HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >


So where is a good breakfast in SD?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Perry's and the Original Pancake House.

      1. Definite second to OPH. I'm not as big a fan of Perry's, though I understand why people like it - it's simply not for me.

        I don't normally eat "traditional" breakfast, but here are some breakfasts I've enjoyed:

        Ortega's Cocina in OB - I really like their machaca, but the fish and eggs is my favorite.

        People's Co-Op in OB - the upstairs deli has a very nice scrambled tofu, and oven-roasted potatoes. The biscuits aren't bad, and the mushroom gravy is very tasty.

        Shakespeare's Pub in Mission Hills - They have a traditional English breakfast with eggs, broiled tomatoes, Irish back bacon, and potato pancakes. I'm pretty sure the potato pancakes are frozen, but I like the bacon and tomatoes. It's a simple breakfast, but nice to enjoy with some football.

        Cafe Chloe downtown - I'd probably rate this as my overall favorite breakfast. The savory custard is really good - think cross between creme brulee and quiche. The Croque Madame is insanely rich and delicious.

        1. No frills and pretty standard fare, but Rudfords in North Park is the classic diner with breakfast served all day . Weekdays they have specials but in general, you can't beat the prices. Good omelets, hash, etc.

          Also like OPH, but hate the wait - is it ever not busy?

          2 Replies
          1. re: mimosa

            If you go early, when they open, it's fine. It's also manageable at lunch.

            1. re: mimosa

              Need an oil change any time soon? My BF and I usually drop the car off at Big-O first thing on Saturday mornings and then walk over to OPH for breakfast. No wait if you're there by 8-8:15am, although most of the tables are full. By the time we're done with breakfast, the car's usually done, too.

            2. We were in SD last weeked to attend the Fancy Food Show and I researched on Chowhound for recommendations of course.

              The best breakfast by far and almost the best meal was at the Parkhouse Eatery.
              Four of us were each thrilled with our meals. Creative menu, patio and inside seatting, friendly staff, beautiful presentation, generous portions. Inside decor was a bit old and dirty but very interesting.I wish now that we had gone there three days in a row.

              My hubby went to Perry's with out me and was underwhelmed. He said the menu was limited and just not that exciting.

              We were all disappointed by Cafe 222. The menu was fun and interesting but somehow nothing was as good as it sounded. Not bad, just not great. Service was so, so, girls that were talking and complaining about their lives right next to us.

              So Parkhouse Eatery gets my vote!
              Umm, the best Pumpkin pancakes I have ever had.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Got Cake

                Parkhouse Eatery does have a wonderful breakfast. Oddly, I've been there twice for dinner and both times I sent my plate back.

              2. I like Broken Yolk on Garnet in PB. Always fresh ingredients, plenty of coffee, pleasant waitstaff and enough food to eat and take home for a second meal. My second place is Kono's, more rustic but, good and cheap!

                1. So I am not really a breakfast fan so take this with a grain of salt...
                  Favorite breakfast is easily Parkhouse Eatery (especially their mimosas--they have several different types) where I actually order breakfast--eggs even. I took my parents to Adams Avenue Grill it was pretty good too (once again I actually ordered a breakfast item.)
                  Two random places in PB are Good Time Charlies--they only serve breakfast on weekends and holidays but their carne asada breakfast quesadilla is my favorite and 976 the good morning bagel.

                  1. Cavaillon for 5 star classical French techniques meets eggs, beignets, caramelized shallots and potatoes! Best deal in town for $10/plate.

                    Cantina Panaderia
                    Ricky's for Dutch apple pancake
                    Cafe Chloe was really good too

                    1. Gotcake, I agree about Cafe 222. It seemed like it should have tasted better but none of the 3 of us liked our meal. We won't go back.

                      I like breakfast at:
                      Janets in Alpine (everything is good and fresh)
                      Park Cafe (love their HUGE pancakes)
                      The Eggery (yummy Eggs Benedict and Apple/Cinnamon pancakes)
                      Jimmy Carter's (great chilaquiles)
                      Broken Yolk (good price and served hot)
                      Richard Walkers (good food - mediocre service)

                      1. What would you guys reccomend from Parkhouse or Cantina Panaderia.

                        Has anyone seen the Book called Isabels cantina - a local Puerto Rican chef/owner who runs the Mission and other chains?

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: kare_raisu

                          I like Parkhouse for breakfast too, it's actually the only meal I've eaten there. I like that they make their own corned beef hash. Their egg scrambles are good, some have a good amount of heat to them too. Homemade jam and toast from Bread and Cie and their mashed breakfast potatoes are always tasty. Excellent cocktails as others have mentioned.

                          1. re: kare_raisu

                            I always get the chedder, bacon & egg scramble and it comes with the mashed potatos and toast with homemade jam. They generally have specials and all of the ones i have tried have been great. They also do a daily muffin which is great. My friends always get the breakfast pizza and the eggs benedict which are tasty too.

                            1. re: jturtle

                              That's what I get when I go there too, but I haven't been in a while. I think the muffins are from Bread and Cie - we usually get one to share while we wait for the food.

