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Harbor Breakfast finds its feet

Little Italy breakfast nook is quite the looker and serves up a tasty sandwich, too

Satisfying breakfast sandwich at Harbor Breakfast.
Satisfying breakfast sandwich at Harbor Breakfast.
Place

Harbor Breakfast

1502 India Street, San Diego

The sharp exterior of Harbor Breakfast.

Despite being something of a hot mess in its early days, Harbor Breakfast has gotten its act together. The restaurant gave the appearance of having rushed into opening much later than expected, which barely makes logistical sense. They employ one of those clunky point-of-sale systems that give restaurant owners exactly what they pay for, and which are likely to stick around, much to our collective chagrin. Nevertheless, a little perseverance and more complete staffing have the Little Italy breakfast joint ticking like a clock.

The inside of Harbor Breakfast is as excellent as the outside.

Harbor truly shines in its decor. The powder-blue paint job, checkered bar stools surrounding the blonde lunch counter, and the sunny outdoor booths built right into the building all give the place a feel that’s somewhat San Franciscan, a bit New Yorker, and still faithfully San Diegan all at the same time.

With a menu of moderately enhanced omelets ($14-$15), egg dishes and benedicts ($8-$15), and starchy pancreas-busters in the form of pancakes, french toast, and waffles ($8-$12), the prices run to the high side for breakfast fare. Curiously, the best deal (at least on paper) seems to be the sub-$20 ribeye and eggs. The kitchen’s style isn’t full-on greasy spoon, but neither is it haute cuisine. We are still talking flat-top cookery here, and fifteen bones for good — but otherwise very regular — dishes is pushing it. The tremendously enjoyable seating goes a long way to ease the hurt, but it’s still not for the faint of wallet.

Harbor Breakfast's hash and eggs.

Harbor’s coffee comes from Portland's lauded Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and it’s as light and third-wavey as they come.

Ten dollars seems like a steep cost of entry for a fried egg sandwich, but Harbor’s stands out. Two eggs threaten to overwhelm thick slices of toast, with hefty slabs of bacon and a generous carving of heirloom tomato soaking into the cream cheese-smeared bread. Hash browns are all well and good, but maybe look to fruit as a side dish with an egg-wich of this magnitude.

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Satisfying breakfast sandwich at Harbor Breakfast.
Satisfying breakfast sandwich at Harbor Breakfast.
Place

Harbor Breakfast

1502 India Street, San Diego

The sharp exterior of Harbor Breakfast.

Despite being something of a hot mess in its early days, Harbor Breakfast has gotten its act together. The restaurant gave the appearance of having rushed into opening much later than expected, which barely makes logistical sense. They employ one of those clunky point-of-sale systems that give restaurant owners exactly what they pay for, and which are likely to stick around, much to our collective chagrin. Nevertheless, a little perseverance and more complete staffing have the Little Italy breakfast joint ticking like a clock.

The inside of Harbor Breakfast is as excellent as the outside.

Harbor truly shines in its decor. The powder-blue paint job, checkered bar stools surrounding the blonde lunch counter, and the sunny outdoor booths built right into the building all give the place a feel that’s somewhat San Franciscan, a bit New Yorker, and still faithfully San Diegan all at the same time.

With a menu of moderately enhanced omelets ($14-$15), egg dishes and benedicts ($8-$15), and starchy pancreas-busters in the form of pancakes, french toast, and waffles ($8-$12), the prices run to the high side for breakfast fare. Curiously, the best deal (at least on paper) seems to be the sub-$20 ribeye and eggs. The kitchen’s style isn’t full-on greasy spoon, but neither is it haute cuisine. We are still talking flat-top cookery here, and fifteen bones for good — but otherwise very regular — dishes is pushing it. The tremendously enjoyable seating goes a long way to ease the hurt, but it’s still not for the faint of wallet.

Harbor Breakfast's hash and eggs.

Harbor’s coffee comes from Portland's lauded Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and it’s as light and third-wavey as they come.

Ten dollars seems like a steep cost of entry for a fried egg sandwich, but Harbor’s stands out. Two eggs threaten to overwhelm thick slices of toast, with hefty slabs of bacon and a generous carving of heirloom tomato soaking into the cream cheese-smeared bread. Hash browns are all well and good, but maybe look to fruit as a side dish with an egg-wich of this magnitude.

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