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Aug 8, 2000 09:59 AM

Dinner is taken care of - what about breakfast?

  • w

First, my husband and I are visitng SF in September, and we are thrilled to visit our favorite city again! We have dinner reservations at:
Gary Danko
Asia SF
The Ganges

We have been to Greens and Boulevard once before, but does anyone out there have good/bad thoughts about the others? Also, are any coat and tie?

Secondly, dinners are booked, but what are some simple and inexpensive places in the Union Square area for breakfast?

We like Il Fornaio, but we wanted to stay away from the upper-end price and from sit-down service including tip. We are looking for a nice bakery/breakfast spot where we can get a quick bite (fresh fruit would be nice too). Relatively healthy and inexpensive. Any thoughts, please?

Thanks again and best wishes! Let me know if you need suggestions for the DC area! :)

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  1. Dottie's True Blue Cafe on Jones. I went there about a year ago. It's a hole-in-the-wall type of place. But it is cheap. Have you thought about breakfasts at Campton Place? It's not cheap, but thought I'd mention it.

    10 Replies
    1. re: MA
      JB Leibovitch

      Breakfast is my favorite meal, head to the Marina/Union Street area.

      First choice, Doidge's on Union Street, reservations highly recommended.

      For simple pleasant dining, Bay Watch on Lombard.

      For tradition, Becheli's (sp?) on Chestnut.

      There are also a few reputable places in North Beach, but I don't recall the names, maybe someone else . . .

      If you are willing to drive to Berkeley, let me know, I have some favorites. Also, Yank Sing for Dim Sum on Battery Street in SF--good for the experienced Dim Sum hound and the novice too--in my experience, best Hong Kong style Chow Mein in SF!

      1. re: JB Leibovitch

        the following, FWIW, are tops on my breakfast check-out list for the Bay Area (comments, anyone?)

        Cafe Fanny on San Pablo at Cedar

        Ellas Restaurant 500 Presidio Avenue

        Betty's Diner in berkeley

        1. re: Jim Leff

          That would be Bette's Diner--you're talking about the one on 4th St., right? If so, I second the recommendation.

          For a little bit pricier, PJ's Oyster Bed on Irving btw 9th & 8th (in SF) is a great brunch place. Classic breakfasts with a cajun/seafood spin.

          1. re: Tom Hilton
            anne marshall

            Bette's? Spare me. Long waits only outdone in hideousness by the attitude of the hipper-than-thou wait staff. Scrapple on a not-so-recent visit was old, dried-out, and clearly not a front-of-the-menu priority with the chef. Now, Rick and Ann's -- there's a breakfast place (restaurant only- takeout consistently disappointing).

          2. re: Jim Leff

            Bette's Diner, center of the infamous Playboy read-in, is still a favorite. My brother-in-law's business was across the street from the time it opened. When the stacks of latte glasses seemed to be getting low, they'd send someone over to Larry's to collect the couple dozen or so that had stacke up...

          3. re: JB Leibovitch
            judy leibovitch

            I am a corned beef hash and eggs devotee and personally think that Doidges' corned beef is the best. I've noticed a thread on the LA boards about this. Anyone have any other good recommendations for SF/Bay Area?

            We like Betty' Oceanview Diner, too, Jim. Haven't made it to Cafe Fanny, yet, and are intimidated by the prospect of long lines for Ella's. You might like Rick and Ann's near the Claremont Hotel. They make wonderful potato pancakes covered in melted cheese and served with applesauce and sour cream. They are part of a breakfast called the Midwest which is served with a lucious, meaty Niman Ranch grilled pork chop and grilled tomatoes.

            1. re: judy leibovitch

              Oh, are we talking East Bay here? I like all the East Bay places mentioned for breakfast. Good coffee at Cafe Fanny. Try to get to Bette's before 9:00 on the weekend, unless an hour wait pleases you.
              There's this place on San Pablo, between Solano and Marin, called Sam's Log Cabin. It really looks like a log cabin. On the weekends, Picante has breakfast. And in Oakland, there's a place called Cafe 817, on Washington, next to Ratto's. Great coffee. A friend described it as an Italian Cafe Fanny. Do note 817 is not open on Sunday. Now I'm hungry.

              1. re: judy leibovitch

                Hey Judy, how you doing?

                I love Doidge's too - a favorite spot for a breakfast meeting. Other power breakfast spot is Postrio, and someone else has already mentioned Campton Place.

                What about Sears Fine Foods near Union Square? Yes, it's getting a little frayed around the edges, and it's filled with turistas, but the waitresses are classics and I like the dollar-sized pancakes.

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  judy leibovitch

                  Hi Melanie - How much longer until we all worship at the feet of the MWMW? Is Postrio's wildly expensive?
                  What sort of breakfasts do they have?

                  1. re: judy leibovitch

                    Don't hold your breath, Judy. Thanks for the optimism.

                    Breakfast at Postrio is a bargain for what you get. Prices are comparable to less turned out places. I like the shirred eggs with lobster and marscapone, also the waffle, and the sausage, and ...

          4. If you're going to be there on a Sunday, Cafe for All Seasons serves an excellent brunch.

            The food at Cliff House is not that wonderful, but the view is superb. You must do it at least once. Be sure to take time to visit the museum and camera oscura down below as well.

            1. I would avoid The Ganges. For better Indian food, try:
              India Garden on Folsom
              Gaylord's in Ghiradelli Square
              or, if you feel like a drive, Amber India in Mountain View.

              I found Ganges insipid.

              1. We rarely hear about the American style food offered up in Chinatown. There are many coffee shops/bakeries where you can get breakfast pastries or a hot breakfast or Chinese food for hardly anything. One can tell it's tourist season by the sidewalk signs saying Eier und Schinken, $1.99 outside these places.