Palace Hotel (credit: Bobak Ha’Eri/Wikimedia Commons)

“A New Year, and a new opportunity to excel,” is a great motto to start the year off right — but first, let’s eat. With so many excellent Bay Area brunch spots to choose from, it definitely is hard to pinpoint the best, so try as many as possible to find your favorites. Read on for five brunch spots that make it special on New Year’s Day.

Palace Hotel
2 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 512-1111

This historic San Francisco hotel stands apart from all other hotels in the city, not only for its place in San Francisco history and legend, but also for its combined luxury and welcoming spirit. This place is a definite class act. Sunday brunch in the Palace’s famed Garden Court dining room, while seated beneath the exquisite glass dome and surrounded by its elegant setting, is simply extraordinary. But for New Year’s Day, an even more delectable culinary experience happens when the Garden Court presents a lusciously decadent gourmet brunch to start the year off right. View the scrumptious New Year’s Day menu here.

(credit: Hornblower Cruises)


New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch Cruise
Hornblower Cruises & Events
Pier 3 – Hornblower Landing
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 438-8300

For something joyfully different with spectacular views, come aboard Hornblower’s popular New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch Cruise to celebrate the New Year 2015 and enjoy a festive brunch buffet that has it all. Relax on a two-hour yacht cruise while taking in legendary bay sights that include the postcard-pretty San Francisco skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and Alcatraz. Enjoy live entertainment, free-flowing champagne, bottomless mimosas, juices, coffee, tea and water, plus beer, wine and cocktails available for purchase onboard, for $72 per person. The cruise leaves at 12 p.m. and boarding time is 11:30 a.m. View a sample champagne brunch menu here.

Brunch at Zazie’s. (credit: Joanne Boston)


Zazie Restaurant
941 Cole St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 564-5332

Zazie, a French bistro in the heart of Cole Valley that has become a longtime neighborhood favorite, presents its all-day brunch on New Year’s Day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The surprise here is that this is the most pajama-friendly brunch you will ever be invited to. The Zazie staff stays in its PJs all day and customers get a complimentary mimosa if they wear their PJs too. It’s totally fun and people do it up – everyone knows San Franciscans love to dress in costume – so it looks like a big slumber party all day long. Reservations are accepted from 4:30 to 9 p.m. only, so come and have breakfast for dinner. View a past menu here to get a hint of New Year’s Day Brunch at Zazie’s.

Grand Lake Kitchen
576 Grand Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 922-9582

Oakland’s Grand Lake Kitchen labels itself as a neighborhood deli, but simply put, it’s a whole lot more. A wonderful spot to visit after walking through the Sunday Farmers’ Market nearby, Grand Lake Kitchen comes with an amazing view of Lake Merritt and some terrific brunch dishes to try, so it’s no wonder that Grand Lake Kitchen can get pretty packed. This place certainly has its fans and just about everyone raves over the chilaquiles, French toast and delights such as the pastrami Benedict and pork belly hash. New Year’s Day brunch brings a few additions like black-eyed peas and festive champagne drinks. Check the regular brunch menu here.

The Half Day Café
848 College Ave.
Kentfield, CA 94904
(415) 459-0291

Since 1986, The Half Day Café has been a family owned and operated spot, committed to providing its customers with a wonderful dining experience for breakfast, lunch and brunch. Located in a 1930s building originally built to house the Kentfield Garage, the café is conveniently located across the street from the College of Marin. On New Year’s Day, The Half Day Café will run its regular weekend brunch menu with a few additional specials to help celebrate the New Year. These include an egg dish, a sweet dish and a few other items similar to its usual weekend specials. View the brunch menu here and begin thinking about what you will order on New Year’s Day.

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at