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“Yes, we waited almost 2 hours for breakfast!”

Mama's on Washington Square
Ranked #36 of 5,695 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast
Neighborhood: North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Description: Established in 1951. The family of Mama and Papa Sanchez, serves up traditional and innovative breakfast dishes in "Little Italy", the famous North Beach District in San Francisco. Across the street from the beautiful Washington Square Park, Mama's legions of fans line up early and throughout the day. We use the freshest of local products, imported Italian meats to fill our fluffy omelettes, homemade jam, fresh baked breads, pastries and other delectable dishes. We invite you to try our little restaurant and become part of the Mama's Family.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
119 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Yes, we waited almost 2 hours for breakfast!”
Reviewed December 8, 2012

Went on a Sunday in November, we knew of the wait but still wanted to experience it just because...yes crazy especially since I am NOT a breakfast person. It wasn't too bad outside weather-wise and people were fairly friendly so it was an opportunity to people watch, listen to music and just enjoy each others company. When bored I left him in line to walk around and explore the neighborhood. There is a church around the corner and a park across the street for people watching. Before we knew it the time went by and we were finally seated in a tiny little with loads of food because we figure after all that waiting we were going to sit for at least an hour and stuff ourselves to oblivion! The food did not disappoint and we ate every bit of it! Of course I would never do this ever again but at least I can say I/we did it once!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kimberley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
47 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“is it worth your TIME?”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

I;m not sure how I feel about this place.
First off; I visited San Francisco last year and passed by this restaurant many times but never had a chance to go eat. I finally came back a year later and was determined to try it out. I went with my sister and another friend on a Sunday morning around 11am. We obviously knew there was going to be a line because of the time of the day and week. But once we arrived- the line was bigger than we expected.
I don't know if I'm proud to say this but we basically waited 2 hours in line to just get into this miniature restaurant.
And the wait doesn't end there; once you get past the front door- you need to wait in line to order your food at the cash (yes very unusual- they make you order your food before you get seated). So once you order your food- you need to wait to be seated- once your seated- then you need to wait for your food to arrive.
So we basically took 4 hours of our time for Mama's.
Now; the food.... the food; i hate to admit it; but it was amazing. We all ordered the eggs Benedict and we were speechless how good it was.
However- my sister found a hair in her plate which she told our waitress- the waitress didn;t even apologize- just gave her a new one ( another wait there). I found that to be rude
In the end; we were satisfied with our breakfast- but I was upset that we wasted 4 hours at Mama's with all the waiting.
I think the food was worth it, but worth my time? I don't think so.
If you have plenty of time on your hands- check it out- but prepared to wait....and wait....and wait. ( We actually went to a bakery while we waited 2 hours in line and ate pastries- then even had time to digest that and be hungry for "brunch")
oh and did I mention you need to wait for the bathroom too? No surprise there

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
2 Thank vicki_664
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012 via mobile

Went on a Sunday, waited 2 hours. The eggs Benedict was delicious but I'm not sure if that's because I was soooo starving by the time I waited 1.5 hours outside and then another 30 minutes inside the cramped place. The staff are OK, but I did find a small hair in my plate, mentioned it to the female waitress, she took it back but never apologized when she brought me back a new plate.... Usually Restaurents offer a complimentary orange juice or coffee when they screw up, but in this case I got NADA. It's also pretty pricey for what it is...

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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2 Thank Meowkit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashua, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
34 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Loved the Omelet”
Reviewed December 3, 2012

I had read about Mama's for breakfast before leaving for San Francisco. Having read the reviews I knew that I had to be there early. They open at 8am so I got there at 7am and I was the first customer there. Mama's is not in a bad neighborhood so waiting was not a problem. I finished reading the hotel newspaper while waiting. When they opened the doors at 8, there was a long line of hungry people behind me. As someone who was from the east coast, it was lunchtime for me when they opened the doors.

They let a bunch of us in and we all line up in front of the register. Yes, you have to order at the register and pick a table to sit at once you've ordered your food. Somehow they figure out who ordered what. Once the food is ready, they bring it to you. I had ordered their vegetarian omelet, which was really good. It was so fluffy and soft that it kept popping out of my mouth. Goat cheese in the omelet was a nice touch. I had never had goat cheese with omelet before and I really liked it. I also wanted to order banana pancakes, but I'm not a big eater, so I decided against it. I saw it on some customers' tables, and it looked very inviting.
The staff at mama's provided an outstanding service. They were very friendly and efficient. Correct food was delivered to each customer as soon as it was ready.
I stopped by the next day at lunch to get something to eat, but there was a line just as long as the day before. I opted to get their california sandwich to go. I really enjoyed eating it while walking to my hotel near union square (about a mile).
I wanted to try so many of their other items, like the veggie eggs benedict, french toast and pancakes, and some lunch items. I guess I'll just have to go there next time I am in town.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank NHWorldTravelerJay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mill Valley, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“lots of tourists but still fun”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

The wait was part of the excitement. I like waiting in cold morning air. the meal was good, not wow! but i love the quaintness, freshness & original dishes.

Visited November 2012
Thank Stacy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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