Pacific Beach or as the locals call it “PB” is best known for its beachside boardwalk where you’ll find the likes of surfers, skaters, fitness groupies out for a run or the crew on beach cruiser bikes and scooters. Miles of sandy beaches connecting all the way to neighboring Mission Beach make for a picturesque background. Known as home to some of the trendiest bars in san diego as well as a beachside neighborhood containing restaurants that are popular both day and night. Though it’s a great place to visit regardless of the time, PB brunch continues to bring people back time and time again. The mimosas are flowing, patio doors open wide and breakfast and lunch converge to satisfy sweet and savory cravings. According to all moms out there, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, whether you’re a foodie looking for the latest farm-to-table, you want something scrumptious to satisfy your sweet tooth, or you need a big greasy plate to cure your hangover from the night before – let us help you find the perfect PB restaurant for breakfast (or even plan a large group activity for adults!)
Since 1991, Kono’s Café has been a local favorite, serving big portions of breakfast all day located across from the Crystal Pier! Best known for their breakfast burritos, there isn’t a dish on their menu over $10! We suggest going early when they open at 7:00 am to avoid the crowd. It’s an order at the counter kind of place and the line can get long. Place your order, grab your number and head out to one of their outdoor patio tables next to the restaurant or across the boardwalk for great ocean views. While you are waiting, grab a latte, smoothie or tea from their coffee cart next door and an awesome souvenir t-shirt or hat. If you’re looking to be as close to the pacific ocean as possible and don’t care about beautiful benedicts or champagne flutes, Lahaina Beach House might be for you. They are cash only, 21+ and don’t have a website but offer big portions of breakfast, cheap drinks and a patio on the sand overlooking the boardwalk and ocean. Favorites are the Chorizo Burrito and Chilaquiles which will be served with your plastic cup drink by a very friendly server!
On the Lighter Side
If you’d like an option that won’t fill you up until dinner, Southern California is known for it’s healthy eating and PB is no exception. The Mad Beet is a creative twist on health serving juices, acai bowls, wraps and more. Our favorites are the Acaiwol Nation Bowl and the Turki Braxton Wrap. Second Nature is a local favorite featuring farm-to-table and plant-based options, acai bowls and an assortment of healthy southern California inspired choices. On the weekends, they have $3 mimosas, $12 bottles of bubbles and $13 mimosa flights including acai berry, blueberry, mango and guava selections. Java Earth Café is another local joint that serves up fabulous coffee, toasts, bagels, bowls and more. Favorites are the Avocado Toast Supreme and Acai Works Bowl.
Brunch with a View
On the north end of the boardwalk, you’ll find JDRN located in the Tower 23 Hotel. If you enjoy San Diego oceanfront dining, check out their outdoor patio which overlooks the boardwalk and ocean or enjoy an air-conditioned table indoors where the backdrop is a 70-foot long “wave wall” with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the patio. On Saturday and Sunday, brunch is served from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and their menu features creative spins on the traditional brunch classics like the short rib hash as well as salad and sandwich options like the Lobster BLT. Build your own mimosa with fresh concoctions like blood orange rosemary, pineapple mango or blackberry mint. Further down the boardwalk, just past the Crystal Pier is PB’s newest waterfront joint, Waterbar. Set-up high on the second floor of the building, there is no patio, but floor-to-celling windows open wide to let in the ocean breeze and allow for stunning views. They take a farm fresh approach to dining and have an East Coast Seafood and Coastal Baja inspired menu. A favorite is the WB Breakfast Sammy made with fried egg, crispy pork belly, bacon, and cheddar, served with your choice of side. Their white or red sangria is a perfect complement to brunch!
The Perfect Cure
Farm-fresh, country style breakfast at Truckstop, a place that is known to serve portions “larger than your appetite” may be the perfect fix for that hangover. Try their Tri-Tip Benedict made with sriracha hollandaise, served with your choice of hash browns or rosemary potatoes. The Georgia Peach Fizz from their creative brunch cocktail list will round out the meal and have you feeling good as new before brunch is over. For beachfront boardwalk dining, check-out Baja Café. They open at 8:00 am and have a patio with high tables overlooking the boardwalk and the pacific ocean. We suggest ordering their Breakfast Burritos or Morning After Burger, a Kobe-style wagyu beef burger served with an over-easy fried egg, cheddar, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes or one of their Baja Specialties. Their signature Green Flash margarita will be sure to have you back on your feet and ready to enjoy the day!
If you can drag yourself out of bed on Saturday or Sunday morning before 11:30 am, check-out PB Cantina for their Sunrise Special – two eggs, pancakes, bacon and hash browns for $7.50! Add on their bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for $11.95 (served until 3:00 pm) and you may need to order more food before you leave. The Duck Dive is also a great choice offering an Absolut Bloody for $3.50 topped with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese or their bottomless mimosas bar for $17.50 (weekends only). Try their biscuit and gravy sliders or stuffed French toast topped with fresh berries and don’t forget to order the duck fat fries served with a trio of house-made sauces!
If you ask the locals for their favorite brunch spot, you’ll be sure to hear about Fig Tree Café. Their PB location was the first and inhabits an old cottage with a garden-like, dog-friendly patio just off the beach-goers’ beaten path. Like all local favorites, there will be a waitlist on the weekends. Go early (they open at 8:00 am) for quicker service and ask for a table on their patio. Try their Fig Jam & Ricotta Cheese Stuffed French Toast if you have a sweet tooth or their Italian Fennel Sausage Omelet if you want something savory. Order one of the on-tap Kombuchas (if you want it boozy, we suggest the Fig Tree Mule) or a beer flight with your choice of 4 local beers. Breakfast Republic has a cult-like following in San Diego and one of their newest locations is in PB. Started only 3 years ago, they now have 7 locations with 4 more planned to open within the year! They take a farm fresh approach to breakfast offering all the classics and then some. Their San Diego Benedict and Lemon Coconut Pancakes are two of our favorites – we suggest upgrading your potatoes – roasted brussels sprouts and potatoes with parmesan cheese, bacon, balsamic vinegar and onion! They have a full coffee bar, local antioxidant shots, over 20 beers on-tap and a creative cocktail list to pair with whatever you choose to eat.
If you’d like the chance to experience the best pacific beach brunch spots, consider contacting a San Diego Tours company (like us!) who can organize a large group activities taking you to all the top spots and serving up their best brunch food and cocktails to sample!