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“AMAZING!!! A must visit!”

Mama's on Washington Square
Ranked #28 of 5,825 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
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.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

The location is small, but cute and the line gets long so get there early, but it is worth the wait. I was in San Francisco for a week and went here three times for breakfast it was that delicious. I waited in line every time and I didn't care. The line is long because there is minimal seating and seats are close together but the food tastes fresh, local, luxurious... heaven! I had omelets twice and then indulged in the french toast. The vegetarian omelette was delicious with the leeks and goat cheese. The chocolate cinnamon french toast with bananas and berries was the perfect amount of sweetness that you feel indulgent without feeling sick. But the breakfasts were satisfying to the point that I skipped lunch. Staff is incredibly friendly. Once you make it inside you wait in line and can watch the chefs work their magic. There is a beautiful display of fresh ingredients and after you pay for your order they direct you to a table and will wait on you once your order is ready. The fresh juice was delicious. I am not sure, but I heard some people commenting in line that they only take cash so just double check before you go in or make sure that you have some cash on you.

1  Thank Jaclyn1106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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631 - 635 of 1,634 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2014

We arrived at 8:15am on Sunday morning and were greeted with a line out the door of about 20 people. I had heard you had to get there early, but thought 15 minutes after they opened would guarantee minimal wait. WRONG! It was raining and cool, yet people were willingly to stand outside and wait. We almost left after about ten minutes of not much movement in the line. We decided to stick it out. It took about an hour from the time we arrived to get seated. The place is very small so not much inside waiting area. Inside, you order, pay and wait for a table to be cleared to sit down. Once seated, the service was quick and friendly. The food arrived within a reasonable amount of time. The presentation was amazing. Food was better. Make sure to order the French toast. Bottom line get there early and stick out the wait, you will not be disappointed.

Thank slangseth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

I had read many reviews on tripadvisor and was curious about this place, so the only thing I could do was find out for myself. They weren't kidding about the long wait (outside) to get in, but once you make it in it is so worth it. The selections are great and hard to make up one's mind. The employees make you feel right at home too. I had the French toast sampler and it was superb, the mimosa was just as tasty. My son had the Monte Cristo and he was blown away from it's deliciousness. The overall experience was awesome, with the great view of Little Italy and Washington Square around you, you tend to forget you're in line for over an hour.

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1  Thank Rocky R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2014

Yes, the line is long, but it's a popular breakfast place so Saturday mornings will be busy. If you go on a weekday it's probably fine. The servers were great. Everything in the restaurant is adorable as far as decor, and the bread all looks divine. The French Toast sampler plate I got had three flavors - cranberry-walnut, cinnamon brioche, and banana nut. All three were great. The area is nice too, with a park outside and a pretty cathedral - with easy transportation access to go downtown or to the Wharf. The prices are also great! I plan to come back here for lunch one day.

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Thank FGrandillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014

I read about this place on a blog about things to do in San Francisco. Since it was near Lombard street and telegraph hill, we thought it would be a good starting point, just as the blogger suggested.
He mentioned the place gets busy, so go early. That was an understatement! They open at 8:00am on Sunday. We arrive at 7:53 am, and there is already a substantial line. While waiting in line we realize it is not full service. You stand in line to order, pay, then are seated at a table to wait for your order. Because of this process, it seems to take longer.
The line didn't seem that long, we were as far back as their back door. However, it took us 50 minutes to get inside, then another 10 minutes to be able to place our order. The only positive to this is, you get to meet lots of interesting people in line. You end up swapping stories of how you heard about it and how far you have traveled to try the food here. I will say, that makes for a unique experience.
Once inside, the staff is so nice! I guess they are sympathetic as well as grateful you stuck it out and didn't leave.
Now the food. It was good. Some things, really good. However, I can honestly say I have had equally good and a few better breakfasts elsewhere. What makes this place worth visiting is the overall experience. The camaraderie of the people in line, the jovial staff, the story you take home saying you waited over an hour to eat breakfast. It compliments the good food.
We tried their Monte Cristo which is what they are known for. It was outstanding! Everyone agreed it was the best monte Cristo ever! I had a special of eggs and crab with cheese on a brioche bun. I normally do not eat bread but this bread was delicious. We had a chocolate French toast which was good and a cinnamon French toast which was good but not note worthy. We also tried two Benedict's which were ok. Their potatoes were also just ok.
I don't think I would go back because of the long lines, but I enjoyed my experience and if you are not pressed for time, and the line isn't passed their back door, you may want to give them a try.

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Thank adnyl18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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