clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

20 Essential San Diego Breakfast Spots

From classic coffee shops to trendy pastries

View as Map

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t waste it on soggy cereal. In a city where the choices are many — think everything from a classic egg dishes and avocado toast to artisan pastries and French crepes — this list highlights old-school haunts and hip A.M. hangouts across town. Make your first meal of the day a delicious one with Eater’s guide to these 20 essential San Diego breakfast spots.

Leave your favorite breakfast eatery in the comments or tweet us your suggestions.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Café Topes

Copy Link

Carlsbad’s photogenic Café Topes has a wide-ranging menu that covers burritos, Benedicts, sandwiches, and scrambles. For something sweet, try a dirty cinnamon roll or the blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes topped with tangy lemon curd, blueberry compote, and whipped ricotta.

Pipes Cafe

Copy Link

With its laid-back vibe, surf decor, and a steady line out the door most days, this iconic North County café is the place to come for bomb breakfast burritos and scrambles. For those in a lunch mood, there are plenty of burgers, sandwiches, and salads to choose from.

Great Maple

Copy Link

Fuel up on silver dollar pancakes, maple bacon donuts, and scramble melts at this modern brasserie meets classic dinette. For lunch, the BLT and smoked beef brisket sandwich are satiating. Great Maple has locations in Hillcrest and La Jolla, or, if you’re in the LA area, Newport Beach and Pasadena.

Harry's Coffee Shop

Copy Link

Harry’s Coffee shop has been around since 1960 and boasts the title of La Jolla’s oldest diner. Patrons enjoy revered yet straightforward all-day breakfast favorites like eggs Benedict, scrambles, pancakes, and French toast.

The Original Pancake House

Copy Link

This is the place to go when you’re craving straightforward, comforting breakfast in a classic diner atmosphere. As the name implies, pancakes are the specialty, from buttermilk to Swedish, blueberry, and potato, but the restaurant also offers waffles, crepes, and egg-based favorites.

Wayfarer Bread & Pastry

Copy Link

Baker extraordinaire Crystal White’s destination bakery is famous for its delicious artisan pastries — current picks include a gianduja and raspberry jam cream bun, strawberry pistachio croissant, and a chorizo sandwich for lunch.

Kono's Surf Club Cafe

Copy Link

All-day breakfasts “like mom used to make,” generous portions and ocean views (Kono’s occupies a prime spot beside Crystal Pier) have kept lines out the door since 1991 at this Pacific Beach favorite.

Farmer's Bottega

Copy Link

Farmer’s Bottega offers a delicious breakfast menu with diverse options that will satisfy most cravings. The savory side of their menu is perfect for those who are ready to eat something lunch-y while the rest of the group is still on breakfast.

Nomad Donuts

Copy Link

Dubbed the best doughnuts in San Diego last year by San Diego Magazine, Nomad has must-try flavors that change frequently but could include creative takes like chocolate potato chip and orange cream chamomile. The North Park restaurant recently expanded its breakfast menu, which includes breakfast sandwiches made with their own wood-fired bagels.

Official Image [Nomad Donuts]

Breakfast Republic

Copy Link

The flagship location of a booming breakfast brand which has multiplied across the county and beyond is still humming in North Park where brunch-loving San Diegans flock for its plates of creative comfort food and daytime cocktails.

Dining room at Breakfast Republic North Park

Hash House a Go Go

Copy Link

This award-winning O.G. breakfast spot serves up generously portioned plates big enough to satisfy the largest of appetites. Andy’s World Famous Sage Fried Chicken is a must-have at this eatery, and the pancakes will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Atypical Waffle Company

Copy Link

Caramel-crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, Atypical’s menu offers both sweet and savory waffles, with toppings ranging from goat cheese crumble and candied bacon, to fruit, honey and jam.

Little Lion Cafe

Copy Link

This OB neighborhood gem, run by the third generation of a legendary local culinary family, is ideally located for a pre or post-morning meal after a walk along Sunset Cliffs. Served Tuesday through Friday (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Little Lion’s daytime menu highlights include the salmon toast and a glow bowl with hummus, fried cauliflower, roasted cashews, and more.

Hob Nob Hill

Copy Link

A pure dose of dining nostalgia, this San Diego landmark has been serving up generous portions of classic American comfort food since the mid-1940s. With an expansive menu, dishes like the homemade roast beef hash and traditional eggs Benedict have kept customers coming back for more.

