O.M.G. You 100% have to go to Mama’s if you’re looking for the best breakfast in San Francisco. Trust me – in the name of blogging I sampled quite a few spots. If you’re not an early riser, go here for brunch. Whatever plans you have in San Fran, make sure you schedule in a trip to this famous local diner. Just to be clear, you really do need to schedule it in because there is nearly always a queue to get a seat at this place.
Mama’s on Washington Square
You can’t miss the emerald green canopy as you walk up through China Town to Washington Square, or I guess down through North Beach depending on where you’re staying. If you walk through China Town you’ll end up walking alongside Washington Square Park and if you’re lucky you’ll see the locals practicing their dancing tai chi movements in the sunshine. If you’re from outta town, no doubt you’ll have one of those surreal, happy moments as they sweep and skip from low to high. It’s one of the many eclectic vibes that’s so intertwined with this hippy city.
Anyway, if you miss the green canopy, there’s no chance you’ll miss the queue. Arriving on a Saturday at 9.30am, it took us about an hour to get a seat. That meant an hour of trying to subtly peep through the windows to see what delicious goodies were on offer and what all the fuss was about. Obviously the air from our open mouths steamed up the windows and blew our cover. However, the hot drinks we were offered helped to ease the wait.
As you near the stable door entrance, the brother of the head chef chats about the specials, where you’re from and well, everything and anything. Just like all the staff at Mama’s, they’re hardworking, down to earth and incredibly friendly.
Unless you’re in on the secret, you could easily walk straight past Mama’s (or not even venture up this way). The decor is old fashioned, homely and not particularly stylish. However, it just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
The Best Breakfast in San Francisco
The food at Mama’s is phenomenal. Greedy portions, indulgent menu choices and tempting in every way possible. Locals come here regularly, tourists flock here and locals who have since moved away make special trips just to come back for a good ol’ slice of Mama’s.
As soon as you pass through that much anticipated entrance you’re led to the counter to place your order. It’s a tempting sight and a big, foodie dilemma. Do you go for the fresh Dungeness crab? Do you go for a cooked breakfast or a fresh stack of pancakes covered in sweet syrup and berries? Do you go for a side of Mama’s grilled potatoes, the much raved about French toast, or the bacon? Do you go for a fluffy capacinno or a freshly squeezed orange juice?
Well, you don’t decide. You simply go all out and order the lot! After all, you’ll only be here once, right?! Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. Every single mouthful is heavenly (okay, sinful) and makes you sigh with sheer and utter delight (especially the blueberry stack of pancakes).
The French Toast is more like what us Brits would call cake. The banana version tastes like banana bread and is so filling that you’ll probably have to get it boxed up to take away. I give you a whole hour until you delightfully scoff the lot.
Tips for Mama’s
You’ll find Mama’s on Washington Square (the clue is in the name), specifically at 1701 Stockton Street, San Francisco. You can’t reserve a seat, so be prepared to wait a little. You’ll need to bring cash or a debit card as they can’t accept credit cards. Arrive with an empty stomach AND an empty bladder. There’s only one small loo, so don’t get caught out! Oh, and one last tip – walk up to Coit Tower afterwards to work off some of the calories.
Okay, I lied. My last tip is to order everything. You won’t regret it.
Have you been to Mama’s or San Francisco? Is it somewhere that’s on your list? X
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