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Breakfast in downtown SF?

My husband and I will be making our second trip to SF in early September--we'll be staying at the Courtyard by Marriott near the convention center and are looking for some good non-touristy breakfast places in the area, preferably someplace that can put together a good omelet or egg dish. (Yeah, we did Sears Fine Food the first go-round.) Thanks!

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  1. There have been some very nice comments about Cafe Bean.

    Cafe Bean
    800 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

    2 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Not exactly "in the area" of 2nd and Folsom.

      1. re: Xiao Yang

        Hey we are a walking town. 1.2 flat miles from hotel to Cafe Bean than .8 miles back to Moscone. Piece of pancake.

    2. About 3 blocks south on 2nd is South Park. On South Park there's the Butler and the Chef. This is going towards the ballpark. There's also Town's End near the Embarcadero.

      Butler & the Chef Bistro
      155 S Park St, San Francisco, CA 94107

      1. If you have the time, I suggest you stroll down to the Ferry Building and enjoy a lovely breakfast at Boulette's Larder. In addition to having great food, it's fun to sit and watch the commuters arriving by ferry. Another option is to head over to Brenda's French Soul Food. They have great Louisianan breakfasts, but you'll want to either take a cab or be very careful about your route. It's not far, but the worst of the tenderloin neighborhood (ugly and not safe) sits between you and Brenda's.

        Boulettes Larder
        Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

        Brenda's French Soul Food
        652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        1. Sears really isn't very good, more of a tourist trap. They are also owned by Lori's Diner which can also be skipped. Mel's near your hotel isn't that good either.

          Dotties True Blue Cafe is good

          Town's End, as mentioned is also good. The Chef and the Butler is probably nearest to you. I haven't been there in a long time, but always liked the breakfast at Campton Place but it is very pricy. Another near-ish place that has had positive mentions is Cafe Andree. Cafe de la Presse has had mixed reports.

          Your hotel at one time had a breakfast buffet. Never tried it so don't know how good it was.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            My dad, a SF native, took my brothers and me to Sears whenever we were in town on leave from military assignments. I loved it then, and I love it now. I don't care if tourists like it, too.

          2. Cafe de la Presse does good French breakfast and omelets.

            La Boulange bakery just opened an outpost on Market St and 3rd St. No omelets but they make a tasty mini-quiche. Of course, there's always the croissants and assorted pastries. There's outdoor seating so it's a nice way to take it easy in the morning.

            Cafe De La Presse
            352 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

            1. This doesn't really count but there's a Lee's Deli right across the street from you that's a good spot to pick up something quick. When I was regularly in that area, I'd stop in for breakfast sandwiches.

              Lee's Deli
              303 2nd St Ste 101, San Francisco, CA 94107

              1 Reply
              1. re: larochelle

                I'll second Cafe Bean. We took Mr Mouther's advice in April 2008 and really enjoyed it -- would return based on that visit.

                The opposite of non-touristy but well worth a visit if you’re in SF on a Saturday: Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market for breakfast. Personal favourite is Primavera’s chilaquiles.

                Not too far away is Canteen, another non-touristy breakfast place.

                And finally, we’re fans of the already mentioned Café de la presse.

                I'll excerpt my comments on these four options in case you're not in the mood to dredge through my rather long-winded trip report here, here and here :-): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/512584

                On Friday morning, we headed to Café Bean (800 Sutter at Jones) for an early-ish breakfast. J had the Dutch Smasher for $7.25 (melted Edam, fried onion, tomato, ham and over easy eggs on toast) while I went for the chicken apple sausage and eggs with toast for $6.95. The eggs were perfectly scrambled, the sausage was delicious (housemade or at least very local I think) and the toast okay. We saw some Dutch pancakes on another table that looked mighty tempting too.

                8:15 Saturday am and we head for the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. We made a beeline for the Primavera stand as the lineup was long in November but I had my chilaquiles in hand within 5 minutes this time.

                The next morning we obeyed the siren song of the Canteen breakfast (817 Sutter St (between Jones and Leavenworth) and returned for another satisfying meal. Arriving a bit after 9:30 we still got a coveted booth (no resos for brekky and brunch here). J ordered the omelette with fontina, ham and oyster mushrooms ($8.95), BIL went for the benchmark eggs and sausage ($8.75) and I opted to try the much-vaunted eggs benedict “with all the accoutrements” ($10.75). The boys also had the recommended short lattes ($2.50 each) and we were all very happy with our choices. The sauce on the benny was nicely tart and unctuous, maybe a bit much of it, and the eggs were well poached if a bit runny for my taste but once again these are tiny quibbles.

                Monday morning was reserved for our now traditional breakfast at Café de la presse (352 Grant at Bush). And yes, I had eggs benedict for the second day in a row. I give a slight edge to the bennies here over Canteen for two reasons 1) less sauce 2) eggs just a bit more set ($13). J had the oeufs en meurette ($13) and we both enjoyed a large bowl of Café Colombe au lait ($3 each).

              2. Cheap but incredible : dottie's

                Not cheap, but incredible: Grand Cafe.


                1. Town's End is probably the best breakfast close by. If you don't mind going further afield, Mama's on Washington Square in North Beach is excellent, and shouldn't have much of a wait during the week.

                  Mama's On Washington Square
                  1701 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                  Town's End Restaurant & Bakery
                  2 Townsend St Ste 2, San Francisco, CA 94107

                  1. for something pricey but lovely, breakfast in the atrium at the palace hotel is wonderful. but very dear.

                    1. For some of us breakfast is about great coffee and lots of it. With this in mind I'd like to mention Blue Bottle Cafe at Mint Plaza (5th and Mission, not far from the Courtyard Marriott.) Been open since March. Fantastic coffee. Fun people watching - very modern. They do have breakfast - a imited menu, but good. Per your request for an egg dish, they have a simple and tasty pop-eye egg dish (Acme Bread.) The waffles are great. BUT...as of a month ago, they don't start serving food until 9 AM even though they open at 7 AM. (Wish they would change this.) Food service can be a tad slow, but again, this place is really about the coffee.

                      Brenda's is great. Worth the cab or bus or Bart ride from your location. Also worth getting to, IMO, Ella's on Presidio. Extensive breakfast menu, wonderful egg dishes, off the beaten tourist track. On weekends, be ready for a wait or go early. This is true for Brenda's also.

                      Ella's Restaurant
                      500 Presidio Ave, San Francisco, CA 94115

                      Blue Bottle Cafe
                      66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      1. I know it's terribly boring, but the only thing I eat for breakfast is: HEALTHY OATMEAL.
                        And, I've found that Lori's Diner does it just right.