Over the summer I packed up my life in Denver, Colorado and ventured out west to make my home in sunny San Diego. While the idea of constant sunshine, surf, and beaches was highly appealing to me, my heart was breaking a little because I had to leave not only my amazing friends but my favorite restaurants and watering holes, including my go-to brunch heaven Snooze.
One day while stalking their website and dreaming of their delicious confections, I came across a piece of news that brightened my whole year. Snooze would soon be opening up in San Diego. The breakfast gods heard my prayers and the grumbling in my stomach. I only had to wait two months until my beloved pancake flight and I were reunited. Those were the two longest months of my life.
On November 18th, 2011, Snooze San Diego opened its doors in the heart of Hillcrest (3940 5th Avenue, 92103) and within the first weekend news quickly spread that this was a place to be reckoned with. Smiles were contagious throughout by both patrons and the very knowledgeable wait staff.
For those of you that are saying “Oh it’s probably just another brunch spot”, let me stop you right there when I say it is THE ONLY brunch spot. These guys are breakfast professionals. They have perfected their craft with five Colorado locations, all which go on an hour plus wait on weekends. Their menu satisfies every taste preference from breakfast pot pies to a plethora of Eggs benedict options. According to Nick Papantonakis, the assistant General Manager, the best selling menu item is the Chillaquilles Benedict - a base of corn tortillas, cheese, and their homemade Chillaquilles sauce, topped with a poached egg, smoked cheddar hollandaise, homemade salsa, and cotija cheese crumbles. If that doesn’t sound like heaven in your mouth, then I don’t know what does.
However, while the menu is to die for on all accounts I always get the same thing- the pancake flight and pomegranate mimosa. I am addicted! The dish is a crowd favorite. The "Cinnfull” is the most popular - buttermilk pancake with white chocolate chips inside, vanilla cream, bacon caramel, pecans, and cinnamon butter on top. Also, The "Devereaux", another patron pleaser / house favorite that the chef created boasts red velvet batter with Oreo cookies inside, peanut butter cream and cream cheese frosting on top. With the pancake flight you get to choose three of your favorites with other options including the Pineapple Upside-down cake, Sweet Potato, Red Eye Velvet and the always creative pancake of the day. The Cookies and Cream is my all time favorite Pancake of the day. These guys blow IHOP out of the water!
With menu items ranging from $8 to $11 a plate, Snooze is a no-brainer for breakfast and brunch. It is the place to cure that Friday night hangover or the place to impress a first date. Trust me guys, she will be putty in your hands with one bite of the pancake flight.
The best days to go if you are in a hurry are Tuesdays and Wednesdays as the wait will not be that long. Their busiest day is Sunday, so make sure to get there early! But if you do hit prime time and have to wait, Snooze has a great little patio waiting area with complimentary coffee. It is so worth the wait.
A great event that they have coming up is Bike to Work Day, Friday May 18th. Snooze is planning to be a pit stop for folks that are biking to work. Bikers will be treated to those delicious pancakes and mini breakfast burritos!
According to Nick, their general mission statement is very simple - “Based on the 3 basics - Food, Service, and Ambiance, we want to give the ultimate breakfast experience. Sustainability is a major part of us having a 'successful' restaurant. It's part of who we are, and what we aim to do to leave this planet in a better state for our kids. We encourage people to get creative with our menu, we're very flexible with what we can prepare and how we can prepare it. Our motto is ‘It's your breakfast, how can we serve you?’”
SNOOZE, An AM Eatery
3940 5th Ave., Hillcrest 92103
Hours: M-F 6:30 AM-2:30 PM, Sat-Sun 7:00 AM-2:30 PM
Management: Robert Butterfield (GM), Nick Papantonakis (Asst. General Manager)