522 Jones St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410237.786106 -122.413033
Wednesday-Monday: 7:30am-3pm Closed Tuesdays
Neighborhoods: Tenderloin, Northeast
Despite the good words I've heard from trusted sources, my breakfast at Dottie's was, unfortunately, overrated. The menu items were creative and they sound incredible, but the execution wasn't there. I will say that the pastries were beyond great; so that may be the bullseye to aim for when eating here...
Absolutely Yummy Comfort Food in a Kitschy Setting – We arrived around 9:00 am on a Thursday and waited about 30 minutes for seats at the counter--a table would have been another 20 minutes or so. We picked up a couple sections of newspaper by the front door before we sat down, which helped pass the longer than expected wait between ordering and food delivery.
Service was efficient and friendly, coffee refills were frequently offered, and even though we were right next to the grill area, kitchen noise was never obtrusive.
Our food was delivered steaming hot and was absolutely delicious. The pancakes were utterly filling, I had ordered three when two would have been plenty. Just the right amount of spice was added to mix with the creamy buttermilk texture to offer a robust but not overpowering flavor making them by far the best pancakes I've had in my lifetime. My husbands French Toast was equally satisfying. The bacon was delivered as ordered, extra crisp.
The atmosphere buzzed and bustled. The decor is 50's kitsch, and I amused myself for a few minutes playing with the collection of snow globes on the counter in front of me. Bring your appetite and be prepared to wait for a seat, but the wait is rewarded with some of the best breakfast food ever created. Two big thumbs up!
Best breakfast joint in San Francisco - The food is worth the wait. – Dottie's was one of our favorite food stops in NorCal. We had a 45 minute wait on a Tuessday morning, and the food was totally worth the wait. When we first got in, it was not what we expected. It was very small, and the printed menu on the table was quite ordinary. But as soon as the waitress came and informed us of all the "specials" listed on the blackboard, we knew immediately what all the hype was for. I ordered the pumpkin chocolate chip french toast with candied pecans, pure maple syrup, and powdered sugar - it was every bit as wonderful as it sounds. Mom ordered the egg scramble with chipotle chicken, corn, and tons of white cheddar. It came with potatoes and a wonderful dill toast. Most people snapped pictures of their food when it arrived at their table. That's how yummy it is. It's amazing what the cook is able to do in such limited space. Every recipe was ingenious, and it was prepared as a piece of art. The portions were huge. As much as I loved my meal, I couldn't eat it all.
Here are the only possible downsides. One: At first, the location can be a little scary for some people. It's centrally located in the heart of San Francisco's homeless area - West Union Square. But the people on the street are not agressive like some of the homeless people in LA or Atlanta. We passed about 100 homeless people in 3 blocks, and only 2 of them approached us for money. If you have any leftovers, take it to go for one of these nice people. Two: If you're at all prudish or overprotected, you may be uncomfortable with some of the surroundings in the restaurant. At our table, their was a picture of male genetalia and a note from a customer describing the food with inappropriate language (Citysearch won't let me quote it). Very California. Three: The seating is very tight. We had to turn down the first table offered to us because the man sitting at the table next to ours was overweight, and we couldn't pull one of the chairs out.
Wow! – We were so impressed by this place! Although the line was around the block, we got through it relatively quickly, thanks to the speedy service. The food was excellent (try the blueberry cornmeal pancakes, cranberry oatmeal scone, any of the egg/griddle scramble things, and the jalapeno cornbread!), the service was nice and efficient, the decor was fun and quirky, and the price very reasonable. You should definitely go!
Blindingly good! – Simply put, this was hands-down the best breakfast I've had in years. A combination of sitting at the counter, actually watching the chef put together the whiskey-fennel sausage, mushroom and baby spinach scramble while unflappingly preparing three other meals at the same time with more lve than your own mom would, chatting to a perfect stranger about the trancendental merits of such pleasures, a good cup o' joe, and friendly, efficient and easy-going staff made the utterly delicious, fresh food better still. Who cares about places elsewhere that run under a more precise business model? This delightful little gem has a rare and unique charm that's reflected in the rare and unique care with whch they prepare their fare. Good for you if you can find food "as good" elsewhere (I'd put good money on it that you won't...), or more Starbucks-efficient service, if that's your thing, but you'll be missing out on a swath of wonderful intangibles that will rarely be found elsewhere. I loved it, and will be back for my next breakfast in San Francisco, without a shadow of a doubt. Long live Dottie's!
Great food, but methinks the business plan needs revision – I've eaten here twice, and while my only crib with the great food is the lack of a gravy to serve with their biscuits, there's lots to annoy one. The place is tiny, yet they waste two seats by giving couples four-seat tables. The servers seem to prioritise clearing tables ahead of taking orders, and are generally slow. Most of the trendy horde seem willing to in line for wait for over an hour (I observed this one Sunday morning while snacking on samosas at the Indian place across the road), but plenty of people do give up, so has it ever occured to the owners to approach Shalimar about using their space for overflow? Two places with equally good food but more efficient setups are Savor in Noe Valley and St. Francis Fountain in the Inner Mission. Maybe the owners are planning to make their money when they sell the place? Who knows.
Best Breakfast Ever – Dottie's serves the best breakfast ever. Everything was fresh. The fruit was just perfectly ripe and sweet. The italian sausage was the best i've ever had in my life. The french toast was amazing. The pancakes and biscuits -- perfect! Chili cornbread..mmmm! The portions are big, so you get a lot for your money. I can't wait to come back again when i'm in the area. The line goes by quickly, so if you have the time to wait, it is definitely worth it. I even brought home a souvenir mug as a reminder of how great my breakfast was.
Southwest Cajun Flavors Meets Fruity Fresh Baked Sweet Breads – Screen sirens of the past meet you when you walk in the front doorof this Tenderloin cafe, if you can squeeze in that is. A constant crowd fills the entry way waiting for one of the 9 tables or 4 counter seats to open up. But no worries just grab a copy of the Onion while you wait to make the time past. The crowd of tourists and Union Square shoppers arrive in twos and once they've claimed a table chat over hearty breakfasts and fresh pastries. The blue and white walls are decorated with 50s memorabilia and curvy pin-up girls. Cup and saucer chandeliers dimly light the black vintage tables in the small room. Daily specials are written on the back wall so take advantage of the wait to decide what you want. The waitresses are attentive and if you order right away your food will arrive before your first cup of coffee is gone. You can't go wrong with any of the specials so be daring and try something new. Their fresh salsa and grilled cornbread are fantastic, though, if you get a chance.
An excellent breakfast in a sketchy neighborhood – Dottie's True Blue is located in the Tenderloin area of San Fran. The number of street people and police presence in the 'loin may give some tourists an uneasy feeling. We were tourists and I actually felt the need to move our car to a safer spot while waiting in the hour long line to get in for breakfast. Once inside, everything is forgotten. All the breakfast choices are excellent and it's hard to go wrong. The cornmeal blueberry pankakes were excellent. A friendly hardworking staff and local color adds to the experience. If you are uneasy about being too close to the "street people," you may want to opt for another place.
decent foods at high prices – It's overpriced and overhyped. A 10oz OJ for $3.50 and it's not even freshly squeezed even though the menu says it is. Not bad overall but not worth the wait. Why the long lines? Cuz the busboys and waitresses work too slowly.
Best Breakfast in San Francisco – DELICIOUS!!! That sums it up! From the awesome omelettes to the fresh bread, the food here is just what the doctor ordered when you need that "morning after" breakfast to recover from the night before! The only drawback is the wait. If only they had more tables...
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