With so many delicious brunch options in Hillcrest , it can be tough to stand out. Fig Tree Café has figured it out with their ever-evolving menu of omelets, eggs benedicts and creative, sinfully-sweet French toast and pancakes.
"Our French toast is known as the best in San Diego," said Grant Price, Manager at Fig Tree Café. The Hillcrest location goes all-in with Chef Alberto Morreale's French toast creations, which include cinnamon and brown sugar sautéed apple, strawberries & cream, berry sweet, Valentines (which is stuffed and topped with fresh raspberries and white chocolate raspberry sauce), cinnamon raisin and bananas foster. If pancakes are more your thing, good luck deciding between the pistachio, fresas con crema, butter pecan or orange suzette (with orange zest infused butter and syrup) short stacks. "We like to listen to what our guests want and be creative in coming up with innovative twists on traditional breakfast, brunch and lunch items," Price said.
Fig Tree Café opened in Hillcrest in 2011 after the concept proved popular in Pacific Beach. Owner Johan Engman found the perfect location for his unique, genuine dining experience in Hillcrest. "The Hillcrest store is very unique because of the vibrant community," Price said. It's also the only Fig Tree Café location with a brick oven, which is used to bake from-scratch flatbreads and the house-made focaccia bread served in all their restaurants. Their specialty flatbreads include the shrimp, with bacon, Anaheim chilies, scallions, truffle cream and cilantro, and the short rib, with mozzarella, braised Angus beef short ribs, rosemary potatoes and horseradish crème fraiche.
Price attributed Fig Tree Café's creativity in their menu to "traveling the world and sampling the plethora of unique cultural cuisines." Between that inspiration and requests and recommendations from guests, Morreale and his team are always experimenting with new flavors and dishes. Only the best, of course, make it to the menu. "It's always very exciting to promote new menu items and see how they're accepted by our guests," Price said.
To avoid the lengthy wait times at Fig Tree Café, Price advises guests to come early (they open at 8 a.m. every day) or later in the afternoons on weekends. Breakfast is served all day, and happy hour is from 2 to 4 p.m., daily.
Fig Tree Cafe, 416 University Ave., Hillcrest. figtreeeatery.com