September 12, 2023

Santa Ana's Best Brunch Places: Uncovering the City's Brunch Scene

Discover the tantalizing tastes of Santa Ana's brunch scene. Dive into our guide to the best brunch spots in this lively Orange County city, offering a diverse array of cafes and restaurants that satisfy all palates.

Richard Gargan
Richard Gargan
Reviewed from:
Santa Ana's Best Brunch Places: Uncovering the City's Brunch Scene
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Welcome to the vibrant city of Santa Ana, where the charm of Southern California truly shines! Nestled in the heart of Orange County, Santa Ana serves as the perfect destination to experience an eclectic mix of cultural influences and culinary delight. This city houses some of the most intriguing brunch spots, each offering their own unique flair and flavors. From cozy, chic cafes with farm-to-table offerings, to trendy eateries dishing up global fusion menus, Santa Ana's brunch scene is a food lover's paradise. Whether you're a lifelong resident or a visitor just passing through, our curated list of the best brunch places in Santa Ana is sure to guide you to a mouthwatering mid-morning experience.


1228 E Edinger Ave, Santa Ana

(714) 852-3081

Reviewed by:

BRUNCH in Santa Ana is an unexpected gem amidst its semi-industrial surroundings. The food is cooked to perfection, the service is superb, and the staff are friendly and welcoming. The menu is a gastronomic journey, offering a variety of tantalizing options. First-time visitors must try their French omelet or the Fried Chicken n’ Waffles, and their Hokkaido Milk Bread Donut Bites are to die for. Enjoy these culinary delights along with a cup of coffee or a cinnamon latte in their smooth ceramic mugs. The owner, Dominico Booker, is passionate about his craft, and his dedication is reflected in the quality of the food and the service. Whether it's Mother's Day or just a regular day, a visit to BRUNCH in Santa Ana is a treat for the senses. Come and experience it for yourself!

Mini Cafe

2370 N Tustin Ave, Santa Ana

(714) 648-0891

Reviewed by:

Mini Cafe in Santa Ana is a charming little hole-in-the-wall venue well-worth a visit. Their brunch options like omelettes are generous with fillings, but the real highlight is the chilaquiles smothered in sublime green sauce. The salsas served are also delightful, and the provision of milk with coffee shows they cater to individual preferences. The cafe may be on the smaller side, but the excellent food and fantastic service more than make up for it. Though they've recently upped their prices and cleanliness could be improved, the delicious food continues to be a highlight. It's a place you'll want to visit again and again, whether you're with friends or enjoying a meal with your other half. All in all, a solid recommendation for breakfast or brunch in Santa Ana.

Pop's Cafe

112 E 9th St, Santa Ana

(714) 543-2772

Reviewed by:

Pop's Cafe in Santa Ana is a delightful throwback that offers a charming 50's diner atmosphere and a friendly staff. The array of brunch options is impressive, with the standout being the #3 Specialty Sandwich and the deep-fried French toast, based on Jose's recommendation. Their fried zucchini and onion rings are also a must-try. Despite the size of the cafe, the service is fast, and the quality of food is consistently high. The generous food portions offer great value for money. This is truly an iconic gem in OC, with its unique style and incredible brunch options. If you haven't yet, this is a place you'll want to visit.

MAZ Café Con Leche

608 N Lacy St, Santa Ana

(714) 479-0104

Reviewed by:

MAZ Café Con Leche in Santa Ana is a charming brunch spot with a relaxed atmosphere, making it not only great for enjoying a delicious meal but also for getting some work done. The menu may not be extensive, but it does not disappoint, particularly the croissant breakfast sandwich. With a wide array of coffee options and sweet treats, it's sure to satisfy both your caffeine and sugar cravings. Highlighting the matcha horchata, it's a must-try. The indoor seating is cozy while outdoor seating adds a comfortable alternative. The staff is always helpful and friendly, giving top-notch customer service. Despite a change of ownership, the quality of this café remains consistent. It is a beloved local gem with very reasonable prices. It comes highly recommended.

Country Cafe

2321 E 4th St suite A, Santa Ana

(657) 247-5441

Reviewed by:

The Country Cafe in Santa Ana is a fantastic spot for brunch. The menu is varied and caters to all tastes, with standout dishes like the Granola Pancakes, Loco Moco, and their perfectly cooked corned beef hash. The service is outstanding, with friendly and attentive staff that add to the overall delightful dining experience. The ambiance, whether you choose to sit in their indoor or outdoor seating areas, is cozy, quaint, and has a fun diner-style feel with oldies music playing in the background. This cafe is truly a hidden gem in Orange County, and it's definitely worth a visit for anyone in the area, especially for breakfast lovers.

