The Best Places to eat Breakfast in San Diego

Breakfast in North County San Diego

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you feed yourself what your body needs when it needs it, that’s love. So give your bod some TLC and sit down and enjoy a good, substantial breakfast.” – Kathy Freston

I rarely miss breakfast. I rarely miss any meals for that matter, but that is beside the point! Also, I don’t think Kathy Freston was the original person that said “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, but she’s pretty, famous and added some cute stuff after that, so I used her quote.

I wholeheartedly agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My mom said that, so it must be true! Breakfast gives you energy to start your day, and it kick-starts your metabolism, especially if you drink warm water with lemon juice, or have cinnamon, or so I hear.

I make a killer breakfast at home, but here are a few of my favorite breakfast spots in North County San Diego if you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to cook or do dishes. All of these places are no more than 20 minutes from my home in Rancho Santa Fe, and some are very close to the ocean. I just love San Diego!

Breakfast in North County San Diego

1. Claire’s on Cedros in Solana Beach: Claire’s is a traditional breakfast spot that also serves baked good for dine-in or carryout. The food quality is excellent, and the wait service is very good. Prices are reasonable. It is across the street from the Solana Beach train/Coaster station, and you should really check it out if you haven’t. Be prepared to wait up to 40-50 minutes if you go on the weekend. Typically no wait time during the week.

Breakfast in North County San Diego

2. Naked Café in Solana Beach: This place is a little closer to the water than Claire’s and is more natural and organic in nature. Great service, reasonable prices, and excellent food. They serve many non-traditional breakfast dishes in addition to many of the classics. They use the “naked” word and theme liberally in a lot in their menu items, and it is a cute place. Fletcher Cove is across the street, and there is a little playground there where you can take your kids after breakfast or while you wait for a table. Lines on weekends can be 30-40 minutes. Typically no wait during the week.  There is also a Naked Café in Encinitas.

Breakfast in North County San Diego

3. Americana Restaurant in Del Mar: Another traditional breakfast place with dining tables on the sidewalk in Del Mar village. My kids LOVE the break at this place! They serve many traditional breakfast dishes. The service is a little slower, the prices are a little higher, but the food is delicious. Sometimes there is a wait…and sometimes there is not.

4. Thyme in the Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe: This place has some of the best baked-goods in all of North County. They have daily muffin specials and other great breakfast specials as well. I love the quiche Lorraine at this place. It is to die for. They don’t accept credit cards. Just personal checks if they know you or cash. It is a cute little place in Rancho Santa Fe village, and has indoor and outdoor dining. It is a little pricier, but the service and food are both excellent. Get a pie for later in the day. You won’t regret it! The line moves pretty fast here. You order at the counter.

Breakfast in North County San Diego

5. Swamis Café in Encinitas: This is a traditional low-key surfer breakfast joint. Food is good. Prices are reasonable, and service is good as well. They have some unique dishes for the more organic and vegan diners, and traditional breakfast fare. The line moves pretty fast here. You order at the counter.  Swamis has a second location inland in Encinitas as well.

Breakfast in North County San Diego

6. Pipes in Cardiff: This place is a lot like Swamis, but down the street in Cardiff. It is near VG Donut and Seaside Market. It is a low-key surfer breakfast joint. Definitely worth trying. The line moves pretty fast here. You order at the counter.

7. Original Pancake House in Encinitas: My kids LOVE this place. Waits can be a little long on weekends, but the food is really good. Best pancakes in North County. During strawberry season, get the strawberries and whipped cream before breakfast. You won’t regret it. My finacee, Amanda, likes to get the smaller version of the German Pancake called the Dutch Baby. It is still pretty big though! In terms of taste, it is like a blend of French toast and a pancake. This place is reasonably priced, good service, and fun.

8. The Broken Yolk Café in Del Mar: This is a chain, but it is a really good chain. They have traditional breakfast and it is very good.  It is consistent and predictable no matter where I’ve gone: Downtown San Diego, LA, and Del Mar.

9. Swell Coffee Co. & Café in Del Mar: This is a good place to meet for a business meeting if you don’t like Starbucks or are looking to change it up. It is right next to Core Power Yoga in the Flower Hill Promenade. It is similar to a Pannikin, but a little different. They have fresh baked goods and a limited breakfast menu. You order at the counter. Everything I’ve had there is good. Milton’s is in the same strip mall, and their breakfast is good, but not great. But if you want a sit-down breakfast in the same location, go there.

10. VG Donut & Bakery in Cardiff: Not really a breakfast place per se, but this is the favorite donut place in North County. You have to try it! The donuts are delicious! My kids vote this place as #1 as well.

They really aren’t in North County, but I also like The Cottage and Pannikin Coffee and Tea in La Jolla. They are both truly awesome!

Please let us know your favorite breakfast spots in North County! What do you think about this list? What are your favorite spots?