Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jan 30, 2013 03:04 PM

Breakfast Recs Needed!

I am going to be in the area for just under a week and I'm hoping to be directed to some fabulous, local breakfast spots! Anything goes, eggs, oatmeal, veggies bowls, smoothies, real maple syrup, homemade corned beef hash and other fun homemade stuff, seafood...the list keeps going. I do have some food allergies that rule out Chinatown, unfortunately, but otherwise anything goes! If you have recs for any other meals, again local spots, not looking for national chain food, those would be great too!Thanks in advance for your help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Twice a year visitor to SF here. Sweet Woodruff has some mighty fine Irish oatmeal going on. Dave MP likes the oatmeal at Sentinel: enough to list it as one of his top bites of the year. Perhaps you could do an oatmeal-off!

      The Mill is fun if you like funky toast flavours for breaky (though I'm not sure when the reno will be done). Blue Bottle Mint Plaza is a great place for a solo breaky with fine coffee and excellent people watching. I like their savoury egg dishes which seem to change daily.

      Also liked farm:table enough to go twice but it does get mixed reviews here. Very small with communal seating.

      9 Replies
      1. re: grayelf

        THANK YOU SO MUCH grayelf!! Looking into these places now! Have a wonderful day! Hopefully it's not blowing a gale where you are =)!

        1. re: eenie1

          Maybe tell us where you're staying or how far you're willing to go? Most parts of the city have their own good places.

          Personally, I like Tartine, Dottie's, Brenda's, ...

          Hmm, now I'm hesitant to mention others since other places I went was usually for brunch and I'm not 100% sure had breakfast daily!

          So, weekday? Weekend?

          1. re: Violatp

            I'm staying at Fisherman's Wharf and will be all over the city over several days, including a weekend, so anywhere is good! Thank you!!

            1. re: eenie1

              Whatever you do, avoid eating anywhere at the Wharf...

              Major tourist trap with incredibly mediocre food!

        2. re: grayelf

          Sign in the window at The Mill says the opening is targeted for February 4 at 736 Divisadero.

          1. re: Cynsa

            Woot, nothing like on-the-ground (or in the window) intel, thanks, Cynsa.

            For the OP, the Mill is really close to Alamo Square and the famed Painted Ladies if you want to check that out with a piece of delicious toast with almond butter and a cup of Four Barrel in your paws.

            SF strikes me as a pretty breaky/brunch happy town which can lead to lineups on the weekends especially, so it might be helpful to know if you are willing to wait. Of my suggestions, Blue Bottle Mint Plaza is the most likely to have a lineup.

            1. re: grayelf

              All of mine will have a line. There aren't many worth going to that don't, right?

              If something a little grimier is okay, I had a great time at the Sycamore on Mission. It's basically a dive bar and it's kinda grimy with an equally grimy patio but they have some tasty food (not top notch but reasonably priced and they try to be inventive) and a bottomless mimosa poured by a VERY generous and kind server. Mostly communal tables so it's easy and fun to end up meeting and chatting with other people.

              Edited to add, the coffee at the Sycamore is awful. Like, really bad. Don't bother with it; just get more mimosa.

              There might be a wait but not a crazy wait.

              Zazie's in Cole Valley is great, too, and has a beautiful patio, but the wait is loooooong.

              1. re: Violatp

                Really liked the carnitas benedictas at Sycamore, good call. They had a nice veggie scramble too the day we were there. Didn't indulge in the mimosas (though tempting) but had an outstanding beer on tap. We sat inside at our own little table in a sunny spot by the window. Wish I was there now...

              2. re: grayelf

                Saw that there is a new date for the Mill opening in another article: Feb 12 now per near the bottom.

                I'm keen to try dimsumgirl's rec of HRD as well, seems like a good place to go on a weekday. Am I remembering right that they are opening a second one?

          2. SF does like to line up for brunch. But weekday breakfasts at a lot of the same places are much easier. Our favorite is Plow, where we generally walk in and sit at the counter most weekdays versus the 1+ hour wait on weekends.
            For weekend brunches I tend to suggest places that take reservations like Nopa, Zuni, Foreign Cinema, etc. But I am anti-line and your tolerance may vary.

            1. Thank you so much for all the great recs! If anyone has any more, please send them along! Lots of eating to do while in town!

              1 Reply
              1. re: eenie1

                We love HRD at 3rd and Bryant. Just a little hole in the wall but oh so good!

              2. Here's a list of where we ate!

                Market Bar at the Ferry Building - dinner & breakfast - both delicious!
                TCHO Chocolate - YUM - does this count as a meal? =)
                Blue Bottle Coffee - Ferry Bldg, Mint Plaza & the Kiosk
                Kulettos - lunch - beautifully plated & yummy food
                Rose Pistola - Delicious - great service - my pork chop was nice and juicy!
                Rosamunde Sausage - Haight St - Vegan Italian with peppers & onions was so good we ate there twice!
                Breakfast at the Ferry Building on farmer's market day was a ball. Also ate there Sunday. Acme bread, yogurt, and a fresh apple, carrot, kale, ginger juice from Village Market was perfect, especially Sunday when we were able to sit outside next to the water in the wonderful warm sun!
                The Girl and the Fig - Sonoma - brunch - outrageously delicious - I had the omelette special (carmelized onion, bacon, and they added spinach for me - darn thing was HUGE) and a virgin Pimms - service was amazing - highly
                Whole Foods in San Rafael for salads to eat in our room when we were too tired after driving to Sonoma, St. Helena & Yountville to think about going out.
                Aliottos Waterside Cafe - Casual & touristy delicious half crab & shrimp meal. YUM!
                Scoma - salad was a bit overdressed but all nice fresh spring greens and lettuces and a whole steamed crab. I was stuffed!! Service was fabulous, atmosphere unbeatable. Like time warping back to the 70's!
                I have a long list of food allergies and everywhere we went waiters and chef's (and sausage cooks!) were helpful and understanding. Everyone took time to discuss and make sure my meals were safe. Truly a wonderful experience! Can't wait to go back! I'll post again if I've forgotten anything! Thank you again for all the rec's!

                2 Replies
                1. re: eenie1

                  Thanks for reporting back. May I ask what the vegan product was at Rosamunde Sausage? Board gets frequent vegetarian requests and you are the first I believe to report on their non-meat offering.

                  1. re: ceekskat

                    I don't have the full list of ingredients but the one I had was a vegan Italian that just a tofu sausage that looked and had the texture of a real sausage with a beautiful spiciness to it! They didn't have the vegan apple sage shown on the website but they did also have the vegan kielbasa. I was thrilled to find that they have a location in Brooklyn which I can get to as a long day trip! Link is Highly recommend this place too. We had two different people working the grill on our visits and both were fabulous!