                              Lately I've been going to Cafe on Park - just down the street, it is a little less crowded and close enough to walk to the Farmers Market.

                              1. re: jturtle

                                DH and I were in San Diego recently for a long weekend, and went to Parkhouse Eatery for brunch on Saturday. Him: berry pancakes; me; chilaquiles with turkey chorizo. Yum yum yum yum. We went back on Sunday. Him: hash du jour (pork, mushrooms, ???); me: smoked ham, asiago, and pepperoncini scramble. Again, yum yum yum yum. Wish there were more weekend days in the week...

                                1. re: truman

                                  Those pancakes were the size of hubcaps. They're wonderful, but I can barely make it through one before crying uncle. Parkhouse's brunch is awesome and the patio's perfect for pooches.

                              2. re: kare_raisu

                                Isabel Cruz, the author of Isabel's Cantina, owns Cantina Panaderia which is now known by another name. It might actually be Isabel's Cantina. Her food is Asian-Latino. Good stuff on the menu are their pancakes, Double Happiness bowl, breakfast tamales and jalapeno potatoes. When you go, don't expect hard-core Mexican/Latino home cooking. Her food is lighter in texture and fat than say, El Cuervo. I've seen her cookbook at Barnes and Noble.

                                I would not recommend Richard Walker's Pancake House. Their crepes were really feh and the potato pancakes were literally tasteless. Maybe other things are better, but I'd skip those items.

                                1. re: daantaat

                                  To add to Daataat's list, the coconut french toast and dragon potatoes at Isabel Cantina are great. One of the things I really like about her breakfast menu is that it isn't limited to just traditional American breakfast items. The brown rice bowls are nice and a lot of people really like her power breakfasts.

                                  And I agree with Daataat about Richard Walker's. The food was dreadful - including the worst waffle I've ever eaten in SD - and the service was horrid.

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    Oh, yeah--forgot about the coconut french toast--those are really good too! So are their soyrizo concoctions (soy based chorizo). Usually the latter are on the daily specials.

                              3. There was this cafe I visited in October- it was right around the south corner of the Hilton in the Gaslamp, facing 5th street. I don't remember the name, but it was really good. Like a little bakery/bistro. Breakfast sandwiches, pastries and I think wine at night. Anyone know the name?

                                1. Mission Cafe (3 locations) gets my vote for best French Toast in San Diego. Good coffee also.....for omelets, surprised nobody mentioned Hash House a Go Go.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: El Chevere

                                    That is sort of funny b/c those are my two least favorite (overrated) places. But like I said breakfast really isn't my thing!

                                  2. americana
                                    mission cafe
                                    the cottage
                                    brockton villa
                                    come on in cafe

                                    1. Perry's, Saska's, Harry's Coffee Shop in LJ

                                      1. I will add my North county favorites.

                                        Beach Grass Cafe in Solana Beach - fresh, yummy ingredients - my favorite is the smoked salmon omelette with cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and red onions. The breakfast potatoes there are really good.

                                        Honey's and Swami's in Encinitas

                                        St. Germain in Encinitas

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Enorah

                                          i can't believe i forgot honey's, swami's & st. germain!

                                          second those recs.

                                          1. re: Enorah

                                            Forgot to mention Beach Break in Oceanside

                                            darn good

                                          2. Perry's or Hash House a Go Go

                                            1. Hash House A Go-Go, Antique Row Cafe, The Mission, and Cafe Chloe are my current favorites.

                                              1. Back in January, I posted that Richard Walker's Pancake House had good food but mediocre service. Let me revise that...the service is lousy, the food has some serious problems. They're going in the wrong direction...

                                                We went on a weekday and still found a line, so I'm thinking they've probably improved since the last time I visited. Not true! My dad's order of banana pancakes were raw and I knew they were as the server was sitting them down but my dad wanted to cut into them and see if they were in fact, OK. A few minutes later they finally bring my plate with burnt bacon on it and immediately I tell the server that I can't eat bacon that is burnt. He gives me an exasperated look and holds out his hand for the offensive item and I challenge him "Do you think THAT is acceptable to serve????" He snottily replies, "Some people like it that way!" to which my fellow diners just shake their heads. It wasn't just scorched, it was black and burnt.

                                                He immediately returns with some well done bacon but I decide to just keep quiet and not bring anything else up. I offer up my side order of pancakes to my dad because I KNOW he will be mortified if I ask them to fix his raw plate of pancakes. TO THE SERVER'S credit, he DOES notice that my dad didn't eat his pancake dish and does ask the manager to credit us with the order of raw pancakes but his attitude was one of exasperation and comtempt.

                                                When my dad tried to flag Richard down to say something to him, he leaned down and scrunched up his nose and said he couldn't hear him. Well, no sh*t, Richard...the place is so loud that you can't hear a "normal" conversation with all the racket.

                                                No thanks, I'm done with that place. If there were more places for breakfast downtown, that place would be gone by now.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LisaSD

                                                  With so many good places for breakie in SD why did you choose this one? Your poor father, take him out again.

