Downtown San Francisco 1961 Breakfast Menu

At first glance, this menu cover has the same photo as one we’ve seen from 1958. But a closer look reveals that the photos are different and were taken some years apart. This photo is zoomed out a bit to show a few more buildings and part of the Bay Bridge east of Treasure Island.


Click image to download a 1.7-MB PDF of this menu.

Both photos are looking down California Street from what must be the Mark Hopkins Hotel. At the far end of the street, a building is crowned with the letters “SP,” which the menu caption explains is the railroad’s headquarters. The SP didn’t appear in the photo on the 1958 menu. Also, a “MobilGas” sign just to the right of the SP appears to have been “photoshopped” out of the 1958 photo.

This breakfast menu was used in the City of San Francisco‘s coffee shop car and offers five meals (all egg variations) that come with fruit, juice, or cereal, bread, and beverage, plus a wide variety of entrĂ©es on the a la carte side. The most expensive meal is ham, bacon, or sausage and eggs for $1.90, or about $16 in today’s money. The editor in me points out that the absence of the Oxford comma in this meal’s description shows why that comma is important, as without it the menu implies that diners would get ham plus bacon or sausage plus eggs.


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