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"Non-traditional" sit-down breakfast places in SF

r
roz Jan 6, 2013 08:01 PM

Friends:

My SO and I will be in San Francisco for a few days, and he's not a fan of "traditional" breakfasts - pancakes, waffles, eggs. Typically when we travel, we like to eat at good delis or Asian restaurants that are open by 8:00 am and will let you order lunch-type of items. So we're looking for recs for good places in SF that will allow us to eat these kind of meals in the morning.

We'll be staying in Japantown, but will have a car, and are willing to drive pretty far into different places in the city if the food is good. I'm wondering whether any of the Japanese restaurants do a traditional Japanese breakfast where you can get broiled fish and vegetables. Also, how is Washington Bakery for congee, or is there any other place with good congee that folks would recommend? I used to go to Hing Lung every time I was visiting SF, but it seems to be closed.

TIA for any other recs that seem to fit the bill.

-Roz, from Los Angeles

  1. g
    gnomatic Feb 5, 2013 11:01 PM

    If you are here on a weekend, Cassava bakery (http://www.cassavasf.com/) in the outer Richmond does a Japanese breakfast for brunch.

    HRD Coffeeshop (http://www.hrdcoffeeshop.com/) has some interesting breakfast burrito.

    I don't think many restaurants in Japantown are open for breakfast. If you like mochi, Benkyodo Co is open that early, and it's a diner on the other side...but I think they serve pretty standard diner food.

    1. Melanie Wong Jan 24, 2013 06:06 PM

      You might want to head to the Little Saigon neighborhood in the Tenderloin for soup noodles for breakfast. Turtle Tower for pho ga or pho bo in the Hanoi style, Pho 2000 for more southern turn of pho, or Hai Ky Mi Gia for duck leg ho fun.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/887660

      I'll mention that I've had the pho bac at Pho Filet in South El Monte, and I think Turtle Tower does a better job on the stock.
      http://www.chow.com/food-news/102533/...

      1. r
        rubadubgdub Jan 7, 2013 01:54 PM

        Art's Cafe in the Inner Sunset is a gem. It's an old-school, family run eat-in counter with American-Korean specialties such as hashbrown "omelettes" filled with bulgogi.

        Denny's in J-town has spam and eggs. Just saying.

        1. Dave MP Jan 7, 2013 01:35 PM

          I just noticed on the Little Yangon website that they have Burmese breakfast items. Not sure if this is just the same stuff that's on the menu at other times (like mohinga, which is a breakfast dish in Burma), or if there is other stuff too. See: http://littleyangon.com/

          Does anyone have any more details? Although this is in Daly City, it's just over the border from SF and not too far a drive from Japantown if you take the freeway.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dave MP
            Robert Lauriston Jan 7, 2013 02:14 PM

            That's an unpleasant drive at morning rush hour.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Dave MP Jan 7, 2013 02:57 PM

              According to the website, weekend breakfasts start at 9, which might be too late for the OP anyway. But on Saturday and Sunday mornings, that drive is a breeze.

              On weekdays, breakfast doesn't start until 10:30 anyway, at which point traffic would also be fine. But might be too late for the OP's request.

          2. Civil Bear Jan 7, 2013 01:32 PM

            Is dim sum an option.? There are plenty of hole-in-the-wall options that open up early on Clement Street

            1 Reply
            1. re: Civil Bear
              r
              rubadubgdub Jan 7, 2013 02:02 PM

              The chicken and black mushroom jook at Clement Rest is a bargain. It also offers cheap dim sum and some of my favorite Chinese baked goods in SF. There are a couple of tables along the bakery counter, very bare bones.

            2. Robert Lauriston Jan 7, 2013 12:56 PM

              O Izakaya (the Hotel Kabuki's restaurant) and Mum's Home of Shabu Shabu (the Hotel Tomo's restaurant) have Japanese choices at breakfast.

              http://www.jdvhotels.com/pdf/dining/o_izakaya/O_Izakaya_Breakfast.pdf

              http://www.mumssf.com/breakfast.html

              1 Reply
              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                s
                Shibi Feb 5, 2013 06:44 PM

                I just want to add my $0.02 about Mums. Last year we went to Mums for breakfast and it was awful. I had such a huge craving for a Japanese breakfast (fish, miso soup, rice, pickled veggies, the works!) and off we went to Mums. Maybe they were having an 'off' day but, it was so disappointing. I can't recall all of the specifics, but I do remember that the coffee was horrible, our server smelled really bad, and my miso soup was cold. So sad.

              2. grayelf Jan 7, 2013 12:50 PM

                Would Spice Kit work for the OP? I haven't had a chance to go yet, and I can't tell from the pix if it's sitdown or not but the short breakfast menu looks promising: http://www.spicekit.com/media/uploads...

                1 Reply
                1. re: grayelf
                  christinegallary Jan 8, 2013 04:29 PM

                  It's counter service, like their regular menu. There are a few tables off to the side. I like their breakfast as a nice change from American breakfast.

                2. h
                  hyperbowler Jan 6, 2013 08:51 PM

                  Out the Door on Bush, near Japantown, has some good breakfast items, including congee. I'd recommend it, but you might want someone more well versed in this dish to weigh in.

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