Food & Drink

Where to Find the 11 Best Waffles in the Bay Area

Published On 01/27/2015 Published On 01/27/2015
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
Andy Murdock
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1. Ole's Waffle Shop 1507 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

Wake up in Alameda with Ole's hash browns, pancakes, and of course the signature waffle -- thin, light, crispy, and golden brown.

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2. 900 Grayson 900 Grayson St, Berkeley, CA 94710 (Berkeley)

This quirky West Berkeley cafe is perfect for lazy weekend brunches and creative comfort food fare. Chicken and waffles (known on the menu as the Demon Lover) are its main draw, but 900 Grayson's burgers, Belgian waffles, and benedicts are equally delicious. This being Berkeley, 900 Grayson keeps it weird with its "Hobbit Lunch," a weekday option of Tolkien-themed dishes.

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3. Brown Sugar Kitchen 2534 Mandela Pkwy, Oakland, CA 94607 (Oakland)

If waffles had their own branch of physics, the waffles at this west Oakland soul food spot would break every law. Brown Sugar’s feather-light, darkly caramelized waffles are made of cornmeal batter, and served with a sweet and sour apple cider syrup and brown sugar butter, alongside other finger-licking dishes like BBQ shrimp & grits and buttermilk fried chicken. Befitting the comfort fare, the warmly-colored space reflects a diner-like intimacy, with long counter seating and close rows of square tables that accommodate chattery locals.

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4. Lt. Waffle 3417 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Somehow, the tiny, hat box-sized Linea Caffe manages to squeeze a second business inside: Lt. Waffle. Start with the basic: a picture-perfect Brussels-style yeast-raised waffle served with Mead’s maple syrup. Then move on to the not-at-all-basic: churro-style waffles, buckwheat waffles with ricotta and honey, potato waffles with pastrami, or a fried egg sandwich with bacon and marmalade butter on a waffle bun, all washed down with a rather fine cup of coffee from Linea. We salute you, Lt. Waffle.

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5. Suite Foods Waffle Shop 331 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA (Bernal Heights)

A liege waffle shop that stuffs its hearty, yeast-risen waffles like the maple-bacon number with the likes of poached eggs, making for creations that run the gamut from sweet to savory.

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6. BC Deli Sandwiches 818 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607 (Oakland)

Go for a top-notch banh mi that only costs a few bucks, and make sure to try the pandan waffles -- made with coconut milk, tapioca flour, and pandan leaf (a plant that -- not kidding -- has the same aromatic compound responsible for the smell of toast). Who can say no to a bright green waffle that smells like coconut and toast?

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7. Little Skillet 360 Ritch St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

Little Skillet fully operates out of 330 Ritch's kitchen, and is run by the same dudes that opened Farmer Brown. It's a minuscule, alley-bound to-go window that sells crazy-good soul food (including some of SF proper's best chicken & waffles), as well as great brew.

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8. The Blue Fig 990 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

The Mission is packed with coffee shops, but Blue Fig is the only place to get blue waffles. Fulfilling the promise of its name, Blue Fig crafts waffles made from organic blue corn and served with fig reduction, fresh fruit, and whipped cream. The fig reduction is the star of the show here. It’s big, it’s sweet, it’s rich -- this is the perfect waffle to split with a friend.

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9. Saul's Restaurant & Delicatessen 1475 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709 (Berkeley)

Saul's has matzoh ball soup, latkes, bagels and lox, deli hash, challah French toast, and more. Not that you would need more -- but there's more.

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10. Beachside 4300 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Outer Sunset)

From the same couple behind micro-batch-brewing Java Beach Cafe, Beachside is a church-pew'd, walnut-slabbed, creatively boozy coffee bar and kitchen set in what was once the downstairs saloon of a boarding house erected in 1908, a time when men were men, unless they were Irish. Or Italian.