Best Breakfast in the South Bay

Best Breakfast in the South Bay

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Clean Plate Club

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A subregion of the Bay Area that includes the Peninsula, Silicon Valley, San Jose, and the coast from Pacifica to Pescadero, the South Bay is known the world over for being the epicenter of all things tech. But aside from the headquarters of tech heavy-hitters like Apple, Facebook and LinkedIn, the South Bay is also home to a diverse range of neighborhood eateries and culinary hotspots that offer foodies numerous choices to satisfy their cravings. And, as any local tech workers will tell you, nothing helps power you through a long workday like a hearty breakfast. These are our South Bay Best Breakfast winners for 2023, selected by our editors — look for our readers’ choice winner, selected by our audience.

In and around the Peninsula

Photo: Courtesy of @applefrittereatery

Apple Fritter

This hipster hideaway located on a nondescript block fronting Highway 92 is known for its generously portioned savory offerings like “brekky sandwiches,” piled high with toppings such as grilled mushrooms, bacon, cheese, eggs, arugula and chipotle mayo, and sweet treats like Nutella-stuffed French toast and a bevy of donuts creations. Come early if you want to try the namesake fritters, as they sell out quickly on weekends.

Photo: Courtesy of @cafeborrone

Cafe Borrone

Serving the Peninsula since 1979, casual, family-owned Cafe Borrone is a Menlo Park standby for fresh, flavorful breakfast fare, whether you’re in the mood for a ham and cheddar egg scramble, a hearty breakfast wrap, or apple pancakes dusted with powdered sugar. Enjoy your meal on the lovely outdoor patio by the fountain if the weather is amenable, and then wander through neighboring Kepler’s Books before you go.


Jack’s Restaurant & Bar

Located off Highway 92, Jack’s Restaurant & Bar prides themselves on great service, great food, and a friendly atmosphere. Their Swedish Pancakes and Banana Foster French Toast are a must when going for breakfast, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on their extensive menu.

Photo: Courtesy of @mintsandhoney

Mints & Honey

At this bright and cheery neighborhood cafe with two Peninsula locations, a plethora of waffle creations await you, including churro and rainbow (topped with fruity pebbles), as well as toasts topped with everything from strawberries and ricotta to curried chicken salad. Opt for a sampler platter or tea tower if you can’t decide, and make sure to order one of Milk & Honey’s clever beverage concoctions, like the butterfly coconut mango drink or matcha rose latte, with or without boba.

Photo: Courtesy of @paloaltocreamery

Palo Alto Creamery

Whether you sit at the counter, in a cozy leatherette booth or outside on the street-front patio, you’ll be treated to friendly service and comfort food classics made from scratch in this welcoming “fountain & grill,” which opened in 1923 and has been a Palo Alto fixture ever since. Breakfast is served all day, including favorites like three-egg omelets and buttermilk pancakes and house specials like chicken and waffles.

Photo: Courtesy of @sonandgarden

Son & Garden

Multiple locations: Menlo Park, Palo Alto, San Francisco

650.665.7963; 650.304.3903; 415.913.7404 

Brunch at Son & Garden, surrounded by flowers with sparkling crystal chandeliers hanging overhead, is an over-the-top, Instagrammable experience that’s perfect for a special occasion. Decadent offerings — all artfully presented — include Korean Benedict with bone-in short rib and kimchi fried rice; matcha mochi pancakes; deep-fried mascarpone cheese-stuffed French toast; and cocktails with whimsical toppings like cotton candy, edible flowers and “mermaid dust.” Limited edition tea sets add to the fantastical fun. 

In and around Silicon Valley

Photo: Courtesy of @BobbisCoffeeShop

Bobbi’s Coffee Shop

Open since 1953, Bobbi’s is now owned by the daughter of founder Taro Yamagami, who has lovingly restored the neighborhood establishment while preserving its classic appeal. House-made specials like ham and eggs, breakfast burritos and malted Belgian waffles and warm, friendly service keep regulars coming back time and again. 


Holder’s Mission City Grill

Great service, endless coffee refills, and large portions are what you can expect at Holder’s Mission City Grill. Their omelet souffles are one of a kind and we highly recommend ordering one paired with crispy hash browns for an ideal start to your day.


