Where to Get the Best Breakfast and Coffee in San Diego


Southern California is especially well-endowed with significant coffee shops — restaurants that are more polite than a diner but less formal than a linen-napkin restaurant. San Diego has some of the best, which means that it is a great place to eat breakfast. Beyond exemplary coffee shops, great morning-meal opportunities are found in the city’s bakeries and artisan cafes, as well as in definitive coffee houses (which differ from coffee shops in their emphasis on the coffee and their limited menus). These are our favorite spots serving some of the best breakfast in San Diego. (Plus coffee!)

Bakeries, Cafes & Coffee Shops

  • Southern California has no bigger breakfast than “The Kitchen Sink” at the Ramona Café.
  • If you are looking for a brunch spot outside of the city and next to some beautiful ocean overlooks, Cody’s La Jolla is the place for you.
  • Hob Nob Hill is a joyous place in the morning; and to start the day with freshly squeezed juice and good coffee and a wedge of blackberry coffee cake or a pumpkin muffin, is a taste of Pacific Coast heaven.
  • In addition to the bakery goodies, there are omelets of all kinds at Cottage, from machaca (shredded beef) to a luxurious California combo of avocado, bacon, Monterey jack cheese, and sour cream. They’re all must-eats in our eyes.
  • Clayton’s Coffee Shop on Coronado seems usually to be pretty packed. The food and atmosphere are a clear indication of why.

Coffee Houses

  • Small-town vibe, dogs at your feet, and greats eats: Kettle Coffee & Tea of Escondido offers all these delights.
  • The Parakeet Cafe, with its quirky yet inviting atmosphere, bright pink theme, and parakeet logo, is a good reflection of the community’s very Southern California culture.
  • No, there aren’t any potions at Elixir, but the coffee sure is magical. Located in the heart of La Jolla, it is an espresso and wine bar that also offers a unique food menu to pair with both kinds of beverages.
  • Rapidly expanding in the San Diego area, Better Buzz Coffee is spreading up the California Coast. Each of the locations scattered about the San Diego region offers an open and relaxed environment with fantastic coffee, delicious bites, and friendly staff.

Parakeet Cafe

Parakeet Cafe in La Jolla, California, is a good stop for health-conscious travelers looking for quality coffee and organic food.


Elixir Espresso & Wine Bar

La Jolla is home to Elixir Espresso & Wine Bar, one of the best coffee, crepe, and dessert cafes in all of Southern California.


Better Buzz Coffee

Quickly expanding throughout the San Diego area and up the California coast, Better Buzz Coffee offers fantastic brews and and a good breakfast menu.


Cody’s La Jolla

Cody's La Jolla serves breakfast, bunch, and lunch with a scenic view of the ocean cliffs.


Hob Nob Hill

Hob Nob Hill of San Diego is the great Southern California coffee shop, serving three square meals a day with grace and hospitality. Must eat: morning pastries!



The best sunny southern California cafe, from magnificent granola and homemade pastries to superb fish tacos and so much more. The Cottage is a La Jolla must!


Clayton’s Coffee Shop

Clayton’s Coffee Shop on Coronado offers a diner on the inside, salads and sandwiches for take-out, and great coffee.


Kettle Coffee and Tea

Escondido's popular local cafe, Kettle Coffee & Tea offers seasonal eats, classic espresso and tea treats at an affordable price. Try a latte!


Ramona Cafe

Southern California has no bigger breakfast than “The Kitchen Sink” at the Ramona Café -- a huge skillet of a meal. The cinnamon roll is immense, too.

Must Eats