Five to Try: Sunday Brunch Bonanza

The patio at La Valencia is a picture perfect brunch spot!

With our year-round, near-perfect weather and always-relaxed vibe, Sunday brunch in San Diego is kind of a big deal.*

Affordable options abound but, when the mood calls for a splurge, nothing teases your taste buds and rounds out a weekend like the spreads served up at our luxury hotels.

So, loosen your belt and check out these five to try Sunday brunch buffets:

  • Caviar and crab legs and prime rib, oh my! If brunch in the Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado makes you feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore, there’s a reason. The room’s chandeliers were designed by L. Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz, and it’s said the hotel inspired some of his writing. Each Sunday, the staff turns out a buffet fit for all the numerous royalty, celebrities and presidents who have stayed at the historic property over the past 120 years. Brunch options include made-to-order waffles and Panini, sushi and dim sum, South of the border favorites and much more. It includes sparkling wine, mimosas, Bloody Marys or fresh-squeezed screwdrivers, is served from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and priced at $74.95 for adults and $22.95 for kids age 6-12. www.hoteldel.com
  • Want to dine like Hollywood royalty? Famous as a getaway for the stars since the silent-movie era of the 1920’s, today brunch in the Mediterranean Room at La Jolla’s “Pink Lady,” the intimate and charming La Valencia Hotel overlooking La Jolla Cove, is as fantastic as ever. It features fresh seafood ranging from Blue Point oysters to tiger prawns to smoked Nova Scotia salmon plus a carving station with roast leg of lamb, pork loin and prime sirloin, fresh local salads, omelets prepared to order, a wide assortment of breakfast favorites and decadent dessert options. Brunch includes complimentary orange juice and champagne, is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is priced at $55 for adults and $28 for kids age 5-12. www.lavalencia.com
  • Get along little doggies! You can almost hear the caballeros returning to the hacienda. Nestled in the hills of Rancho Bernardo, El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn serves up a bountiful brunch in a gracious, welcoming Southern California ranchero style with views of the rolling greens of the resort’s golf course. Here, brunch selections include cumin and ancho chili-rubbed rib eye at the carving station, spicy tomato and cucumber salad with roasted pepitas and poached eggs with a bacon-white bean ragout and hollandaise sauce. Brunch includes complementary mimosas and a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, is served from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and priced at $45 for adults and $20 for kids age 5-13. www.ranchobernardoinn.com
  • Craving a brewski with your brunch? Set against picturesque backdrop of Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s 80-slip marina on the terrace of the Market Cafe, the weekly Blues, Brews & Barbecue brunch gives the hungry a chance to groove to the sounds of B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Jeff Beck while sipping free-flowing local craft beers like Woodie Gold and Red Trolley from Karl Strauss. The huge buffet features down-home culinary delights like ribs, barbecue chicken, slow-roasted beef brisket, tomato-habanero barbecued salmon, roast suckling pig and more. It includes complimentary craft beer from Karl Strauss and mimosas, is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is priced at $38 for adults and $19 for children. www.loewshotels.com
  • Ahoy matey, thar be brunch ahead! Okay landlubbers, so this one isn’t at a hotel but if you want to sail the high seas (well, the waters of San Diego Bay) this is your chance. Board Hornblower Cruises’ luxury yacht at Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego for a two-hour excursion that includes a narrated tour of the bay and an amazing spread with seasonal entrees, breakfast favorites, a full carving station and salad and dessert bars. Dine on the enclosed lower deck at your private table and, between trips to the buffet, wander up to the open air deck to enjoy the breeze and take in the sights. Brunch includes complimentary champagne, boards at 10:30 a.m. and returns to the dock at 1 p.m. and is priced at $54.95 per person. www.hornblower.com

Would you like to take a few friends to Sunday brunch at La Valencia in La Jolla?

Comment below by Thursday, December 2 at 10 a.m. PST and one lucky winner will recieve a certificate for brunch for four to use any time before December 1, 2011.  (Certificate is good for brunch only; additional alcoholic beverages and certain holidays are excluded.)

*Double points for recognizing an Anchorman quote. Stay classy…and eat your brunch!

This entry was posted in Culinary, Insider Tips and tagged , , by Kate. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kate

I own, and use, a library card, a record player, a sewing machine and a meat smoker.  Ride my bicycle every day and will, sometimes, wear my roller skates in the house. Have a wealth of useless knowledge – for which you will be thankful when we’re teamed up in Trivial Pursuit.

How would you describe your ideal San Diego day?

Hike through the spring wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Watch the July 4th fireworks over San Diego Bay. Eat Julian Apple Pie a la mode and check out the autumn leaves. Ice skate and enjoy the twinkling holiday decorations at the Hotel del Coronado. All in the same day.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to be able to stop and restart time like that Twilight Zone episode back in the 80’s, “A Little Peace And Quiet,” but, you know, without the a-bomb at the end. Basically, I just want to avoid waiting in lines.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Brunch, without a doubt. Also, cocktails by the pool, outdoor movies in Balboa Park, scouring the swap meet for vintage finds, hanging out on the patio at the Casbah between sets, lawn games and backyard barbecues.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Give me uni plucked from the sea by local divers, a warm, crusty loaf from Bread & Cie, luscious Carlsbad strawberries, sweet local lobster in season and creamy Fallbrook avocados. And, most definitely, a grass-fed beef burger with Winchester gouda and a cold San Diego craft brew.

Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…

Honestly, I buy my records at the thrift store and depend on my husband to download new music. Lately he's been stacking the deck pretty heavy with 90's indie rock, bluegrass covers and drone metal.  Go figure.

For more San Diego dining dish, follow Kate on Twitter @katebuska.

