We're big fans of eggs for brunch, but sometimes we want to go beyond the Benedict and sink our teeth into something a little more exotic. You can travel from Turkey to Korea and back again on some of the city's brunch menus. Here are our picks, in no particular order, of delicious dishes that leave SF staples like dim sum and chilaquiles in the dust.
① Turkish Breakfast at Darwin Cafe, SoMA
All you need with this fresh spread ($11) of tomatoes, figs and cheese paired with toasted sourdough, jam, honey and a hard-boiled egg, is some thick Turkish coffee (espresso will do just fine, too).
② Japanese Breakfast at Cassava, Outer Richmond
Your views on breakfast foods will never be the same after this gorgeous bowl ($13) filled with sticky sushi rice and seared albacore, seasoned with house-made miso and finished with fresh pickles, albacore tataki, and a runny soft-poached egg.
③ Shakshuka at Beauty's Bagel Shop, Oakland
We could eat this Israeli breakfast staple at every meal, particularly this version ($8.50): A weekend-only special at the Montreal-style bagel destination, this shakshuka features two eggs baked in a mix of garlic, onions and Anaheim peppers, seasoned with cumin and finished with za'atar. In lieu of the traditional pita, you get a freshly buttered bagel for dipping.
④ Kimchee Fried Rice & Shoyu Eggs at Hopscotch, Oakland
It's hard to say no to the griddled tongue-topped burger at Hopscotch, but the kimchee fried rice topped with shoyu-cooked eggs ($12) tempts our taste buds all week long. Feeling particularly peckish (read: hungover)? Add pork belly for $4.
⑤ Jook at B-Star, Inner Richmond
It's available for dinner, but we love B-Star's jook ($10.50 to $12.75) for a comforting, flavor-filled brunch, particularly on foggy mornings. Toppings range from preserved egg and shredded pork to mushrooms and a runny poached egg—they're delicious swimming in the smooth, creamy rice pudding-like base.
⑥ Pancakes at House of Pancakes, Parkside
Who needs maple syrup when you can make a meal of flakey, savory, goodies-stuffed Chinese-style pancakes? House of Pancakes has 11 varieties ($4 to $10) stuffed with meats, vegetables and sesame (the beef is fantastic). Dumplings and hand-pulled noodles are on offer, too.
⑦ Buddhist Temple Thai Food at Wat Mongkolratanaram, Berkeley
There's no beating the atmosphere at this Thai Buddhist Temple, tucked in Berkeley's Ashby neighborhood. Come Sundays, you can dine in the courtyard, enjoying traditional Thai curries, noodles and stir fries, with mango sticky rice for dessert (prices vary).
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