Best Brunch Spots in the Gaslamp Quarter
Who doesn’t like a good brunch? While the Gaslamp Quarter is full of booming nightlife, there are some hidden gems tucked away throughout the diverse neighborhood that are fabulous for brunch. There’s no lack of options when it comes to eating brunch in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.
Sparks Gallery would like to present what we think are some of the best places for brunch in San Diego to get a delicious bite before exploring the town.
The Smoking Gun
Specializing in cocktails and urban street food, The Smoking Gun offers a youthful ambiance and has televisions and pool tables for entertainment. During the week, this local gem opens a little later for those who wish to sleep in. Attached to the Smoking Gun is Spill the Beans, offering coffee and breakfast eats, which are worth the line on the weekends. If you aren’t quite ready to dine in or are on the go, The Smoking Gun offers carry out.
Breakfast Republic was voted the best breakfast by San Diego Magazine as a reader’s favorite, and it’s easy to see why. They offer tasty favorites like Oreo pancakes, shrimps and grits, and many other delicious morning fares. Be sure to try their Italian Prosecco. It’s as unique as they are.
Breakfast Republic isn’t just making brunch awesome; they are making communities better. They have recently made almost nine thousand meals for laid-off workers throughout the San Diego area. They also host private parties and events.
Breakfast Republic also is going green. Check out all the things they are doing to help the planet.
Le Parfait Paris
Are you looking for something a little sweeter? Coffee, macaroons, creeps, and more, this is hands down a great place for brunch while you’re in the Gaslamp Quarter. But don’t worry, they ship nationwide, too, so you can enjoy these delicious treats across the country. Le Parfait Paris also offers pick-up and catering options and even hosts cooking classes.
This French pastry shop is in the heart of the historic part of the Gaslamp Quarter. They currently offer delicious take-home boxes for breakfast favorites, treats that will wow you, and even a mimosa kit for the whole brunch experience.
While you’ll have to get up early for this one, it’s well worth it. With a variety of teas, craft sodas, craft beers, and adult drinks, this is one place you’ll want to visit more than once. Cafe 21 offers take-out and a variety of vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options on their menu.
Live music at the restaurant is another benefit of arriving before they close in the afternoon. Cafe 21 also provides a variety of catering, both on-site and off-site. They do not take reservations at Cafe 21 but the wait is worth it.
Are you looking to host an event? Sparks Gallery is a unique place to hold your next event.
Cafe 21 is one of the most innovative restaurants in the Gaslamp quarter. They offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience with made from scratch food and drinks and an ambiance to match. Their small plate offerings are made with the freshest ingredients and locally grown produce.
Provisional Kitchen offers a whimsical brunch for those who are looking to shop while they eat. This unique place utilizes homegrown fare and pairs it with communal space that showcases a collection of homeware, pantry staples, and jewelry.
Inside the Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp District, Provisional Kitchen is the hotel’s signature restaurant. Provisional Kitchen is a communal dining space that features an espresso bar, bistro tables, and even a greenhouse shop that sells an assortment of ceramics, medicine, pantry items, and jewelry.
This hotel restaurant is known for exceptional brunch cuisine made from homegrown, seasonal ingredients and artisanal goods. You can choose from classic egg platters, omelets, sandwiches, French toast, pancakes, parfaits, oatmeal, appetizers, and wood-fired pizza. They also provide gluten-free, nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.
A classic atmosphere you come to expect from a sophisticated hotel, Provisional Kitchen has vaulted ceilings, dark woods, luxurious booths, and bistro tables. Its friendly, inviting vibe makes it easy to start your weekend brunching with friends and family.
Brunch is served daily from 7 am to 2 pm, with delivery and take-out options. You don’t have to be a hotel patron to enjoy their menu of delicious brunch entrees, but you may need to make a reservation to ensure a table during peak brunch hours.
Werewolf American Pub
Werewolf American Pub is an excellent brunch spot that offers a hearty brunch of American pub food. Werewolf is the go-to place for some delicious biscuits and gravy or a filling pork belly benedict. Aside from “killer” food, Werewolf also offers entertainment such as karaoke nights. You can also find a good selection of beer here and can often catch various sports events.
Related: Gaslamp Quarter Events
Werewolf also hosts outdoor seating and shareable menu items like wings and other appetizers. Come hungry. Werewolf has great customer service, and affordable prices. If you are looking to get a delicious breakfast without worrying about breaking the bank, Werewolf might be the place for you.
Gaslamp Breakfast Company
A comfortable and elegant way to start off your morning, Gaslamp Breakfast Company offers a unique selection of food and drinks to get your day started in the right direction. Veggie-filled cocktails? You bet! And that’s only the beginning.
They serve classics like french toast and exotic favorites like Chilaquiles Suizas. There’s something for everyone on this menu.
