Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you plan to spend most of your daylight hours hiking, biking, swimming or surfing in San Diego. Fortunately, there are breakfast options for every taste, style and diet in San Diego. Whether you're looking for something sweet or savory, near the beach or inland, dog-friendly or more formal, there's a place for you. Here are eight breakfast spots that come highly recommended by San Diego locals.
Brunching at the trendy Breakfast Republic is a must for visitors, says Edna Gutierrez, public relations manager at the San Diego Tourism Authority. "The breakfasts are amazing combinations," she says. Indeed, Breakfast Republic is known for serving creative adaptations of classic American dishes, like Oreo cookie pancakes, a Vietnamese chicken wings breakfast bowl and bacon mac 'n' cheese. Can't settle on a dish? Try the pancake or French toast sampler to mix and match flavors.
[Read: 6 Breweries to Visit in San Diego.]
Mark Peak, chief concierge at The US Grant, says this restaurant is "very casual [and] hip ... with a good vibe for everyone, including families." There are two locations, North Park and Liberty Station, and both serve breakfast from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
If you're in the mood for an unpretentious, diner-style brunch, Olympic Cafe in North Park is a good choice. A local mainstay for 25 years, this Greek eatery exudes a real neighborhood feel. Brett Hamblan, chief concierge at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, says the friendly staff always remembers him when he walks in the door. Try the breakfast gyro filled with scrambled eggs, traditional gyro meat and grilled onions, and topped with tzatziki sauce.
Vegetarian options are available, too. Breakfast is served 7 a.m. to noon daily.
Snooze A.M. Eatery
For a twist on classic breakfast food, Snooze A.M. Eatery is a "hot spot ... that should be on [your] radar," says Justin Robbins, chief concierge at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. This restaurant has a wide selection of eggs Benedict, such as chile verde with pulled pork or a chilaquiles version with barbacoa beef and poblano hollandaise. It also serves vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as lighter fare like egg white omelets and scrambles, and a quinoa breakfast bowl.
Robbins recommends getting there early, as Snooze does not accept reservations and the wait can be 45 minutes to an hour. Snooze has two locations – one in Hillcrest and the other in Del Mar – and serves breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Fig Tree Cafe
Dining at Fig Tree Cafe is as much about the quality and flavor of the food – they use all-natural eggs, homegrown rosemary and produce from a local family farm – as it is about the ambiance. Fig Tree Cafe's original location in Pacific Beach is an old cottage with a breezy, dog-friendly patio in the shade of a large tree. Since then, Fig Tree has grown to include locations in Hillcrest (with a modern, open kitchen) and Liberty Station (with rustic wine barrels around the indoor bar). Try the rich, sweet-stuffed French toast, with strawberries, mangoes and mascarpone cheese. Prefer something savory? The spicy sausage omelet is hearty and full of flavor.
All three Fig Tree Cafe locations serve breakfast every day, though hours vary.
The Great Maple
The Great Maple is a modern American eatery that uses seasonal ingredients to create artfully plated dishes served in a bright, open and relaxed environment. If you're in the mood for something decadent, try the maple bacon doughnuts, the popovers or the prosciutto flatbread. For something healthier, try the toast with egg whites or the vegan hash with sweet potatoes.
Located in Hillcrest, the Great Maple serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays and until 2:30 p.m. on weekends.
The Mission draws in customers with Latin-infused dishes like chilaquiles and breakfast burritos, as well as flavorful vegetarian options. Christopher Jorgens, chief concierge at the Hotel Del Coronado, recommends the French toast, which is made with cinnamon bread and topped with a berry puree. "It's the best," he says.
The Mission also displays work from local artists at its locations in North Park, Mission Beach and the East Village. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Cottage is housed in an idyllic bungalow that reflects the laid-back vibe of La Jolla's beach culture. Hamblan says, "Their service and food preparation is just top notch." Sit inside or on the garden patio and try one of the four omelet options or the lemon ricotta pancakes.
The Cottage serves breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cafe 21 is known for its farm-to-table, locally sourced, organic and hormone-free fare. This restaurant gets a lot of buzz for its breakfasts, says Peyton Pierce, concierge at the Andaz San Diego. Of particular mention are the cast iron skillet-baked omelets, stuffed crepes and French toast.
[Read: The Best Things to Do in San Diego.]
Cafe 21 has locations in rustic University Heights and upscale Gaslamp Quarter. It serves brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and doesn't take reservations on weekends.
To experience more of what San Diego has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.
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