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Feb 7, 2008 03:50 PM

First time in SF and looking for some good breakfast spots.

I will be in SF in a few weeks for 4 days and would love to get some recommendations for some good breakfast places. I arrive on a Thursday mid morning and leave on Sunday night so I will be there for three breakfasts.
I am staying at the Hotel Vitale and have to go to work on Friday morning at the Gap building at 2 Folsom so I would like for the Friday breakfast to be in the area. I am willing to be adventurous and explore a bit on the other two days.

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  1. I love Kate's Kitchen in Lower Haight. Come hungry and come early because the line on the weekends is long. For a closer place downtown, Sears Fine Foods on Powell can' be beat.

    1. Canteen for Sunday breakfast/brunch!

      Usually not a bad wait if you arrive before 10 AM, especially if you are willing to sit at the counter.

      1. My dad took us to Sears on Union Square when we were kids. The silver dollar pancakes were his favorite, but I liked the sourdough toast the best. This is a big tourist spot, but I have a vested 50-year family history in this place, so it's authentic to me.

        1. Skip Sears. It's for tourists only. Nothing special about it and the original family doesn't own it anymore. You can make silver dollar pancakes at home. The Swedish lace pancakes are a big yawn and you will leave hungry.

          Check out Dottie's True Blue Cafe for a great breakfast. It's a tiny place in the Tenderloin with hearty and imaginiative food. Best visited on a weekday the minute they open. Otherwise, expect to wait in line outside.

          Mama's on Washington Square Park in North Beach is another great place and they have an excellend breakfast dish with Dungeness crab when it is in season. Again, it is extremely popular with a line out the door on weekends, so get there the minute they open or go on a week day.

          Right across the street from Mama's is a bakery that sells nothing but foccacia, made in a brick oven. Great for breakfast, but you can't eat it there and that is all they sell.

          If you want great baked goods for breakfast, try DeLessio on Market Street (opens at 7am), Mission Beach Cafe (Iimited selection but excellent product made on the premises) or Tartine (the DMV of bakeries - get there the minute they open or expect to wait in line).

          Another great place is Yank Sing in Rincon Center - near the Embarcadero. Don't bother waiting, go to their take out counter and order a few pieces of dim sum. There are lots of places to sit there or just outside if it is a nice day.

          Be sure to visit the Farmer's market at the Ferry Building on Saturday morning. There are several places to get coffee, hot chocolate (Boulette's Larder is supposed to have killer hot chocolate), baked goods (Acme), even egg dishes and tomales.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Bay Gelldawg

            Dottie's is great, especially their pastries. However, for a really spectacular breakfast, try Zazi's in Cole Valley (Cole X Carl). The N-Judah goes right through this intersection.

            Excellent Egg's Benne w/ Salmon, the coffee is divine (unlike Kate's Kitchen--which has a good breakfast too). Another plus to Zazi's is their awesome pumpkin-ginger pancakes. Yumm!

            Another good spot on the weekend for breakfast or brunch is Weird Fish in the Mission. Scrambles, Tofu options, Fish taco's, tasty beers, huge mimosas. I love this place! Seating can be tough.


            1. re: abowen

              Zazi's might be OK on a weekday, but don't go on a weekend. It's a zoo and the quality of the food slips as the kitchen gets overwhelmed by the crowd.

              1. re: Bay Gelldawg

                and its not great to make a trip over there. I live in the neighborhood and rarely even think that is a place to go for breakfast.

                Since you are near Ferry Plaza go to Frog Hollow for good coffee and excellent tarts, pastries.

            2. re: Bay Gelldawg

              For fun Red's Java House at pier 30 about .6 miles down the Embarcadero. Qualifies as a dive but recent inspection health department perfect score. Opens at 6. Great walk and great view.

                1. re: Lori SF

                  Wolfe: some may miss that decimal point and not realize you meant a relatively short walk (maybe they shouldn't be let in on the place anyway)

                  Lori: is hole-in-the-wall Art's still at Irving and 9? great hash browns.

              1. re: Bay Gelldawg

                On a weekend, get to Tartine well before they open. The line might not look that long, but their contemptuous and arrogantly inefficient service makes the wait far longer than it looks like it could be. Still, it's worth putting up with for those ham-and-cheese croissants. And those grilled soppresatta, fontina, and broccoli rabe sandwiches. And devil's food cake. And gougere. And shortbread. And Mexican wedding cookies. And chocolate souffle cake. Though usually not all at once.

              2. Gap has a pretty good cafe upstairs, if you have a pass eat there.