When you only have 1 guaranteed day in San Francisco to brunch things get dangerous. I crowd sourced options like Dotties, Lori’s Diner, Le Garage, Blue Bottle Coffee Co, Kitchen Story, Brendas, Zazie, Nopa… You can start to see the dilemma I had right? So after much research, emails to my friends in San Francisco I eventually came up with a super shortlist for the best brunch in San Francisco. Serpentine and Starbelly were the two I had to choose between based on my requirements and eventually the choice came down to which option had more of my friends “Check In” on Facebook. Might sound like a silly way to do it but working in social media at LinkedIn means that I needed a way to choose between 2 amazing options.
I ended up at Starbelly San Francisco which is located in one of my favourite parts of SF – The Castro, and was far from disappointed when a gorgeous friend of mine wanted to do dinner at Serpentine (talk about the best of both worlds!). Arriving at Starbelly the friendly staff seat us straight away and the long but narrow restaurant has high ceilings and is super inviting. We all sit, order coffee and start perusing the menu and at this point I realise that if I thought my choice of restaurant was tricky picking something from the menu was just as hard with so many choices and only 1 brunch sitting.
Standardly there were a few of us who picked the same thing and I couldn’t go past the Challah french toast with bananas, maple-walnut & mascarpone, rosemary breakfast links or bacon. I obviously went with the bacon (rather than the fancy sausages). You know me, in love with french toast and bacon…
Then we had a couple of people pick the chilaquiles, house made chorizo, corn chips, chile sauce & cilantro, house salad and this looked almost as good as the mexican inspired choice I had at Rueben Hills Surry Hills the other week – remember this. I managed to convince my friends to share a smidge with me and boy.. it was good – well, except for the coriander (read cilantro) which as some of y0u know I find hideous.
Next up was the All-american favourite brunch order of buttermilk fried chicken & waffles, maple syrup. Now reports on this was mixed, mostly from the Australians at the table. I managed to convince Erica (pictured above) to give me a little taste and it’s better than any chicken waffles in Sydney but I imagine chicken waffles have to be your thing.
Last but not least on the Starbelly brunch menu was the Pizza. Now I wasn’t sure what to think when brunch pizza was ordered but then it came out and looked and smelt spectacular. If you are wondering what roasted butternut squash, black garlic, local goat cheese, sage & pumpkin seeds tastes like then let me leave you with the winning comment of the day “It’s like Thanksgiving on a pizza!”.
Ok.. now for the goods. By now you must be thinking Haimee – how is this the best brunch in San Francisco? Or, did your french toast count as Brunch Dessert. Well, drumroll please because your questions are about to be answered. When I saw dynamo doughnuts on the menu it took all my strength not to order them as a starter! Instead we ordered 2 rounds for the table covering all flavours: maple bacon, peanut caramel and vanilla bean. Again opinions varied with the peanut caramel being a favourite amongst most but with my personal favourite polarizing the crowd.. I of course fell in love with the maple bacon donut!
Overall I was truly pleased with only 1 day to brunch that I picked my best brunch in San Francisco to be at Starbelly. I’ll definitely be back when I’ve got time as good brunch isn’t always easy to find when travelling!