Bagdad Cafe in the Castro; 24 Hour Weekend Eats

23Apr09

Being a city that goes to bed early, there aren’t as many 24 hour eateries as you would expect here. Sure they exist, but this isn’t Las Vegas or New York, where almost every place is open 24 hours. In the Castro, there are a handful of late night eateries scattered throughout the neighborhood, one of them being Bagdad Cafe.

Having prime real estate right at the triple intersection of Market, Noe, and 16th, Bagdad Cafe cannot be missed. That’s exactly how my friends and I ended up in here one Sunday morning, searching for a brunch spot to nurse our hangovers after another long night. There it was, standing tall on that corner like a beacon of hope and the answer to our problem.

After walking inside we stood around the doorway waiting to be seated, until realizing a few moments too long later, that the sign read “Please seat yourself.” Oops. We sat by the window, for optimal people watching, as the windows are huge and allow for prime sidewalk viewing. 

The menu itself is fairly extensive, including all the usual dinerfare you would expect. It was Sunday morning, so we stuck with breakfast. I ordered the chicken fried steak, which came with country potatoes, eggs, and toast. The steak was nicely fried and the gravy was good. I wasn’t blown away, but it was good. Eggs are hard to mess up, they tasted like scrambled eggs. The country potatoes, though, were very good! Crispy and seasoned perfectly, they are also served with bell peppers and onions, easily my favorite part of the meal. I also got a short stack of pancakes, and could have done without. They were dry and tasted like they were premade earlier and sat around on a plate waiting to be served.

Rey, of A Quarter Century Later fame, ordered the french toast and it made me second guess my order once it hit the table. It was made with thick slices of French baguette and heavily dusted with powdered sugar, of which you can never get enough. It was very good, and I would order it myself next time I end up here. 

Aly went with the crab cake eggs benedict, which sounded amazingly delicious on paper. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well to real life. The eggs were severely overcooked, as the yolks were not runny at all. You order eggs benedict for the runny yolk! This dish had so much potential, but the overcooked eggs ruined the entire dish. It could have been a one-off mistake, so I won’t hold it against them. I don’t think I’d give it a shot at redemption, though.

Overall the food was good, not great. The prices are fair, in line with most other diners. Bagdad Cafe definitely holds value as a good breakfast spot, and definitely as a late-night eatery. They are open 24 hours on weekends, perfect after a long night of partying in the Castro and when Sparky’s is too crowded. Support your local independently owned eateries and stay away from the likes of Denny’s for late night munchies, you’re in San Francisco for God’s sake. 

Bagdad Cafe
2295 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-4434

Thanks for the photos, Anne!

Also check out:
Gelateria Naia in the Castro; All Natural Gelato 
Hot Cookie in the Castro 
Thailand Restaurant in the Castro; Best Restaurant Name Ever  

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