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San Diego is for Breakfast

Please help me. A few years ago I made a list of breakfast spots in San Diego. My hard drive soon thereafer died and I had no other record of that list. I visited about six places on that list and had about 6 more tto go but....From the places I went to I decided that San Diego is all about breakfast more than any city I have visited. Please help me start another to-do list.

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  1. it would be immensely helpful if you listed the places you've already been so we don't waste time suggesting them...

    4 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      It has been several years and I have no clue of any names. Also, I would like as compleate of a list as I can get. Breakfest is my big meal of the day and I recall never having a bad breakfast in SD. I can see a number of SD trips in my summer ahead and so..... I recall a gogiie style 60's cafe just off a fry.-- located just out of the city and it had really great service and food.. There was a farmers market nearby on the day i went. I also recall two places I liked that had fresh baked goods. They were closer to the ocean and north of the city. There was a Mexican food sit-down place with booths and tables inland from the city w/ good chips and salsa. My problem is IMO, this city is hard to get a feel of where you are relative to the beaches and city if you can't see them. Once I go inland just a little I am lost without a map. I never have that problem anyplace but SD. It all began in that circle around all those hotels. -- "Hotel Circle?" It leaves me going in circles and not knowing N, S, E or W. Damm hard drive!

      1. re: JeetJet

        don't know if these come close, but how about:

        Mission Cup Cafe in La Jolla (close to the beach and north of the city)
        The Cottage in La Jolla (close to the beach and north of the city; has fresh baked goods)
        There is a farmer's market in La Jolla on Sunday mornings

        for the 60's style cafe, how about:
        Perry's Cafe (near Old Town)
        Ricky's off Hotel Circle Drive. Excellent Dutch apple pancakes.

        The Mexican place??? I think we'll all need more specifics....

        1. re: daantaat

          Could the Mexican place be Jimmy Carter's?

          1. re: DougOLis

            I have no idea. Haven't made it to Jimmy Carter's...

    2. My mom and I really enjoyed The Waffle Spot in Hotel Circle--in Kings Inn--when we visited SD several years ago. "The world-famous Waffle Spot is not your typical breakfast restaurant. Named the best waffles in San Diego, the Waffle Spot offers a true family experience with a large variety of breakfast items that will satisfy every member of the family."

      If the giant, foam Waffle King is still there, have your camera ready--would be a funny Kodak moment. But I'm really serious about these waffles. Their mix is malted and oh so delicious. Hope this is a helpful start to rebuilding your list.


      1 Reply
      1. re: kattyeyes

        Tractor Room

        3687 5th Ave
        San Diego, CA 92103-4218
        (619) 543-1007

      2. The Cottage in LJ
        Harry's Coffee Shop LJ
        La Valencia Hotel LJ outside terrace oceanview
        Cavaillon Carmel Valley
        Ricky's Mission Valley
        Perry's Old Town
        Waterfront Bar Little Italy
        Mary Jane's Coffee Shop Hard Rock Gaslamp
        Las Cuatro Milpas Logan Heights

        27 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23

            I know some people rave about this place, and wait in line for it, but I don't get it. The same way I don't get the lines for Hash House, Mission, or Hob Nob Hill.

            1. re: Josh

              Josh, I think it is the "San Diego Breakfast Hype Machine"

              Back in the day that we'd do an occasional breakfast out, we liked Le Peep. I thought that their fare was generally a cut above Original Pancake House, but with smaller lines (especially the Poway location). But that is the thing of the past. These days a fancy weekend breakfast is making pancakes for my 3-year old. If and when we get back into the game, the first place I'd want to try is Cavillion, though - I hope it is around for a while.

              JeanJet - there is a reason that the San Diego Thomas Guide (Map) sells so well. :)

              1. re: RB Hound

                "Josh, I think it is the "San Diego Breakfast Hype Machine"

                I like that one.

                Personally, I have never understood San Diego's infatuation with breakfast.

                Can anyone shed some light?

                Breakfast is easily my 10th least favorite meal of the day.

