The Best Spots For A Quick, Cute Breakfast
For all of your under-an-hour breakfast needs.
We love breakfast. But sometimes we’re simply not in the mood to wait in line or give up the rest of our afternoon because someone wanted to do bottomless brunch. So when you just need some coffee and great food (and the line at Plow is ungodly), head to one of these quick, cute breakfast spots.
photo credit: Loquat
You’ll need to fuel up first, if you plan on spending a Sunday morning in Hayes Valley, washing your hands with artisan soap and smelling copious amounts of candles. Get it done at Loquat, a cafe that looks like a set out of a Sunset Magazine shoot with pink walls and rustic flower arrangements. There’s tea and espresso that’ll jolt you awake, plus filling Jewish and Levantine-inspired pastries. Order a bunch of baked things, like mini salted chocolate babka with delicate layers, and bourekas filled with sweet ricotta and sage, while deciding how much you’ll let yourself spend on unnecessary home decor.
photo credit: Erin Ng
We love coming to this all-day bakery and cafe in NoPa, filling a tray with pastries from their gleaming case, and calling it a meal. Fluffy brioche donuts are filled with things like strawberry jam or pomegranate chocolate cream, the cinnamon rolls are the size of a softball, and the chocolate chip cookies are made with tangy sourdough. They also have a gooey sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, if you’re sticking with something savory. Just order up at the counter, find a seat at one of the many cushy booths, and let the food come to you.
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The breakfast sandwich from Cafe Réveille in Lower Haight is the textbook definition of simple. The eggs are fluffy, the cheese is gooey, and they don’t skimp on the thick-cut bacon. The laidback cafe also has lighter options, like granola and yogurt or acai bowls. Get into everything on one of their sidewalk tables or inside the all-white space alongside athleisure-clad groups catching up over lattes. Conveniently, this mini-chain is also located in Russian Hill and Mission Bay.
photo credit: Sarah Felker
Getting to sit in front of any of the Asian-inspired pastries at this Richmond bakery is one great way to start the morning. Even better if you’re kicking breakfast off with the kaya toast, with its squiggles of green coconut pandan jam, or the everything-spiced bun with onion jam and cream cheese. The drinks are as creative as the pastries, so grab a yuzu Americano, black sesame horchata, or blueberry violet lassi before tearing into your treats on the parklet (they’re outdoor only for now).
photo credit: Susie Lacocque
Cinderella Bakery & Café
Cinderella Bakery & Cafe is a Russian spot in the Richmond ideal for an early bird meet-up. They open at 7am daily with pastries that you can smell from down the street. You’ll see everything from french toast and sweet cheese fritters to boiled pelmeni with sour cream. And no matter the time of day, we never leave without ordering a slice of medovik, a layered honey cake with just the right amount of sweetness from condensed milk. Order at the counter, grab a table on their parklet, and people-watch as families and bikers pass by.
Devil’s Teeth Baking Company
We love both locations of this counter-service bakery, but the one in the Richmond has shorter lines—which helps in the morning when it seems like everyone within a five-mile radius is trying to get a Special Breakfast Sandwich. Buttery biscuits are the base for soft-scrambled eggs, a solid amount of mashed avocado, pepper jack, and bacon. Lemon garlic aioli ties it all together. Sweet pastries round out a breakfast here, like frosting-less cinnamon rolls and squares of carrot cake. There’s a parklet out front, plus a hidden patio with a few tables in the back.
photo credit: Krescent Carasso
The Mill is the poster child for oat milk cappuccinos and a light breakfast. And judging by the steady stream of fleece-wearing couples and families with Australian shepherds waiting in line to order, the people know it. The NoPa cafe serves toasts made on their thick-cut house-made bread, topped with things like avocado, cream cheese and pesto, seasonal jam, and cinnamon sugar. Add in a minimal, white-tiled space, lots of spots to sit, and shelves full of fresh bread (definitely take some black pepper parmesan buns home with you), and there’s really no better breakfast.
photo credit: Julia Chen
If you have recurring dreams about shrinking down and snuggling inside of a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich that you then eat, first, let’s unpack that. And also, head to Newkirk’s to make part of that dream a reality. The New York-style fried egg sandwiches from this casual spot on the border of the Mission and Potrero Hill are incredible. We usually order the BEC to-go (they have a few tables and stools inside, too), but you can also get sandwiches stuffed with things like hash browns, pastrami, or grilled ribeye steaks.
photo credit: Carly Hackbarth
If it's closer to lunch (or anytime after 11am, when Reem’s opens), and you still want pastries and egg-y things to eat, get to the counter-service Arab bakery in the Mission. On weekends, this colorful spot has a special menu with brunchier items like sujuk hash with a fried egg and spicy shakshuka that we wouldn’t mind having a weekly subscription to. Any of their puffy, fresh-baked mana’eesh should be on the table, as well as one of their house pastries, like baklawa and chocolate chip halawa cookies.