Belgian waffles (credit: Mark Renders/Getty Images)
Waffles are a longtime favorite, and show up nowadays on Bay Area menus in a variety of ways. The classic waffle is still an iconic breakfast standard, along with newly popular chicken and waffles, plus jumbo waffle cones to carry your favorite ice cream. Here are five recommended waffle darlings around the Bay Area.
900 Grayson St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Brothers Christopher and Anthony Saulnier, both chefs, run 900 Grayson, and they definitely have made the restaurant a success. A runaway house winner is the Demon Lover, a spicy fried chicken and buttermilk waffle dish served with choice of creamy gravy or Vermont maple syrup. As one fan says, “The Demon Lover is beyond verbal description – everyone needs to try this at least once.” The other tasty waffle option is called “I’m not Belgian,” a buttermilk waffle, served with Plugra butter and Vermont maple syrup — the real thing.
1696 Tiburon Blvd.
Belvedere Tiburon, CA 94920
New Morning Café gets raves for its yummy breakfasts from fans that frequent this little breakfast and brunch spot. Casual and welcoming in picturesque Tiburon, folks often have brunch here before hopping on the ferry nearby. There are two waffle options here — sour cream, the most popular, and the waffle combo, with sausages and fruit.
1132 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
The Crepe House is a solid choice in San Francisco’s Mission district. The restaurant has an extensive menu of breakfast, lunch and pasta choices and delivers fresh and tasty food every time. There is an outside seating area too which, in the sunny Mission, is a bonus for locals coming from the foggier outlying areas. Waffles, crepes and general comfort food are what The Crepe House does best. The Belgian Waffle ($7.65) topped with bananas, strawberries and powdered sugar takes the traditional waffle to a higher level, and gets great feedback from Crepe House fans. The Chicken and Waffle platter, including a side of fresh fruit, is a hit here as well. There is a second Crepe House location on Polk Street, with a similar though less extensive menu.
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Café Borrone, a Menlo Park hangout, has been wildly popular with locals, first in Redwood City and now at its current location, since 1979. At breakfast among its menu items, Café Borrone offers a Belgian Waffle either plain or topped with a heaping portion of fresh, mixed berries, or opt for spiced apples and pecans, each served with whipped butter, powered sugar and grade A maple syrup. Reviews for the waffles with berries are simply stated from “Yum!” to “So good!”
Palo Alto, CA 94301
For a culinary twist, you are hereby introduced to Coupa Café, which describes itself as “an urban oasis” and “a lively Venezuelan restaurant featuring a completely new style of international dining…” With locations in Palo Alto and around the Stanford campus, Café Coupa is definitely a spirited change of pace, serving American and Venezuelan dishes at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some great variations on the traditional waffle are here at breakfast, including with fresh bananas, strawberries and bananas, nutella, dulce de leche or chocolate chips, or live it up with a combo of most of these babies. Be sure to return to Coupa Cafe to try an arepa, Venezuela’s national culinary contribution. A cross between a sandwich and a bread snack, arepa’s popularity has gone international. Check the website for more information.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.