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Best Breakfasts in San Francisco

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Weekend breakfast in San Francisco is notoriously busy, so if the schedule permits, a weekday excursion is a nice way to linger a bit over your omelette or French toast. Fortunately, there's a favorite breakfast joint in every district of San Francisco, so you can dabble in such varied fare as roasted banana French toast, cornmeal pancakes, chicken hash, and beignets.

1. Town's End Restaurant & Bakery

Town's End

SOMA - Embarcadero

Town's End Restaurant & Bakery looks out over the Embarcadero, and feels removed from the busy grid of SOMA. The large, sunny space makes an ideal breakfast location. Morning fare includes standards like omelettes and eggs Benedict, served with the restaurant's own baked goods. Town's End has its own bakery for take-out treats and coffee, too.

2 Townsend Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Telephone: (415) 512-0749

2. Just For You Cafe

Potrero Hill - Third Street/Dogpatch area

Just For You Cafe is a homey space at the foot of Potrero Hill, with beignets and Creole crab cakes on the breakfast board. Their pancakes cross grain barriers, with a selection of buckwheat, oatmeal and cornmeal to choose from. If you like longanisa (the Filipino sausage), Just For You Cafe offers it on the menu, along with homemade breads and grits with your eggs.

732 22nd Street (between 3rd and Tennessee)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Telephone: (415) 647-3033

3. Dottie's True Blue Cafe

Tenderloin - Near Union Square

Dottie's is small, cozy, and busy . . . which accounts for the line that almost always forms on the sidewalk of this Tenderloin favorite. Locals and tourists hang out for the baked goods and cornmeal pancakes, as well as the large omelettes and egg dishes that make up the standard breakfast menu. Tables turn over quickly but on weekends especially, the wait can still be long.

522 Jones (at Geary)
San Francisco CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 885-2767

4. Zazie

Cole Valley

If your timing is good, you can enjoy breakfast in Zazie's charming, tree-shaded patio in back. Zazie serves organic milk, free-range eggs, and a blend of standard and eclectic breakfast fare. The menu is suited for experimentation, with items like lemon ricotta pancakes and "Pain Paradise" -- cinnamon challah with mascarpone and bing cherries.

941 Cole Street (between Parnassus & Carl)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Telephone: (415) 564-5332

Read Review of Zazie

5. Mama's on Washington Square

North Beach

Like Dottie's True Blue Cafe, Mama's in North Beach is institution enough to command a long breakfast line. Mama's fans will tell you it's worth it -- for Mama's French toast and eggs Benedict. The restaurant is a long-standing San Francisco favorite with locals and with visitors.

1701 Stockton Street (at Filbert)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Telephone: (415) 362-6421

6. Kate's Kitchen

Lower Haight

Kate's is a popular and crowded (on weekends) spot in the Lower Haight area of San Francisco. Expect good execution of standards -- pancakes, eggs, French toast -- and added attractions like hush puppies, or simple fruit and granola fare.

471 Haight Street (near Fillmore)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Telephone: (415) 626-3984

7. Le Zinc

Noe Valley

Le Zinc bistro serves weekend brunch with traditional egg dishes, but also has French-inspired menu items like Croque Monsieur and moules marinieres for anyone who's not in a standard, breakfast mood. The ambiance is bright and lively, and Le Zinc also has an outdoor patio.

4063 24th Street (between Castro & Noe)
San Francisco, CA 94114
Telephone: (415) 647-9400

8. Ella's

Laurel Heights

Ella's, in the mellow enclave of Laurel Heights, is known for its homemade breads and baked goods, as well as classic American dishes. The breakfast menu includes chicken hash, brandied French toast and -- a favorite -- sticky buns. Weekend brunch offers changing creative fare, like strawberry ricotta pancakes.

500 Presidio (at California)
San Francisco, CA 94115
Telephone: (415) 441-5669

9. Eagle Cafe

Pier 39 - Fisherman's Wharf

The Eagle Cafe has an interesting and unlikely history, given its location in the heart of touristy Pier 39. In the 1920s, the building was a hash house on the northern waterfront, serving a mixed crowd of longshoremen, fishermen, bus drivers, and artists. In 1978, the building was moved to Pier 39, where the Eagle Cafe sits today -- with a view of Alcatraz, and with menu items like crab omelettes, grilled banana French toast, and Alaskan Halibut Benedict.

Pier 39, Space A-201
Beach Street & the Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94119
Telephone: (415) 433-3689

10. Pork Store Cafe

The Haight

The Pork Store Cafe is a greasy-spoon favorite in the Haight. Breakfast at the Pork Store is all about crispy hash browns, sausages, and other breakfast grill standards. Good coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice round out the experience. (The Pork Store has a sister restaurant on 16th in the Mission.)

1451 Haight Street (at Masonic)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Telephone: (415) 864-6981

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