Captain Submarine

Offering a wide selection of sandwiches and gyros, Captain Submarine is a great option for a delicious and inexpensive lunch in Pacific Heights. The super friendly family owned shop is just off the hustle and bustle of Fillmore street on Sacramento, and you may just walk right past it if you're not paying attention. Its price point, considering the neighborhood, is incredibly reasonable—a crab sandwich, soda, and a bag of chips set me back only $8. And the great thing is you don't need permission to come aboard this vessel. Anchors aweigh!

Captain Submarine • 2486 Sacramento St (at Fillmore St) San Francisco, CA 94115


Sweet Maple

Just a block from the hustle and bustle of Fillmore street, Sweet Maple makes an excellent addition to your Saturday/Sunday brunch rotation. The free coffee in the foyer helps temper the long wait ahead of you, and once seated, the service is friendly and efficient. The menu is extensive, offering gigantic pancakes, hearty scrambles, and deep fried french toast. But the main attraction here is the millionaire bacon—which is more like thinly sliced pork chops glazed in brown sugar. It takes bacon to a new dimension—the z-axis, to be exact. The wait can be a bit tedious for sure—but when the colorful plate of bacon-chops, potatoes, and fluffy scrambled eggs arrived, it made it all worthwhile.  

• Sweet Maple 2101 Sutter St (between Steiner St & Pierce St) (415) 655-9169 •

The Red Door Cafe

I really don't know where to begin with this one. What do you get when you cross a Cuban diner with Pee-Wee's Playhouse? Why, it must be The Red Door Cafe. And like a playhouse, it comes with its own rules: No waiting in line with corporate/chain coffees, no attitude, no whining. Ahmed, the colorful proprietor, will enforce these rules by bouncing you out of there. Your long wait in line could very well be expedited by the rule-breakers in front of you. Once inside this tiny curiosity, you'll be treated to some interesting takes on Cuban fare. The Red Door Cafe 1608 Bush St


The Country Boy


The Red Door



The Elite Cafe

I'm not sure about the name of this place. They did let me in, after all.


Bourbon Street. French Quarter. The Big Easy. Or possibly New Orleans Square, Disneyland. The Elite Cafe is all of these and a great brunch, too. I had the Alabama Scramble (eggs, bacon, biscuits, potatoes, and gravy.) The bar is the place to sit, you can swivel in the oldy-time wooden chairs and chat with the pleasant staff while they prepare delightful looking bloody marys for the morning crowd.