Whether it's a power breakfast before work or fuel for a full day of visiting San Diego's best attractions, grab a newspaper and some friends and head out for the most important meal of the day.
San Diego is known as one of the fittest cities in the United States so those seeking a health-conscious breakfast are in luck. These establishments offer lighter fare such as the granola or grilled vegetable omelet with egg whites at The Cottage or vanilla almond oatmeal brulee at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery.
Calories not a concern? Go for it and order the Coast Toast (french bread soaked in eggs and whipping cream, then cooked on a griddle) at Brockton Villa or griddled meatloaf with eggs at Hash House a Go Go.
Pancake lovers will go bananas for the Clairecakes, fluffy pancakes spiced with cinnamon, at Claire's on Cedros. The apple pancake at Richard Walker's Pancake House, is more like an actual "cake" with heaps of glazed apples on top.
If you don't fee like dressing up, you're in luck. Breakfast, in line with our beach culture, is always a casual meal here in San Diego. It's also the most reasonably-priced meal of the day. Take advantage of these 10 best breakfast restaurants. Even if you sleep until noon, there are a few on this list that will still whip up an omelet for you.
As you might guess from its name, this lovely cafe specializes in omelets perfectly prepared with a wide variety of ingredients. The famous dozen-egg omelet comes topped with chili and a pile of potatoes on the side. Eat it all and you pay a fraction of the original price and win a free T-shirt! Of course, there are other options, like pancakes and waffles, and Mexican-style breakfast burritos. There are multiple locations around San Diego, however, Pacific Beach is the original. Order online if you want take-out and be prepared for decent-sized portions that could be your only meal of the day. (858-270-9655)
Fig Tree Cafe
Fig Tree Cafe is an unassuming house turned popular breakfast spot in the beach community of Pacific Beach. Ingredients are locally sourced or even home-grown and transformed into authentic California cuisine at a reasonable price. Try french toast stuffed with marscarpone cheese, mangos and strawberries, house-made granola and yogurt, or a shrimp frittata. Guests rave about the gluten-free bread which means that the famous french toast is an option for people avoiding gluten. Try the GF bananas foster or strawberries and cream french toast or any of the GF sandwiches at lunch. Everything is cooked to order. The patio is also pet-friendly. ((858) 274-2233)
Claire's on Cedros
Claire's on Cedros, located in Solana Beach, is an award-winning breakfast and lunch spot. The in-house bakery produces breakfast delights such as scones, cookies, muffins and more. The rest of the breakfast and lunch menu is made up of bistro classics using the finest, locally-sourced ingredients available. The goal of Claire's is to make each diner feel like they're at home. Claire's is the first LEED Platinum certified restaurant in San Diego for use of eco-friendly building materials and continues to implement sustainable practices. It's in a great location at the end of Cedros near the Amtrak station and shops. (858-259-8597)
This Hawaiian-themed, no-frills eatery is revered for its hearty portions, low prices and amiable atmosphere. Late-risers appreciate that breakfast is served from open to close, and burgers get raves as well. If you're lucky, you'll snag a table outside, where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the beach. Don't let long lines deter you as they move quickly. Some claim that Kono's Cafe has the best breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches that they've ever had and at usually under $5, they are worth a try. If you're avoiding eggs, egg-beaters are on offer as an alternative. Kids are welcome. (858-483-1669)
It's hard not to relax over breakfast at Brockton Villa, while gazing out on to the gorgeous La Jolla Cove. This historic building maintains a casual, cottage feel reminiscent of dining at a friend's beach house. Go for the Coast Toast, Brockton Villa's proprietary french toast recipe (french bread soaked in whipping cream), or pulled pork chilaquiles. The Crab Ipanema (crab benedict) is also famous. Indulge in a fresh orange juice mimosa or two. Kids have their own reasonably priced breakfast menu featuring pint-sized portions of popular dishes. Service is friendly, too. Then, walk off your breakfast at La Jolla Cove. ((858) 454-7393)
Richard Walker's Pancake House
Richard Walker's Pancake House, located in downtown San Diego near the Convention Center (just a quick walk away0, has received numerous local accolades for their breakfasts overall, with high praise for the pancakes, as the name might suggest. The baked apple pancake is legendary, featuring a heaping pile of baked granny smith apples topped with a Saigon cinnamon glaze. Also, available are traditional pancakes, omelettes, waffles, crepes and more. Also not to be missed is the corned beef hash. Portions are big, service is prompt, and the gourmet drip coffee is a hit with patrons. The lines typically move quickly. (6192317777)
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, located in Hillcrest, is sort of how you'd imagine breakfast with the Jetsons to be, with a retro interior full of vibrant colors. Try the Sandwich I Am, which is an Udi's soft pretzel roll with eggs, cheese and sausage served with a side of smoked cheddar hollandaise. Equally tempting are the pineapple upside down pancakes or sticky bun french toast. Snooze serves breakfast and brunch, however, if standard morning fare isn't your thing, a hamburger or fish tacos should do nicely. Snooze recycles and composts an impressive 90% of their waste. They look for the same level of commitment from their suppliers, too. There's metered parking outside or park in a lot nearby. (6195003344)
Hash House A Go Go
Modern diner Hash House A Go Go specializes in BIG "Twisted Farm Food" so bring your appetite. For breakfast or brunch (served a la carte), indulge in a plate of hash with meatloaf, salmon, or corned beef. Try flapjacks such as the traditional buttermilk variety, or something different like blackberry-granola or butterscotch-almond. Nursing a hangover? Order the "O'Hare of the Dog," a 24-oz Budweiser in a brown bag and a side of bacon. Lunch and dinner choices are just as mammoth including a one-pound burger stuffed with mashed potatoes and bacon, or go for the stellar sage fried chicken, a show-stopping dish. (619-298-4646)
Grab some complimentary coffee and coffee cake and leg out the weekend wait, because the food will be worth it. Recipient of accolades locally and nation-wide, breakfast, is what The Cottage is known for and is very popular with locals. The light, airy interior and outside patio both provide family-friendly, pleasant dining space. Stay for the oatmeal pancakes, grilled vegetable omelet and Baja chicken hash. Take home some baked goods and granola with you, which are for sale inside. Kids receive a menu to color and Wikki Stix, usually. The Cottage is open for dinner seasonally and has a cookbook available, too. ((858) 454-8409)
This is one place where waiting for a table proves worthwhile - The Mission is the local favorite for hearty, unusual breakfasts and lunches. Fill up on Chino-Latino and American dishes like the Zen Breakfast (scrambled egg whites, braised tofu, brown rice, and lightly grilled veggies), the Desayuno Burrito (tortilla filled with potatoes, eggs, cheese, beans, and chipotle cream), strawberry-granola pancakes, and roast beef hash and eggs. Great coffee; wonderful quesadillas, wraps and tacos for lunch. Prices are reasonable and portions are huge with some saying a stack of pancakes can feed multiple people. The Mission is also very kid-friendly. (619-220-8992)
About Katie Dillon
Katie Dillon originally moved to the seaside community of La Jolla to attend UC San Diego. When the opportunity presented itself, she and her husband set off for a 7 year stint overseas as expats in London and Hong Kong. After traveling the world, they returned to the La Jolla sunshine, with a young daughter in tow.
Katie now writes a lifestyle site called La Jolla Mom and is the author of a book called, “Flying With Kids.” Her work can be seen on NBC San Diego, Red Tricycle, Yahoo! Shine and Have Family Will Travel, a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts blog.
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