The Best Breakfasts in San Diego

We’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for breakfasts (and brunches!). There’s just something special about heading out and digging into a nice varied menu of hearty favorites. Maybe it’s the pancakes. Could be the local-favorite chicken and waffles. It might even be the specialty breakfast burritos. No matter what, if you’re on the hunt for where to enjoy the best breakfasts in San Diego, we’ve got just the plates. 

Bali Hai (0.3 miles away)

(Photo: @balihairestaurant)

Our Shelter Island Neighbors at Bali Hai bring their brunch A-Game every Sunday, and with breathtaking water views, to boot. When you arrive, start with a refreshing Mimosa, then dive into a crisp Thai Caesar salad. The crab benedict is not to be missed, and neither are the honey Sriracha fried chicken or Korean short ribs. The cold bar is among the best anywhere as well, offering half-shell oysters, peel and eat shrimp and snow crab.

2230 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106


Blue Wave Bar & Grill (0.5 miles away)

(Photo: @wendyswan)

From acai bowls to grandma’s pancakes and everything in between, our sister hotel’s restaurant has it all! Fuel up for a day spent adventuring around the city with delicious AM favorites, served alongside stunning marina views. Enjoy a short walk along the waterfront to our neighbors at Blue Wave and find out for yourself why TripAdvisor has rated them one of the top breakfast spots in San Diego!

 2051 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106



Fig Tree Café (2 miles away)

(Photo: @figtreecafesd)

Nestled inside nearby Liberty Station (itself a must-visit for any out-of-town visitor), Fig Tree Café serves breakfast with a smile. You’ll fall in love with their fluffy short stack of buttermilk pancakes, signature salads, spinach eggs benedict with sun-dried tomatoes and always fresh-brewed coffee bar specialties. Then, when the table is cleared, be sure to explore the incredible range of things to see at Liberty Station’s other shops.  

2400 Historic Decatur Rd Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92106


Cesarina (2.6 miles away)

(Photo: @cesarinapasta)

Cesarina puts a decidedly Continental spin on the morning meal. Having recently been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand designation, this intimate and authentic Italian neighborhood trattoria is a truly special brunch destination. Fiercely fresh flavors burst from dishes like avocado and prosciutto bruschetta, and a “tutti frutti” waffle with fresh berries, pistachio syrup, and açai sorbet. Cesarina also offers vegan options for many of their dishes. Feeling the weather? Opt to dine alfresco on Cesarina’s patio.

4161 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107


Tom Ham’s Lighthouse (4.2 miles away)

(Photo: @tomhamslighthouse)

Tom Ham’s hosts one of the most popular brunches in town. The setting? Elegant, refined and right on the harbor. The food? Exquisite. Enjoy a custom egg masterpiece from the omelet bar, fresh salads and vegetable selections, buttermilk waffles, artisan sausage, cinnamon French toast, and much more. And lest we forget, the lunch-leaning plates are just as delectable. Don’t miss out on the Moroccan fried chicken, beer-braised short rib hash, seared yellowtail or Maine Lobster claws.

2150 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101


Café Gratitude (4.3 miles away)

(Photo: @cafegratitude)

Café Gratitude offers plant-based plates without so much as a single corner cut on flavor. Their menu headlines dishes under sunny banners that invite you to order based on mood. For instance, the “Vivid” is an açai superfood bowl with quinoa cashew granola, banana, ginger syrup, and your choice of toppings, while the “Hearty” is a tasty tofu scramble with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and smashed potatoes. Dig in. 

1980 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101


Morning Glory (4.5 miles away)

(Photo: @comiycomi)

Morning Glory is a breakfast-only bistro, so you know you’re in for a fantastic feast when you drop in. There’s also no way to go wrong with the greatest-hits menu here, given the presence of favorites like avocado toast, shakshuka and soufflé pancakes, as well as unexpected surprises such as fried rice with pork belly. Plus, no less an authority than the Michelin Guide recently bestowed Morning Glory with a Bib Gourmand honor.

550 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101 


Hash House A Go Go (5.6 miles away)

(Photo: @hashhouseagogo)

World-famous Hash House A Go Go has locations in five states. But the flagship (and frankly best) Hash House is the original, which has called San Diego home for more than two decades. A Midwest-inspired menu offers hearty favorites with a SoCal spin. Expect to find legendarily huge portions of goodies like oversized “Big Ol’ Pancakes,” loaded-up egg scrambles, and the signature towering sage-fried chicken and waffles. And don’t pass up the famous BLT Mary!

3628 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103


Great Maple (7.3 miles away)

(Photo: @thegreatmaple)

Decadence is the name of the game at this Hillcrest hotspot. When you go, don’t pass up the Johnny’s Lolliwaffles — on-a-stick confections drizzled in sweet and savory toppings reminiscent of the State Fair. The smoked beef brisket hash, salted caramel bacon, maple bacon doughnuts and Fruity Pebble pancakes are also playful, can’t-miss options. And you’ll want to wash it all down with one of their massive, over-the-top Bloody Marys. (Insider note: Great Maple always has a line around the building for brunch. If you plan to go, we strongly recommend making reservations ahead of time, or coming early.)

1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103


Breakfast and Bubbles (7.5 miles away) 

(Photo: @breakfastandbubbles)

This new breakfast and brunch spot is ready to satisfy your appetite for sweet and savory plates no matter what time of day you’re craving them. And if you’re looking to sweeten up your Instagram feed? Look no further. Looking for giant stacks of fluffy pancakes covered in butter and powdered sugar? Check. Oreo-cookie-stuffed French toast? Count on it. Even the classic steak and eggs is made to order on both sides of the equation. The best part? They serve breakfast goodies all day, so late risers are welcome. 

3831 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92103


Humphreys SoCAL Dining & Music (just steps away!)

Naturally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our own Humphreys SoCAL Dining & Music, which has long been a favorite Shelter Island brunch destination. We hope you’ll stop in for timeless favorites like our scrumptious steak and eggs, buttermilk pancakes, and hearty three-egg omelet with your choice of extras. We’ve always got plenty of bacon, sausage, granola, and yogurt ready to go, as well. Get yours and enjoy the perfect start to your day, overlooking the waters of the marina.

2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106