, give this place a try.
- Address: 550 W. Date St., San Diego, CA 92101
- Everyday Hours: Weekdays 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Weekends 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The Westgate Hotel
Experience Enchantment at The Westgate Hotel. If you’re looking for an elevated brunch, this is the place you’ve only dreamt of. Though The Westgate has a full menu all week, their weekend brunch menu is what dreams are made of. You’ve got to try the house brioche french toast, smoked salmon, and avocado toast, as well as the Baja omelet. As far as brunch places in downtown San Diego go, you can’t get much classier than The Westgate – so if you and your friends are looking to dress up in your Sunday Best (pearls included), make plans to enjoy yourselves here. They also offer live music on Sundays from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm, fun!
- Address: 1055 2nd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 238-1818
- Weekend Brunch Hours: Sat & Sun 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
GARAGE Kitchen + Bar
Known for their one-person piano shows, burgers, and craft beer, Garage Kitchen and Bar is still one of the San Diego brunch spots you’ve got to give a try. There is nothing “traditional” about Garage to begin with, including its brunch offerings and hours. They serve brunch Thursday – Monday, making it a real weekday treat if you’ve got plans for brunch in downtown San Diego somewhere else during the weekend. Some standouts on their brunch menu, according to regulars, are the “Best Breakfast Sandwich Ever,” the chilaquiles, and the breakfast shots. With names like Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs, you can have an excellent shot with a sweeter side than most.
- Address: 655 4th Ave, San Diego, CA
- Phone: (619) 231-6700
- Brunch Hours: Thur – Mon 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Dinner Hours: Thur 3:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Fri & Sat 3:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Cafe Sevilla of San Diego
Mmm, can you think of anything that goes better with a Bloody Mary during brunch than Spanish-style food? Probably not! This is what makes Cafe Sevilla easily one of the best brunch destinations. Cafe Sevilla is located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. If you’re visiting La Jolla, it’s a great spot to grab brunch due to it’s proximity to the convention center, museums, and other San Diego attractions. Not only do they offer live music and Flamenco shows during the week, but they also offer fantastic brunch. They’re best known for their Tapas style brunch, provided in 6 or 9-course options. But if you don’t want to commit to that much, the breakfast meat paella is to die for!
- Address: 353 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 233-5979
- Everyday Hours: Mon – Fri: 4:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., Sat: 3:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., Sun 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Suppose your criteria when deciding where to get brunch are rustic American fare, rooftop options, signature crafted cocktails, and the Gaslamp District. In that case, Rustic Root checks all your boxes. Not only do they have fabulous drinks (ahem, the Impressing Churchill) and a dinner menu, they have almost the best Sunday brunch in downtown San Diego. Avocado Toast is served everywhere these days, but their take on the green gold toast is delectable. They also are well known for their Acai bowl, which, while simple, somehow tastes better than your usual vegan brunch go-to. While they may not be a place for bottomless mimosas brunch in downtown San Diego, their drink menu is impressive. Honestly, it’s stunning. Whether you want a glass of craft or split a $450 bottle between the table, they’ve got your tastes covered.
- Address: 535 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 232-1747
- Everyday Hours: Wed & Thur: 5:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m., Fri: 4:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m., Sat: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m., Sun: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Located in Little Italy and the recipient of the Orchid & Onion award for Architecture, Kettner Exchange’s design pays homage to San Diego’s founding father, William Kettner. Kettner Exchange consists of two indoor/outdoor seating levels filled with subtle nods to the City’s grand bay and nautical history. Chef Brian Redzikowski’s rotating menu features some of the most innovative dishes in San Diego. Their Turkish poached eggs and spicy crispy tuna rice are some brunch favorites. If you’re bringing young children along for your brunch, the Funfetti Pancakes with vanilla icing and fresh maple syrup are about as sugary and fun as you can get!
- Address: 2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 255-2001
- Everyday Hours: Tue – Thur: 5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m., Fri: 5:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., Sat: 11:00 a.m-1:00 a.m., Sun: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
These are just a few of the places you can find the best brunch in downtown San Diego. There are, of course, many other local gems you may stumble upon while visiting La Jolla. If you already have the pleasure of living here, well then – if you know, you know. While there’s always something unique going on during the weekends, brunch offers a moment to fuel yourself with delicious food and maybe catch a slight buzz while catching up with your favorite people in your favorite City. Hopefully, this list makes your next brunch destination decision a little bit easier. Cheers!
About the author: Kara Housdan is a professional stylist and freelance writer who focuses on wellness, motherhood, minimalism, and fashion.