The Jersey Breakfast Sandwich at Oakland's Cafe Underwood.

The Jersey Breakfast Sandwich at Oakland's Cafe Underwood. (Jenny Oh)

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I’ve got more of a savory tooth than a sweet one when it comes to breakfast, so I usually pass on pancakes and waffles and start scanning the menu for omelets and other egg dishes. Breakfast sandwiches — whether on biscuits, rolls or other breads — are one of my go-to morning items (especially if I need a portable meal), and fortunately there’s plenty of delicious options available around my neighborhood. Let us know your favorites in the comments, and if you’re looking for bagel-related choices, check out this previous guide.

Best Breakfast Sandwich That Will Keep Vampires at Bay

Just in case you didn't get enough aioli slathered onto your sandwich, Stag's Lunchette kindly gives you an extra dollop on the side.
Just in case you didn’t get enough aioli slathered onto your sandwich, Stag’s Lunchette kindly gives you an extra dollop on the side. (Jenny Oh)

The retro-hunting lodge-cum-antiques shop vibe is strong at Stag’s Lunchette, but its comfort food menu is a modern take on classic American sandwiches. While the menu changes weekly (check Facebook or Twitter for updates), their tasty breakfast sandwich usually makes an appearance. The oil-poached egg with melted Gruyère cheese and a smattering of greens piled on top of a soft brioche roll is held together by a rich helping of garlicky aioli. You can add bacon or smoked trout if you want some meaty extras for your sandwich. Stag’s also serves up other breakfast items until 10:45AM, including bagelwiches or paninis.

Stag’s Lunchette
362 17th St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94612
Ph: (510) 835-7824
Hours: (Breakfast Hours) Mon-Fri 8am-10:45am; Sat-Sun 9am-12pm
Facebook: Stag’s Lunchette
Twitter: @stagslunchette
Price range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Best Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich

You can skip lunch as Zella's Soulful Kitchen's hearty breakfast biscuit sandwich with bacon will tide you over until dinnertime.
You can skip lunch as Zella’s Soulful Kitchen’s hearty breakfast biscuit sandwich with bacon will tide you over until dinnertime. (Jenny Oh)

Hop on or off BART at the West Oakland station, and you’ll be right across the street from the Mandela Foods Cooperative. This neighborhood grocery store also houses Zella’s Soulful Kitchen, a small café and catering company that specializes in Southern-inspired cuisine. They offer a wide array of alluring breakfast items, but their egg-and-cheese biscuit sandwich is the most drool-worthy way to jumpstart your morning. It’s a pretty substantive sandwich that’ll tide you over way past lunchtime, but you can pile on bacon or chicken sausage if you’re seeking additional decadent toppings.

Zella’s Soulful Kitchen
1430 7th St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94607
Ph: (510) 768-8003
Hours: Mon-Thu 7am-4pm; Sat 9am-2pm
Facebook: Zella’s Soulful Kitchen
Twitter: @zellaskitchen
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)

Best East Coast-Style Sandwich

The Yoakland and Jersey Breakfast sandwiches from Oakland's Cafe Underwood are inspired takes on what you'd find in delis in the tri-state area.
The Yoakland and Jersey breakfast sandwiches from Oakland’s Cafe Underwood are inspired takes on what you’d find in delis in the East Coast tri-state area. (Jenny Oh)

Back in my student days at New York University, I’d often grab a quick bagel with cream cheese or an egg-and-cheese on a roll from the local deli before heading to class. Cafe Underwood’s two breakfast sandwiches are gussied-up versions of what you’ll often find in the tri-state area. Served on perfectly toasted Kaiser rolls flecked with poppy seeds, you can choose from the “Yoakland” (with an oozing over-easy fried egg with melted cheddar cheese, garlicky aioli and greens) or the “Jersey Style” (fried egg, melted cheddar cheese, Taylor ham and ketchup). Both go well with their coffee (brewed with beans from local company Highwire Coffee Roasters) and feel free to use the complimentary Wi-Fi if you’ve brought your laptop with you.

Cafe Underwood
308 41st St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94609
Ph: (510) 995-6660
Hours: Mon-Thu 7:30am-10pm; Sat 8am-10pm; Sun 8am-7pm
Facebook: Underwood Oakland
Twitter: @CafeUnderwood
Price range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Best Torta

Cosecha's hefty torta sandwich requires two hands and several napkins.
Cosecha’s hefty torta sandwich requires two hands and several napkins. (Jenny Oh)

If you’ve ever tried Cosecha’s superb Mexican-style sandwiches, or tortas, for lunch — then you should definitely head over at the next available opportunity for Saturday brunch. It’s the only time you can order their breakfast torta that’s layered with soft, organic scrambled eggs (from Free Spirit Farm), bacon, guacamole, tomato, cilantro and guajillo salsa spooned on top of a crusty white roll. Chances are you’ll leave happily full with red-stained fingertips (a small price to pay for this flavorful sandwich).

Cosecha
907 Washington St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94607
Ph: (510) 452-5900
Hours: (Breakfast Hours) Mon-Fri 11am-3:30pm Sat 10:30am-3:30pm; Closed Sundays
Facebook: Cosecha
Twitter: @cosechacafe
Price range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Best Egg McMuffin Clone

You get more bang for your buck with Chop Bar's version of the Egg McMuffin.
You get more bang for your buck with Chop Bar’s version of the Egg McMuffin. (Jenny Oh)

If you’re willing to spend just a a dollar or two more, Chop Bar’s breakfast sandwich is a pretty good deal at $5. And you get a generous-size English muffin stuffed with a poached egg, cheddar cheese and thick-cut slices of Col. Newsom’s Kentucky ham (avocado is extra, and if they happen to run out of ham — don’t worry, their bacon is a fine substitute as pictured above.) Plus they have their own walk-up window where you can get coffee and other breakfasty items if you’re on the run and want to bypass the wait for the restaurant.

Chop Bar
Address: 247 4th Street [Map]
Oakland, CA 94607
Ph: (510) 834-2467
Hours: (Breakfast Hours)Mon-Fri 8am-11am; Sat-Sun 9am-3pm
Facebook: Chop Bar
Twitter: @ChopBar
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)

5 Bites: The Best Breakfast Sandwiches in Oakland 15 December,2015Jenny Oh

  • Barbara Kilpatrick

    The egg. The staple. The right idea, location first.

Author

Jenny Oh

Jenny is a long-time contributor to Bay Area Bites, KQED's popular food blog. She formerly worked as an Interactive Producer for the Science & Environment unit. Jenny graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program and has worked for WNET/PBS, The Learning Channel, Sundance Channel, HBO and the University of California.