Illustration by Sam Bosma
Sick of trying to suss out which guys are cool from their puffed-up online dating profiles? Try Howaboutwe.com, where, instead of selling themselves, men (or women) sell a particular date they’d like to go on. The site has been thriving since its worldwide debut earlier this year, and brunch is by far the most successful proposition in San Francisco. Cofounder Brian Schechter isn’t sure why, though he thinks maybe it’s just the early hour: It leaves time for an all-day date if things go well, or time to recoup if they don’t. But with less of a character sketch to go on, you may need help figuring out who’s doing the asking, depending on which of San Francisco’s hottest brunch spots the aspiring suitor suggests.
Brunch Drunk Love
This Mission spot is where the hipster thrives. And with a DJ in the corner blasting Phoenix and Miike Snow, and service that rarely materializes, he’ll have so much to whine about. Also seen at: Boogaloos, lounging at a table next to his fixie.
The startup techie who hasn’t yet made it big is likely to go food cart. Luckily, Brunch Box parks itself outside the city’s premium coffee joints, so you can still splurge on your $4 drip coffee. Also seen at: Nombe, because he enjoys the quirkier things in life, like miso soup and pickles for breakfast.
This SoMa joint is popular with the more established techie, since it requires a real paycheck. Your date might show up in a sweatshirt and sneakers, à la Mark Zuckerberg, but, given Bar Agricole’s casual-cool ambience, he’ll fit right in. Also seen at: Zero Zero, where brunch can be as fancy as duck with heirloom tomatoes or as low-key as pizza.
At a place with such heavy hitters as Revenge of the Hangover and bottomless mimosas, you’re probably going to find a Marina single looking for a little hair of the dog. Also seen at: the Tipsy Pig, but he’s cleaned himself up a bit because of the (slightly) nicer ambience. Aren’t you lucky?
If your date is willing to wait an hour-plus in Potrero Hill for lemon-ricotta pancakes with Vermont maple syrup, you’ve got a confirmed foodie on your hands. Warning: He may grill the waiter to make sure that the goat cheese really is from Sonoma, where the goats are treated humanely. Also seen at: Brenda’s French Soul Food, where the beignets are worth the trek through the Tenderloin.
The location, at the foot of the Infinity towers in the financial district, says a lot about who makes the scene: a suit and tie guy. With high ceilings, patent leather seats, and soft-shell-crab BLTs, this is a pretty serious sit-down. And with price tags as big as the building, consider dropping your PC principles for the moment and letting your date pick up the tab. Also seen at: Baker & Banker. The name says it all.