Price notwithstanding, the Top of the Mark brunch is the best in San Francisco, and it’s not even close. For bottomless, they give you straight champagne (OJ on the side, should you choose to add some). Their food is phenomenal – everything from prime rib to dim sum to a caviar bar. The service is absolutely fantastic – it’s so high-end in every way that you’d expect the wait staff to be haughty. Not even close. We showed up in t-shirts and jeans then found out 20 minutes in that part of our party was too hung over to make it, and they were welcoming and friendly.
Beyond all of that, the view is amazing (the image is the view from our table). This is the kind of place you want to take people from out of town, so they can witness it for themselves. It was a rainy day when we went, but you could still see for miles – it’s on my to-do list to return on a clear day. There’s also a live piano player, who gave the whole thing something extra by playing Kiss From a Rose (one of my all time favorites).
Of course, you get what you pay for, and this isn’t cheap. It comes in at about $100 per person including tip for bottomless and the buffet. That’s understandably unreasonable for a casual Sunday brunch (and it should be clarified here that this is Sunday only), but if you’ve got a special occasion coming up, have it at Top of the Mark brunch.
You’ll find Top of the Mark at the top of the Mark Hopkins hotel in Nob Hill.
As mentioned, $100 covers everything including bottomless, and it’s straight champagne (plus bottomless OJ and coffee). The wait staff is very attentive – once they noticed we were going through our glasses quickly, they kept an eye out and made sure they never hit the bottom.
Exquisite. This is like the fanciest Easter buffet you’ve ever been to, except it’s every Sunday. Beyond the aforementioned prime rib and caviar, there are of course all the brunch staples along with stations for fresh waffles and omelettes, an enormous dessert bar. There’s every kind of seafood – crab legs, oysters, mussels and shrimp. There are steak and chicken brunch dishes. Everything is absolutely amazing. This is the brunch to end all brunches.
The last thing I’ll say on this topic is save room for the creme brulee. Best I’ve ever had.
Typically one doesn’t expect the service to stand out when dealing with a buffet, but they really added something extra to the experience. Beyond everything we’ve said thus far, it happened to be one of our friends’ birthdays, and when we mentioned that to our waiter (after previously having asked if there was any more creme brulee and being told there was not), he emerged from the back with some freshly made creme brulee with candles.
If I had to have one last brunch in SF, it would be this one. The Top of the Mark brunch is truly a wonder to behold. The only thing that keeps it from getting a five champagne emoji rating is the price, but if cost isn’t an issue, this is absolutely your place.