Morning Glory

Copy Link

The first brunch entry from nightlife pros Consortium Holdings has been an overwhelming success, garnering recognition from the Michelin Guide and drawing crowds. Its quirky menu of global breakfast hits ranges from pancakes and steak & eggs to omelettes and breakfast dim sum.

Cafe 21 Gaslamp

Copy Link

With two San Diego locations and a tasty breakfast and brunch menu — with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options — Cafe 21 offers everything from overnight oats to a chicken crepe cake with pickled onions and greens.

Cafe 222

Copy Link

Terryl Gavre’s iconic, retro diner showcases her serious baking chops and love for over-the-top breakfasts and pastries, with inventive spins on American comfort classics like bennies, chicken fried steak and eggs, and Cafe 222’s famous pumpkin waffles. Healthier fare features too, like fresh fruit and oatmeal. 

The Mission / East Village

Copy Link

One of San Diego’s longest standing breakfast brands, The Mission is still a popular morning spot for menu favorites like papas con chorizo, the zen breakfast, and its famous banana blackberry pancakes.

Facebook

Tartine

Copy Link

A staple for Crown Islanders since 2001, quaint neighborhood spot Tartine does a superb selection of European style fresh pastries, croissants, and scones — plus bistro classics like a slice of Ham and Gruyère cheese quiche, or charcuterie and pâté plates for mid-morning. 

Talavera Azul

Copy Link

With a very famous sister restaurant in Tijuana, this warm and friendly South Bay spot showcases traditional Mexican breakfasts including excellent takes on classic dishes like chilequiles and huevos rancheros, both available in several variations.

Café Topes

Carlsbad’s photogenic Café Topes has a wide-ranging menu that covers burritos, Benedicts, sandwiches, and scrambles. For something sweet, try a dirty cinnamon roll or the blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes topped with tangy lemon curd, blueberry compote, and whipped ricotta.

Pipes Cafe

With its laid-back vibe, surf decor, and a steady line out the door most days, this iconic North County café is the place to come for bomb breakfast burritos and scrambles. For those in a lunch mood, there are plenty of burgers, sandwiches, and salads to choose from.

Great Maple

Fuel up on silver dollar pancakes, maple bacon donuts, and scramble melts at this modern brasserie meets classic dinette. For lunch, the BLT and smoked beef brisket sandwich are satiating. Great Maple has locations in Hillcrest and La Jolla, or, if you’re in the LA area, Newport Beach and Pasadena.

Harry's Coffee Shop

Harry’s Coffee shop has been around since 1960 and boasts the title of La Jolla’s oldest diner. Patrons enjoy revered yet straightforward all-day breakfast favorites like eggs Benedict, scrambles, pancakes, and French toast.

The Original Pancake House

This is the place to go when you’re craving straightforward, comforting breakfast in a classic diner atmosphere. As the name implies, pancakes are the specialty, from buttermilk to Swedish, blueberry, and potato, but the restaurant also offers waffles, crepes, and egg-based favorites.

Wayfarer Bread & Pastry

Baker extraordinaire Crystal White’s destination bakery is famous for its delicious artisan pastries — current picks include a gianduja and raspberry jam cream bun, strawberry pistachio croissant, and a chorizo sandwich for lunch.

Kono's Surf Club Cafe

All-day breakfasts “like mom used to make,” generous portions and ocean views (Kono’s occupies a prime spot beside Crystal Pier) have kept lines out the door since 1991 at this Pacific Beach favorite.

Farmer's Bottega

Farmer’s Bottega offers a delicious breakfast menu with diverse options that will satisfy most cravings. The savory side of their menu is perfect for those who are ready to eat something lunch-y while the rest of the group is still on breakfast.

Nomad Donuts

Official Image [Nomad Donuts]

Dubbed the best doughnuts in San Diego last year by San Diego Magazine, Nomad has must-try flavors that change frequently but could include creative takes like chocolate potato chip and orange cream chamomile. The North Park restaurant recently expanded its breakfast menu, which includes breakfast sandwiches made with their own wood-fired bagels.

Official Image [Nomad Donuts]

Breakfast Republic

Dining room at Breakfast Republic North Park

The flagship location of a booming breakfast brand which has multiplied across the county and beyond is still humming in North Park where brunch-loving San Diegans flock for its plates of creative comfort food and daytime cocktails.

Dining room at Breakfast Republic North Park

Hash House a Go Go

This award-winning O.G. breakfast spot serves up generously portioned plates big enough to satisfy the largest of appetites. Andy’s World Famous Sage Fried Chicken is a must-have at this eatery, and the pancakes will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Atypical Waffle Company