Having made the local news headline in 2016 after receiving a stamp of approval from pop singer Adele at her concert, Zazie has become the go-to brunch spot in San Francisco. Since it was our first time visiting the Bay Area, we knew we couldn’t miss the opportunity to experience a weekend brunch here.
Located in the quiet Cole Valley neighbourhood, which is about a 20 minutes Uber ride from Union Square, this quaint cafe already had a queue in place when we arrived at 8.45am, which was 15 minutes before it opened. As they do not have a reservation system in place, we were required to wait in line to write our names and party size on a sign-up sheet that was placed outside the cafe.
This first-come-first-served system definitely helped with managing our wait time expectations. We were eventually secured a table in the crowd-favourite garden area, which was located at the back of the cafe.
Contrary to its name, the area is actually well-covered and cool in temperature which made it exceptionally cozy, like we were in someone’s backyard.
To start us off, we had the Le MUNI (US$6), which was one of their signature brunch spirits. This non-alcoholic refresher is aptly named after the city’s main public transportation, and made with sparkling lemonade, Perrier, lavender simple syrup, blackcurrant and a dash of lemon zest. We had expected it to taste a like a citrus soda but what we got was a refreshing pick-me-up that wasn’t gassy and left a rather interesting elderflower after taste.
For our mains, we opted to try the best of both worlds with the savoury scrambled eggs Genevieve (US$18) and the sweet Sara Jane’s Pancake Flight (US$19).
Upon reading the description of what’s to come in Genevieve, we had assumed that we would be getting the Black Forest ham, white cheddar, avocados and scrambled eggs separately.
But, to our surprise, the dish came with the ham and cheese mixed in, giving us quite a fresh take on the idea of scrambled eggs.
Served with an accompaniment of their home fries, which were chunks of potatoes fried with garlic, this was a truly appetizing dish which hit all the right spots.
As we were not able to choose between the available pancake options, we went with Sara Jane’s Pancake Flight, which was similar to a sampler dish that offered the buttermilk pancake, the gingerbread pancake and the French toast.
The highlight of the trio was definitely the gingerbread pancake that was paired with the cafe’s homemade lemon curd. When taken together, the cinnamon from the pancake complements well with the tartness of the curd and ultimately delivers an interesting sweet aftertaste unlike the traditional combo of flour and syrup.
Though we were already starting to feel the after effects of a food coma, we still had room for dessert and as they say, you cannot leave Zazie without trying their brunch special coffee cake (US$9).
The Double Lemon Coffee Cake is a eureka lemon sour cream pound cake that comes with Meyer lemon glaze and spring blueberry sauce. If you are someone who doesn’t like their cake too sweet, this would be right up your alley.
Different from the usual rich and dense pound cake, the cafe has created a version of the cake which offers up just a hint of sweetness. It also helps that the cake has an overall moist and light texture which helped round up our brunch without making us feel like we were bursting at the seams.
941 Cole Street
Mon to Fri: 8am – 2pm, 5pm – 9.30pm
Sat, Sun and Holidays: 9am – 3pm, 5pm – 9.30pm