Among the many pleasures of the weekend perhaps none is more indulgent than brunch, where a menu of rich and hearty dishes is often served alongside a selection of boozy creations such as bottomless mimosas. South of San Francisco there is a mix of neighborhood establishments and small restaurants serving popular brunch specialties ranging from locally sourced gourmet dishes to homestyle comfort food. Several of the listed restaurants have received multiple awards for being the neighborhood’s favorite brunch location. So the next time you are looking to find a new spot for Eggs Benedict and Bloody Marys, here are five popular restaurants to enjoy brunch South of San Francisco. If we missed your favorite, please be sure to share it in the comments.

Bill’s Cafe

The Blackstone Benedict at Bill’s Cafe in San Jose.
The Blackstone Benedict at Bill’s Cafe in San Jose. (Jeff Cianci)

With a number of established locations around the South Bay Area, Bill’s Cafe is a popular location throughout the week for an extensive breakfast menu served all day long. The restaurant has repeatedly been recognized by local newspapers for the neighborhood’s best breakfast. On the weekends, be prepared for a lengthy wait which is rewarded with quick service and a menu of delicious breakfast dishes. Those looking to enjoy a refreshing drink over brunch will enjoy Bill’s mimosas served in a large goblet garnished with fresh strawberries. Among a menu of savory breakfast specialties, the most popular dish at Bill’s is the delectable Bread Pudding French Toast, with thick slabs of bread pudding studded with walnuts and raisins, battered and served with caramelized banana slices in a sweet caramel sauce. Those who enjoy a classic Eggs Benedict will enjoy Bill’s Blackstone Benedict which adds grilled red onions and slices of creamy avocado.

The Bread Pudding French Toast with eggs and bacon.
The Bread Pudding French Toast with eggs and bacon. (Jeff Cianci)
A Bloody Mary at Bill’s Cafe.
A Bloody Mary at Bill’s Cafe. (Jeff Cianci)
Outside Bill’s Cafe in San Jose.
Outside Bill’s Cafe in San Jose. (Jeff Cianci)

Bill’s Cafe
Multiple locations [Map]
1115 Willow St.
San Jose, CA 95125
Ph: (408) 294-1125
Hours: Mon-Sun 7am-3pm
Facebook: Bill’s Cafe
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Village California Bistro and Wine Bar

The Egg Bruschetta at Village California Bistro and Wine Bar.
The Egg Bruschetta at Village California Bistro and Wine Bar. (Jeff Cianci)

This restaurant with ample patio seating and a menu of California cuisine is a wildly popular destination for weekend brunch on Santana Row in San Jose. Popular dishes on the brunch menu include an Egg Bruschetta served over grilled bread and topped with juicy cherry tomatoes drizzled in sweet balsamic vinegar; Brioche French Toast topped with a fruit compote and Tahitian vanilla whipped cream; and a croissant breakfast sandwich with bacon, eggs, avocado and smoked mozzarella. Those who enjoy south-of-the-border-style breakfast dishes will love the ‘Divorced’ Eggs with housemade chorizo, fresh eggs, and a medley of squash simmered in a duo of roasted tomato and tomatillo sauces. Completing the brunch experience, Village California Bistro serves a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar with a selection of gourmet ingredients and craft spirits.

The 'Divorced' Eggs at Village California Bistro and Wine Bar.
The ‘Divorced’ Eggs at Village California Bistro and Wine Bar. (Jeff Cianci)
The wine bar and dining room of Village California Bistro and Wine Bar.
The wine bar and dining room of Village California Bistro and Wine Bar. (Jeff Cianci)

Village California Bistro and Wine Bar
378 Santana Row #1035 [Map]
San Jose, CA 95128
Ph: (408) 248-9091
Hours: Mon-Thu 10am-9pm; Fri-Sun 8:30am-10pm
Facebook: Village California Bistro and Wine Bar
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Local Union 271

A half order of the Eggs Benedict at Local Union 271.
A half order of the Eggs Benedict at Local Union 271. (Jeff Cianci)

The name of this popular bistro is a play on the restaurant’s address and commitment to using locally sourced ingredients. On the menu, the restaurant proudly lists the numerous local farmers and producers they are partnered with such as: Diestel Turkey Ranch in Sonoma; Happy Boy Farms in Watsonville; and Laura Chenel in Sonoma. A popular destination for brunch along University Avenue, Local Union serves standard brunch fare such as Eggs Benedict, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. The brunch menu also a selection of special bacon, brioche French toast, and chicken chilaquiles. The fluffy omelets are served with a medley of roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, and thick-cut grilled bread from Kelly’s Bakery in Santa Cruz. A menu of freshly squeezed juices, also available as mimosas, are the perfect option to wash it all down.

