Sydney’s Suggestions: Brunch in San Diego

My favorite savory and sweet brunch items in SD!


Sydney Chan

The Nutella Nuts French Toast from Sugar and Scribe paired with sliced strawberries and a light vanilla bean whipped cream is a delicious sweet brunch option.

When I was younger, breakfast was my least favorite meal of the day. But as I’ve gotten older, my opinion on breakfast has changed dramatically. It’s hard to be able to enjoy a good breakfast on most days, as we hurry out of bed and rush out the door for school and work. But nonetheless, I’ve realized and truly cherish being able to start the day off right with the people I love and some delicious food.

With countless brunch spots in San Diego, no matter if you prefer savory or sweet dishes, there is no doubt that you’ll find something you love on this list. Before we get there though, I’d like to note that I hope you know that the move of the century while brunching with friends is for one of you to order a savory dish and for the other to order a sweet one. But without further ado, and in no particular order, grab your fork, and let’s brunch.


1. Harry’s – 7545 Girard Ave

Going to Harry’s is undoubtedly a great tradition in our Bishop’s community, and one of my favorite brunch spots in La Jolla. I’m 100% a tuna sashimi girl, but for the salty option, I suggest the Tuna Melt with a side of fries. Although you might not consider it to be a brunch food, pairing it with some salsa makes it a sandwich that you just can’t imagine your day without. I’m 100% a tuna sashimi girl, and I don’t usually love canned tuna, but the crunchy bread pairs with it so well. And Harry’s fries are the best. Not super thin, crunchy, and soft at the same time, we may as well give Harry’s the Best Fries in San Diego award.

For the sweet option, I recommend the Chocolate Chip Chip Pancakes. They’re fluffy and not too sweet. I don’t know how to explain it, besides saying that they taste like nostalgia. You take the first bite, and you’re home.


2. Sugar and Scribe – 7660 Fay Ave Suite I

Sugar and Scribe has really upped their menu since the last time I visited a couple of years ago. The mango lemonade is incredibly refreshing and has an extra hint of sweetness. I personally love different fruit-infused lemonades, and this one is a winner. The Café Viennese is also incredible. Not every place makes this coffee right, but Sugar and Scribe kills this drink. It’s a little sweet, and a little cinnamon-y. Perfection.

For the savory option, the Blazin’ Chilaquiles Skillet has pickled onions and pickled fresno chillies that perfectly cut the richness of the dish. The chips on the bottom are soaked with the sauce, so they have a nice savory flavor and a soft-ish texture. This dish is also vegetarian unless you add meat.

The Nutella Nuts French Toast is soft bread with a thin layer of nutella and sliced strawberries. It comes with a little dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream that is incredibly light and fluffy to contrast the thick and nutty flavor of the nutella.


3. Jasmine Seafood Restaurant – 4609 Convoy St. Ste A.

Jasmine is a classic Chinese restaurant, serving family-style dishes. I often come here in the earlier hours of the day, since I love dim sum, a traditional Chinese meal made up of small places of dumplings and other dishes. This makes it the perfect meal to try with a big group of family and friends! Some of my favorite dishes are the har gow — steamed crystal skin dumplings filled with shrimp — barbecue pork cheung fun — light rice noodles filled with a sweet, smoky pork topped with a soy-based sauce — and turnip cakes — a savory, turnip patty paired with hoisin sauce.

My favorite sweet options are zhi ma qiu — fried sesame balls filled with either sweet red bean or lotus paste. Classic, crunchy, and satisfying.


4. Brockton Villa – 1235 Coast Blvd

A historical house turned popular brunch spot, Brockton Villa not only offers one of the most beautiful views overlooking the La Jolla Cove, but it also serves up some of the most delicious breakfast items, both savory and sweet, and also some delicious drinks such as their Lavender Lemonade. I’m usually the type to steer away from food with a floral essence out of fear that it’s going to taste like soap, but the lavender in this lemonade adds a sophisticated complexity to the classic lemonade taste we all love.

I recommend the Carnitas Chilaquiles, a hearty dish that packs a punch in texture and flavor. Between the crunchy chips as its base and the fiery ancho chile (anchos are just dried poblano chile peppers) salsa that packs a punch and a slow burning heat, this dish is one to remember. The pork is incredibly savory and saporous. And finally topped with scrambled eggs, smashed avocado, and some good ol’ pico, this dish has a great balance of flavors.

For the sweet recommendation, I recommend the Coast Toast. Although I haven’t tried the two other variations of this dish (the Banana Foster and S’mores), the original, topped with a light dust of powdered sugar, is fragrant and not too sweet. The hint of orange zest adds a slight acidity to the dish, while still keeping the prominence on the sweet and mellow toast. If you’ve ever had a souffle, the toast feels pretty similar to the French egg dish in terms of texture.


5. Breakfast Republic – 637 Pearl St

If you like orange juice, Breakfast Republic is your spot. It’s fresh squeezed, not too sweet, and incredibly refreshing and satisfying. No joke, Breakfast Republic has the best OJ. Quote me on it.

For the savory breakfast, I recommend the Turkey Meatloaf Hash. It may sound a little strange, and I was a little skeptical at first, but it’s really delicious. Hashes are sometimes hard to get right, because they’re either too salty or they’re soggy, but Breakfast Republic kills it in both of the categories. Pro-tip: make sure to upgrade your potatoes for $2! They add parmesan, bacon, balsamic vinegar, and onions, and it’s SO GOOD. No matter what you do, make sure you update your potatoes. On another note, a bomb side dish is the Jurassic Pork. It’s thick cut bacon sprinkled with brown sugar and paprika.

For the sweet option, I suggest the Pineapple Upside Down pancakes. The tart pineapple contrasts the sweet, fluffy pancakes beautifully. And to top it all off, there’s a pineapple butter that comes with the pancakes that is super unique and adds so much body and flavor to the dish. I love it.


So grab your best friends, and hit up one of these spots! The perfect start to your morning awaits.