Why does San Francisco wake up so f*cking early? Is everyone popping out of bed to walk dogs, or go running, or just to get in line at Plow? Maybe it’s because the city shuts down at 10pm — we’ve got nothing else to do.
Whatever your motivation for rising in the early morn, we compiled our favorite spots that will serve you coffee and carbs and eggs before 9am. Don’t sleep on this updated list. LITERALLY.
Yes, Reveille is a “Coffee Co”, but it’s so much more than that. The breakfast menu, from the chia pudding to the avocado toast to the prosciutto frittata, is way better than it has any right to be at a place that peddles itself just for it’s coffee. The staff is incredibly nice, and it’s the kind of place you want to post up and stay awhile.
Three words: house made granola. It’s incredible (and somewhat healthy), but if you’re feeling more indulgent, the breakfast sandwich and croissants are standouts as well. And if you’re living the life of a pretend caveman, they have paleo muffins that don’t make us want to die. Very casual, and great for grabbing a quick bite by yourself or a few others.
Wise Sons brings some seriously strong bagel game to San Francisco, especially at their second location, right across from State Bird. Open at 7am on weekdays, the tiny cafe cranks out legit bagels and bialys all day long. The smoked salmon and bodega egg & cheese sandwiches are where it’s at.
Flee the terrors of Market Street for the Apple-Store-posing-as-coffee-shop that is Blue Bottle on Mint Plaza. There will likely be a line, but the coffee is fantastic and the eggs with cauliflower (plus bacon, duh) are strong, as are the yogurt & granola and breakfast sandwich. Take note: this spot is very appropriate for business/investor meetings.
Duboce Park Cafe is the place you need to be in the morning. The corner spot across from, wait for it, Duboce Park has tons of outdoor tables, airy open windows, and bar seating. The scrambles and breakfast sandwiches are straightforward and tasty and the prices are what you actually want to pay, not what you have tricked yourself into thinking is normal to pay in San Francisco.
The best breakfast sandwich in the city for under $7. It’s on a biscuit, and it’s beautiful. On a nice morning, sitting on the benches or walking out to Ocean Beach to stuff yourself and watch the surfers is actual perfection.
Both Jane’s - on Larkin and Fillmore - have the same delicious pastries and breakfast delights, it’s just that Fillmore has that Baby Gap vibe going on, and Larkin tends more towards the ‘soothing oasis located in a less than desirable area’. Either way, they have possibly the greatest avocado toast around. Choose your own adventure.
Be here at 7:30, or 8, or whenever it opens on the day you’ve targeted. The line becomes ferocious real damn early. And you don’t want to miss out on those morning buns, fresh from the oven. Something about the phrase “morning bun” makes it sound healthier than its literal description: “giant sugar-encrusted cinnamon-roll-slash-croissant.” Don’t sleep on those almond croissants, either, or the chocolate ones…or the regular ones. Or that exceptional bread.
In case you’ve been living under a toadstool and missed this situation, The Mill is known for serving fancy, $4 toast with addictive bread and crazy jams and spreads. Fun fact: the dude who runs it is named Josey Baker. Total coincidence. But for real the bread is insane. Go here.
The OTHER purveyor of fine toasts in town. Cinnamon, honey-peanut-butter — there might as well be nothing else on the menu.
Pork confit breakfast burritos. That’s really all you need to know. Throw in a full case of better-than-average pastries and a huge back garden/patio and you’re living the Hayes Valley dream.
Excluding the psychotic break move of serving granola with yogurt and milk on it, the Nook is a solid Russian Hill spot. Some good outdoor tables, and they even serve waffles.
Right off Park Presidio lies a bagel oasis. We don’t care what the New York Times says, House of Bagel has managed to generate almost East Coast-level bagels. The Everything bagel with lox and all the fiiiiiixins will set you right.
You may have to berate them into letting you order granola before 9am, but usually they comply. The almond croissant is perfect, and the granola and yogurt is our favorite in the city.
Two locations – one in the Haight and on in the Mission. We’re partial to the original Haight version, but you can’t go wrong at either. Old-school, hearty diner food, with excellent eggs benedict and a bloody mary bar. Always get a biscuit on the side. Always.
A high-end bakery filtered through a kaleidoscope lens. Eggs inside of muffins. Goose liver inside of chocolate muffins. Other varieties of muffins! Also some cubical cakes and a scone that tastes of candied vegetables and spicy Thai green curry. It’s all good, you’ll love it.
This is basically the “ladies who lunch” version of breakfast in the heart of Pacific Heights. Everyone looks like they’re just ducking out of their $10-20 million home for a quick pastry. The kouign amann, a kind of million-fold croissant, is a signature (cough kind of a rip-off from Ansel in NYC cough), but the middles tend to get kind of soggy. We tend to go almond croissant or banana bread.
It’s rare to find a full-on, sit-down breakfast spot that opens at 7am. And tourists: if you somehow got tricked into staying in one of the Lombard Street motels “NEXT TO THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE” then Rose’s is your spot for an “I-got-duped-time-to-treat-myself” breakfast. Can’t go wrong with the smoked salmon breakfast pizza.
Sanctuary in the Ferry Building. Absolutely heavenly eggs. Want to feel relaxed and civilized, with delicious food in front of a great view? Boulette’s is the ticket.
Go here, order the croissant breakfast sandwich, add all the things, thank us later. Or if you don’t feel like a pre-8am food coma, the juice and granola to-go make for a good ‘on-the-way-to-work’ move. Also, they have Blue Bottle.
Okay, no joke, you better be here at the EXACT moment they open, or, ideally, 5-10 minutes before. Is it worth it? We’re not going to lie to you…hell yes, it is worth it. This is the best sit-down breakfast in town. Accept no substitutes. Unless you showed up 15 minutes after opening, in which case you better get good and ready to accept some substitutes.
Come for Southern-inflected standard breakfast items, maybe one cut above standard fare. We recommend French toast and beignets (especially crawfish).