Top Five Brunch Spots in Santa Rosa

I’m a total sucker for brunch. Maybe it’s because I lived in San Francisco so long, where the brunch options are endless, or because I currently live in Santa Rosa, where the brunch game is on point… whatever the case, I feel obligated to share with you my top five brunch spots in Santa Rosa.
Franchettis’ famous, cast-iron skillet dish: Chettis Hash.

Franchetti’s Wood Fire Kitchen is without a doubt at the top of my list. This casual restaurant, catering company and event space is located on North Dutton Avenue, just off College Avenue, in an unassuming business center full of offices and an urgent care facility. Sure, the location sounds a bit off, but the food is anything but. Owner and Chef, John Franchetti, alongside his wife Gesine, are well-known in Sonoma County from their former restaurant Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar. Having split off from Rosso a couple years back, the couple has lived up to foodie expectations with Franchettis’. When my husband and I go here for brunch on weekends, I can’t get enough of the bottomless Taylor Maid Farms (locally-roasted) coffee, with my usual order of the Fellini—a crispy croissant egg sandwich served with pimento cheese, spinach and bacon. My husband always orders the Chettis Hash, which is a cast-iron skillet dish of bell peppers, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, bacon, mozzarella and two eggs roasted to perfection. The frittata is fabulous, too, and of course their pastries are decadent treats—if sweet is your things in morning. Completely homemade and with a ton of flavor, anything you order at Franchettis’ is sure to delight your tastebuds.

Coming in second place is definitely The Spinster Sisters, located in the Santa Rosa neighborhood that has been dubbed SOFA (South of A Street). This neighborhood has become a bit of an artist haven, with galleries down every alley and wall murals on every open surface. The Spinster Sisters has even joined in on the fun with rotating art exhibitions on the restaurant’s walls. Because this place is small, getting a table on a weekend for brunch can be a bit of a wait, but it’s definitely worth it. My favorite item is the South A Scramble, a hearty bowl of local farm eggs, bacon, asparagus, mushrooms, goat cheese, caramelized onions and herbs. Another favorite is the Joe’s Benedict, which presents a twist on a classic dish: poached farm eggs, prosciutto, red onion, arugula, avocado and herb hollandaise on challah bread.

After having driven by The Naked Pig what must have been dozens of times, my husband and I finally popped into the restaurant one Saturday morning after deciding the wait at The Spinster Sisters was a bit too long for our hunger level. To our delight, The Naked Pig did not disappoint. Also nestled in sort of a strange area—a small lot shared with a liquor store and taqueria just off Santa Rosa Avenue near Highway 12—The Naked Pig is even smaller than The Spinster Sisters, but offers a lot of flavor packed into their tasty menu. Don’t miss out on the classic eggs beni: poached eggs and ham smothered in lemon hollandaise sauce with cayenne pepper on an english muffin. The fresh side salad lightens up the dish, while the crispy breakfast potatoes are the perfect match for their homemade and ridiculously tasty ketchup. If you’re feeling a bit more on the lunch rather than breakfast side during brunch, look no further than their croque monsieur. This is made in a simple, open-faced fashion with freshly sliced French bread, strips of tasty ham, gruyere cheese and a béchamel sauce—all perfectly toasted into cheesy goodness and served alongside a petite salad. While I can’t remember which coffee they pour, I am always a sucker for the bottomless cup. It’s a nice touch when enjoying a slow brunch with a friend or loved one.
The simple and delicious open-faced Croque Monsieur from The Naked Pig.

When I have family in town and we need endless options of dishes for all the picky eaters, I always go to Dierk’s Parkside Café. With the most extensive menu yet on this list, Dierk’s is an excellent choice for a variety of classic brunch dishes. They serve everything from a hearty stack of pancakes smothered in syrup and butter to a healthy poached egg salad—which is my absolute favorite, because the lettuce is always fresh, the croutons always crispy and the poached eggs always oozing with perfectly textured yolk. Not uncommon for all of the brunch spots on this list, this place is always packed and can often be a bit of a wait, especially for big parties. But the staff is friendly and they are always moving quickly to accommodate all who come. Of course, a trip to Dierk’s wouldn’t be complete without an order of the famous Grandma Dierk’s Pull-A-Parts: beignet-style, fried biscuits topped with a hefty dusting of cinnamon and sugar. These tasty biscuits are crispy on the outside with an inside dough that possesses the texture of a fluffy cloud. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on an order of these if you visit.

And of course, no best brunch list would be complete without mentioning one of my favorite coffee shops in town: Acre Coffee. While not a full restaurant, Acre still offers that sacred cup of coffee you dreamt about all night, as well as a tasty array of pastries and egg-baked goods. This coffee shop has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, but is still always packed, because the coffee is just that good. (As a side note, I love that they are open until 6pm, and even 7pm on Friday/Saturday, as I am often on the hunt for a strong cup of coffee after a long day of wine tasting.) I have to admit that this summer I have been completely addicted to their cold brew coffee straight off the tap. Yes, that’s correct. Acre serves cold brew coffee from a tap and it is amazing. Did I mention there’s a lot of seating and free wifi? I love coming here in the mornings to get work done. The buzz is never too loud and the atmosphere is just right—whether you’re looking to work with a strong cup of coffee in hand, chat with a friend or chop away at that book you’ve been meaning to read. True coffee snobs shouldn’t miss this place.

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