Suzy's Cafe

2610 S Harbor Blvd, Santa Ana

(714) 884-3938

Reviewed by:

Suzy's Cafe in Santa Ana is easily one of my favorite brunch places. From the delicious machaca scramble to the vast selection of other breakfast options, there's something for everyone. While the salsa could use a bit more spice, the food is typically well-prepared and satisfying. A unique find in LA, this café provides a cozy atmosphere with friendly staff. Though there have been minor hiccups like a broken egg yolk or a mix-up in the order, the overall experience has been positive. The country fried steak is noteworthy with its crispy crust, and the pancakes are a family favorite. My personal recommendation is the tuna melt, which did not disappoint on my second visit, just like the burger and onion rings I had on my first visit. Despite its unassuming exterior, Suzy's Cafe is a hidden delight not to be missed.

Chapter One: the modern local

227 N Broadway, Santa Ana

(714) 352-2225

Reviewed by:

Chapter One: the modern local is an absolute must-visit spot for brunch in Santa Ana. The restaurant offers everything you could want: a vibrant atmosphere, scrumptious dishes, attentive service, and a great location. The food truly shines here, with standout dishes including the Steak Mac n' Cheese, Lobster Burger, and Duck Fries, all bursting with a medley of flavor. The dessert, Sopapilla, was an unforgettable treat as well. Even during a busy World Cup game, the service was excellent with the staff ensuring customer satisfaction. The venue itself is inviting with big windows, dim lighting, and ample seating, creating a relaxed ambiance. And let's not forget the cocktail menu - the tequila cocktail was a hit. Despite some dishes being average, many were a delight and the happy hour added to the fun. Overall, Chapter One is a place where one can enjoy good food, service, and vibes. I'll be looking forward to my next visit.

Crave Restaurant Downtown Santa Ana

410 W 4th St 2nd Floor, Santa Ana

(714) 907-0063

Reviewed by:

Crave Restaurant in Downtown Santa Ana truly excels in every aspect from its mouthwatering brunch menu to its excellent service. The food is presented beautifully, arrives quickly, and the taste simply impeccable. The seating might be a bit cramped, but the atmosphere is lively and welcoming, complemented by great background music. The make-your-own omelette is a delicious healthier option, paired perfectly with sourdough toast and country potatoes. Other standout dishes include the tri-tip sandwich and breakfast croissant. Despite its popularity and high customer volume, Crave manages to maintain its high standards in food quality and service. The staff is attentive and genuinely devoted to providing a wonderful dining experience. Crave Restaurant has left a lasting impression, making it an absolutely essential stop for any visit to California.

Cowgirls Cafe

1720 S Grand Ave, Santa Ana

(714) 542-8877

Reviewed by:

My brunch experience at Cowgirls Cafe in Santa Ana was all-around fantastic. The establishment emits a warm and welcoming atmosphere, reminiscent of the beloved diner scenes you'd find in popular movies. The staff here is undeniably hardworking, always bustling about to ensure your dining experience is nothing short of wonderful. While my waitress was somewhat elusive towards the end of my meal, the overall service was remarkable. The food at Cowgirls Cafe is definitely something to write home about. I decided on the chile verde omelet which was fairly decent, albeit a touch slimy. However, the real star of the show was the sizable egg burrito wrap in a tortilla — a dish I still find myself craving. Cowgirls Cafe has quickly become my new brunch go-to, skillfully striking the balance between compelling flavors and warm hospitality. Even during peak hours, the staff makes an earnest effort to accommodate and make you feel at home. In summary, Cowgirls Cafe serves up a hearty, satisfying brunch in a charming setting, which will make you want to revisit. It's a gem in Santa Ana that takes the diner experience up a notch!

