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20 Essential San Diego Breakfast Spots

From classic coffee shops to trendy pastries

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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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Café Topes

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3091 Roosevelt St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 434-8673
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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.

2. Pipes Cafe

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123 Liverpool Dr
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007
(760) 632-0056
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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.

3. Great Maple

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8675 Genesee Ave Suite 1200
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 886-7403
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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.

4. Harry's Coffee Shop

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7545 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-7381
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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.

5. The Original Pancake House

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3906 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 565-1740
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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.

6. Wayfarer Bread & Pastry

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5525 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-1924
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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.

7. Kono's Surf Club Cafe

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704 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 483-1669
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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.

8. Farmer's Bottega

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860 W Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 458-9929
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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.

9. Nomad Donuts

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3102 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 431-5000
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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]

10. Breakfast Republic

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2730 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 642-0299
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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

11. Hash House a Go Go

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3628 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 298-4646
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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.

12. Atypical Waffle Company

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3519 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 806-0345
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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.

13. Little Lion Cafe

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1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 756-6921
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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.

14. Hob Nob Hill

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2271 1st Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-8176
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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.

15. Morning Glory

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550 W Date St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 629-0302
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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.

16. Cafe 21 Gaslamp

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802 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 795-0721
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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.

17. Cafe 222

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222 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 236-9902
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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. 

18. The Mission / East Village

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1250 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-7662
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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.

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19. Tartine

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1106 1st St
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-4323
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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. 

20. Talavera Azul

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365 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 427-6476
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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.

1. Café Topes

3091 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, CA 92008

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.

3091 Roosevelt St
Carlsbad, CA 92008

2. Pipes Cafe

123 Liverpool Dr, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

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.

123 Liverpool Dr
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

3. Great Maple

8675 Genesee Ave Suite 1200, San Diego, CA 92122

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.

8675 Genesee Ave Suite 1200
San Diego, CA 92122

4. Harry's Coffee Shop

7545 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

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.

7545 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

5. The Original Pancake House

3906 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

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.

3906 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

6. Wayfarer Bread & Pastry

5525 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037

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.

5525 La Jolla Blvd
La Jolla, CA 92037

7. Kono's Surf Club Cafe

704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

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.

704 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

8. Farmer's Bottega

860 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

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.

860 W Washington St
San Diego, CA 92103

9. Nomad Donuts

3102 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
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.

3102 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

10. Breakfast Republic

2730 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
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.

2730 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

11. Hash House a Go Go

3628 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

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.

3628 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

12. Atypical Waffle Company

3519 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

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.

3519 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

13. Little Lion Cafe

1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

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.

1424 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107

14. Hob Nob Hill

2271 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

2271 1st Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

15. Morning Glory

550 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

550 W Date St
San Diego, CA 92101

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16. Cafe 21 Gaslamp

802 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

802 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

17. Cafe 222

222 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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. 

222 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

18. The Mission / East Village

1250 J St, San Diego, CA 92101
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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.

1250 J St
San Diego, CA 92101

19. Tartine

1106 1st St, Coronado, CA 92118

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. 

1106 1st St
Coronado, CA 92118

20. Talavera Azul

365 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

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.

365 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Related Maps