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Letter from the Editor: Rise and Shine

Editor in Chief Marie Tutko dishes on the February issue of San Diego Magazine
Breakfast Republic Mac and Cheese

Breakfast Republic Mac and Cheese

I didn’t grow up in a brunch town. Sundays on Oʻahu at the time meant gathering with family for picnics at the beach, dim sum, or a bite at a beloved old-school diner. Brunch was something you experienced at an upscale hotel for a special occasion—usually a pricey elegant buffet, and it wasn’t a boozy experience. 

So imagine my surprise (and delight) when I first moved to San Diego and visited Tom Ham’s Lighthouse and Urban Mo’s, and was told the Sunday brunch Champagne and mimosas were bottomless. As I explored the city, I saw how vast San Diego’s brunch universe was—a multitude of restaurants throughout the county, and even hotels, offered a similar environment during Sunday brunch, from the buffet at Le Fontainebleau at The Westgate Hotel (RIP), to casual places like Hash House a Go Go. Not only could I indulge in the parade of the buffet line, but my glass would never be empty? Sign me up. 

Sure, New York and Las Vegas have legendary brunch scenes of their own, but the restaurants in this city turned Sunday morning into an event and end-of-weekend party in their own special way. San Diego is a brunch town, and this month’s feature, “Let’s Brunch,” celebrates the meal and the restaurants that serve them. Turn to page 68 to find a list of some of our favorite places, from the landmark restaurants that’ve been in business for generations to newcomers, like Morning Glory, that have taken brunch to a different level. 

This list isn’t comprehensive—attempting to note every restaurant in the county limits that serves brunch is too rich for our budget (and waistlines)—but we wanted to give you a good starting point to plan your next weekend outing, along with a tip on what dish to order. We’ve also got noteworthy bloody marys, cups of coffee, and an interview with brunch innovator Johnny Rivera, cofounder of Hash House. Listeners of our Happy Half Hour podcast will especially enjoy the mea culpa from Troy Johnson, our publisher and restaurant critic, settling the debate on whether brunch and breakfast are different. We also have an extra helping of where to find various international brunch dishes, like pozole and kwei fei chicken, that will be posted online in the coming days. 

Want to dig into more? Save the date for our Brunch Bash event, which returns April 10. Check out for details and ticket information—we hope to see you there!

Welcome Wagon

Last month we announced that San Diego Magazine is under new ownership, and we have some more news we’re excited to share. Gillian Flynn, the former editor in chief of Riviera and California Interiors, has joined our team as chief creative officer. Gillian has 25 years of experience in journalism, and an encyclopedic knowledge of architecture, home design, vintage fashion, and the city’s arts and culture scene. She is working closely with Troy to guide San Diego Magazine into its next era, and you can expect to see some welcome changes and new columns we’ll be debuting in upcoming issues. We’re looking forward to 2022. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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