San Diego is one of the jewels of California. Established in 1769, it’s one of the oldest cities in the state, and visitors flock there for its fantastic beaches, great hiking, artistic scene, and entertainment. There are many things to do in this great city, like checking out Balboa Park with its 1,200 acres of gardens, paths, and museums.
Balboa Park is also home to the San Diego Zoo, a phenomenal educational and fun experience for the whole family. History lovers should certainly make time to visit the USS Midway Museum to learn about the military history in California and San Diego specifically.
All of that sightseeing is bound to make anyone hungry. Fortunately, there are quite a few places where you can get the best breakfast in San Diego.
With multiple locations all around San Diego, The Mission serves up exceptional brunches and breakfasts all across the city. So if you love a great mix of sweet and savory options, The Mission has you covered. Their French toast is fabulous, covered in plenty of cinnamon and sugar with a portion significant enough to satisfy two people.
Their frittatas are great too. I like their chicken sausage and mushroom frittata. The interplay of the sausage and savory mushroom is perfect. You can also get crispy bacon, eggs your way, and addictive and crispy breakfast potatoes. The service is outstanding too.
222 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
One block from Children’s Park, you will find Cafe 222. This adorable eatery has everything that you could possibly want to get your day started right. They have plenty of pancake and waffle options, as well as eggs, French toast, and veggie scrambles. Their coffee is excellent too, served nice and piping hot.
For a true treat, try their take on eggs benedict. Cafe 222 poaches their eggs perfectly and serves them on English muffins with plenty of hollandaise sauce. I personally love their banana and peanut butter French toast or corned beef hash. It’s perfectly spiced, crunchy, and downright delicious.
3628 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Hash House a Go Go is just minutes away from Broadway San Diego and is an excellent place to go if you have a big appetite. Their portions are generous, and most of their dishes are made to be shared between two people. But, of course, you can always eat it all yourself or take home the leftovers.
Hash House a Go Go does comfort food right, with decadent corned beef hash, fluffy biscuits, and great fried chicken. Check out their burgers if you are in the mood for heartier lunch fare. Plus, everything is served with a smile from their amazing waitstaff.
Breakfast Republic has many locations throughout the city, so there’s a good chance that there’s one of these restaurants right near you. Breakfast Republic does many things right, but two stand-out features include reasonably-priced meals and excellent service.
One thing that I love about Breakfast Republic is their excellent coffee. It’s strong enough to get you going, no matter how much sleep you got the night before. Their locations also have convenient indoor and outdoor seating, and there’s something on the menu for everyone, including the kids. Try their raisin French toast. It’s wonderful.
As with Breakfast Republic, there’s no shortage of locations for The Great Maple, so you should put it on your “must visit” list next time you’re in San Diego. This restaurant chain excels in providing its guests with exceptional service. I’ve always been greeted by a smiling face, even during their busiest meal rushes.
If you love getting your sugar fix, The Great Maple was made for you. They have a massive selection of different types of donuts, including one with maple and bacon that’s simply phenomenal. I like their pancakes too. They’re fluffy, fresh, and full of yummy toppings.
If you’re craving some delicious pancakes, stop into Richard Walker’s Pancake House. There’s probably one right near you with several locations in the city. This chain specializes in serving high-quality breakfasts and brunches and putting new spins on old classic flavors. The magic is in the details, like real fresh blueberries in their pancakes.
They also have great savory options, like omelets and various crepes. Even something as simple and humble as bacon shines at Richard Walker’s Pancake House. They cook it perfectly and give you a reasonably big portion with your meal. So definitely treat yourself to some.
For some of the best breakfast in San Diego, make sure that you pay Cafe 21 a visit. This favorite local chain has a few locations right downtown and puts a real emphasis on working with local ingredients. So even though there are several Cafe 21s in San Diego, every branch serves incredible food with farm-fresh ingredients.
You can find all sorts of goodies on the menu at Cafe 21, from great seafood to fresh local meat. Also, if you have any dietary restrictions, the friendly staff at Cafe 21 will be happy to accommodate you. In addition, there are gluten-free and vegan options available, plus excellent cocktails.
704 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Visit San Diego’s Crystal Pier, then stop in Kono’s Cafe for a great brunch that will satisfy even the pickiest members of your family. Kono’s Cafe does comfort food right, with giant, tasty breakfast burritos and excellent, fresh coffee. So if you want an unassuming place to grab a wonderful meal, Kono’s Cafe is the spot to go.
Some of my favorites include wraps, pancakes, and bacon. The bacon is crispy and well-seasoned. Also, get a glass of their fresh orange juice. After tasting it, you will never want to go back to the processed stuff ever again. It truly is that good.
3519 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
Atypical Waffle Company is just two blocks away from the St. Patrick Catholic Parish near Myrtle Avenue. It’s a smaller restaurant, so you might have trouble finding it at first. But, don’t worry; it’s all completely worth it. The waffles at this restaurant are some of the best breakfast in San Diego.
Atypical Waffle Company has a great ambiance with whimsical decor and a welcoming staff. You will feel right at home as soon as you go through the doors. Although everything is super tasty, I like their Nutella waffles. They are packed full of hazelnut and chocolate flavor. For something a little bit more substantial, try their chicken and waffles.