64 thoughts on “Five to Try: Sunday Brunch Bonanza

  1. I have been going to La Valencia since the 1960’s. We stayed at the Cove and would take the steps up to Prospect. The best Bloody Bulls ever.

  2. Tasty. I frequent brunch way too often to go hoity-toity more than once a year, though. It’d be like giving a lush endless access to Chateau Margaux (1995). I do love me some Beach Grass Cafe on a lazy Sunday (Chilaquiles, precisely) and, most recently, Quality Social (eggs bene, baby). Speaking of lush, those kids know how to serve mimosas. Think: 16 oz. tumbler.

    Stay class, but not hungry.

  3. As a retro-loving, Hollywood buff, I’d have to say I am most certainly qualified to enjoy the delicious tastes of brunch at La Valencia. Thanks for sharing these tempting tips for brunch here in SD! I’ll put them on my list of places to try.

  4. Never had time to check out any of these when I was a San Diego resident, but I’d love to when I vacation in America’s Finest City in February. Who isn’t a sucker for brunch? 🙂

  5. This is Kate – the writer of this post – I just had to chime in to say you guys are killing me with these Anchorman quotes. Love it! (And, no, unfortunately this comment doesn’t enter me to win the free brunch. Good luck to you all!)

  6. I have done one of the Hornblower dinner cruises in San Diego, and if brunch is anywhere as nice, I would certainly recommend giving it a whirl!

  7. I haven’t been out to brunch since I had my son 2 years ago. Most weekend mornings consist of coffee and a frozen waffle. I would LOVE to have a special morning with my husband and friends (and i won’t feel guilty for hiring a babysitter)!

  8. I’m a big big brunch fan. Not only the regular brunch scene (personally, I love Hotel Del, Humphrey’s & Tom Ham’s Lighthouse) … but also just a really big breakfast on Sunday, think Clayton’s on Coronado or Jimmy Carter’s (the one in Banker’s Hill/Hillcrest on 5th Ave) & Cafe on Park in Hillcrest. I’ve also done my fair share of downtown football brunches to catch an NFL game, or 3, on the big screens. 🙂 Who’s ready to eat?

  9. La Valencia is absolutely stunning – our #1 choice for Sunday Brunch! Outside is beautiful, of course, and we adore the coziness (and still great view) instead the restaurant. Enjoy!

  10. If you are in the mood for beautiful surroundings and outstanding king crab legs, La Valencia is the perfect choice for Sunday brunch. The BEST crab is here and you can’t beat the view. After some champagne and crab, a lovely stroll around the village is great!

  11. La Valenica takes the holidays up to a higher level than anywhere else in San Diego. It lis like being in a snowglob…but you don’t need the snow. Just the beautiful landscape and the music and ambiance. That is a fact. Take it from a long time local.

  12. By the beard of Zeus! Ahh, La Valencia! Stunning views and decadent food and drink choices! I love taking out of town friends here!

  13. Love, love, love La Valencia! It was the first place we went out for dinner when we moved to San Diego and I love to take visitors to sit out on the balcony for fancy drinks and a gorgeous view!

  14. San Diego is the best! 🙂 I have never been to the La Valencia hotel for anything – much less their brunch….but it sounds incredible! How lucky I am to actually live in the most beautiful city in the world! Just living here is luxury.

  15. I’ve been to the Hotel Del and would love to go to the Valencia. They both transport you from everyday life to something special. What a wonderful treat that would be to win this!

  16. I would love to win this because my moms birthday is close, and i want to get her something special for her 35th birthday:)

  17. Stay classy, San Diego. I’m Ron Burgundy? Dammit who put a question mark on the teleprompter?!? Lol love that movie! I would love to win the brunch to treat my sisters and mom.

  18. I love La Jolla and I can’t think of a better gift than to get together for brunch as a family! What a thoughtful giveaway.

  19. Wow! What, a wonderful article. I love the San Diego area and drive down frequently. I would love to come down for brunch. What a great way to catch up with good friends.

  20. We have relatives coming to visit soon from Iowa! Can’t wait to show off our beautiful city! This list is great! Thank you!

  21. I love anyplace with a view of the water. The Shores is also a good spot and I think LaJolla is THE place!! Any of these spots is a trip to “Flavor Town”, which is always a pleasure trip!

  22. I would love to dine like Hollywood royalty, but unfortunately my employer laid-off my whole department. I haven’t been in a restaurant in months.

  23. For some reason I always associate brunch with my elderly family members. My dear Aunt Leona made brunch a many-houred event with eating and chatting and more eating and multiple mimosas to wash it all down (and spice up the conversation!)Thanks for making me think of Aunt Leona and her incredible appetite!

  24. Oooh, brunch!! It’s my favourite meal to go out for (mainly because it’s being sneaky and getting two meals in one!). Thanks so much for this article and all of the great info on the site. My husband and I are coming from Australia for a visit/wedding, and this website has made planning so easy!! And, of course, the possibility of a free meal….enticing!

  25. San Diego is the finest city in America. We absolutely love LaJolla I would love to be picked for this. I just went through brain surgery in August and I am having another one on Dec.1 in Lajolla and haven’t gotten out much lately.

  26. ALL of these Sunday brunches sound incredible!!! It’s on my ‘bucket list’ to try the La Valencia Sunday brunch – I’ve always heard it’s absolutely amazing and not to be missed. As a single mom, now all I need are for my “kids” to graduate college so that I can start spending money on something for myself!!!! Happy Holidays!

  27. I am so in love with Brunch in San Diego, but with so many places offering brunch now it’s hard to choose. This article highlights the best that San Diego has to offer. Great article!!

  28. Very informative, thanks! Everyone loves brunch, and it’s great to have a diverse selection when our friends come and visit.

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