perry’s cafe / old town

I was up quite early one morning last week to drop my folks off at the airport. I decided to treat myself to a little early morning breakfast before work. It was a little after 6am and the sun hadn’t fully popped out yet. It was odd being up and about that early.

Perry's Cafe - San Diego, CA

I decided to hit up Perry’s Cafe in Old Town. I hadn’t visited in many years and when I did it was late on a Saturday morning when it was crowded and full to the brim. This particular morning it was quiet, being that they had just opened at 6am, and there were only a few other patrons inside.


There are signs all over the booths that say you must request water if you want it, due to the severe California drought we’re in. I requested a water and some coffee. The coffee is served in those old, hearty diner style mugs. I was almost expecting to see advertising on them like the ones at My Diner in Boston.

Perry's Cafe - Counter

Everyone that came in after me was an older gentlemen. A waitress would ask if they wanted a menu and they would decline and find a spot to sit in. I actually needed a menu since it had been a long time since I had been here.

Corned Beef Hash breakfast at Perry's Cafe - San Diego, CA

But… I ended up getting something I usually get… the Corned Beef Hash. It set me back a little over 9 bucks but it is a TON of food.

Hash browns at Perry's Cafe

The hash browns here are almost like the ones I remember from Keith’s. Very crispy and golden brown on the outside while the inside was soft and moist. They still weren’t quite as “creamy” on the inside as Keith’s was, but heck, it was pretty darn close and I was quite happy with it.

Corned Beef for breakfast at Perry's Cafe in San Diego, CA

The corned beef was nothing too special, but it hit the spot that morning. They got a really good crust on the outside (it looks almost burnt, but it’s not). There was a good ratio of little cubed potatoes to meat. The crispy exterior with the soft interior was a good combination. It wasn’t too salty but I wished there were some extra herbs and spices in there.

Sourdough Toast

Sourdough toast is always my bread of choice. It’s one of those breads that doesn’t taste good to me if it’s not toasted. Here it is lightly toasted with plenty of butter.

There was butter and grease all around this dish but I didn’t care. I only ate about half of it anyway. It’s not health food, but it is hearty and it is filling.

Perry’s Cafe is an old school San Diego diner, down to the aging decor, the friendly waitresses and the quick service. I was in and out in about 25 minutes and had plenty of time to sit through the unfamiliar traffic on the 805 to head to work. It’s not every day I get to start off with a hearty, diner breakfast and hopefully I’ll remember to stop in again with Jake in tow.

Other reviews:

Kirk from mmm-yoso posted about Perry’s back in 2007
Janice posted about her visit from earlier this year
Dennis has not one but two posts about Perry’s Cafe
I also found a San Diego Reader post about Perry’s

Perry’s Cafe
4620 Pacific Hwy
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 291-7121
6AM-2PM daily

Perry's Cafe on Urbanspoon

11 thoughts on “perry’s cafe / old town

  1. Hi Mary! I actually mentioned them a third if including a Friday Foto Buffet post, but yeah, since I usually order the same thing here it gets a bit redundant… πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I feel you can’t go wrong with the hash browns here. Great every time.

  2. OMG, those hash brows!!!!! Must have. I have always wondered about this place, driving over it on the freeway. I remember Dennis’ post about this place too. Looks like it has a neat old school vibe.

    1. Hi CC – Yeah, the hash browns here are good, man! It is totally totally old school. I’m pretty sure it looks the same as the day they opened their doors, it feels like a time warp from the 70’s or something. But it’s hearty and it’s good. Simple cooking!

  3. The corn beef looks really small compared to the rest of the portion. Maybe it’s bc the rest of the stuff looks so big?

    I like how Keiths is your benchmark for diner food. It’s mine too πŸ™ We should do an Ode to Keiths post together.

    1. Hi Faye – I think I just got a CRAPTON of hash browns. Not that I mind, I loves me some hash browns. I didn’t even eat this whole plate. It was too much! Keith’s is still my benchmark, I totally miss it. We should do a Keith’s homage!

  4. Keith’s! Now that was a diner. Miss that place.

    I love Perry’s, too! We live right up the street but don’t go there nearly enough. Great chicken fried steak, awesome service, delicious french toast!

    Love your blog! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Lauren! I am a sucker for chicken fried steak, I’ll have to try it at Perry’s! Currently I think my favorite chicken fried steak is at Tobey’s 19th Hole. I might be making myself hungry… πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment!

        1. Hi Lauren – It’s a really cool spot – I used to have a review on here about it but I don’t anymore. It’s at the Balboa Park golf course and everything is made from scratch there. It’s cash only and has a really awesome view towards Downtown. Definitely check it out!

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