If you happen to be awake and ready to head to a nice breakfast before 9am on a weekend in North Beach, prepare to see a whole lot of “closed” signs, probably a bit of vomit on the sidewalk, and droves of Chinese ladies exercising in the park. Because apparently that’s all that’s happening in the mornings in North Beach — we’re a late night neighborhood.
Alas, recently I was awake and hungry at 8.30am on a Sunday, and started roaming the neighborhood for breakfast. The classics aren’t yet open — Don Pisto’s, Park Tavern, Bottle Cap. Mama’s is open and the line is already around the block. I pretty much hate standing in around-the-block lines unless I absolutely have to, so that’s out. Cafe Divine isn’t even open yet. Thankfully, we found Caffe DeLucchi.
They have a ridiculously extensive breakfast menu for an Italian restaurant. Omelettes, hashes, benedicts, and… breakfast pizzas. Breakfast pizzas are a whole lot like other pizzas, but with a couple eggs-over-easy tossed on top. Brilliant. Also, they have pretty great vegetarian options, which can sometimes be overlooked at breakfast, even in SF.
We ordered an artichoke hash benedict (poached eggs over artichoke hash with sliced tomatoes, hollandaise sauce, polenta (not potatoes) and toast — $10) and a mushroom and spinach pizza (mixed mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella cheese and sunny eggs — $12). Neither was actually spectacular, but hey, we got to eat at one of their outside tables, and they served us before 9am.
Side note — though our waitress was sweet, she was not terribly attentive. I definitely had to snag my own silverware/napkin burrito, and I never did see that toast that was supposed to come with the benedict. Fortunately, the quantity of food in those two items was so immense, I would have entirely wasted the toast anyway, so I didn’t make a fuss about it. And I did take home some of the pizza and polenta and enjoy it far more than I expected to later that evening.
It’s not gourmet, but it certainly does get the job done.