Outdoor dining allows you to take in the historic feel of the Gaslamp Quarter while you enjoy brunch. This neighborhood-friendly location features a rustic and contemporary style that invites you in. Garage-style doors open up to the patio making for a large, open, and refreshing feeling. If you come on the weekend, you may even catch one of their live DJs.
Quality ingredients and a passion for cooking shine through their inventive American menu of drinks and food alike. Their weekend brunch menu is filled with delicious favorites and exotic additions like the siracha-maple glaze on their chicken and waffles.
Rustic Root has a full brunch menu of New American Comfort food that has a California twist. They only use fresh and local ingredients, so their brunch menu changes seasonally. Dine-in their main restaurant, on their rooftop, or get brunch to go.
A relaxed and cozy atmosphere makes the restaurant an inviting venue to share brunch with friends or family. And with one of the best rooftop bars, Rustic Root is a fantastic spot with lounge chairs, giant lamp posts, and intricate topiaries. The rooftop dining area also has one of the best views in the Gaslamp district.
Because Rustic Root’s brunch menu changes seasonally, you’ll want to make this a regular stop just to see what new entrée they’ve dreamt up. They also offer a complete list of cocktails, bloody marys, beer, and more to complement your meal.
Rustic Root recommends getting reservations, and you can book them a month in advance. They also offer take-out and delivery for brunch on the go. Usually a dinner spot, brunch is only offered on the weekend starting at 10 am.
Garage Kitchen + Bar
Garage Kitchen + Bar is another go-to brunch spot in the Gaslamp District. Named after its original purpose, the building was first a carriage company that carried a full line of Studebaker cars. Serving classic American cuisine, Garage also has live one-man-piano shows that perform during brunch and dinner for additional entertainment.
Leveraging some of its classic garage atmosphere, Garage has a feel of an old garage married with an inviting modern environment. Paired with traditional American food, Garage is a great place to bring the whole family.
The Brunch menu at Garage Kitchen + Bar has all your breakfast favorites, plus season omelets, sandwiches, salads, waffles, pancakes, and burgers. You can choose from a wide variety of cocktails, including mimosas, cold brew cocktails, specialty cocktails, bloody marys, and breakfast shots.
Brunch is offered Thursday through Monday from 9 am – 3 pm. While walk-ins are welcome, you may want to make a reservation, especially during busy tourist seasons. But getting a table is definitely worth your time and taste buds.
Fig Tree Cafe
With multiple locations around San Diego, Fig Tree Café is a popular spot to catch brunch with friends. Fig Tree Café is a casual and inviting dining experience that serves California dishes for reasonable prices. The chefs cook with fresh, local ingredients and source their eggs from a local family farm.
With a light and airy atmosphere, Fig Tree Café is a refreshing surf vibe, making it a bright place to start your morning. Using their signature blue chairs to add color to their neutral tones, Fig Tree Café is consistent in ambiance and flavor.
The Fig Tree Café menu touts seasonal specials and unique brunch dishes like Shakshuka, breakfast sushi, scrambles, decadent French toast, soups, salads, and vegan dishes. They also have a delightful menu of brunch cocktails, bloody marys, kombucha, prosecco, antioxidant shots, mimosas, coffee, and tea.
Open daily from 7 am – 3 pm; the Fig Tree Café specializes in breakfast and brunch. Dining is first-come, first-serve, but you may want to call ahead with a large group because the restaurants are smaller than some of the others on our list.
Just a few blocks from the Gaslamp district is one of the best breakfast restaurants in all of San Diego. Café 222 has been around since 1992, serving up scrumptious breakfast options that have won numerous awards, such as the Best Breakfast Downtown, and several gold medallions for the best breakfast from the California Restaurant Association.
Cafe 222 has been one of the best breakfast spots in San Diego for over 25 years, through a reputation for tasty, quality food. While its ambiance is a bit of a hole in the wall, the staff and café are amiable and inviting. It has even attracted the attention of famous chef Bobby Flay, who featured Café 222’s stuffed French toast on his Food Network Show, Best Things I Ever Ate.
Café 222 is a local and tourist favorite. Their pumpkin waffles were cited by Gourmet Magazine as some of the best, and the biscuits and famous granola are crowd favorites. Café 222 also offers scrambles, specialties, and griddled cakes that have customers coming back again and again.
Open daily from 8 am -1:45 pm, Café 222 is a San Diego Downtown hotspot. While the casual café is first-come-first-serve, you can order online for delivery or take out to avoid long waits. It’s also dog-friendly.
Brunch in Gaslamp San Diego Final Thoughts
There are many different styles of food to enjoy in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. There’s no wrong choice on this list with no shortages of expertly crafted drinks and fantastic food. Many of the options here offer vegan, vegetarian, and other specialty items. Just make sure to plan ahead for lines on the weekends and busy lunch hour.
Once your stomach is full, there are many retail shops to explore and sights to see in the rest of the Gaslamp Quarter. Sparks Gallery offers a wide range of art pieces and jewelry. The exhibitions highlight the talent of the area in a beautiful setting. The space is available for event rentals.
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