6 bang-for-your-buck brunches

Scotland Yard (Photo Credit: Wes Rowe)

Let’s be honest, brunching feels like an absolute must, right? What with the constant sunshine and never-ending parade of restaurants to check out. While this can quickly turn into a rather expensive habit, it doesn't have to be that way. Here are six of our favorite budget-friendly brunch options.

Hawker Fare
This Mission outpost of the popular Oakland Thai joint has what may be one of the best brunch deals in town, and better yet, it offers something beyond the standard, been-there poached eggs and pancakes scenario. On Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., they serves a variety of tasty, unique plates and sets—think Thai-style poached chicken, fried egg salad, and BBQ pork shoulder chops—all for $15 or less.
Menu Must: Pig-out on the the sai oua sausage brunch set, which features spicy pork sausage with braised pig’s skin and pork rinds alongside jasmine rice, a fried egg, and a side of Thai papaya salad ($15).

Featuring on-point cocktails and creative, utensils-free bites, this beloved go-to among the late-night crowd is now drawing fans in the earlier daylight hours with its recently launched brunch program. Offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the menu includes new items like a savory sausage and egg breakfast sandwich and a colorful fresh avocado toast, either of which can be washed down with a solid Bloody or a quenching Paloma. Best of all, the bite-size format ensures you won’t break the bank.
Menu Must: Japanese-style chicken karaage with mini Cheddar biscuits and chicken butter is a finger-lickin’-good riff on a classic combination.

Yet another popular cocktail bar boasting a serious brunch game, this Lower Haight haunt’s offerings straddle the line between classic and eclectic, with everything from brioche doughnut holes and bread pudding French toast to smoked trout market salad and eggs shakshuka.
Menu Must: While the burger tends to get most of the attention—and it is great—the fried chicken sandwich with pickled pepper, pâté, and lime vinaigrette ($13) is a dynamite accompaniment to a hair-of-the-dog cocktail like their Original Whisper, featuring Lillet, orgeat, vermouth, chile, and smoke.

Ichi & Ni bar
If you’re looking for a Japanese brunch but don’t necessarily want to shell out the big bucks for a full-blown sushi and hot plate feast, the menu at this acclaimed Bernal Heights spot offers an interesting alternative. Come by on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to indulge in a mix of well-priced small and large plates (most under $12), from pork miso scrambled eggs and yuzu chicken wings to the signature Ni Bar ramen.
Menu Must: Fill up with the Japanese Breakfast Plate, a generous spread that includes local grilled mackerel, tamago, rice, pickles, and miso soup ($10).

Chubby Noodle
If you’re more of a student-of-plenty type of brunch goer, gather the gang and head over to this Marina dim sum spot where $37 will get you an hour and a half of as much as you can eat from a selection of 15 different plates—not to mention a choice of four bottomless drink options.
Menu Must: With so many options to choose from (and no reason to limit yourself), it’s hard to choose favorites, but let’s just say if you go here and leave without trying the Peking duck steam buns or Chinese BBQ chicken dumplings, you're missing out.

Scotland Yard
If it's a mix of the familiar and fantasy you seek in your weekend brunch, then look no further than the playful dishes at this nouveau gastropub. Translation: carrot cake French toast, clam chowder puff pie, and Gold Rush biscuits and gravy with pork belly sausage, with all plates ranging in the neighborhood of $7 to $16.
Menu Must: A shareable plate of Chicken and Waffle Bites ($11). Did we mention the chicken is encrusted in Cap’n Crunch–laced batter?

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