2/12/2013 12:00:00 PM

5 Killer SF Breakfast Joints For Celebrating Pancake Day

Did you know that today is Pancake Tuesday, aka as Shrove Tuesday in England? According to lore, Pancake Day, which always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, was invented as a way for industrious cooks to use up any extra milk, butter and eggs, ingredients that were forbidden to be eaten during Lent. Here in San Francisco, we’ll just use the holiday as an excuse to snarf down a plate of flapjacks at one of our favorite breakfast joints.

Food: 26
Decor: 19
Service: 21
Price: $24

“Delicious breakfast and lunch dishes” (including “amazing home fries” and lemon ricotta pancakes “to die for”) made of “locally sourced ingredients” have daytime diners coming “early” to avoid a “torturous” wait at this Potrero Hill Californian cafe; while the nothing-fancy interior of reclaimed wood floors and oak-barrel tables belies the sometimes pricey tabs, “friendly service” and a no-pressure vibe help make this a “favorite” of the “young crowd.” (299 18th St; 415-821-7569).

Food: 24
Decor: 16
Service: 19
Price: $21

Your first bite justifies the long wait in line outside” this “charming” North Beach breakfast-and-lunch “institution” where the “home-style” American fare includes “awesome French toast” and a Monte Christo sandwich that’s a “sinful delight”; “low costs” and decent service are additional reasons fans say it’s “worth” the effort to squeeze into the “small”, “tight space.” (1701 Stockton St; 415-362-6421).

Food: 24
Decor: 20
Service: 21
Price: $28

“C’est magnifique!” exclaim locals about this “small” but “dependable” “slice of Paris in Cole Valley” open all day that draws a “roaringly busy” weekend brunch crowd with “unbearably long” lines for a table (thankfully, there’s a “warm and friendly” staff); another option is a “great-value”, “delicious” French meal on the “magical” “outdoor patio”, where Bring Your Dog to Dinner commences every Monday (41 Cole St; 415- 564-5332).

Food: 23
Decor: 16
Service: 20
Price: $20

“Every neighborhood should have” a “perfect little” “brunch” spot like this Noe Valley nook cranking out “flavor-packed” “scrambles”, “perfect” pancakes and other “unpretentious” American eats to a “cozy” handful of tables, including some “curbside” “in the sun”; “it’s not cheap” for its ilk and there’s “always a morning rush no matter the day, weather or time”, but “once in”, the staffers “do their best to keep a smile”; P.S. no dinner (1399 Church St; 415-648-4116)

Food: 22
Decor: 16
Service: 21
Price: $31

“Since way before” AT&T Park arrived nearby, this “terrific breakfast/brunch” Embarcadero “waterfront” spot has been turning out “reliable” American grub and “baked goods” (including “mini-muffins” that arrive “as you sit down”) that are “worth the calories” – and won’t “break the bank”; the “relaxed” setting includes some outdoor seats, and the “attentive, happy” staff will “do anything to make you happy”; P.S. no longer serving dinner (2 Townsend St; 415- 512-0749).

Food: 21
Decor: 15
Service: 18
Price: $25

Perfect for an “inventive” weekday breakfast or “fantastic” weekend brunch, “if not for a diet”, this “homey” Presidio Heights cafe proffers “huge portions” of “crazy-good baked goods and other “tasty” American “comfort food”; it’s “totally worth the wait” gush groupies, but the less-impressed aren’t “sure what all the fuss – and the gargantuan lines – are about”; P.S. no dinner (500 Presidio Ave; 415-441-5669).

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