Breakfast burger at Belcampo

8 cool alternatives to the typical Easter brunch

By Trevor Felch

Reservations may be going fast, but there’s still time to shore up your plans for this year’s Easter brunch. Of course, you could always opt for the traditional bountiful buffet or a lavish prix fixe with leg of lamb, honey-baked ham, eggs, and carrot cake. But San Francisco's Easter celebrations offer so much more to consider—from famous fried chicken to a Japanese breakfast set, from family-style Italian feasts to music and movies accompanying your BBQ shrimp and grits. Check out these eight unique Easter brunches in and around the Bay Area.

Calavera (credit: Shelly Hamalian)

Easter staples with a Mexican edge grace this specials menu in Uptown Oakland for holiday brunch. The usual ham dish is a ginger-sotol-glazed ham with seasonal fruit and arroz blanco, and deviled eggs come as tacos with the Yucatan pumpkin seed dip, sikil pak. Calavera’s regular Mexican breakfast menu will also be offered—and don’t forget the margaritas.
Neighborhood: Oakland MAP

Bacon and brioche French toast? Chicken sandwich with Gochujang glaze, red slaw and cilantro cream? A mortadella grilled cheese sandwich on rye with tarragon mustard? These are just some of the tempting yet atypical Easter specials that showcase Belcampo’s top quality, compassionately raised meats, which the restaurant raises, processes, and butchers on its own. And if you’re more tempted by hamburgers than the traditional Easter ham, Belcampo is offering their Belcampo burger that can be customized with bacon, egg, and Hollandaise. That’s right: An eggs Benedict burger, anyone?
Neighborhood: Russian Hill MAP

The Commissary
Pair Easter brunch with a walk in the Presidio and you’ve got a full holiday Sunday planned. Traci des Jardins’ Spanish-Californian restaurant offers an a la carte menu that sways between these two cuisines with fun dishes like Catalan flatbread with fava leaves, and a duck confit hash with braised red cabbage and poached eggs. And when you see deviled farm eggs with avocado mousse and saffron caviar on the menu, you know this definitely won’t be a typical Easter brunch.
Neighborhood: The Presidio MAP

Fried chicken at Ad Hoc

Ad Hoc
Thomas Keller’s casual prix-fixe restaurant in the heart of Napa changes its menu daily, so part of the excitement is never knowing (before the day of) what you’ll be eating here. Anxious diners can keep their fingers crossed that the famous buttermilk fried chicken will be on the menu. And for the three-course Easter menu ($40), we already know to expect that incredible fried chicken, accompanied by bacon and chive waffles. Diners will start with an arugula and raspberry salad, and finish with carrot cake—in cupcake form. As a bonus course, definitely opt for the avocado and burrata toast supplement because, well, it’s avocado and burrata together. And a holiday weekend brunch with fried chicken, avocado, and burrata sounds pretty hard to beat.
Neighborhood: Yountville MAP

1300 on Fillmore
The Fillmore’s contemporary soul food restaurant is always on the “best brunch” lists around the city thanks to its wonderful food and music from house band Future Perfect. Easter Sunday swaps the usual a la carte format for a $49 brunch with seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. After opening with a pastry basket, the range of entrée choices is vast, from a country-fried pork chop to the always excellent BBQ shrimp and creamy grits. Purists will approve of the orange marmalade-Bourbon glazed ham. Dessert is a can’t-lose choice between strawberry shortcake (it’s finally strawberry season!) or Key lime–mango sorbet.
Neighborhood: The Fillmore MAP

Bread pudding at Chaya

Chaya Brasserie
This 17-year-old Embarcadero Asian fusion favorite doesn’t usually serve weekend brunch, but they’re making an exception for this three-course Japanese Easter meal ($50 per person), and they’re not skimping on creativity. Each course offers a few options; open with avocado toast topped by smoked black cod and a ramen egg, then enjoy a fried chicken and asparagus frittata before concluding with the intensely rich signature warm chocolate croissant bread pudding.
Neighborhood: Embarcadero MAP

54 Mint
Easter is a convivial family-style affair in Italy—and that’s exactly how this Mid-Market Italian restaurant treats it, even opening their doors early on Easter Sunday for the occasion. The $55 menu kicks off with an artichoke frittata, grilled mortadella, and mozzarella, and the cheesy “Easter bread” called pizza pasquale. That’s followed by the duo of house-made fettuccine with asparagus and porcini mushrooms and slow-roasted lamb. Dessert swaps sweets for the fragrant, savory notes of lavender–olive oil cake and thyme gelato. Children under 12 eat for just $25, too.
Neighborhood: Mid-Market MAP

Finn Town
The Castro’s always-hopping spot is jumping all-in for its first Easter, welcoming the holiday with the “Bet Your Easter Bonnet: Goddess of Spring Brunch Celebration." Wear your Easter bonnet or come dressed as a Goddess of Spring for the chance to win a Finn Town gift card and catch the brunch menu along with a screening of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The food doesn’t follow the bunny/rabbit theme, but it does have a “Salmon Eggs Benny,” with smoked salmon, eggs, and spiced avocado. Hearty appetites can opt for the fried egg sandwich with a host of fillings like rosemary-pepper bacon, triple egg aïoli, and pork belly gravy on a house-made English muffin or enjoy the special ham and homemade biscuit sandwich with a spicy pepper jelly.
Neighborhood: Castro MAP

Breakfast sandwich at Finn Town

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