Whether it be a power meeting with clients on the way to the office, a reward after a tough workout, or a casual and inexpensive hang with friends, like YOUR MOM ALWAYS SAYS… “Don’t skip BREAKFAST-it’s the MOST IMPORTANT MEAL of the day!” Here is a list of 11 of San Diego’s top breakfast nosheries, for your dining pleasure. Don’t wait for the weekend!
CAFE 222 Downtown
Café 222 has been serving breakfast bright and early seven-days-a-week for more than 20 years. Of course the menu is full of classic breakfast staples like waffles and scrambles, but the “in-house specialties” are where you’ll find the really good stuff, like pork tamales & eggs covered in Mexican gravy, properly shredded corned beef hash, and chicken fried steak & eggs.
HARRY’S COFFEE SHOP La Jolla
There’s a reason Harry’s Coffee Shop is on so many “best diner” lists, including ours. It’s been doing San Diego’s finest take on a proper NYC greasy spoon in La Jolla since before bell-bottoms were a thing. Harry’s opens at 6am, so early birds can get their eggs and bacon on at the crack of dawn, but breakfast is served all day for those who can’t function before noon — which is a whole bunch of you. It’s famous for The B.W. Benny, made from a golden waffle with bacon inside and out, plus grilled ham, poached eggs, and topped with hollandaise sauce.
FIG TREE CAFE Multiple locations
The Fig Tree Café has a trio of locations to satisfy your breakfast cravings. Since it only uses the freshest local produce, eggs from a family owned ranch in Ramona, and other humane-raised items; chowing down at Fig Tree might be the most ethical thing you do all week. For all of you vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free types, Fig Tree has you more than covered — though you’ll miss the joy that is ordering a side of Man Candy: thick bacon with brown sugar and paprika.
BRIAN’S 24 Downtown
It doesn’t matter if its 4am or 4pm, its always breakfast time at Brian’s 24. It’s got everything from fried chicken and Belgian waffles, to Baja carne asada omelettes and breakfast burgers. Brian’s is right off the lobby of the historic St. James Hotel Downtown, so you can waddle upstairs and find a place to sleep off your food coma after you polish off the Pancake Monster: three fried eggs, five hotcakes, four strips of bacon, two sausage patties, an 8oz ham steak, and an 8oz country fried steak on a bed of home fries.
HASH HOUSE A GO- GO Hillcrest
Hash House is not the place you go for a light breakfast; Hash House is the place you go for a breakfast so huge it could feed certain island nations for at least a week. The guys in the kitchen are not only making the best breakfast you’ll ever put in your face; they are also engineering geniuses who are breaking down the barriers between architecture and food by making everything on your plate as deliciously vertical as possible. Now, who’s ready for a fried chicken Benedict (on a biscuit, of course) with maple reduction and bacon mashed potatoes?
SNOOZE Multiple locations
You definitely want to hit Snooze for breakfast. If the breakfast pot pie with its flaky puff-pastry crust drowning in rosemary sausage gravy or the six different dishes covered in hollandaise don’t have you drooling, maybe the following two words will: Pancake. Flights.
THE MISSION Multiple locations
The Mission is a breakfast institution in San Diego. Your menu options are healthy-ish and the perfect mix of traditional breakfast favorites like French toast made with house-baked cinnamon bread on a palette of berry purée and Latin dishes like Mission chilaquiles that have yet to meet a hangover they can’t cure.
KONO’S CAFE Pacific Beach
There are only three reasons why people in PB are awake at the crack of dawn: 1. Surfing. 2. They haven’t even gone to bed yet. 3. Breakfast at Kono’s. You couldn’t ask for a better way to start your day than sitting right on the beach with a giant breakfast burrito in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.
CAFE 21 Multiple locations
Amidst the bars and greasy food in the Gaslamp, Café 21 serves farm-to-table breakfast with a twist. If you’re into drinking your breakfast, there’s a variety of ginormous Bloody Marys on the menu that could be an entire meals themselves, but the omelette are where it’s at. They’re baked in cast-iron skillets and full of stuff like prosciutto, lamb, short ribs, and beet-cured salmon.
BINO’S BISTRO & CREPERIE Hillcrest
Bino’s was a favorite in Coronado for well over a decade, but now you can find its creperie over in Hillcrest. The crepes are served all day and you have your choice of savory crepes like the Jambon & Fromage with Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese & Béchamel, or sweet crepes like the Strawberry Martinique with fresh strawberries, Kahlúa-rum crème sauce & whipped cream. Not into crepes? They also have omelettes, scrambles, and fresh-baked pastries, too.
THE MENU Crown Point
When you’ve been serving giant breakfasts in Pacific Beach for almost 40 years, you must be doing something right. The Menu is a pretty low-key joint; think diner-meets-surf-shop. Come hungry, because it isn’t messing around when it comes to portions — even the açaí bowls are served in a goblet. The menu has everything you could ever want for breakfast, including a chili con carne omelette covered in chili inside and out, and for those ballers-on-a-budget there are daily breakfast specials Mon-Fri.