Dotties: A San Francisco Breakfast Like No Other

The line up at Dottie’s True Blue Cafe starts early, gets longer and only ends when the place closes.  I went early on a Monday morning (around 9) and was able to walk right in and get a place at the counter.  I had tried on Sunday around noon and gave up hope very quickly.  This place is a San Francisco tradition that is impossible not to love:  a quirky diner with big portions and a menu board filled daily with specials.  I had a lamb and fennel sausage omelet with tomatoes, garlic, spinach and goat cheese.  I asked for whole wheat toast that was so thick it equalled 4 regular slices of bread and came with several pats of butter and a big jar of strawberry jam that resides on every table – 2 on the counter!  It’s impossible not to pig out at this place.  The service was friendly and fast and my cup of coffee was always full.
I found this place quite by accident, I was in Starbucks getting a coffee and asked the Barista if he knew of a place to go for breakfast.  The Union Square/Tenderloin area where I was staying isn’t much of a food destination. Most of the places tend toward upscale touristy places, so you can imagine my joy and delight to find Dottie’s just two blocks away from my hotel.

My breakfast.  It was $12.95 and I didn’t need to eat again until dinner at 9. The lamb sausage goat cheese combo was to die for.

There are only two men working the stoves.  It’s amazing to watch how fast and precise they are; it would give most people a nervous breakdown in 5 minutes. The picture above is a bit blurry, but the entire back half of that griddle is home fries just getting crunchier and more delicious.  Damn, were they ever delicious and the portion as I’ve mentioned were enough for 2 people.

Salt and Pepper shakers.


Not because I needed to, but I was heading off to the airport and wanted something to have on my flight if I got peckish.  All of the muffins are homemade on premises and the selection is overwhelming.  I got Coconut chocolate chip.  Breakfast was so filling I didn’t actually need to eat again until late afternoon, but boy oh boy was I glad I go that muffin.

The decor is mostly dive with a nod of the hat to great, bygone ladies of song and stage. If you double click the picture of the fridge below you’ll get a better look.

Check out this episode of: Diners, Drivers and Dives:

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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