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kati68 May 6th, 2007 03:41 AM

Sunday Breakfast in SF
Hi all SF residents and visitors alike,

I have been following the California discussions and planning for our first trip to the region for a few months now. Most of my questions have been answered, and I have a pretty good idea of things I want to do and see... (Thanks to all those who have contributed)

Just one specific question: we will have 3 days in San Franciso in early June, flying out Sunday around 1.30pm. We would like to have a nice breakfast before we have to make our way to the airport, and I am looking for some recommendations. This is what I am looking for:
- a nice setting & atmosphere (the place can be ultra modern, retro or romantic old world - as long as it works as a whole). Prefer casual to formal.
- Would prefer alfresco breakfast with good views, or great people watching
- our hotel is close to the Powell St station and we will take BART from there to the airport. So max 20 min walk/ bus/tram/train ride from there would be preferable.
- good food (of course)
- price is flexible, as long as it is good value considering all of the above. (anyting from a couple of dollars take away coffee & bagel to $30 breakfast can be considered)


jtrandolph May 6th, 2007 05:56 AM

Sears is famous for breakfasts in San Francisco. (no, not the department store :=)

It is on Powell Street, half a block up from Union Square, past the Chancellor Hotel. However, there is often a line on the sidewalk waiting to get in.

NeoPatrick May 6th, 2007 06:49 AM

The popularity of Sears totally escapes me. It is an average sort of diner with an average sort of menu. I just didn't "get" it.

Dottie's True Blue is a whole lot better, but you'll have to stand on the sidewalk and wait for an hour or so on a Sunday to get in.

I'd book at Kuleto's -- which serves a really nice breakfast in a nice atmosphere and they take reservations!! It's in the Florence Hotel (or rather adjacent to it).

sunshine May 6th, 2007 07:46 AM

I agree about Sears. We love Dottie's True Blue Cafe. If you go early, you won't have to wait in a long line. Have fun in San Francisco!!!

cabovacation May 6th, 2007 09:18 AM

Why not take a cab to the Ferry Building? You will be al fresco, if you want to be - Boulette's Larder has a great brunch menu - small restaurant and small menu - but lovely food and great views, of course. I believe there are one or two other larger restaurants there for breakfast, too.

Campton Place is special...not al fresco. Mornings in San Francisco are not sunny and warm, as a rule. But the Ferry Building is the best place to be!

LoveItaly May 6th, 2007 11:42 AM

Hi kati68, I too would have breakfast at Kuleto's which is attached to the Villa Florence Hotel located 225 Powell St which is just one half block south of Union Sq. and two and blocks north of the Powell St. BART Station.

Lovely and restful atmosphe

LoveItaly May 6th, 2007 11:44 AM

Sorry, my computer is acting up!

Kuleto's is quiet and restful, beautiful atmosphere, good service, wonderful breakfast menu etc. No standing in line on the sidewalk waiting to get a table either. It would start your trip home rested and wellfed. You can even order a mimosa or Bloody Mary from their fullservice bar if that interests you. Enjoy your time in SF!!

iamq May 6th, 2007 12:09 PM

Greens is one of my favorite places for a Sunday breakfast/brunch in the city. Yes, it is vegetarian, but they do it deliciously. They open at 10:30 though so you might be sort of rushed time wise.

StuDudley May 6th, 2007 12:30 PM

On a Sunday, you can take a taxi to the Cliff house & get there in 20 mins. If the weather isn't foggy, the views are pretty nice.

Ferry building would be just as good.

Stu Dudley

GerdaFaust May 6th, 2007 02:33 PM

The breakfast at the Ritz-Carlton is great!

easytraveler May 6th, 2007 02:54 PM

I'd suggest you stay near Union Square and not stray too far away from the powell Street Station.

Besides the excellent suggestions above:

An upscale restaurant is Scala's Bistro, featuring Italian and very popular.

