10 Brunch Spots In San Diego From A True Connoisseur

San Diego is on a mission to perfect the art of brunch.

San Diego brunch
The spread at Cody’s La Jolla. Photo: Storrey Lance

Purely based on the sheer number of breakfast spots in the area, it is clear that San Diego is on a mission to perfect the art of brunch. My peers consider me a connoisseur of all things brunch and I have spent the last two years living in San Diego doing research to compile this list for all of the jetsetters who have San Diego at the top of their list of vacation destinations.

10. Sugar and Scribe

San Diego brunch
Sugar and Scribe. Photo: Storrey Lance

Located in La Jolla is this sweet bakery and restaurant. They offer breakfast and lunch options and impeccable pastries. The owner is a Food Network Champion chef and it shows in the food that they have on their menu. The dishes range from decadent baked goods to soups and salads. This is an awesome spot for a delicious bite to eat in La Jolla.

9. Olive Café

San Diego brunch
Olive Cafe. Photo: Storrey Lance

This quaint café is just down the street from The Local and offers a large variety of delicious, breakfast options. This is a good spot for a casual sit-down breakfast or to grab a quick breakfast to-go. This is family-friendly breakfast spot is just steps from the beach and frequented by surfers and beach-goers alike.

8. The Mission Restaurant

San Diego brunch
The Mission Restaurant. Photo: Storrey Lance

The Mission has three locations: Mission Beach, North Park, and East Village. On the weekends there is always a line outside each spot, but their service is fast. Many of their dishes are inspired by Latin favorites, like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and papas con chorizo. The food here displays the distinct ties that San Diego has to Mexican culture. This kind of cuisine is specific to San Diego because it encompasses the blend of cultures that are represented here.

7. Leilani’s

San Diego brunch
Leilani’s Cafe. Photo: Storrey Lance

Located in Birdrock, this Hawaiian inspired restaurant offers a simple and unique take on breakfast. This is a special spot because it is unlike any other brunch spot you will find in San Diego. There is almost exclusively outdoor seating which is preferable in the San Diego weather. The Junior Boy is my personal favorite dish because it comes with eggs, rice, sausage, and French toast. There is rarely ever a wait so it’s perfect for a casual weekend morning.

6. Great Maple

San Diego brunch
Great Maple. Photo: Storrey Lance

The Great Maple one of the only places I know of that allow reservations to be made prior to breakfast, and believe me when I say, you’ll want one. Both of their locations in San Diego– University Heights and La Jolla– are packed with people on their busiest days. They also have dinner options and a happy hour. They have an incredibly large menu and every time I leave in a food coma. The maple smoked bacon is a bacon-lovers dream.

5. The Cottage

San Diego brunch
The Cottage La Jolla. Photo: Storrey Lance

Most people will put The Cottage at the top of their list. This spot in downtown La Jolla usually has a wait upwards of an hour on the weekends. Their impeccably prepared classic brunch dishes have allowed them to rise to the top of the San Diego brunch scene. The stuffed French toast is definitely my favorite dish they offer.

4. The Fig Tree Café

San Diego brunch
The Fig Tree Cafe. Photo: Storrey Lance

With three locations in Hillcrest, Pacific Beach, and Liberty Station this welcoming brunch spot always has a line outside to try their incredible takes on everyone’s brunch favorites. They offer the classics as well as unique and original dishes. This spot Every time I visit, I order the French toast and eggs Benedict (pictured).

3. Brockton Villa

San Diego brunch
Brockton Villa. Photo: Storrey Lance

In downtown La Jolla steps from the beautiful cliffs is this charming restaurant with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. Brockton Villa is a favorite for Sunday brunch as well as a romantic dinner date. The space is unique and welcoming. Their menu uses traditional Southern California influence to produce an unparalleled blend of flavors that will leave your mouth watering. Their soufflé-like Coast Toast is world-famous and for good reason. I recommend Brockton Villa to anyone in the San Diego area.

2. Breakfast Republic 

San Diego brunch
Breakfast Republic. Photo: Storrey Lance

Breakfast Republic is definitely a must-visit in San Diego. They have three spots in San Diego: North Park, Pacific Beach, and Liberty Station. I have waited for 90 minutes to get a table and it was worth it. Their upgrade potatoes with Brussels sprouts and bacon are to die for. They have a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes as well as exciting drink options. The ambiance is fun, and the staff is welcoming. I try to convince all of my friends to eat here with me because it is one of my all-time favorites.

1. Cody’s La Jolla 

San Diego brunch
Cody’s La Jolla. Photo: Storrey Lance

Just around the corner from Brockton Villa is Cody’s which recommend to anyone and everyone who visits San Diego. The wait can be 45 minutes to an hour on the weekends, but it is well worth it. The ambiance is comfortable and chic. The service is friendly and fast. They have a good balance of indoor and outdoor seating. The food is immaculately made from delicious, fresh ingredients. The brioche French toast, veggie hash, and chilaquiles are my personal favorites. There is no question that you will leave satisfied and excited for your next visit.

Brunch connoisseur’s all over the globe should flock to San Diego to satisfy all of their breakfast fantasies. Each of these ten spots is special and unique. If you can, I recommend visiting each of them. I was not prepared for the unparalleled variety of brunch options that this city has to offer. If you visit, come prepared to be wowed by the unique flavors and incredible atmosphere that you will find at a brunch restaurant in San Diego.

Storrey has lived in San Diego for 2 years.

Storrey Lance


Storrey's passion for travel has never stopped, including studying abroad in Italy. She's a foodie, vegetarian & loves to bake pies.

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