                1. re: stevewag23


                  1) San Diego is an early city. Everything here starts early, business, airline departures, low tide...Dining early in SD is way easier than dining late, and with a lot more viable options


                  2) Breakfast is usually the cheapest meal of the day to purchase outside the home. And San Diegans are nothing if not frugal. The perception is that breakfast is a good "deal"

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    Ill buy that. Good explanation.

                    "Cheap" and "Early" are two words that do come to mind when I think of San Diego.

                    Could this also have to do with the wholesome nature of San Diego?

                    Breakfast has always seemed to me to be the least sexy and sinful meal of the day.

                    Out of curiosity, are there any other "Early Cities"?

                    1. re: stevewag23

                      "Could this also have to do with the wholesome nature of San Diego? " - Not sure about cheap (but not completely wrong) but definitely early. I am missing good (higher end) dining options where it is possible to start eating after 9 pm without being rushed.

                      1. re: honkman

                        Breakfast is my fav meal of the day. I'm an early riser and morning exerciser, this fuels me up for the day.

                        1. re: honkman

                          I am consistently amazed at how many restaurants you can go to at 9 or 9:30 (even on a weekend night) and they are dead. I don't know if most people in SD like to eat early but other than taco shops and fast food there is certainly a lack of late night dining options.

                          1. re: sdaints

                            It is truly amazing.

                            People eat so damn early in San Diego.

                            "Dinner" in San Diego is closer to "lunch"

                            Whenever I invite someone from San Diego to eat dinner they say without fail: "Nine thirty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so late to eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#@!$#%~@#%!@#%@#%"

                            1. re: sdaints

                              Sakura is one of the better ones, IMO. Open til midnight!

                              1. re: Josh

                                Good tip.

                                I have had the conversation with many restaurant owners and they say the would love to serve food later but the market simply is not there.


                          2. re: stevewag23

                            Wholesome? No, I don't think so. I think that dates back to right after WWII when a lot of men who grew up on farms were discharged from the Navy and elected not to go home. They may have fled the farm, but not the values they grew up with, and those were translated into shaping much of San Diego's growth.

                            And as far as breakfast being sinful and sexy, goodness, have you missed the boat. Let me paint you a picture. Perfectly cook a soft boiled egg and gently place it in a fine porcelain egg cup. Carefully snip open the top to expose the quivering, gently set, but not quite, white of the egg. Ever so carefull stir to reveal the soft, unctous yolk. Now, steam off some ram-rod straight asparagus spears until brigt, vibrant green; tender by still crunchy. Take the asparagus spear and plunch it deep into the velvety, soft boiled egg. Lick or bite, it's up to you, but be sure to savor the rich, luscious ooze of each rivlet of yolk as it slides downt he shaft of the plesantly rigid asparagus spear. It all depends on how you look at things and it *always* pays to play with your food ;-).

                            OMG, Midwest values and (bad) food porn in the same post? Too early on a Sunday morning.

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                Diva, written any paperback books lately? Maybe a new career awaits!

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  DD--this sounds like some of Ruth Reichel's reviews!!!

                                  (drool coming out of my mouth....)

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    "And as far as breakfast being sinful and sexy, goodness, have you missed the boat."

                                    My boat travels at night and is soaked with wine, women and song.

                                    1. re: stevewag23

                                      No, more likely that your ship came in and you were at the airport ;-)

                                      Breakfast can be a most delightful and satisfying end to an indulgent evening. Try it, you might find you like it.

                                      1. re: stevewag23

                                        'My boat travels at night and is soaked with wine, women and song'
                                        Love that!
                                        Don't forget the models..

                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                            in previous posts of stevewag..all he talks about is the 'models' and that's what I was ribbing him about..

                                            btw, you really should write a food porn book!

                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              Don't discriminate against model girls. Its unfair and very 90's.

                                      2. re: stevewag23

                                        a greasy breakfast with a beer at Waterfront probably doesn't "fit" with wholesome but after a hard night, that place and meal hits the spot...