More funky and straight out of the 1950's is Lori's Diner - very basic American breakfasts, nothing fancy, just don't sit under the Edsel that's dangling from the ceiling! Try the one on Sutter.

Leely May 6th, 2007 05:42 PM

Given your preferences, I'll second cabovacation's recommendation of heading down to the Ferry Building. You can't go wrong there: so many great food choices and excellent people watching. You can take BART from Powell Street to Embarcadero if you're concerned about time. Alternately, it's a nice walk. I walk down there on my lunch hour all the time. I often see tourists enjoying caviar and champagne at the caviar place and you better believe I'm jealous!


Have a great trip.

cabovacation May 6th, 2007 05:45 PM

Cliff House is a good idea, and I hope you do go there sometime...but it is much farther from the airport than the Ferry Building. FB has much better chance of sunshine Both places are really true San Fran stalwarts.

jtrandolph May 6th, 2007 07:59 PM

OK, I have never been to Dottie's True Blue, but I understand it has long lines, too, and, frankly, it isn't in a very good neighborhood.

I consider this, and Lori's Diner to be "cult" breakfast places. (Like funk) Lori's food is awful, served sloppily by indifferent wait persons and not worth the 50's nostalgia. (This isn't a pop judgment, we have tried it three times, thinking we must have hit a bad day. No more. Yes, the waitresses look cutesy in their little aprons and pony tails and poodle skirts.)

If Kuleto serves breakfast, that would be my serene choice. Chosen above Max's on Mason and Geary, if anyone happens to mention that, or the little Pine Cone (or is it Crest?) cater corner from Max's. Better yet a cab to the Ferry Building.....

As much as some of the recommendations for are good...the Cliff House, Ritz Carlton, I wouldn't venture that far away from your transportation to the airport. Ditto Greens, which is out of the way and is vegetarian. (I don't object to vegetarian, just the way Greens presents it, like a religion.)

Hope you find a choice which works for you.

NeoPatrick May 7th, 2007 05:03 AM

Interesting post, jtrandolph. You consider a place you've never been to, to be a "cult place" and worry about the neighborhood (you're joking, right? -- we're talking about standing on the sidewalk in broad daylight for a while waiting for breakfast, not moving in there or prowling at night) And you aren't sure if Kuleto's serves breakfast but that would be your choice. Based on what, if you've never been there? At least your comments on Lori's are based on personal experience.

jtrandolph May 7th, 2007 06:17 AM

Yep. I haven't eaten at Dottie's, but have walked by there many times looking at the lines. I would eat breakfast at Kuleto's if they serve it because I like the atmosphere and their style for dinner. Right now Dottie's and Lori's are popular because they are "different". "Cult" was the wrong word.

bardo1 May 7th, 2007 08:46 AM

No, jtrandolph, Dottie's is (and has been) popular becuase of their (cultish, if you will) obsession with QUALITY. The on site baker and his sweet buns, scones, sweet breads, coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls (with whole pecans and lots of them). Burgers are organic angus beef. Etc. Yes, it's still only a diner but the qualtiy sets it apart. And the prices are fair - again it's the quality - not profit - that is the driving force. And, personally, I am glad they are in the Tenderloin. Imagine the lines if they were located in tourist central...

NeoPatrick May 7th, 2007 09:18 AM

Well, I might agree that Dottie's is popular because it is "different". The thing that is different about them is the menu and the quality. They have a number of really unusual but wonderful dishes -- not your usual diner breakfast fare. They also have the NICEST staff of any "diner" type place I've ever seen (well, except maybe for Mama's at Washington Square).

FainaAgain May 7th, 2007 11:10 AM

I ate at Lori's on Sutter twice, yes, admit, a fool should be taught twice :) There is a reason they try to promote their establishment by posting 20% off coupons.

Well... it may be interesting to go there once to have a cold drink on a hot day, to see the "nostalgia" inside. That's it.

I would go to Max's.

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