tip top meats / carlsbad – san diego, ca

Other bloggers are doing like “Best of 2013!” posts, but not me. We are just chugging right along with more reviews here like a whole new year isn’t happening tomorrow.

If I were to do one of those Best of! posts, this breakfast might actually make the list. So we’re ending the year on a high note, at least! Stacey alerted me to this most awesome of breakfast specials over at Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad, CA. I used to be a regular patron of Carlsbad in the early part of the 2000’s since I worked all the way up there. I know I visited Tip Top at least a few times but certainly never for breakfast.


The breakfast special we’re honing in on here, the item that I thought would catch Jake’s eye, is the “Big John’s Breakfast”. For a mere $7.98 you get three eggs, home fries, toast and all-you-can-eat meats. The meats are all made in house, including their smokehouse bacon, pork link sausages, bratwurst or ham. You can have two meats at any time and when you want more, you just bug someone passing you by and they get more meat for you. You don’t have to stick to one item but can rotate through and try all the meats if your little heart desires.

It was Saturday morning when we visited and there was quite a line. It took us at least 20 minutes to get through the line and a few more minutes to scout out and find a table.


This is the bakery/dessert case by the counter where you order. Lots of delicious looking things, but we didn’t partake of any since we were on our way to Dana Point shortly after this meal.

It took a freakin’ long time for us to get our food… I’m talking “half hour” zone, people. I was starting to get super cranky and also worried about the time since we had somewhere to be where we HAD to be on time… lucky for them, the food turned out to be SO GOOD that I almost completely forgot about our long, long wait (ALMOST). I’ll forgive them though and just know better for next time. If you’re going to visit here, make sure you have some time to spare!


This is the start of Jake’s “Big John’s Breakfast” ($7.98). Seeing as I haven’t been in an eggy mood and I didn’t really care for the potatoes, I was glad I didn’t get this. But I still reaped the benefits since Jake shared his breakfast meats with me.

The bacon was good and had a nice smoky flavor, but it was not very crispy (which is what I like). The bacon was more on the tender side and while I liked the flavor, I preferred the other meats.


This is a cross section of their house made bratwurst which is absolutely freaking delicious! You can see the bits of porky fat in there which might be alarming but actually gives the bratwurst so much flavor. This had a really good seasoning throughout it, you could taste fresh herbs and garlic quite prominently and it was so juicy and delicious that Jake and I could not get over how yummy it was! He got another one for us to share since we loved it so much. And we ended up coming back here just so I could buy a package of these babies to take home (not cheap, but so so good). 

S got the same meal as Jake and we doubted an 11 year old could eat that much food… but uh, apparently we were wrong since he cleaned that plate and had more bacon to boot!


Jake’s daughter, A, was with us and she ordered the Two Eggs breakfast ($5.79) instead of getting all crazy with the all-you-can-eat thing. With the two eggs you get home fries, toast and your choice of ham, bacon or sausage. A loves ham like crazy and ordered that and was a happy girl that morning.


I was in a French Toast ($5.98) kind of mood. The French Toast comes with either ham, bacon or sausage plus three slices of french toast. The bread on the french toast is quite thick and there was a very nice outer crust to it. The inside was light and fluffy and was a really excellent version of french toast. I got the breakfast sausage links. The had a little bit of a “hot dog” taste to them – they had a snap and were on the savory side. These were a very good quality link with a variety of spices in it with a nice flavor, but didn’t really taste like “breakfast” sausage. Jake didn’t like them that much, saying it reminded him too much of hot dogs but I thought that was a more subtle flavor. I dipped them in my fake maple syrup and was quite happy with them.


We all managed to finish our plates and had to refrain from licking the plates it was so darn good… happy faces all around!


After our trip up to Orange County on the way back home, we stopped by again so I could get some of the bratwurst. It ain’t cheap, let me tell you, as 4 links set me back over $10! I also got a package of “Garlic German Weiners” which were extra extra long and also incredibly yummy – like, the best “hot dogs” I’ve ever had. It’s not cheap, but damn, is it good!

I also picked up one of these Blueberry Strudels to have a little morning snack. The powdered sugar pretty much dissipates right away but it stayed fresh for a few days. The strudel crust was nice and flaky and the blueberry filling was overflowing through this thing! They didn’t skimp on any part of it and was really delicious.

The market at Tip Top meats has quite the variety of European goods such as imported candies and chocolates as well as a TON of different meats. They are also a deli so they serve sandwiches as well as dinner items.

I’m wondering when Jake and I can go make a return visit to try more of their delicious items and finally get something out of that dessert case…

Tip Top Meats
6118 Paseo Del Norte
Carlsbad, CA 92009
(760) 438-2620
OPEN DAILY: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Tip Top Meats on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “tip top meats / carlsbad – san diego, ca

  1. Dang you ! You always go to places I’ve been itching to try! This has been on my bucket list of breakfast restaurants I wanna try (b/c of that all you can eat meat thing for breakfast). I heard the breakfast is a hit or miss though so I’m glad your experience was good.

    I’m a bad blogger too b/c I totally didn’t post a Best of 2013 either 😉 I’ll do it another time. Happy New Years Eve!!

    1. Haha, I’m glad we’re “bad bloggers” together, Faye! I’m just encouraging you and letting you know which of those places on your bucket list are worthy, right? 🙂 Our breakfast was pretty awesome and it had BETTER be after that long wait we endured. The meats here are very good so I’d come back just to even shop in the market again! Happy New Year’s eve back to you, Faye!

  2. Wow, I’ve heard so many good things about this place! What a great deal for breakfast (those meats)! Too bad about that long wait. I would have been irritated too.

    Every blogger has a different style so I don’t feel compelled to do any lists or anything. I can’t even remember what I had yesterday, haha.

    1. Hi CC – Yeah, the wait was getting on my nerves since I was so hungry and we had someplace to be. Just wanted to warn anyone who was thinking of going! I’m sure it didn’t help that we went on a Saturday morning, either. At least it was worth it.

      I didn’t even consider doing a “best of” or whatever list. I can’t remember that far back into January! Too much trouble, haha.

  3. I’m Polish and was raised in a neighborhood with either a Bakery, Grocer (who smoked his own meats, made his own kielbasa and hot dogs) or Bar on the corner of just about every block. Tip Top is as close as I can get to that real Butcher Shop quality and taste an it’s combined with some excellent bakery items. It opens at 6 a.m. for breakfast….I know this quite well. That menu that’s over head is also on the other side of the beam, too. The Prime Rib meal (Fri, Sat and Sun only) is so worth it…

    1. Hi Cathy – The meats here are unlike anything else I’ve had in town! I’d love to come back up here for dinner some time, a prime rib meal sounds like a really good idea (thanks for the tip). Everything in that dessert case looked spectacular as well.

  4. As a person who prefers their bacon a little chewy, I could do horrible, horrible things to my arteries with a Tip Top breakfast. I love that place. It’s one of very few places in the San Diego are that you can get sauerbraten, which is freakin’ delicious. I also highly recommend their deli for more than just sausages (though you should get sausages as well).

    Fun fact learned while purchasing candy at Tip Top: In Germany “The Smurfs” are called “Die Schlümpfe”

    1. Deli and baked goods case are next in line. I want to try all of their sausages. What we had at breakfast was so freaking good. Probably also so bad for you, but who cares. It’s sausages! The Smurfs thing is really funny.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.