One of the great things about having a baby is that there’s never any chance of sleeping in so late that you miss breakfast. (Oh yes, I am a glass half full kind of Mama.) Plus, we usually eat breakfast so early that there’s never any chance that we’ll have to wait in line. Entertaining a toddler while watching other people eat is not only an exhausting task, but it’s also a complete waste of precious toddler attention-span. It’s normally not a problem since our Little Buddy wakes us up at exactly 5:58 AM and we’re usually sitting down for breakfast by 8 AM. Occasionally we’ll have a change of routine and we’ll plan on meeting up with friends for brunch at the more normal hour of 11AM. (This is, of course, after the morning nap.) On those days we always try to pick a brunch spot without a wait. This can be challenging as it is often the case that an empty restaurant is that way for a reason. We do have a few go-to options, but our favorite by far is Stacks on Hayes Street.
Stacks has a few good things going for it. Parking in Hayes Valley, at least on the weekends, is usually pretty easy. Most importantly there’s rarely a very long wait and that’s mostly due to the fact that it is big enough that they can accommodate the large number of people who want to dine there. Plus they strictly enforce their policy that all diners must be present before a table is seated, so tables turn over fairly quickly. If you do have to wait, there’s a pot of hot coffee outside. As someone who has recently taken to developing migraines if I don’t start the day with a cup of coffee, I fully appreciate the value of this simple set-up.
This is a very kid-friendly place. There are plenty of high chairs and pretty good kids menu. The main menu is quite extensive – everything from scrambles to pancakes to lunch entrees. There are pages and pages to choose from. The blueberry pancakes are some of the best in the city. The “All Meat Omelet” (ham, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, onions, diced tomatoes, cheddar-jack cheese, sour cream & chives) is perfect for the carnivore in your group.
The last time we were there, LB ordered French Toast with pork sausage from the kids menu. The sausage was definitely a choking hazard the way it was served, but I cut it up for him and it was gone in a matter of minutes. The French toast wasn’t far behind. I didn’t even get a bite to taste it, but I’m assuming it was delicious because he practically licked the plate.
There are several stacks locations in the bay area. I’ve only been to the one in Hayes Valley, but I’d recommend it as an easy and delicious brunch spot with or without the little ones in tow.