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Universal Cafe
American Restaurant$$
Today 10AM–2:15PM, 5:30–10PM
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2814 19th St San Francisco, CA 94110
2814 19th StreetUSCaliforniaSan Francisco94110
$$American Restaurant, Cafe
American Restaurant
Breakfast Restaurant
Brunch Restaurant
New American Restaurant
Today 10AM–2:15PM, 5:30–10PM
Friday 10AM–2:15PM, 5:30–10PMSaturday 9AM–3PM, 5:30–10PMSunday 9AM–3PMMonday ClosedTuesday 5:30–9PMWednesday 11:30AM–2:15PM, 5:30–9PMThursday 11:30AM–2:15PM, 5:30–9PM
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Review Summary
269 reviews
5 star
102 reviews
4 star
133 reviews
3 star
31 reviews
2 star
3 reviews
1 star
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This informal New American spot attracts brunch crowds & also serves market-driven lunch & dinner.- Google
"I had the soft scrambled eggs with oven roasted tomatoes."
"Great intimate brunch spot, but usually a long wait."
Featured by Zagat
Bay Area's Best for Brunch
, and one other list
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Shanee Ben-Zur's profile photo
Shanee Ben-Zur
in the last week
Great brunch. There's usually a bit of a wait. However if you're flexible on where you want to sit - you can be in, in around 30 mins. Order the soft scramble. It's so satisfying. The Bloody Mary is made with sake and a bunch of awesome accoutrement. The polenta and shrimp is wildly decadent. But also delicious. The breakfast sandwich is yummy and a slightly elevated version of the breakfast classic. Comes with a refreshing little salad.
Ryan Paredez's profile photo
Ryan Paredez
5 months ago
Had brunch here on a Sunday. Has outdoor and indoor seating. If you like a good brunch come by and get the poached eggs plate. Very good.
Thomas Riedl's profile photo
Thomas Riedl
2 weeks ago
Solid brunch options but overpriced for what it is
Brigitte Cowell's profile photo
Brigitte Cowell
10 months ago
Our favorite place for a friday lunch (working from home day)... with the sunny days in the Mission it's unbeatable! The food is fabulous, everything is great but I am a huge fan of the egg muffin with whatever they are adding to it that day :-)
Andrew Michaels's profile photo
Andrew Michaels
a month ago
I write this review hesitantly because I don't want this place to become more popular than it already is. Of course I want the owners to do well, but since it's around the corner from our house, I would love to for it to remain a neighborhood secret and hangout. Shhhhhh. In all seriousness though, this place is amazing. We have only eaten brunch here (still need to come back for dinner) and each time have left wanting to come back. This weekend, we actually went twice! Michael, the face of Universal, is usually seating people and is always cordial in the morning. Coffee is also self-serve while you wait, so don't hesitate to pour a cup. You can usually grab a seat outside if it's cold and you will probably have to wait around 20 minutes for an inside table. Some highlights include: (menu changes with the seasons, so this is based on winter 2015/16) Soft scramble, flat iron steak, breakfast sandwich and the chicken sandwich are absolutely incredible. The bacon is also very tasty, so don't be ashamed to order a side of it. Caution: this may become your new favorite spot.
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Veasna Hang's profile photo
Veasna Hang
11 months ago
Universal Cafe got BRUNCH right...and it starts with their eggs. Their soft scramble was quite buttery and delicious. I tried my friends and wish I had ordered it. That dish also had some really good buttery bread! UGH, trying so hard not to eat carbs.... I ended up getting the poached eggs and bacon hash. These were probably one of my favorite poached eggs of all time. Why? Cause they were actually cooked right, poaching is not just the format of the egg, its also the way its flavored! Just cause an egg is poached doesn't mean it has to be bland. Bravo Universal! The ahi tuna sandwich fell short of expectations, but the crisp waffle chips it came with were amazing!!! We also had French Toast...more of a savory guy, but it was okay. Wish it had a bottomless drink option, but sadly we went dry...with water!
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Micah Mason's profile photo
Micah Mason
10 months ago
Incredible service, very nice food. Beware the frites - they're good and they're plentiful!
Flora Fiorillo's profile photo
Flora Fiorillo
a year ago
Universal Café is an unpretentious, small brunch joint that has all one needs on a sunny Saturday morning: quick and tasty brunch. Even though the line can be quite discouraging at times, if you have a chance, ask for a table outside: there is enough designated space on the sidewalk to make brunch eaters feel comfortable. My friend got there in advance so I didn’t have to wait for a table and, as I walked in, I appreciated looking at the open kitchen where the cooks prepared the concoctions in the menu. I started with the Fresh Fruit Shake that had almond milk & butter, bananas and dates. The flavor and texture was great, not too sweet, and it was a great post workout/recovery drink: lots of proteins and good sugar! My friend and I shared the French Toast with strawberries, raspberries and lemon curd chantilly cream and the Poached Eggs with Chanterelle Mushroom-tomato ragout, pan-fried potatoes and mascarpone. The French toast (A-) was really good: the tall slice of bread had the perfect density: not too hard and not too mushy and went perfectly with the Chantilly cream even if the taste of lemon curd was not distinctive. The poached eggs (B++) were good but the ragout was a little too watery and there was a spoonful of mascarpone in the middle of the dish that didn’t really belong all alone on the plate there… I appreciated how the ingredients of this earthy dish came all together but individually they were a little bland. The servers were pleasant and the service was fast. I will definitely go back!
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