Best Breakfast Sandwiches in San Jose

hannah-bfast.jpg

The Sims at HannaH. Photo: TS.

You don’t come across a lot of old school (think 90s) WiFi-friendly cafes that serve pastries baked in house, much less ones that make a mean breakfast sandwich. Helmed by pastry chef-owner Hannah Sim-Phan, the charming corner cafe in Downtown San Jose turns out a little under a dozen versions of the classic breakfast egg sandwich.

It can come packed with three types of meat or one. Avocado wedges will top a sandwich; slivers of red onion might give some a kick; others may have baby spinach and a few tomato slices. Swiss cheese is generally preferred if any are used. All will piled thick on your choice of bread from English muffin to whole wheat.

The clincher is the egg, which will either be fried or cooked like an omelette. If it’s fried, the egg has just enough of a runny center so the yolk will dress your sandwich. With the omelettes, eggs are whipped until airy then cooked and arranged into thin fluffy folds. Not rubbery, not burned, not overly runny: they are a testament to Sim-Phan’s culinary training.

The careful attention paid to the eggs runs throughout other parts of the bakery cafe’s menu. Their dizzyingly deft range of latté art alone has justifiably generated scores of ‘grams. The baristas don’t stop at maple leaves and swans. They make unicorns, cherry blossom trees, popular Anime characters, bears, and dragons, to name a couple. The flourishes extend to their sweet pastry selection as well.

All this adds up. Between getting to hang out around so much creativity (in the morning) then taste a sandwich made with care, you could only be in a good, if not great, mood by the time you hit your office or school. Even if you get started as early as 6 a.m. – by which time the cafe opens its doors. It’s why you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad breakfast sandwich at HannaH.

Note: With a sandwich ordered to go, you’ll get a regular flavor snack-size Pringles. At the cafe, your sandwich will be served with a side salad and mini cupcake. We loved The Sims and Ray’s Breakfast.

HannaH Coffee Tea & Sweets: 754 The Alameda #80, San Jose; (408) 971-1207. [map]

Ambiance: Chill.
Amenities: Password-protected WiFi. Outlets galore, well-placed alongside the perimeter of the interior. One unisex restroom that requires a key. Easy outside parking.
Drink/Food: Light and dark roasts available for coffee. Sweet pastries from cupcakes to cookies. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches made with your choice of bread (wheat, croissant, bagel, English muffin, ciabatta).