Cafe Cultura

324 W 4th St b, Santa Ana

(714) 662-2002

Reviewed by:

Cafe Cultura left a lasting impression. Its warm, cozy vibe brings comforting authenticity and charm to those in search of a truly local experience. Despite our visit being on a busy Tuesday morning, we received friendly service from the staff and the cleanliness of the place was commendable. The coffee, although lukewarm, teased our taste buds with its unique blend while the lemonade was refreshing. The food had good flavor and was served warm. Though our needs weren't always anticipated, it didn't hamper the experience. What makes Cafe Cultura stand out is its commitment to the local community and the deep-rooted passion evident in everything from the culinary offerings to the training of their staff. Delicious veggie and vegan options and customizable meals are a plus, making this a spot appealing to all sorts of food preferences. The wait in line is worth it - you could tell each dish is made from scratch, bringing authenticity and deliciousness to every bite. A special mention goes to the Pan dulce French toast, a dessert that was a total standout. All in all, Cafe Cultura is an endearing breakfast spot with a strong community and foodie appeal. Its delightful atmosphere and rich, fair-priced food make it a must-try for those seeking a memorable brunch experience in Santa Ana.

Black Bear Diner Santa Ana

3355 S Bristol St, Santa Ana

(657) 600-9040

Reviewed by:

Black Bear Diner in Santa Ana is a go-to brunch spot for wholesome and hearty diner style meals. The bear-sized portions are ideal for those with a big appetite, and the affordable prices make it a great dining option for all. From the chicken fried steak benedicts to the diverse menu selection, this diner has something for everyone. Despite some minor delays due to staff shortage, the customer service is commendable, with servers like Jesse providing top-notch service. While it may not be a gourmet brunch place, you'll leave satisfied and eager to return. It's a no-frills establishment that delivers on deliciousness and value. Be it your first or fiftieth time visiting, Black Bear Diner promises a delightful brunch experience.

Den Cafe

125 N Broadway D, Santa Ana

(714) 835-8840

Reviewed by:

The Den Cafe in Santa Ana offers an exceptional brunch experience that has left a truly memorable impression on me. I had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday here and the entire experience was nothing short of remarkable - right from the ambience, to the food, to the excellent service. The beverages are simply fantastic. I enjoyed excellent mimosas and bloody Mary’s, along with their delicious Mayan coffee and Latte. The food was just as impressive with the pancakes and breakfast burrito both being highly satisfying. Their lavender latte coffee is also worth a special mention. What adds to the allure of this place is the live performances on Fridays. Watching different singers perform while devouring my waffles added a unique charm to my dining experience. The decor is also notably delightful, particularly at night when the cafe is beautifully lit. The Den Cafe also stands out for its customer service. Not only was the waitress very attentive to our needs, but they also went out of their way to return my wallet that I had accidentally left behind. This level of diligence and customer care truly sets them apart. Despite needing a bit of dusting, this place quickly became my favorite breakfast spot in Orange County. The laid-back process of grabbing your menu and picking a seat of your liking further adds to the casual and relaxed vibe of the place. In summation, The Den Cafe provides a rejuvenating and delightful brunch experience with its great food, enthralling atmosphere, and commendable service. I would definitely recommend this cafe to anyone who is scouting for a lovely brunch spot in Santa Ana.

I Heart Pancakes

3001 S Bristol St, Santa Ana

(714) 557-9849

Reviewed by:

I Heart Pancakes in Santa Ana is a delightful brunch spot offering a variety of savory meals. Their homemade pancakes, crepes, and waffles are generously portioned, fluffy, and buttery, but reasonably priced. The bustling yet cozy atmosphere paired with friendly and accommodating staff make for a charming dining experience. The food consistently arrives fresh, hot and flavorful, with their strawberry milkshake being a standout for its authentic taste and thick texture. Overall, I Heart Pancakes is a local eatery that outperforms big-name competitors, providing excellent value and a satisfying dining experience.

Loaded Cafe Restaurants Santa Ana First Street

451 E 1st St suite b, Santa Ana

(714) 953-3114

Reviewed by:

My first visit to Loaded Cafe Restaurants on Santa Ana's First Street was a delightful experience. The versatile menu offers both American and Mexican breakfast options, proving thoughtful to the diverse palates. My selection, the dulce de leche stuffed French toast, was decent, if not mind-blowing. My son's strawberry blast smoothie was an absolute hit, striking just the right balance of sweetness. The service was undeniably great. Despite experiencing understaffing issues, our waitress exhibited professional handling of the situation and extended excellent service. The food was appetizing and well prepared according to our preferences. However, a slight misstep was the cold serving of rice, which was disappointing. Despite some minor issues, Loaded Cafe offers a comfortable and enjoyable environment, ideal for a family breakfast. The restaurant's Instagram page serves as a testament to their appealing food options. While some might find the prices somewhat steep, I believe you're paying for quality food and service. Although I was initially skeptical based on some reviews, my personal experience at Loaded Cafe was largely positive. Despite certain shortcomings, the overall experience was enjoyable enough to ensure a return visit.


