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Seven Wonderful Waffles to Brunch on in San Francisco

Epic Roasthouse's cornmeal waffle with bacon belly and a duck egg

Epic's cornmeal waffle with bacon belly and a duck egg. Photo from Epic. 

Light waffle batter, when flashed in a hot cast-iron mold, makes a crisp golden-brown finished product perfect for soaking up whatever you choose to top it in. Just in time for holiday brunching, here are seven delicious versions you should check out. 

Epic Roasthouse

Chef Jan Birnbaum cooks up a sweet cornmeal waffle with beaten egg whites to achieve an ultra crisp and airy result. The waffle's small pockets collect maple syrup and seasonal compote. Right now it's made with huckleberries, blood oranges, and persimmon. He tops it in a thick slab of house-smoked and cured pork belly and a golden duck egg sunny side up that runs and swirls into your syrup. 

 

Local's Corner

Photo from Jeffrey Chiyang on Foodspotting

Local's Corner 

Maple syrup can overpower a dish with sweetness, but chef Jake DesVoignes likes to make a more refined syrup for his waffles–chicories cooked down with sugar and water. The syrup develops a bitter and sweet profile, and becomes something more complex.  They're "adult waffles," as owner Yaron Milgrom likes to call them. Right now, get them topped in whipped cream and apples spiced with clove, cinnamon, and star anise. 

 

Blue Bottle Liege-style waffle 

Blue Bottle's Liege-style waffle. Photo from Sonya Yu on Foodspotting

Blue Bottle

Caitlin Freeman, Miette founder who runs the Blue Bottle pastry ship, makes a Belgian waffle at the Ferry Building location. These traditional liege-style waffles use yeasted brioche dough speckled with chunky pearl sugar, that caramelizes in hot cast-iron to form a crisp crust. One of these fresh off the iron is great with a creamy cappuccino to start the day. 

 

Butler and the Chef's banane-miel waffle

Photo by Eva Frye 

The Butler and the Chef 

In the quaint little square that is South Park, chef Joel Martin serves French fare in a charmingly kitschy scene–maps en francais line the walls, and blue wicker chairs sit next to bright red circular bistro tables. Joel has several varieties of waffles, made sweet with malted barley, but his favorite is banane-miel, topped in sliced banana, drizzled in honey, and dusted in slivered almonds. It all sits next to a generous dollop of organic hand-whipped cream.

   

Golden Waffle

Photo by Jesiree B. on Yelp.  

Golden Waffle

Wandering waffle-mobile Golden Waffle serves a traditional Belgian-style gauffre, complete with caramelized and crispy pearl sugar. Once it's flashed on the cast-iron, eat it hot as is or smeared in Nutella. Find them here.

 

Stack's bacon waffle 

Photo by Eva Frye

Stacks

Bacon and maple were made to be eaten together. So at Stacks, it's only natural that they put bacon in their waffle, topped with a heaping table spoon of butter. Maple syrup fills each pocket, drizzling down close to its porcine components. There really is no beating that sweet-savory combination.  

 

Straw's Red Velvet Waffle 

Photo from here.

Straw

Straw in Hayes Valley serves up their "whack-a-mole," or a red velvet cupcake in waffle form for brunch on the weekends. Red velvet waffles are topped in tangy vanilla cream cheese frosting, just in case you thought waffles could really get closer to dessert-for-breakfast. 

 

Who else serves a good waffle in the city?