The Diestel Turkey Egg White Omelet at Local Union 271.
The Diestel Turkey Egg White Omelet at Local Union 271. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Local Union 271 in Palo Alto.
Inside Local Union 271 in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)

Local Union 271
271 University Ave. [Map]
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Ph: (650) 322-7509
Hours: Mon-Wed 11am-10pm; Thu-Fri 11am-12am; Sat 9am-12am; Sun 9am-10pm
Facebook: Local Union 271
Twitter: @271Local
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Hobee’s Restaurant

The Huevos Rancheros Omelet at Hobee’s in Palo Alto.
The Huevos Rancheros Omelet at Hobee’s in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)

With multiple locations throughout the South Bay Area, Hobee’s has become a Silicon Valley institution for diners to enjoy an inexpensive meal served in a comfortable family-friendly setting. The popular restaurant has been given numerous awards over the years by local newspapers for having the best breakfast and brunch. The menu includes a number of comforting breakfast dishes such as scrambles, omelettes, and hashbrown skillets. Aptly named, the “Best Darn Breakfast in Town” serves up two farm-fresh eggs, with homestyle hash browns, and the wildly popular blueberry coffee cake. The popular coffee cake is studded with fresh blueberries and topped with a sweet crumbly top drizzled with butter for a delectable breakfast treat.

The Best Darn Breakfast in Town special at Hobee’s in Palo Alto.
The Best Darn Breakfast in Town special at Hobee’s in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)
The Blueberry Coffee Cake at Hobee’s in Palo Alto.
The Blueberry Coffee Cake at Hobee’s in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Hobee’s in Palo Alto.
Inside Hobee’s in Palo Alto. (Jeff Cianci)

Hobee’s Restaurant
Multiple locations [Map]
4224 El Camino Real.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Ph: (650) 856-6124
Hours: Mon 7am-2:30pm; Tue-Fri 7am-9pm; Sat-Sun 8am-9pm
Facebook: Hobee’s Restaurant
Twitter: @Hobees
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Town

The country Eggs Benedict at Town in San Carlos.
The country Eggs Benedict at Town in San Carlos. (Jeff Cianci)

Town in San Carlos proudly serves food prepared from locally-sourced produce, and humanely raised meat and poultry. The refined steakhouse is decorated in dark wood with leather booths and includes a large center bar where guests can enjoy a number of cocktails prepared from small batch spirits and housemade ingredients, as well as offering an extensive wine menu. The restaurant has also been recognized by Open Table as one of the top 100 best brunch restaurants in America for 2016, in part for Town’s gourmet brunch specialties and the popular bottomless mimosas. The extensive brunch menu ranges from a comforting Loco Moco prepared with ground filet steak and cage-free eggs, to a Banana and Hazelnut Chocolate-Stuffed French Toast for those with a sweet tooth. Town’s Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich starts with griddled slabs of sourdough and stacks two fried cage-free eggs, brown sugar bacon, and a trio of Gruyere, cheddar and American cheese, for a truly ultimate brunch creation.

The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich at Town in San Carlos.
The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich at Town in San Carlos. (Jeff Cianci)
A Bloody Mary at Town in San Carlos.
A Bloody Mary at Town in San Carlos. (Jeff Cianci)
The Chicken Chilaquiles at Town in San Carlos.
The Chicken Chilaquiles at Town in San Carlos. (Jeff Cianci)
Guests having brunch on the patio at Town in San Carlos.
Guests having brunch on the patio at Town in San Carlos. (Jeff Cianci)

Town
716 Laurel St. [Map]
San Carlos, CA 94070
Ph: (650) 595-3003
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm; Sat 10am-2:30pm, 5-10pm; Sun 10am-2:30pm, 5-9pm
Facebook: TOWN San Carlos
Twitter: @TOWNRestaurant
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Bay Area Bites Guide to 5 Popular Brunch Spots South of San Francisco 5 January,2017Jeff Cianci
  • Adrienne

    I’ve been to 3/4 of these. Try the black stone with added smoked salmon at Bill’s and opt for delicious and cheap happy hour at Local Union. Perfect food and service at high.

Author

Jeff Cianci

Jeff Cianci is a freelance food writer based in San Jose. While studying journalism in college, Jeff’s curiosity landed him at a busy California bistro where he experienced a crash course in culinary training over two summer breaks, learning on the job with a very patient chef as his mentor. Around the same time, Jeff married his journalism degree to his appreciation for the restaurant world and determined food writing would be his career path. In his work Jeff most enjoys profiling chefs and learning their background, finding a new favorite restaurant and sharing his experiences with others through his reviews and social media. In addition to KQED's Bay Area Bites, Jeff writes restaurant reviews for Metro Silicon Valley and new restaurant guides for Eater National. Follow Jeff on Twitter @Cheffreycianci.

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