2314 17th St, Santa Ana

(714) 543-0872

Reviewed by:

Overall, my experience at Denny's in Santa Ana was fantastic. The food was great, despite a few minor issues that didn't dampen my overall experience. The service was impeccable, especially during a large gathering after a memorial service - the staff was attentive, accurate, and made sure we were well taken care of. Not only did they accommodate us beyond their shift, but ensured a seamless transition to the next server. The outdoor seating, ambience, and view further enhanced my overall brunch experience. I would highly recommend Denny's in Santa Ana for a brunch visit, and I look forward to visiting again when I am in the area. Despite being quite a drive from my local area, the quality food and exceptional service make it well worth the trip. Thank you to Mario and the entire team for providing an excellent brunch experience.

NORMS Restaurant

102 17th St, Santa Ana

(714) 543-8273

Reviewed by:

NORMS Restaurant in Santa Ana offers a classic diner experience complete with a wide-ranging menu, prompt, friendly service, and a cozy, nostalgic atmosphere. Their brunch offerings, including steak and egg breakfasts, are tasty and reasonably priced with generous servings. The addition of soup and salad to my T-bone Steak was a delightful surprise, emphasizing their value for money. The staff, especially our server Rafael, contributed greatly to our positive experience, bringing back memories of the old school diner vibe. The restaurant was busy yet managed to maintain efficient service and food quality. NORMS Santa Ana is definitely a location that encourages repeated visits, making it a community favorite. It is highly recommended for brunch and stands out amongst other NORMS locations.

Yellow Basket Restaurant Santa Ana

2860 S Main St, Santa Ana

(714) 545-8219

Reviewed by:

The Yellow Basket restaurant in Santa Ana is a brunch gem. Their food options are incredibly flexible, offering me the chance to customize my veggie breakfast burrito. The burrito itself was large and delicious, especially the pinto beans and hand-cooked hash browns. The green salsa, probably house-made, was the perfect accompaniment. The service was commendable, with the management and staff being very polite and attentive. The ambiance is clean and comfortable, making it perfect for a family brunch, which I had after a long time. I was particularly impressed by their avocado bacon cheeseburger and onion rings, which were both delicious and portioned generously. I also tried the blue cheeseburger and salad, both of which were classic and satisfying. The staff was friendly, and the interior was well-maintained. Overall, the Yellow Basket is an excellent option for good food and service. I am definitely looking forward to my next visit.

Loaded Cafe Restaurants Santa Ana McFadden Ave

3760 W McFadden Ave A, Santa Ana

(657) 266-0891

Reviewed by:

Loaded Cafe Restaurants on McFadden Ave in Santa Ana is by far the best brunch spot I've visited. They offer high-quality food, excellent service, and a clean, friendly environment. The combination of Mexican and American cuisine is a delight, with the Nutella Concha and specialty coffees being personal highlights. Despite being packed on Sundays, their efficient service ensures you get a table quickly. Their fantastic menu and inviting atmosphere will surely have me returning soon. The excellent service by Genesis and quick serving times add to the overall positive experience at this restaurant. Highly recommended for a satisfying brunch experience.


1501 W 17th St, Santa Ana

(714) 835-4436

Reviewed by:

My overall experience at Denny's in Santa Ana was quite positive despite a minor hiccup with burnt pancakes. The staff, especially our server Danielle, deserve high praise for their diligence and warm service. The place felt welcoming and family-friendly, which makes it an ideal spot for a brunch gathering. The crepes were delicious, however, I would advise against ordering the "Moons over my Hammy" due to its scant ham content. Overall, I recommend this place for a relaxed and enjoyable brunch experience.


1001 17th St, Santa Ana

(714) 953-7515

Reviewed by:

My recent visit to IHOP in Santa Ana for a brunch with my family, was a delightful event filled with warm welcomes, fluffy pancakes, creamy hot chocolate and attentive service. The brunch, which was affordable and accompanied by prompt service, was a hit amongst all, especially my daughter who insisted on leaving a commendable review. Despite a few minor hiccups, the overall experience was positive. The food was excellent but the service could use some improvement, particularly with regards to getting orders right and the response time for certain requests. However, these shortcomings did not significantly impact our experience and I look forward to returning in the future to see how the customer service improves. All in all, I feel that the IHOP in Santa Ana is a great choice for a hearty and delightful brunch.

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