Long-gone are the days when an early brunch spot was one that opened at 10:30 a.m. When you are on the tot clock, the earlier the better for brunch. Start your day at one of these local gems where you can get pancakes, waffles and scrambled eggs as soon as the sun is up.
Photo courtesy of Sweet Maple’s Facebook page
Get to this Mission favorite early to avoid crowds. No need to distract the kids until the food arrives here—artwork and colorful mosaics cover all the walls. This is also a great choice if you are a vegan or vegetarian (the Soyrizo-N-Eggs is amazing!).
3296 22nd St.
San Francisco, Ca
Open everyday from 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fast service and organic ingredients are the name of the game at this Lower Pacific Heights eatery that’s known for its spicy and sweet Millionaire’s Bacon. Kids will love the pancake with choice of bacon, pork-lime sausage or a chicken mango sausage. Parents will love the bottomless mimosas or the double kick of the espresso martini.
2102 Sutter St.
San Francisco, Ca
Open everyday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Photo: Bob G via Yelp
Park Chow is a fun, casual restaurant just a short walk from Golden Gate Park with tons of healthy and organic options including a kids’ organic French Toast. There is also a beautiful upstairs patio to enjoy (and that is usually populated by roaming toddlers). Round off the morning with a visit to nearby Koret Playground and Herschell-Spillman Carousel in Golden Gate Park. They also have a three other locations (Danville, Lafayette and on Church St. in central SF) all with similar hours. Check their website for details.
1240 9th Ave.
San Francisco, Ca
Saturday and Sunday Brunch Hours: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
This perennial Peninsula favorite packs in families for brunch and with good reason—their crepes are a treat both parents and kids will love. The menu is extensive but a favorite is the Burlingame Sweet Crepe made with strawberries, caramelized bananas, Nutella and chocolate sauce—can you really eat this for breakfast? Note: Crepevine has several locations throughout the Bay Area, there’s probably one near you, ready to serve you shortly after the sun comes up.
1310 Burlingame Ave.
Open everyday from 7:30 am–10 p.m. (Closes at 9 p.m. on Sundays in the winter)
Apple Fritter is a recent addition to the San Mateo breakfast scene and its traditional American fare is already bringing in the crowds. If you’re hungry, order the Tooth Fairy (three slices of thick egg bread dipped in house made cinnamon vanilla batter, served with three pieces of bacon and two eggs). There’s also plenty of tyke friendly food. The star of this place is the donuts. The Bacon Maple Bar rivals Voo Doo Donuts in Portland.
1901 South Norfolk
San Mateo, Ca
Saturday and Sunday brunch hours: 7 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Millbrae Pancake House
The Millbrae Pancake House has been an institution since 1959. Walking in you’ll notice the vintage wallpaper, the old-fashioned booths and the classic surrounding décor. It’s so old-school that it’s hip again. The food is good, the service is fast and the Smiley Face pancakes are a hit with the kids.
1301 El Camino Real
Open everyday from 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Apple Fritter’s Facebook page
Stacks’ menu is large and varied in the classic American breakfast tradition and the pancakes are ridiculously good here. They also have great ‘Breakfast Basics’ options where you can customize your eggs, potatoes and bagel to include whatever you like—perfect for picky kiddos. Two great things about Stacks are its quick service and the fact that if you order a cup of coffee, they bring you an entire carafe full!
Good to know: If you encounter a wait here on a Sunday, put your name in and then stroll through the nearby Campbell farmer’s market.
139 E Campbell Ave.
Saturday and Sunday hours: 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Uncle John’s Pancake House
Just off the main drag, this newcomer to the Campbell breakfast scene offers breakfast and lunch to hungry families every day of the week. Try the Swedish crepes that are topped with lingonberry butter or the truly California crab and avocado benedict for some over-the-top decadence. The dollar sized pancakes are a kid favorite.
2125 S. Winchester Blvd.
Daily hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Tiffany D. via Yelp
This is a restaurant to be enjoyed by kids. From the moment you walk in, everything you see will delight them—including a converted VW bus in the dining room. The space is colorful, loud and completely unique. There’s a great kids menu here with lots of options for little ones and an over-the-top hot chocolate. While there’s plenty of seating inside, they also have a great patio in the back with picnic tables.
Tip: You can call ahead to put your name in or to reserve the VW bus! So cool!
5055 Almaden Expressway
San Jose, Ca
Open everyday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Los Gatos Cafe
This local cafe has two locations in Los Gatos. It’s a fun, casual and relaxed atmosphere. The menu here is HUGE. Kids even have their own menu where they can pick how they want their pancakes—Mickey Mouse, bunny rabbit or dinosaur style!
340 North Santa Cruz Ave.
Los Gatos, Ca
Open everyday 6 a.m.–3 p.m.
Photo Credit: R.L. via Yelp
The Half Day Cafe
The Half Day Café is a family run business located in a historic building in Kentfield. This beautiful brick gem dates back all the way to the 1930’s. They have all the brunch options-omelets, pancakes, even Green Eggs and Ham. Don’t forget to check out the weekly specials!
848 College Ave.
Saturday and Sunday hours: 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
This cute neighborhood café offers a little bit of everything for breakfast—from fresh Equator coffee to organic produce to the delicious strawberry waffles. The all fruit smoothies are a must try. The Mickey Mouse pancakes here are a hit with the kids!
1900 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Saturday and Sunday brunch hours: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Comforts is one of San Anselmo’s beloved eateries. Because it is so popular, you may have to wait for a table on the patio or in the restaurant, but the wait is worth it (and all the better reason to show up at 8). The bunch menu changes weekly and is always filled with healthy and fresh options.
Insider Tip: Don’t leave without checking out the desert cases and grab a cookie to go!
335 San Anselmo Ave.
San Anselmo, Ca
Saturday and Sunday hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Photo: Vanessa Z. on Yelp
Sam’s Log Cabin
What kid wouldn’t want to eat in a quaint little log cabin? While the location is historic (the cabin has been there since the 1930), the food is modern and there are many organic options. Standouts here include the Cinnamon Currant French Toast and Biscuits and Gravy. Also popular on the breakfast menu are Pork Braised Collard Greens White Corn grits and House-Made Scones.
Tip: If you happen to be there on a sunny morning, grab a seat in the great back patio area.
945 San Pablo Ave.
Saturday and Sunday hours: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe
This hipster hangout is a cool way to start your day. The Emeryville location has a great retro diner vibe and kids will love the eclectic décor. Parents will appreciate the witty menu complete with dishes like Your Own Private Eyedaho and Dazed and Confused.
4081 Hollis St.
1805 Telegraph Avenue
Open everyday 7 a.m.-1 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Frances T. via Yelp
This spacious, airy establishment is right in the heart of the Fourth Street shopping area. It’s a great place to stop and fuel up on California style cuisine before hitting the shops with the kids (the Ark Toy Store is just down the block). Great items to try include Cinnamon Stuffed French Toast (complete with mascarpone filling and banana compote), Aztec Huevos Rancheros and Grapefruit Mimosas.
Tip: If there is a wait, Café M can text you when your table is ready.
1799 Fourth St., #F
Open everyday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
This diner-style eatery has been serving early morning love since 1973. Try the pumpkin waffles or hook the kids up with the kiddie-sized challah french toast. They have plenty of high chairs and stroller parking to accommodate all the families that come.
Tip: Get there before 9 a.m. to avoid the crowds.
5492 College Ave.
Open everyday 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where do you go to grab eggs before 8? Let us know below!
—Kate Loweth & Melanie Ulate