7545 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
You’ll find Harry’s Coffee Shop right down the street from the Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center. It’s a popular place with the locals and hasn’t quite hit the tourist map yet. So if you’re looking for an authentic San Diego experience, Harry’s Coffee Shop is right up your alley. They are friendly, accommodating, and can help you pick the perfect meal off the menu.
One thing that you can expect at Harry’s Coffee Shop is consistently good food. I love the fact that I can order my favorite corned beef hash over and over again and enjoy the same excellent quality every time. Their poached eggs and potato pancakes are also sublime.
With multiple locations throughout the city, there’s a Snooze near you. This exceptional chain of restaurants is guaranteed to wake you up in the morning with their vast menu of traditional and new breakfast and brunch options.
Their pancakes are excellent, as are the tacos and shakshuka. I also really love their sandwiches. Most of their locations have lots of parking and some games that you and your family can play while you wait. Snooze is a very family-friendly chain so that the kids will be thoroughly entertained from start to finish.
7702 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
The Cottage is right down the street from the Empress Hotel La Jolla, and it’s a great place to get a hearty, healthy breakfast in San Diego. There are plenty of awesome things on the menu, but I think that their baked goods do shine. Their homemade scones are great with a fresh, hot cup of coffee, and their coffee cake is outstanding too.
If you’re looking for something a little bit on the lighter side, try their granola. It’s packed with fruit for a substantial and healthy breakfast. Of course, you can also pick up a bowl of fresh fruit if you want to eat super healthy or aren’t all that hungry.
828 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Visit the historic Balboa Theatre, then walk two short blocks to Brian’s 24. This excellent eatery is a beautiful place to have breakfast or lunch because they use the best ingredients to elevate all of your breakfast favorites.
Personally, I like the fact that Brian’s 24 uses authentic maple syrup on its pancakes. You can absolutely taste the difference. There’s corn beef hash and different types of benedicts for people who want something savory, including one with tender crab meat. Brian’s 24 has sizable portions, so you can easily share or even take some home with you.
There are many Fig Tree Cafe locations all around San Diego, and visiting one might just be the highlight of your whole trip. These restaurants are local favorites, serving fun spins on traditional brunch food. I like their take on a mimosa. At Fig Tree Cafe, they make a version with pina colada flavor, and it’s tremendously good.
There are also options for the vegans and vegetarians in your group without sacrificing taste or flavor. For example, if you’re a French toast lover, you should sample some of their French toast twists, like cinnamon and apple or ricotta cheese. It’s all so good!
2271 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Hob Nob Hill is very close to Hawthorne Historic Inn and is one of the nicest places in San Diego to get a memorable brunch in an elegant setting.
This beautifully appointed restaurant is reminiscent of Old Hollywood, with handsome decor and excellent waitstaff. Hob Nob Hill is a phenomenal option if you want to treat yourself to something extraordinary.
Although their coffee is excellent, their hot chocolate is one of the standout menu items. So you might want to switch up your customary cup of joe and opt for that instead. It’s creamy, decadent, and has an authentic chocolate flavor. Their coffee cake is lovely too, as are the pancakes and avocado toast.
550 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101
You’ll find Morning Glory just two blocks from Amici Park, making it an ideal place to grab breakfast or brunch after a morning of sightseeing in the city. In addition to being conveniently located, Morning Glory serves some of the best breakfast in San Diego, hitting the mark perfectly for both comfort food and style.
Try their smoked salmon, pancakes, and Irish coffee. The pancakes have a delightful consistency, almost like a souffle, making them a tasty, dessert-like treat. I enjoy their breakfast fried rice too. It’s unique but has all the traditional flavors you would expect from a great breakfast dish.
The Broken Yolk Cafe is an excellent chain of restaurants with plenty of convenient locations around San Diego. It’s an excellent place to go for a family-friendly meal that certainly won’t break your budget. Plus, their menu is relatively large, and you can find something for everyone on it.
I’m a big fan of their pancakes. The batter isn’t overly sweet, they’re hearty, and you get a reasonably significant portion with your meal. Top them with butter and a little syrup, and you’ll be in heaven. Their sides are good, too, especially the sausage patties. You can tell that they’re seasoned well and made with love.
4574 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
Parkhouse Eatery is just a very short walk from the San Diego Buddhist Association, and it’s the spot in San Diego to visit if you want a slightly unconventional but delicious breakfast or brunch. Although they have plenty of standard breakfast fare, they also have Portuguese sausage, different types of cheese from worldwide, and tasty breakfast sandwiches.
One thing to be aware of is that the portions at Parkhouse Eatery are definitely generous. Most of their entrees are big enough to share, or you can take the rest home with you.
3091 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Take a stroll a few blocks past Pine Avenue Park, and you will come across Cafe Topes. This San Diego gem is famous for its excellent service and attentive waitstaff.
They will explain virtually anything on the menu to you and can help make substitutions if needed. It’s a pleasant, welcoming atmosphere that can set your whole day off on the right foot.
Try their various benedicts and baked goods, including their cinnamon roll and bread. Their bread is warm, fresh, and hearty enough to be a meal all on its own. I like their hash browns and chicken fried steak too.