Hob Nob Hill

Bakery | Californian | Coffee shop | Pancake House
Memorable
One of the best
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Embroidered bywords on the wall behind the cash register of Hob Nob Hill offer this assurance: “Pleasures in Life are Few, One of Ours is Serving You”. There isn’t a more benevolent restaurant in America. Its gentle dining rooms put us in mind of mid-century domestic science brochures that offer advice for the new bride who wants to please her husband and create a happy home: Set an attractive table, cook wholesome meals to keep your family healthy, add a pleasant little garnish to every plate that shows you care. So it is at Hob Nob Hill, the last word in comfort-food restaurants and one of the last of a special breed of place that once thrived in Southern California – the deluxe urban coffee shop.

Outfitted in uniforms with crisp white aprons, the ladies who attend tables are brisk and kindly; and they are guided in their work by an almost imperceptible loud-speaker system utilized by hosts who patrol the floor and rush to a microphone whenever they see a customer who needs something. The hosts’ broadcasts are made in old-fashioned numeric code like police dispatchers on “Highway Patrol” once used, so the sensitive ears of customers are not exposed to the nitty-gritty details of dining-room upkeep. “101 on 20,” means table 20 needs service. “50 on 10” summons a bus boy to table 10 immediately. “104 to the counter” alerts the staff that someone at the short counter in the first dining room needs a check.

Pause a moment to admire your Waldorf or spinach salad when it’s set down. A moment later, the waitress will return with a plate topped with a linen napkin on which are placed chilled forks for your salad-eating pleasure. Yes, chilled forks.

Everyday dinner entrees include prime rib and chicken croquettes and hot turkey with sage dressing; but there is a whole rotation of specials by which regular customers set their clocks: corned beef and cabbage on Monday, beef stew Wednesday, pot roast and leg o’ lamb Sunday.

Many San Diegans think of Hob Nob Hill as a breakfast spot; and if you can eat but one meal here, that’s the one. It 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. Amidst the rush and crowds, waitresses liven up the room by schmoozing with customers they have known for years as enthusiastic pastry-hounds rhapsodize out loud over the individual bundt cakes and caramel pecan buns and sweet rolls in the glass case that everyone admires while they wait for a table.

What to Eat
Hob Nob Hill, Coffee Cake
Coffee Cake
Must-Try
There is always coffee cake available for breakfast. On this day, it was blackberry.
Hob Nob Hill, Waffle
Waffle
Must-Try
'Do you serve regular or Belgian waffles?' we asked our waitress. 'We have the old-fashioned kind,' she said, adding, 'You know, it is hard to find a thinner waffle nowadays.' Amen to that, sister! We have often gone on record as preferring the traditional small-tread waffle over the bloated Belgian. Hob Nob Hill's is a beauty, here blanketed with chopped pecans and waiting for butter and syrup.
Hob Nob Hill, Hot Turkey Dinner
Hot Turkey Dinner
Must-Try
Turkey dinner is on the menu seven days a week.
Hob Nob Hill, Pecan Roll
Pecan Roll
Must-Try
This is one of the reasons we especially love breakfast at Hob Nob Hill: a warm, gooey, nut-smothered pecan roll.
Hob Nob Hill, Waldorf Salad
Waldorf Salad
Must-Try
All dinners come with a choice of salad: Waldorf, Caesar, spinach, etc. We love this classic globe of Waldorf, made especially fine by the chilled fork that is presented with it.
Hob Nob Hill, Corned Beef Hash
Corned Beef Hash
Must-Try
Both Corned Beef Hash and Roast Beef Hash were available for breakfast. We chose the former, of which here is a close up.
Directions and Hours
open now
Sunday7 am - 9 pm
Monday7 am - 9 pm
Tuesday7 am - 9 pm
Wednesday7 am - 9 pm
Thursday7 am - 9 pm
Friday7 am - 9 pm
Saturday7 am - 9 pm
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
7 stops | 85 MILES | 2 hr 23 min

Starting with refreshing smoothies in Laguna Beach, this Coast Highway drive leads to surfer burgers supreme, tacos by the highway, breakfast of the gods and the quintessential SoCal coffee shop.

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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