Looking for breakfast, Union Square area
I'll be in SF in a few weeks, arriving on a Monday and leaving Saturday.
For the bulk of the trip, breakfast isn't a question for me: Dottie's True Blue on Jones. Went there last year and the place is fantastic (and literally a minute or so walk from my hotel).
But, if their hours hold true from a year ago, they're not open on Tuesdays. So, where to go? I don't mind walking (I like walking) but I don't want to travel too extensively (especially as I have some other place to go later that morning).
I went to Sears Fine Foods last year and was totally unimpressed: I had a mushy, flavorless French toast.
A significant consideration: my choice for breakfast is savory (far) over sweet. Interesting omelets and the like get my attention, but I'll go for pancakes and French toast that don't overwhelm with sweetness (no chocolate chips, no whipped cream, etc.).
I usually skip lunch, so I look to fuel up for breakfast--not the "hungry man"-style meal, but something that's an actual meal. At Dotties, I had this fantastic rosemary-lamb sausage, roasted garlic, tomato, spinach, and goat cheese omelette with made-on-the-premises buttermilk-dill toast. Awesome and kept me going for the next 10 hours.
To me, a pastry isn't breakfast. I'd eat nothing if only pastry were available.
I have to put in a plug for my favorite Scala's Bistro on Powell just north of Post. We eat there whenever we stay in that area. Personally, I go gaga over the homemade granola, hubby gets some sort of pancakes and my stepfather said they made the best eggs he's ever had. It has never been crowded when we went and the service is good. It is a dark, pleasant, pub-ish sort of place. Oh, I wish I were going today!
the selection is not very large but the food is quite good (and mostly savory) but the coffee some of the absolute best in the world at Blue Bottle Cafe which is just down the hill from Union Square (on Mint between Mission and Market just off of 5th). Walk down Powell to Market, then turn right then left on 5th, right on Mint.
Definitely worth a visit at least once while you are in SF and I highly recommend their polenta and other items.
Blue Bottle Cafe
66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Cafe Andree is excellent, and I like savory better than sweet in the am as well. My eggs were cooked perfectly and the ingredients in my scramble/omelet were amazingly fresh. Plus, not having to stand in a line really won me over (!)
You may also want to try Brenda's, which is further down the hill than Dottie's. They are supposed to have excellent beignets (but are closed the same day as Dottie's, I think).
Here's a list I put together ... the good, the bad, the ugly.
Union Square Breakfasts & Brunch
Cafe Bean has had a number of good reports, but it is for their Dutch pancake.
I've always wanted to give Cafe Andree a try for breakfast. Luques is also high on my to-try list. Ditto on Cafe Mason with it's seemingly endless menu. Click on the word 'menu' in the comments to view.
Within the last few months there was a favorable report about both the Japanese breakfast and separate American breakfast buffet at the Anzu in the Hotel Nikko.
If you click on the restaurant names they will take you to the Place record. Most have website links to view the menu and linked reports from Chowhound.
Whatever you choose, hope you report back to keep the breakfast info fresh on the board.