                                                2. Best Breakfast...mmm I love breakfast. Beach Grass cafe is worth the drive for the pineapple pancakes alone, best in the area. I'm also a major Rebecca's fan in South Park for scones and coffee. The Broken Yolk is a good bet as is Cafe on Park especially on a Sunday before the Farmer's Market. Finally, I've heard good things about Mystic Mocha in University Heights

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: zjarrett

                                                    Bacon, brie, honey, and walnut panini at Bread and Cie--awesome. Bacon biscuit at Twiggs (the new location on Adams) and the avocado and bacon on a torta roll at Krakatoa in South Park. My three favorite breakfasts to-go right now.

                                                  2. Dos Brasas, on San Diego Ave., just north of Washington, has some of the best breakfast burritos in town.

                                                    1. I would once again like to put a vote in for the Cheese Shop in the gaslamp. Kind of a silly name since they don't really seem to feature a cheese-centric menu, but there are some seriously tasty items, I think the best buttermilk pancakes in town, scratch biscuits and gravy, terrific soups made by the father of the couple that owns it and even a house smoked brisket sandwich with a terrific home made sauce, not too sweet, that beats the heck out of Phil's.....the place used to suffer from lousy service but they seemed to have righted the ship somewhat it that regard.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: plantman

                                                        I think the name is a throwback to when they used to be across the street where the 'brewery" is. Back in the day, I recall them having a deli case full of a variety of cheeses. Nothing along the line of Vinissimo, mind you, but more along the lines of a grocery store deli. The new space is much nicer, but it seems the variety of cheese has shrunk.

                                                        1. re: sdnosh

                                                          The name actually goes back to the original La Jolla Shores location (which still thrives under the same family ownership as the downtown location) and it's beginnings as the first real cheese specialty shop in the area. When they first opened the second location 20 years ago in the Gaslamp (our advertising agency office was next door in what is now Rock Bottom Brewery) they carried a full assortment of cheese and deli meats for retail sale. The sandwich business took off from there.

                                                          1. re: foodiechick

                                                            Thanks for the clarification foodiechick. I didn't realize the first location was in La Jolla Shores or that it was 20 years old. That's impressive. It's just up the block from Barbarella isn't it?

                                                            1. re: sdnosh

                                                              You are right...about 2 doors down from Barbarella. And that LJ Shores location has been open closer to 30 years (before my time ;D), downtown opened 20 years ago. Does downtown still sell the big, warm, roast pork sandwiches? That was the signature.

                                                            2. re: foodiechick

                                                              We MUST have run into each other there. I ate one of their KILLER muffins every morning, and had their giant roast pork sandwiches for lunch. SDH&G's offices were up in the windows. My studio was a block up at 5th and E, third floor.

                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                Hmm, will ask CB tomorrow am. Might have been SDHG first, but we...Arnold.Buck were up in the windows. Chuck and David paid major tenant improvement $$ for ultra modern office. One of the first businesses (outside of restaurant) in the Gaslamp about the same year Street Scene started, I'm thinking '85-'86, many years before I met him. Cheese shop moved in a year or two later. That location of Cheese Shop used to be a very small Italian restaurant run by Paul Columbo who went on to be the catering head for Harbor Excursions.

                                                                And of course I admired you from afar many years earlier at a locale called Parker. ;D

                                                                1. re: foodiechick

                                                                  Hi, sorry about a relative tangent, but I'm from north san diego but am currently living in Zurich Switzerland. I recently ran into this wonderful Swiss man at the farmer's market here that sells the most amazing macrobiotic products. Turns out, he lived in San Diego for a short stint and worked for Paul Columbo at an Italian restaurant. He asked me to try and track him down, as he was a very special person in his life. Undoubtedly it's the same Paul Columbo you refer to here. Do you happen to have any way of getting a hold of him? Thanks! Erin

                                                                  1. re: erin_h

                                                                    It was mannnny years ago, but last I heard he was running the in-house catering for San Diego Harbor Excursions (800) 442-7847. I think there have been many changes/turnover at that company, but good luck!

                                                        2. My top two breakfast places are the Potato Shack in Encinitas, and the Eggery in Mission Beach.

                                                          1. Warrior Rabbit, I'm gonna have to try the Potato Shack the next time we are in Encinitas. We had breakfast at St. Germain's Cafe down the street from there this morning and it was delicious! I had the Garden omelette which was filled with fresh spinach, green peppers, onions and tomatoes and topped with Cheddar cheese (served with Cafe Potatoes). Hubby had the Hearty breakfast which he had with pancakes, Louisiana sausage and 2 eggs. With our beverages, the total bill was $23. Well worth every cent. I asked the server to be sure to tell the cooks that everything was wonderfully prepared!

                                                            1. In San Diego north county, The Naked Cafe is a wonderful spot in Carlsbad for a healthy breakfast. Food is fab.

                                                              1. Hash House a Go Go in Hillcrest has wonderful breakfast all week, but my sleeper "brunch" on Sundays is the buffet at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego on 2nd. Amazing selection of shellfish, meats, veggies & crepe station. And not too crazy priced for the amount of really good food.