Breakfasting San Francisco Style

I couldn't conclude my series of San Francisco posts without a nod to some of the food we had and the breakfasts especially seemed worthy of a post of their own. You'll no doubt be familiar with the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and whether that's true or not these ones certainly set me up. Put another way I probably shouldn't have eaten for a week after returning to the UK! So without further delay I give you just a few from our visit.

The first place that stood out for me was actually a recommendation which I got first thing one morning and a couple of hours later we were on our way to. Sweet Maple on Sutter Street is the home of millionaire's bacon (which was one of the reasons it was recommended to us), that's bacon that's slow-cooked with brown sugar, cayenne, red and black pepper, intrigued we had to try it as all the reviews of the place were very positive. Coincidentally when we lived in Singapore one of the random TV programmes we watched was called 'United States of Bacon' a show where the presenter travelled around America trying the extreme bacon options on menus at various restaurants etc. and it turns out that their millionaire's bacon was featured on it. Take a look on Sweet Maple's website for a link to the episode if you're curious.

Whilst this place was on a street only a couple of blocks from where we were staying what we forgot was that the main streets on the grid system of a lot of American cities can go on and on and on and this wasn't actually quite as close as we first thought. However luckily we realised this before we set off so were prepared for the walk, it was a lovely day and it was on the way to our destination for that day, the Golden Gate bridge. The bridge was actually still some considerable walk away from there but it was helped hugely by this breakfast pit stop. 

When we arrived there was a bit of a queue, we queued a lot on this holiday but every one was worth it, but we actually didn't have to wait long in the end to get a seat, sped up a little by us being happy to sit outside as it was such a sunny, warm Spring day. I knew I wanted to try the millionaire's bacon but I wasn't sure if I wanted to order a dish with it already included or to have it as a side. In the end I opted for a dish that included it mainly because I feared if the portion was large I'd probably struggle to eat it all plus a side order. I went for the Blackstone eggs benedict, millionaire's bacon, asparagus, cherry tomato and Meyer lemon hollandaise which came with a potato medley. The idea of your eggs benedict or whatever you've ordered automatically coming with sides such as this seems to be a lot more common in the U.S. than it is in the UK but there were no complaints from me as this was amazing! I think my husband was hoping I wouldn't be able to finish it but to his disappointment no doubt I ate the lot with no difficulty. The bacon after all the hype was really good too, I did think it might be a bit too much for me and maybe even a bit too sweet being cooked in brown sugar but I needn't have worried. This place was a great recommendation and one you should definitely hunt out too.

You can't really see the millionaire's bacon as it's hidden by the eggs etc. but it's that dark brown glazed gorgeousness you can see just poking out beneath them.

Another day and another breakfast quest saw us heading to Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery. For me it was time to enjoy some buttermilk pancakes which did actually beat me in the end as I wasn't quite able to finish them but they were incredibly good. This was another place where we had to queue on arrival but it also moved pretty quickly. What I really liked about their queuing system though was that as the tables were cleared one of the staff worked his way down the queue asking how many of you there were in your party and allocating you a table as you waited. This meant when you got to the counter to order you could give your table number but also meant there was no scrabbling to try and get a table in a super busy place. As someone who will admit, particularly when I'm on my own, to hating the whole trying to order and grab a table when in busy places I found this approach really refreshing and fair. It meant people couldn't take large tables that they didn't really need or the best tables and there was none of the stress of there being no table or seating available after you'd ordered.

Over the course of our holiday we went a couple of times to a cafe that was very close to our hotel and great for days when we didn't want a huge breakfast as the portions tended to be a little smaller. Caffe Central was clearly a popular spot with people picking up a coffee or juice on their way to work but there was also a seating area and it made a good little spot to do a bit of people watching whilst enjoying an omelette. Having done a bit of Internet browsing since we got back I think this place is part of a small chain of cafes around San Francisco but being so close to our hotel was super handy on those mornings when we didn't want to spend a lot of time hunting for a breakfast spot and weren't incredibly hungry.

A final breakfast mention has to go to a place we went to, not in San Francisco but in Napa, Jax White Mule Diner. This was where we got that American diner experience you see in the movies etc. with the staff coming around with the coffee pot topping up your mug. There were no lattes or cappuccinos here just coffee either black or white. I opted for eggs benedict again, the Cali Benny with peppers, spinach and avocado this time opting for a hash brown with it rather than potato tots. Perhaps not surprisingly the hash brown was bigger than I imagined it would be but was really good as was the eggs benedict.

We ate incredibly well throughout our whole time in San Francisco and Napa (a look back at my other posts will give you a little taster of some of the other meals we had) and in the majority of cases enjoyed amazing service too. I think my favourite breakfast was the one we had at Sweet Maple, the fact I managed to eat it all with no struggle says a lot about just how good it was. They were all great though and set us up more or less for the whole day ahead. There are obviously loads more breakfast places you can try all around San Francisco, I wonder how long you would have to be there to get through them all?


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