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Mar 27, 2006 02:06 PM

Breakfast North of San Francisco

  • s

We drive to Mendocino from San Jose, looking for an good breakfast on the way.

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  1. Headed that way again - usually do Redwood CAfe in Cotati which is OK but would like something more interesting.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Stitcher

      A great breakfast place in San Rafael is Pier 15. New owners last year improved the food (especially breakfasts). The front of the place is "old bar" and the rear a bright, sunny dining room plus deck looking out on a somewhat seedy San Rafael boat scene. Here's a discussion from early this year:

      Pier 15
      15 Harbor St
      San Rafael

      1. re: Mick Ruthven

        I think Pier 15 is great too.

        Also another good spot in San Rafael is Le Croissant. Been there forever.

        1. re: Mick Ruthven

          Another place for a lighter breakfast ... more pastries but a few breakfast dishes is La Boulangerie in the Strawberry shopping center behind Safeway.

          1. re: Mick Ruthven

            Wish I'd seen this earlier, as I just got back from Mendo and my usual breakfast stop on the way - Horn of Zeese in Boonville - has been converted into a mediocre Mexican joint.

            Pier 15 sounds great. Another Marin option that can work on the way to Mendo is Hilda's Coffee Shop in San Anselmo. Unpretentious as you can get, but good diner food, especially the German pancakes (thin and griddle-fried, unlike the baked kind).


          Willow Wood Market in Graton in "almost" on the way, if you detour to Hwy One on the coast.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cynsa

            Willow Wood is great also. If you don't want to go to the coast, it's a nice detour of its own. You can leave 101 in Santa Rosa, take River Road to Olivet Road, left on Olivet Road that takes you by some wineries, one being DeLoach (very good reds there) and other small ones, then right on Guerneville Road, left on Frey Road which becomes Graton Road and goes right to Graton. It's a not-long nice real-country drive. Then you can continue (after a turnaround and short hop to the Gravenstein Hwy) and go to Sebastopol, then on to 101. A map will make it clear. If you're up to the detour, Willow Wood is worth the experience. If not, Pier 15 in San Rafael is very good for breakfast (better than for lunch)..

          2. Omlette Express in downtown Santa Rosa's Railroad Square

            1. The Bluebird Cafe in Hopland does a wonderful breakfast.

              I had a client in Ukiah and the SF through Santa Rosa traffic was really wearing. My trick for beating the traffic was to haul ass from SF to Hopland really early, then stop at Bluebird for a nice, leisurely breakfast and then do the last 25 minutes to Ukiah in time to arrive at 9am. Breakfast at Bluebird was the highlight of my day.

              While all their food is good, Bluebird has the best chicken fried steak & eggs with biscuits & gravy that I've ever had in California and I KNOW my CFS and B&G.

              1. Try stopping into Healdsburg for breakfast at Bovolo, inside Plaza Farms on the square. Their breakfasts have become the hit of town for a lot of people.

                Check out the website and hit menu, then Backdoor Breakfasts. Just hit the arrow down to see the full menu.

                Top breakfasts - the breakfast sandwich, panzanella and pizza.

                And make sure you have some of John Stewart's (the co-owner) Black Pig Bacon, made by him, and very, very good. You can sit on the back patio, weather permitting.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cmvan

                  Here's my post on the Black Pig bacon and sausage at Bovolo.