Los Gatos Café

Los Gatos Café has quick service and large portions down to a T. They don’t take reservations, so you may have to wait, but not to worry because they move quickly. There are multiple dishes we could recommend from brunch classics like eggs Benedict to something more adventurous like Apricot French Toast, but we decided you can’t miss their French Pancakes — similar to crepes, but stuffed with savory ingredients, they are light but filling and delicious.

Photo: Courtesy of @louslosgatos

Lou’s Coffee Shop

Since opening its doors in 1983, family-owned Lou’s Coffee Shop has been serving house-cooked breakfast favorites to Los Gatos residents with pride and passion. There is no shortage of tempting meals to choose from, including “ranchero” hits like chilaquiles doused in red chili or chili verde sauce, Benedicts, scrambles and griddle specialties like blueberry lemon ricotta pancakes, plus a sizable kids’ menu. 

Photo: Courtesy of @manresabread

Manresa Bread

Multiple locations: Campbell, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz

408.340.5171; 650.946.2293; 408.402.5372; 650.384.6462; 831.431.6738

Using up to five different types of flour milled in-house every day, along with natural fermentation, Manresa’s bakers take pride in every loaf of bread and pastry made at their five locations. Breakfast temptations include the sausage, egg and cheese sandwich on a flaky biscuit; a variety of quiches; toasts topped with avocado and herb salad or smoked salmon; and their many pastries and muffins, including gluten-free options. 


Southern Kitchen Coffee Shop

Southern Kitchen Coffee Shop is a modest diner in Los Gatos, don’t judge a book by its cover on this one. Serving up American brunch classics with an old school vibe and welcoming atmosphere, Southern Kitchen will make you feel right at home. With endless coffee refills, extra-large omelets, and perfectly-cooked country potatoes, it’s easy to spend hours here.


Sweet Maple

Locals flock to this chic yet unpretentious mini chain of restaurants for elevated Asian-inflected brunch classics like “soufflegg skillets” (steamed egg scrambles served in a skillet), Thai-style cioppino, and blueberry mochi waffles — all the better served with bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys. Don’t miss the house special: the sweet and spicy Millionaire’s Bacon slow-cooked with brown sugar and spicy peppers. 

Photo: Courtesy of @unclejohnsca

Uncle John’s Pancake House

Multiple locations: Campbell, San Jose

408.724.9835; 408.899.4071

Come hungry for breakfast classics like biscuits and gravy, country fried steak, French toast and Swedish crepes drenched in lingonberry butter. Uncle John’s comfortable, homey atmosphere and loyalty program make it a local favorite. 

In and around San Jose


Bill’s Cafe

From their savory Crab Cakes Benedict to their sweet Cookies & Cream Pancakes, you can’t go wrong with anything on Bill’s Cafe extensive breakfast and lunch menu. With large and “mini” portion sizes, Bill’s is likely to accommodate everyone’s taste buds and hunger levels.

Photo: @thebreakfastclubmidtown

Breakfast Club at Midtown

Make sure to have an appetite and patience when going to the Breakfast Club at Midtown, portions are large and lines tend to be long, but once you take a bite you’ll forget about every second you spent waiting. We recommend trying something both savory and sweet, like the Linguica Benedict and Red Velvet Pancakes.

Photo: Courtesy of @egghead_sando_cafe

Egghead Sando Café

Breakfast sandwiches are the focus of this chic, urban, minimalist cafe with four locations. Keep it simple with the scramble, soft scrambled eggs with chives, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and spicy mayo tucked into a warm brioche bun, or go island-style with the Hawaiian morning, featuring an over-medium egg, spam, arugula, ketchup and house sauce.

Photo: Courtesy of @thetablesj

The Table

This urban Willow Glen eatery takes brunch seriously, offering a menu emphasizing seasonal ingredients and hand-crafted cocktails. Standouts include the house-made granola and yogurt parfait with fruit compote; avocado crab toast accented with miso butter, scrambled egg, arugula and trout roe; and corned beef hash.

Photo: Courtesy of @toastcafegrill

Toast Cafe & Grill

At this bustling casual neighborhood restaurant, the extensive menu ranges from Benedicts and skillets to pancakes and French toast, along with “Mexicali” fare like huevos rancheros and chile verde and eggs. Top off your meal with the fan favorite mimosa flight or a round of soju-spiked bloody Mary shooters.

