As they say, food made with love tastes better. This could not be any truer than at Aina, the newly opened family-friendly Hawaiian brunch spot in San Francisco’s hip Dogpatch neighborhood. Read on to see why brunching at Aina is like visiting a good friend on the islands, all without having to get on a plane with stroller and diaper bag in tow, let alone having to leave the 415. Trust us, your tummy—and soul—will thank you.

Photos_for__āina___Yelp 2Photo: Aina

Aina, which in Hawaiian means “the land which feeds us,” is where you and your little ones will indulge in Aina’s feel-good eats, from their modern take on Hawaiian fare, such as homemade spam musubi, chicken katsu, taro french toast, or their decadent Portuguese-style doughnuts, known as malasadas. Even more impressive is how the folks at Aina make you feel, with each member of their staff welcoming you and your family with their attentive service and hospitality.

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A Tropical Treat In The Dogpatch
Hugging the corner spot in the heart of San Francisco’s Dogpatch quiet residential neighborhood on 22nd Street, near 3rd, is where you’ll find Aina. Neighboring boutiques and cafes are mere steps away, and just across the street is also the Woods Yard Park, a great place for crawlers and toddlers. As soon as you walk in, you’ll be enveloped with island vibes and good eats. You will first be greeted by very warm and friendly staff, and then the yumminess begins.

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Eat Like an Islander
Gone are plates of traditional brunch combos like bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Instead you and your family will dive into plates of Hawaiian-inspired cuisine. For something savory, try their Spam Musubi “Ssam Style,” a modern twist with Stone Valley Farms whole hog homemade spam, or their take on Kalbi Loco Moco, with slow braised kalbi short rib and sunny side eggs, or their – say no more – Kalua Pork Belly dish. For the kiddies, they will enjoy Aina’s Kids Bento dish, a cute ‘lil box with compartments of scrambled eggs, chicken katsu over rice, Portuguese sweet rolls, and seasonal fruit.

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Photo: Aina

Sweets for the whole family include their Taro French Toast, using bread from Hawaii’s Punalu’u Bake Shop with macadamia nut crumble and coconut caramel. And save room for their signature malasadas, a Portuguese-style doughnut of goodness oozing with guava custard, and covered with coconut sugar.

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Scoring a Seat
Brunching at Aina is a treat, so word to the wise: reservations are necessary! As a small neighborhood restaurant, Aina recommends making reservations two weeks in advance, especially for the weekends. For you stay-at-home moms and dads, you’re in luck as weekdays are a bit easier to snag a table without resos. However, if you do need a high chair or booster, Aina does recommend placing a reservation for these requests.

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Make a Day-Cation Out of It
When you’re done at Aina, explore the other parts of this 22nd Street stretch of the Dogpatch. From the kiddie park across the way, to all the neighboring shops, boutiques – and if you still have room – cafes that are all walking distance to Aina, make a day out of it. Aina in San Francisco’s Dogpatch is the new must-brunch for you and your family. You’ll thank us. Better yet, just say Mahalo.

Good to Know: Parking around Dogpatch can be tricky, as it’s street parking only. Remember patience is a virtue, and good example for your kiddies.

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Aina
900 22nd Street
San Francisco, CA
415-814-3815
Online: http://www.ainasf.com

Brunch Only
Wed.–Fri. 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Sat.–Sun. 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Where’s your favorite spot in the Bay Area to get a taste of Hawaii?

–Yannina Pacis