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Breakfast joints in Silicon Valley

  • m

Besides Hobbee's, I've yet to find a breakfast place I really like. Anyone have suggestions from Mountain View to San Jose?

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  1. There is the Original Pancake House in Los Altos (420 S. San Antonio Rd) - it might be a little outside your range but it's fairly close to El Camino. They have really good pancakes (light, soak-up-the-syrup kind), huge baked omelettes that will keep you full all day, and the mother of all breakfasts - the giant apple pancake - which is kinda like eating an apple pie for breakfast. coffee is pretty good too.

    It's actually a national chain (but on a small scale) that tends to be pretty consistent throughout the US. I've been to 2 in chicago, one in upstate NY, one in Cincinnati, and they're all pretty good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Eurie

      Even though The Original Pancake House in Los Altos has a good breakfast, I never go there because it has the worst service (even for the Bay Area!!!) I have ever experienced and I end up not being able to enjoy my meal due to the thoroughly inept service. I would rather starve than eat there!

      1. re: Eurie

        Adding 2009 links to this 2002 post that was revived

        Los Gatos Cafe
        340 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030

        John's XLNT Foods
        1238 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

        California Cafe Bar & Grill
        50 University Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030

        Left Bank Brasserie
        377 Santana Row Ste 1100, San Jose, CA 95128

        The Original Pancake House
        420 S San Antonio Rd, Los Altos, CA 94022

        The Original Pancake House
        2306 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95125

        The Original Pancake House
        1366 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA 95129

        Mayfield Bakery & Cafe
        855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

        Sweet Peas Cafe & Catering
        453 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030

      2. Bobbi's, on De Anza at Hwy 85 (SW corner). Open for breakfast and lunch only. Consistently good, homestyle food. Worth a try.

        1. 'Joanie's Cafe' & 'Cafe Brioche' on California Avenue in Palo Alto are the two that we go to (and maybe not too far out of your way from Mountain View.) They are priced similarly to Hobee's and I like both of them a lot better.

          Joanie's is standard cafe american style breakfast; curiously, the waitstaff seem to all be french. Cafe Brioche is a bit more 'exotic'--exciting omeletes and scrambles and the like (and a rival french waitstaff), and is priced a bit higher. Conversely, there seems to not be as long of a line at Cafe Brioche than Joanie's. I get the impression that people arrive, put their names on both lists & let fate decide where they breakfast.

          Both restaurants are next door to eachother; in the vicinity of the El Camino Real and Oregon Expressway intersection. (From El Camino, turn east on California Ave. about 3 blocks north of Oregon Expwy.)

          1. If you're willing to go as far north as Palo Alto, there's an Il Fornaio where I usually take out of town guests for breakfast.

            1. j
              Judith Hurley

              Stacks in Campbell, try the walnut raisin pancakes. The Creamery in Palo Alto. If you can handle really down and dirty, Southern Kitchen on Monterey Highway, south of Curtner. No relation to Southern Kitchen in Los Gatos, which some folks really like (they have good corn bread), but Monterey Hiway. Green chile omelets, biscuits with gravy. But remember, we're talking down and dirty.

              1. Just a little north of you is Mayfield Cafe in Palo Alto. They have a breakfast pizza with prosciutto and poached egg. Break the egg open and let the yolk flow.... I usually ask for two poached eggs on my pizza. They also have an excellent crab cake dish with poached egg. Far better than any Hobbee's. They are better for savory dishes than sweet dishes, however.

                1. Its a little north of your request, but I really like Nini's Coffee Shop is a nice, locals sort of place.


                  Nini's Coffee Shop
                  1000 N Idaho St, San Mateo, CA 94401

                  1. Bill's Cafe in Willow Glen SJ has a strong following.

                    Bill's Cafe
                    1115 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95125

                    1. In Los Gatos - Los Gatos Cafe has the best and largest but oh so unhealthy cinnamon roll + lots of yummy omelets. There's also Sweet Peas for tasty crepes. California Cafe is also a little more fancy but still solid brunch menu.
                      In San Jose - the Original Pancake House off of Curtner has an amazing apple pancake and fluffy omelets. I also like the Left Bank's brunch especially the pain perdu or mussel frites. Bill's in Willow Glen is "aight"... I like John's down the street much better.