In and around the Coast

Monterey Peninsula Breakfast
Photo: @cafebrasil

Cafe Brasil

Over at this venerable Brazilian spot, you can have breakfast, brunch and lunch all day. Some of the most popular items include the hearty beef a cavalo — two eggs over easy on top of steak that’s laid over a slice of baguette topped with tomato and melted mozzarella cheese — and the feijoada completa, a bowl of black bean stew simmered with various sausages that’s served with a side plate with rice, farofa (a traditional Brazilian side dish made with toasted yuca flour or cassava flour), orange slices and sautéed greens. Utilize the Yelp waitlist as there’s usually a line. Hours are 8am to 3pm daily.

Photo: @livelikefoodie

Moonside Bakery & Cafe

Much like eggs shouldn’t be relegated to breakfast, pizza shouldn’t be excluded from it, and the folks here have gone big with this concept. While the menu features European-style staples like danishes, tarts, cakes and pies, you’ll also find an assortment of breakfast pizzas calling your name. The pizzas are prepared in a hardwood-fired pizza oven with freshly made pizza dough and are available after 9am. The mushroom comes with spinach and caramelized onions and should be honored with a trophy. Hours are 7am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday, 8am to 3pm Monday through Wednesday and Sunday. Closed Tuesday.

Photo: @treatsbyminx

The Press

Bagels lovers need not look further, you’ll find the motherload tucked away in a tiny town next to Half Moon Bay — El Granada. Just the right amount of crispy and chewy, guests can’t get enough of the salmon and lox bagels here, which are topped with capers and onions. Veggie scrambles are another hit as well as the vast assortment of scones near the checkout which include cinnamon raisin, lemon rosemary, lavender blackberry and blueberry. Hours are 4am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday, 5am to 4pm on Saturday, 5am to 3pm on Sunday, and 4am to 3pm on Monday.

Photo: Courtesy of @beachmonkey986

Beach Monkey Organic Café

A local favorite with surfers and beachgoers in the Linda Mar neighborhood of Pacifica, Beach Monkey is known for its healthy açai bowls topped with a variety of fruit and granola (there’s even a gluten-free option), superfood-packed smoothies, and small batch pour-over coffee and espresso drinks. If a bagel and cream cheese or a breakfast sandwich is more your thing, you’ll find them here, too.

Photo: Courtesy of @ilovebreakers


A father-and-son duo opened Breakers, located steps away from Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, in 2014 with an extensive menu of classic breakfast and lunch favorites. The restaurant offers something for everyone, whether you go sweet with pancakes, like blueberry, chocolate chip, cranberry pecan and more, or savory, like the house special open-face breakfast sandwich topped with eggs, bacon, ham, avocado, tomato, cheese and sour cream on an English muffin. 

Photo: Courtesy of @pilotlightcafe

Pilot Light

This casual eatery where customers can watch the planes take off and land at the Half Moon Bay Airport is the brainchild of the husband-and-wife duo behind San Mateo’s beloved All Spice restaurant. Enjoy brunchy dishes like North African shakshuka, stewed summer squash, peppers, corn, peas and tomatoes topped with eggs, fresh greens and pistachio dukkah spice, or fruit compote-topped Dutch baby pancakes, indoors or on the outdoor patio with a prime view of the tarmac. 

Photo: Courtesy of @soulgrindcoffee

Soul Grind Coffee Roasters

5400 CA-1, Pacifica 


Beachfront Soul Grind Coffee Roasters roasts its coffee right on site, easily enjoyed in a variety of coffee drinks, from a classic cappuccino to a Cubano latte served with a touch of condensed milk. Tempting breakfast options include the Bali bowl with eggs, a blend of whole grains and seeds, avocado, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms; a lox-topped bagel and cream; and yogurt and granola parfait with fresh fruit. 

Photo: Courtesy of Taste Café

Taste Café

50 N Cabrillo Hwy., suite B2, Half Moon Bay


Tucked into a strip mall at Highway 1 and 92 in Half Moon Bay, the unassuming façade of Taste Cafe conceals a cozy restaurant within that aims to please with heaping breakfast and lunch platters inflected with Latin flavors. Options include chilaquiles rancheros, tortilla chips doused with homemade chorizo sauce served over black beans and topped with eggs; a variety of sweet and savory crepes; and Chepe’s Benedict, accented with bacon, avocado and pico de gallo. 

More Local Favorites in the South Bay

Who’s writing these?

Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite

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