Modern Eating

Get out for a bit o’ brekkie

Avocado toast options from Toasty. Photo:

Going out for dinner is always a special treat, and eating lunch anywhere but in our own kitchens is welcome. Even a quick burrito from a taco truck qualifies as an adventure.

But heading out for breakfast often gets discounted; many of us grab a bagel or pastry, or a piece of fruit, and a cup of coffee, and are on our way. Fortunately, there are a plethora of neighborhood spots ranging from hole-in-the-wall cafes to full-scale restaurants that serve up tasty breakfasts bright and early to help you start your day off right.


Homeplate has been a Marina breakfast favorite for years, offering an expanded menu of everything from bacon and eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, frittatas, and more. This cozy spot offers you a complimentary scone baked from scratch every morning before you even order. Specials include chunky corned beef hash with poached eggs ($17), a chicken-fried steak and waffle with gravy and grilled pineapple ($18), and avocado toast with two poached eggs on ciabatta toast ($14); you can add bacon or smoked salmon. Eggs Benedict ($15–$19) lovers can delight in six variations on the classic. 2150 Lombard Street, 415-922-4663,

You’ll find savory and sweet dishes including eggs, fried chicken and waffles, and shakshouka at Cracked & Battered, a warm and welcoming family-run eatery. Specials include fried chicken Benedict with a biscuit base, garlic aioli, fried chicken, an over-easy egg, and hollandaise sauce ($18) and nasi goreng, sweet Indonesian fried rice with a piece of fried chicken and an egg ($16). Waffle lovers will swoon over the Belgian waffle ($14), and of course, chicken and waffles ($18). 2240 Chestnut Street, 415-638-6022,

Blackwood serves breakfast and brunch daily, and offers a full complement of espresso drinks from lattes to apple-pear hot toddies, boozy cloud coffee with sabe copper (bourbon-infused sake), mimosas, and other craft cocktails. Breakfast choices range from a variety of egg dishes, like the BW scramble with chicken-mango sausage, avocado, basil, shallot, tomato, and sharp cheddar ($19) or a primavera white omelet with roasted tomato, mushrooms, and arugula, served with berries ($22). Pancakes and French toast ($15), and a granola parfait ($14) are also available, as is their popular “millionaire’s bacon” ($11 and $22). 2150 Chestnut Street, 415-931-9663,


Polk Gulch is brimming with breakfast spots. The New Spot on Polk evokes an old-fashioned diner, with fairly tightly packed indoor seating and lots of sidewalk tables. Select an omelet or scramble with the same ingredients, all served with toast and house potatoes, (fruit can be subbed). Choices include a traditional Denver omelet ($15), a veggie omelet ($13) or the “Hangover” ($16) with hardwood-smoked, honey-cured bacon, smoked ham, Italian sausage, bell peppers, caramelized onions, and pepper-jack cheese. Breakfast burritos ($15), chicken-fried steak ($16), and huevos rancheros ($14) are other hearty options. Lighter fare includes avocado toast, oatmeal with berries and walnuts, and homemade granola with fruit, berries, and bananas (all $10). 2401 Polk Street, 415-913-7775,

American Split Kitchen serves breakfast and weekend brunch. Its menu includes sweet and savory items including a fried-egg sandwich on a challah bun with cheddar ($7), buttermilk waffles ($9), huevos rancheros ($12), and granola with yogurt ($8). Design your own scramble with your choice of cheese, veggies, and meat ($12). 7300 Polk Street, no phone orders,


Taking its name from a San Francisco landmark, the Twisted Street Café on Lombard Street is the place to go for breakfast sandwiches and more. House favorites include avocado toast with hummus topped with everything–bagel seeds and chili-lime powder ($6); avocado toast with smoked salmon and hummus ($10); and molletes: a flavorful Mexican open-faced sandwich with refried beans, chorizo, melted cheese, and pico de gallo ($9). Other offerings include prosciutto, goat cheese, and fig preserve toast ($9) and almond butter and cherry preserve on banana bread toast with crushed walnuts ($5). Bagel and croissant sandwiches ($4–$10) are also on the menu as are an assortment of pastries ($3–$4). 2320 Lombard Street, 415-579-5950,

Toasty bills itself as the first-ever avocado toast bar in the city. This small spot owned by Sophia Pinzon, a native Colombian who always loved avocados and dreamed about opening an all-things avocado restaurant, serves healthful, light bites that are almost too pretty to eat and definitely Instagram-worthy. Try the toast with smashed avocado, tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil, and balsamic glaze ($11) or the “Unicorn Toasty,” artisan sourdough bread topped with colorful cream cheese and rainbow sprinkles ($7). Bowls ($9–$12), smoothies ($10), and a children’s menu, are also available. 2760 Octavia Street, 415-640-9047,

In short, if you enjoy going out for breakfast, there’s no shortage of nearby places to satisfy your appetite, big or small!

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