California Bear

Friday Finds: Celebrate National Brunch Month in April

Although it may seem like a modern phenomenon, brunch actually dates back to late 19th century England, coined by author Guy Beringer as a Sunday cure for the dreaded hangover. The concept gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1930s and remains one of the most popular social gatherings of the week for French toast, eggs Benedict and the infamous mimosa selfie. In April, we celebrate National Brunch Month … although we think waffles and omelets deserve our attention year-round. So, let’s raise our bellinis to these lovely brunch destinations and all the wonderful venues serving our weekend cravings.

Gracias Madre

West Hollywood and Newport Beach

Brunch and a Mexican twist? ¡Si, por favor! This West Hollywood Mecca serves traditional cuisine using only local, organic and plant-based ingredients. Throw in diffuser-free agave spirits and a bar highlighting independent producers and small batch distiller in Mexico, and we’re sold. It doesn’t hurt that the venue and adjacent outdoor patio is also drop-dead gorgeous. Favorites include the wet burrito, tower of spuds and crepas Mexicanas. Now with a Newport Beach location, it’s twice as delicious. 



With a rotating monthly menu and killer wine country vibes, Barndiva is more destination than brunch venue. What started as a family farm (dry farming apples, figs and chestnuts) now includes a 1/3 acre in the heart of Healdsburg with two properties and beautiful adjacent gardens. Highlights on the most recent menu include the fried chicken toast and Reuben benedict washed down with The Barndiva Bloody. 


Palm Springs

South of France meets the desert! This tucked away oasis in downtown Palm Springs transports you to an intimate garden setting serving French and American favorites, like sweet and savory crepes, omelets, salads, sandwiches and much more. The signature Julia Carnell cocktail mixes bourbon, muddled strawberry, lemon, ginger beer, bitters and simple syrup. It’s sweet, strong, and rich, just like the lady. Just ask them who she was!

Foreign Cinema

San Francisco

Brunch and a movie? Look no further than Foreign Cinema, a Mission district staple for decades. Start with the selection of oysters on the half shell or splurge on the caviar served with papadum and crème fraiche. The weekend picnic features Cara Cara orange or mango pop tarts, a Persian breakfast, Champagne French omelet and the Heavenly Scramble with green goddess, asparagus, spring onions, Reggiano, shell beans, avocado and breadcrumbs. Fin. 

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