Mission Beach Café

David Adams

Mission Beach Café

By Tara Duggan

All it takes to turn a once-quiet corner of the Mission into a major beachhead for brunch are the great housemade pastries and pancakes—and steaming cups of Blue Bottle coffee—at Mission Beach Cafe. Named for the neighborhood’s past as a sunny weekend escape for early San Franciscans, this popular brunch spot also makes dinner feel as relaxed as a three-day weekend. Chef Thomas Martinez, who recently returned to the restaurant after an 18-month leave, combines lighter seafood plates and salads with barbecue and pub grub classics, all seen through a seasonal California lens. The potpie features that locavore meat of choice, rabbit, pocketed by buttery pastry and surrounded by swirls of jus, glazed baby carrots, and English peas. Tuesday is barbecue night, which means Range Brothers pork ribs with housemade sauce and a pile of braised greens and multicolored cauliflower. The chorizo dirty rice served with the ribs was over-salted, but overall the food quality is solid, and the all-California wine list is worth exploring. Linger in the high-backed chairs for a slice of pie from pastry chef Alan Carter, and watch Mission street life go by through picture windows lining two walls of the airy dining room.

sweet seats

The restaurant feels casual enough for a quick coffee, while the original art and glossy wood tables make it seem right for dinner, too. A couple of tables to the left as you enter offer the best window-side lookout.

chew on this

Chef Martinez recently spent six months working at Roshambo Farms in Healdsburg—founded by Timothy Holt of Weird Fish restaurant, a few blocks away—and plans to use some of its produce at Mission Beach Cafe.

hours

dinner: Mon.-Thurs. 5:30 PM–10 PM; Fri.–Sat. 5:30 PM–11 PM
brunch & lunch: Mon.–Sat. 9 AM–2:30 PM;
Sun. 9 AM–3:30 PM

price range

$13.50 (burger) to $28 (filet mignon)
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