                      1 Reply
                      1. I love Alana's in Burlingame and they have a Redwood City location (a bit far but someone included San Mateo).

                        Stacks is pretty good but not stellar. I was very unimpressed with the Original Pancake House in South San Jose but that was based on a single visit. I've heard good things about Southern Gourmet and Country Gourmet. I loved Sugar Butter Flour's Sunday breakfast but they discontinued them.

                        Alana’s Café in Burlingame: Lovely Fruit on Pancakes a Go-Go

                        Alana's Cafe
                        1020 Main St, Redwood City, CA 94063

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: katya

                          I recommend the chocolate chip waffles at Stacks.

                          1. re: katya

                            Alana's is great.... both locations.

                            Stacks food seems to very by location... Even though we live in Redwood City, we go to the Stacks in Menlo Park; the food at the RWC/San Carlos location is not good...
                            Cafe Borrone (also in Menlo Park) is quite good.

                          2. Esther's German Bakery & Cafe, on San Antonio Road in Los Altos, serves a variety of delicious breakfast meals. And, there is a nice selection of breads, German pretzels, and pastries to make a continental breakfast. Although they make a fuss about their coffee, I will not.

                            This branch is charming, and has a small, safe area for kids to play indoors. There is also a patio in back.

                            Esther's German Bakery
                            987 N San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: anyhow

                              I wish Esthers had better coffee - the pretzels and breads would be perfect with a better coffee menu.
                              Calafia Cafe in Palo Alto has good coffee and brunch on the weekends (9am - 3pm). (Barefoot Coffee)

                              855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

                            2. I don't go out for breakfast much, but today I finally tried the Village Pantry in downtown Los Altos and was quite impressed. The banana pancakes are two delicious pancakes (whole wheat, they say, but I wouldn't have known) with the bananas nestled in between. There was real maple syrup to go with them. Together with a nice glass of ruby grapefruit juice it made a very tasty breakfast - and not too huge, as many breakfast places like to do. The service was delightful as well. I'll be back - they're open for both breakfast and lunch.


                              Village Pantry
                              184 2nd St, Los Altos, CA 94022

                              1. A couple of places we love:

                                Country Gourmet, corner of Fremont and Mary in Sunnyvale
                                Twist Cafe, on Campbell Ave in Campbell (great Sunday Farmer's Market right out front)
                                Bill of Fare, on Saratoga Ave in San Jose

                                Bill of Fare
                                1005 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                                Country Gourmet
                                1314 S Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: hazel1

                                  Anyone has been to Country Gourmet recently??? They seem to fit the bill for low-key double-stroller breakfast places in lower peninsula/ silicon valley!

                                  Country Gourmet
                                  1314 S Mary Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                                  1. re: VanessaItalyinSF

                                    I was at the one in Sunnyvale last week. They are a great place for breakfast, either solo or with a crowd. The two restaurants (S'vale and Mountain View) are run by different owners so I can't speak to Mountain View.

                                    A few years back because of kid summer activity, my daughter and I did a breakfast crawl from Cupertino out to Saratoga. Bill of Fare was the real standout. They have a creative menu, well prepared, and great prices.

                                    Bill of Fare
                                    1005 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                                2. We really love Tom's Depot in Los Altos. They only do breakfast and lunch, but not on Sundays.

                                  1. We happened to be in Willow Glen this morning and tried Top Nosh in the cinema. It was great! We had frittata with asparagas and tiny oozy bits of cheese. The brioche french toast was buttery, soft in the center, crispy around the edges and generously topped with a tart and sweet mixed berry jam. I was served a whole pot of Teavana white jasmine tea steeped perfectly.

                                    I also like A Good Morning on the Mountain View/ Los Altos border for breakfast sandwiches, omelets, hashbrowns, burgers etc.

                                    A Good Morning
                                    4546 El Camino Real Ste A13, Los Altos, CA 94022

                                    Top Nosh Cafe
                                    1167 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125