                                  2. re: RB Hound

                                    oooh Le Peep! I miss it too! what on earth happened to them? they had locations out my way in both Encinitas and Del Mar (Carmel Valley/Torrey Pines High School)....

                                    Also, whats with people's devotion to the Broken Yolk? I have to admit I've only eaten at the new one up here in Carlsbad, but it was positively a sub-par meal and experience...

                                    it sounds like the OP is looking for more central San Diego eats, but my list up North for good options are:
                                    Naked Cafe - Solana Beach
                                    St. Tropez - Encinitas
                                    Ki's - Cardiff
                                    T's Cafe - Solana Beach

                                    1. re: tundrah

                                      I think Le Peep had a 2-tier system (franchise or national), and I think many of the franchisees got out of the business for whatever reason. Just speculating.

                                      I see that Poway is still listed as a "national restaurant", though even 3 years ago I remember seeing comments that the person that owned that franchise wanted to get out of the business. Maybe the company took it over from him.

                              2. re: Beach Chick

                                Cavaillon is actually in Santaluz, not Carmel Valley.

                              3. In no particular order:

                                Cafe Chloe - East Village
                                Ortega's Cocina - Ocean Beach
                                Original Pancake House - Kearny Mesa
                                Farmhouse Cafe - University Heights
                                Wired Cafe - Golden Triangle
                                Bread & Cie - Hillcrest
                                Super Cocina - City Heights

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Josh

                                  excellent list Josh..
                                  Haven't been to any of them for breakfast..good weekend to start!

                                2. A couple of good breakfast places I'd add:

                                  Park House
                                  Broken Yolk

                                  1. I like:
                                    Mary Jane's Coffee Cup Eggs Benedict
                                    Isabel Cruz's Coffee Cup Breakfast Tamales
                                    Pacifica Breeze Cafe's Huevos Rancheros & Breeze Benedict
                                    Influx's Bowl of Yogurt
                                    Cafe Chloe's Savory Custard
                                    Pho Cow Cali's Pho Ga (Rice noodles w/chicken soup)
                                    Cavaillon (all that Sunday brunch offers)

                                    I'd like to try:
                                    Super Cocina's Chilaquiles
                                    Kitchen 1540's Almond Crusted French Toast & Meyer Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes
                                    Jsix's House-Smoked Salmon
                                    Farmhouse Cafe (everything)

                                    1. I don't think any list of breakfast places in San Diego would be complete without going to Cafe 222 downtown (222 Island Ave). I lived in the Gaslamp District for 5 years and ate there at least once a month...awesome food....the biggest question I'd have is if to go with "Joe's special", the orange-pecan pancakes, or the peanut butter & banana french toast....just thinking about it now makes me hungry and to want to get on a plane to fly back (from FL) to go get some....

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Cobbo

                                        Been twice now to Cafe 222 and never understood why a lot fo people are so excited about it. It is not bad but nothing special compared to many other places in SD

                                      2. Harry's La Jolla
                                        Lelani's PB
                                        Brian's Hillcrest

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: mmjgam

                                          Changing the direction of this thread slightly, a few years ago I was IN San Diego and ate in two breakfast spots that I thought were great...am coming back this weekend and was hoping to re-find them but can't remember the names. One was a very laid back place near the beach, just down the road from an amusement park. The other was more downtown, in a somewhat hilly area and it had an older feel, had great cinammon rolls. Any of this ring a bell?

                                          1. re: bigplate

                                            The latter place you mention is Hob Nob Hill. Not sure about the former.

                                            1. re: Josh

                                              Thanks--does this place have chandeliers? My daughter seems to remember that it did.

                                              1. re: bigplate

                                                Not sure. I went there twice and didn't like it.

                                            2. re: bigplate

                                              Is it possible that the first place was called "World Famous?"

                                              1. re: bigplate

                                                The amusement park must be Belmont Park in South Mission Beach. There are a number of breakfast spots frequented by locals in the bars on Ventura Pl., just north of the roller coaster.

                                                1. re: Captain Jack

                                                  You get to the amusement park by taking a busy road that deadends right at the intersection where the amusement park is, which is on a street parallel to the beach. The restaurant I am thinking of requires making a right turn at that intersection and then is/was a few blocks down on the right.

