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Jan 6, 2013 08:01 PM

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


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

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  1. 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.

    1. 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:

      1 Reply
      1. re: grayelf

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          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. 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

            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. 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:

            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

              That's an unpleasant drive at morning rush hour.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                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.