Best places to brunch in and around Berkeley

Karen Chow/Staff
Karen Chow/File
Karen Chow/Staff

There’s no meal better than brunch. The combination of breakfast food, friends and socially acceptable drinking before noon is what makes brunch a treasured institution. We at the Clog have found some stellar places where you can take a break from studying and indulge in the gloriousness that is brunch.

900 Grayson

It’s only open for Saturday brunch, but the West Berkeley landmark serves tasty items such as savory bread pudding and chicken and waffles. Definitely worth a Saturday afternoon trip.

Elmwood Cafe

Elmwood Cafe’s coffee is exquisite, and their quiche might be even better. The decor and ambiance of Elmwood Cafe make it an ideal place for Sunday brunch.

Sweet Maple

Its food is some of the most Instagrammed in San Francisco. Besides the aesthetics, Sweet Maple’s morning tacos and omelettes make it worth the trek to the other side of the Bay.


Plow is a rustic San Francisco place that serves the likes of sweet cornbread, almond flour pancakes and salmon toast. Its brunch is, of course, impressively good.

La Note

La Note is truly an incredible culinary experience. The wait may be long, but if you’re patient, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best (if not the best) pancakes in Berkeley. Be sure to try the lemon gingerbread pancake — it’s insanely delicious.

Brenda’s French Soul Food

Brenda’s is a San Francisco restaurant whose housemade granola pancakes and chocolate beignets are truly remarkable.

Venus Restaurant

Venus is a well-known and oft-frequented Berkeley brunch spot for good reason. It has dishes such as dark chocolate and raspberry pancakes, along with healthier options such as yogurt and granola.

Brunch is undoubtedly a must – especially with great places like La Note or 900 Grayson. We at the Clog implore you to venture out this weekend and try some of these key brunch joints. 

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].

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  • B-Town Pride

    Come on now – NOBODY is reading this article, and then running to SAN FRANCISCO for brunch! This is the DAILY CAL, and the article is about Berkeley Brunch – though you managed to expand that by saying “in and around” Berkeley. Being a Berkeley foodie and resident for over 20 years, I want to tell you and the audience here that your local choices are stale, with the exception of 900 Grayson. Elmwood Cafe? Their egg sandwiches are served with hard-boiled eggs, as they have no real way to cook them there. Venus? Haven’t been there in years. Perhaps it’s popular with college kids, but fairly forgettable. La Note is good, it’s been around forever, and it gets the press simply due to location (right downtown). Though I’m not a huge fan, I would have included Rick & Ann’s – a staple for decades here in town. In terms of the best “in and around Berkeley”, I’d include Sunny Side Cafe (on Oxford, with the original location now under different ownership – called Sunny Side Up on Solano), Meal Ticket on San Pablo, Lama Beans (formerly Jimmy Bean’s) on Gilman, The Vault on Adeline, and one of my personal favorites – The Royal Cafe on San Pablo at Solano (not to be confused with MAMA’s Royal Cafe, a completely different place). There are others, yes, but this was just off the top of my head. The SF spots you listed – why would any of us who live HERE endure the hassle of going THREE, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, simply to eat brunch? We are hungry NOW, not in 60-90 minutes.