                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                      Definitely Mission. Saska's would be on the left.

                                                      1. re: Josh

                                                        Missions sounds right. We enjoyed it back then. Is it still good?

                                                        1. re: bigplate

                                                          I haven't been there in many years. I'm not much of a breakfast eater, so I'm the wrong person to ask.

                                                          1. re: bigplate

                                                            The long wait at the Mission (or any of its locations) is definitely not worth the wait. Ditto for the Broken Yolk.

                                                            As already stated, going out for breakfast is quite popular in SD and many people insist on waiting for food that is subpar. I'd rather hold off until lunch and get decent food withut battling crowds.

                                                2. Places for breakfast near the roller coaster might be The Mission on Mission Boulevard or else The Eggery which is just northwest of The Catamaran (where Tony Roma's is). I've never eaten at the former but the Eggery makes awesome apple pancakes and Eggs Benedict.

                                                  The big cinnamon roll place has got to be Hob Nob Hill, I would think. I think it's just OK but their baked goods are delicious! Another good place for breakfast near Balboa Park is Jimmy Carters. They have a delicious Chilaquile plate that I love and my husband likes their pancakes. Service can be meh...

                                                  1. You cannot beat the Brigantine in Del Mar...great food, good service and a view that will knock you silly. Oh, yeah...and the prices are reasonable.

                                                    1. My Thanks for all your replys. I have begun putting together a list from your replys and recall some of these names as places that were on my long-lost list. The Cottage, Mission Cup Café, Perry's Café, The Eggery and I am pretty sure Brians' American Eatery was the Googie style café with great, food, service and so many omelets – 12 maybe. My new list below has many “Must try” places and that is a good thing. Thanks again to you all.

                                                      The Cottage (8 omelets, Fresh baked goods & Homemade Granola)
                                                      7702 Fay Ave.
                                                      La Jolla, CA 92037
                                                      Tel: (858) 454-8409

                                                      Mission Cup Cafe
                                                      1109 Wall St
                                                      La Jolla, CA 92037
                                                      (858) 551-8514

                                                      Perry's Café
                                                      4610 Pacific Hwy )
                                                      San Diego, CA 92110
                                                      (619) 291-7121

                                                      Ricky's Restaurant (World Famous Apple" pancake
                                                      )2181 Hotel Circle
                                                      San Diego, CA 92108
                                                      (619) 291-4498

                                                      The Waffle Spot
                                                      1333 Hotel Cir S
                                                      San Diego, CA 92108
                                                      (619) 297-2231

                                                      Naked Café
                                                      3 locations

                                                      Cafe Chloe
                                                      721 Ninth Ave #1, San Diego CA 92101,

                                                      St. Tropez – Encinitas
                                                      4 locations

                                                      Ki's – Cardiff
                                                      2591 S Highway 101
                                                      Cardiff, CA 92007
                                                      (760) 436-5236

                                                      T’s Cafe
                                                      271 N Hwy 101
                                                      Solana Beach, CA 92075
                                                      (858) 755-7642

                                                      Ortega's Cocina - Ocean Beach
                                                      Newport Ave

                                                      Farmhouse Cafe
                                                      2121 Adams Ave.
                                                      San Diego, CA 92116
                                                      (619) 269-9662

                                                      Wired Cafe Le Bistro
                                                      8935 Towne Centre Dr Ste 110
                                                      San Diego, CA 92122
                                                      (858) 450-0880

                                                      Bread & Cie (Baked goods, Continental breakfast, fruit bowls
                                                      )350 University Avenue
                                                      (between 3rd Ave & Albatross St)
                                                      San Diego, CA 92103
                                                      (619) 683-9322

                                                      Brians' American Eatery
                                                      1451 Washington St
                                                      San Diego, CA 92103
                                                      (619) 296-8268

                                                      The Eggery
                                                      4150 Mission Blvd. #121
                                                      San Diego, CA. 92109
                                                      (858) 274-3122