Stand on the Paseo next to the Fairmont Hotel on a Saturday or Sunday morning and just watch the guests stream out of the hotel, stop, look both ways, then head back inside or to Bijan Bakery. This lost look is one many visitors have. Where to go for eggs? Potatoes? Or something a bit more elaborate for breakfast or brunch?
Go to San Pedro Square on a weekend morning, and the busiest and most frequented area of downtown is deserted, with a few people grabbing coffee at B2 or Starbucks.
The Brunch Scene is “a thing” in almost every major city, where people will stand in line for hours to get a great brunch. It is visible at Santana Row(minus the lines), but not in downtown, apparently due to people here not eating brunch(sarcasm). But to be honest, the brunch options here are thin. Even with the recently opened Deluxe Eatery and Drinkery, you can count on one hand the number of sit down breakfast/brunch spots, and you can count with a few fingers those that are worth returning to.
San Pedro Square should have at least 5-6 great brunch options, as it has already proven that when restaurants cluster, its benefits all. But San Pedro Square restaurants haven’t figured out brunch. Having one breakfast option here and another 3 blocks away doesn’t help either business. It would be nice to point a visitor in one direction for breakfast and have confidence that they will be able to find a place they will enjoy.
It comes down to quality over quantity. Quantity is good for some meals, and many will argue breakfast is one of them. But quality is what sets a place apart, creates buzz, and starts to put restaurants on the map. Brunch is not hard. Quality food, made from quality ingredients, at a good price point with quick service. Now that is a morning recipe for brunch success.