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Jan 26, 2008 07:15 AM

Union Square Breakfast

I'm meeting some friends from LA tomorrow morning for breakfast. All together, there are four adults and two children. Criteria: no long lines and must be open by 9 am.

I don't want to end up at Mel's Diner . . . help!

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  1. It's a shame about the "long lines" because Dottie's is by far the best bet in that area. But with six on a weekend, unless you're there by 8 AM you'll wait a while. Sears is big enough that if you're there before 9, you might get in fairly quickly.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Deeg67

      Sears was the only one that came to mind as well with that many people. The no-lines thing is hard on weekends; the best places always have long lines and Dottie's would be a better choice. I would suggest sending someone to Dottie's a half-hour to 45-minutes earlier to stand in line - even for six people!

      1. re: Carrie 218

        I wish Dottie's would work, but we just can't wait that long. I think we're going to change course completely and all head to clement street for some dim sum. Thanks for the suggestions though.

        1. re: junk2

          junk2, I hear your pain. Personally, I hate waiting in line and won't do it! Besides that, sometimes one just can't wait (or send someone ahead) and suggestions that say to do that really aren't that helpful. Moreover, in my nabe there actually ISN"T a close correlation between those restaurants with long lines and quality (though granted my nabe isn't Union Square where that could be true. Still, this question comes up fairly often and it would be nice to hear some good recommendations for breakfast in that general area without a line).

          1. re: junk2

            If you're going to be hungry by nine, you'll be even hungrier by 10:30-11:00 which is the usual opening time for dim sum places. You also may find long lines there.

            1. re: Xiao Yang

              Thanks for all the suggestions, but we ended up at Lichee Garden. At 9 am, the place was about half full, and the quality of the dim sum (although not outstanding) was perfectly fine.

              1. re: junk2

                I didn't realize Lichee Garden had dim sum service that early. That's good to know.

                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  Yes, we were happily surprised too. We were told they open at 8 am.

      2. Cafe Mason, on Mason between Geary and O'Farrell has been our go-to place. Reasonably priced and a reasonable variety. Good service. Open 24 hrs.

        1. Lori's is up the street from Sears, on the corner of Sutter and Powell. They open early.

          Forget Sears - overrated and over priced.

          5 Replies
          1. re: toitoi

            Sears and Lori's are under the same ownership. I've never heard much praise for Lori's, but Sears' Silver Dollar Pancakes are at least an institution in SF, and have been for 70 years.

            1. re: Xiao Yang

              Sears' "World Famous 18 Little Pancakes" are well-known but I found them pretty mediocre.

            2. re: toitoi

              Lori's had nice fluffy pancakes. It didn't blow me away, but I have a reasonable bar for breakfast. My wife wanted b'fast so we just went in there and we got what we wanted. I thought the pancakes were better than average. It's not a place to expect a lot, but I think you can expect what you get, if that makes sense. Union Sq. prices though.

              1. re: toitoi

                Please note that there are several Lori's locations and the one at Sutter and Powell is by the far best, which is not high praise.

                1. re: melisky

                  Funny. What makes that the better location?

              2. too late and it sounds as though you had a nice breakfast but next time you might want to try Cafe Andree in the Hotel Rex - they have a lovely breakfast and it's never too crowded....

                1 Reply
                1. re: chutney

                  Cafe Andree is one of those places I keep meaning to get to for breakfast. What do you recommend there?