Where to Have Brunch in Berkeley
If you've already made it through our list of top brunch spots in Oakland, travel a little farther north to the lush landscape of Berkeley's brunch scene.
This is my favorite brunch spot in Berkeley, and I will happily wait for an hour on the weekends for the lemon gingerbread pancakes with poached pears and Les Oeufs Lucas (scrambled eggs with goat cheese and to-die-for roasted tomatoes). If you can't decide, opt for one of their Bon Vivant combo meals offering eggs, pancakes, bacon, and home fries for the truly hungry. The interior of this authentic Provencal spot resembles the cutest French cottage you've ever seen, and they have a lovely garden patio out back for sunny days, open April - October. If you can't make it for brunch stop by on a Friday night for hearty dinner options and a live accordion serenade. Saturday & Sunday 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 2377 Shattuck Ave.
Sunnyside has been serving breakfast all day, every day for the last ten years, so you know they're doing it right. Case in point: The Alameda, a monstrous breakfast concoction with mushrooms, hickory smoked ham, roasted tomatoes, and Swiss cheese, sandwiched between two pieces of savory French toast, and topped with two eggs over-easy, Hollandaise sauce, and a balsamic reduction. Wow. If that sounds like too much to handle, order anything that comes with black beans, those things are delicious! Place your order at the counter, and pray for available seating at this small joint – and if it's an option make sure to snag a table outside on their side porch or on the front sidewalk. Everyday 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., 2136 Oxford Street
If you're the kind of person that always orders sandwiches at brunch, then SLOW is for you. You can't go wrong with any of their gourmet sandos that all use fresh, local ingredients, but in case you need help opt for the Niman Ranch Pulled Pork with pineapple-chili sauce, pickled vegetables, cilantro, aioli, and arugula on ACME Batard or the Braised Lamb with curried carrot, cucumber, and red onion yogurt slaw, tomato, arugula, and aioli on ACME baguette. (Who says you have to have eggs with brunch?) Their salads are tasty too if you're looking for lighter fare. Almost as stellar as the food is the rose garden seating outside – the view is so nice you might forget to eat. Saturday Only, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., 1966 University Ave.
Every morning for nearly two decades, locals have lined up at Bette's, where hearty breakfasts and strong coffee are served all day. Grab a seat at the counter and order their famous buttermilk pancakes and lemon curant scones – they're so good they even starting selling their mixes on the side. Look to their website for tips on how to make the perfect hot cakes and scones at home when you can't make it out to the East Bay. Saturday & Sunday, 6:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., 1807 4th Street.
Three words: red flannel hash. You must try it. Fresh red beets, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, red onion, and bacon make up this breakfast staple served with two eggs any style and choice of toast, muffin or scone. Prepare to wait, but it'll all be worth it once you get into this homey space – artwork from local artists are displayed on the walls. Everyday, 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., 2922 Domingo Avenue.
Breakfast classics take on a new twist at this airy restaurant, with its exhibition kitchen and cute hanging copper pots. The French toast is a sweet delight with cinnamon bread stuffed with homemade strawberry jalapeno jam and mascarpone cheese, baked and topped with a spiced banana compote. It's almost too pretty to eat. Or opt for the Mediterranean crepe, filled with spinach, kalamata olives, red onions, artichoke hearts, and feta and cheddar cheese, it's just as sure to fill you up. Everyday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 1799 4th Street, #F
Spend your day of leisure at this West Berkeley hot spot serving up delicious comfort cuisine. Fresh, seasonal ingredients steal the show here, and you're going to want to try The Demon Lover – a modern take on Southern fried chicken, waffles, and gravy. Or opt for the smoked Gouda omelet with hash browns, and if you're really hungry, their grits have quite the following. Tolkien nerds take note: They also have a Hobbit Menu, perfect for "second-breakfast" featuring The Hobbit House Salad, The Gandalf Burger, and Frodo Cookies. Saturday only, 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 900 Grayson Street.