Biscuits And Gravy (credit: Thinkstock)

Biscuits and gravy is a popular dish throughout the United States, especially in the southern part of the country. It traditionally involves a soft dough biscuit smothered with a sausage (usually pork sausage drippings) gravy. There are many breakfast or brunch restaurants that serve biscuits and gravy in the Bay Area, but a limited number of them make them really well. And several restaurants put a distinctly California twist on this longtime staple, which might include vegetarian options using mushrooms or special herbs.

The Corner Store
5 Masonic Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 359-1800

The Corner Store’s weekend brunch became so popular, the owners decided about two years ago to begin serving it on weekdays as well. Biscuits are the signature dish at this community hangout popular with locals. There are actually four choices of biscuits on the menu: honey, cheddar and thyme with a white béchamel sauce and two options made with either house-made chicken or veggie gravy. Bottomless mimosas will round out the biscuit eating experience.

Hive, The Place To Bee
2139 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 482-4483

The “bee theme” at Hive carries over to even the glasses which have honeycombed patterns. Hive takes pride in sourcing many of its menu items from local merchants including pastries and rolls from Oakland’s Starter Bakery and Mariposa. The popular flaky biscuits are large, and diners can cover them with either a sausage or mushroom gravy. The biscuits are a hot item in this small cafe, so it might be wise to call ahead in case they’ve run out.

Calafia Café And Market A Go-Go
855 El Camino Real, Suite 130
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 322-9200

The Calafia Café was started in Palo Alto by Charlie Ayers, Google’s former executive chef, who left the internet search giant in 2005 to open his own business. The restaurant serves fluffy biscuits with a vegetarian (mushroom) gravy only during brunch every Saturday and Sunday. Calafia’s unusual menu features many choices for vegetarian and meat-eaters alike, including a popular deep-fried hot dog.

Lou’s Coffee Shop
15691 Los Gatos Blvd.
Los Gatos, CA 95032
(408) 356-8383

This cash-only Los Gatos institution opens its doors every morning at 6 a.m. sharp. Hungry breakfast seekers troop in for huge portions that include corned beef hash and crisp Belgian waffles. The biscuits are large too and come with gravy made from the drippings of Italian sausage. An antique cash register and ’70s design make this a fun option for breakfast and biscuit lovers in the South Bay.

Pepples Donut Farm
6037 San Pablo Ave.
Oakland, CA 94608
(510) 338-6319

Started in 2007 by a San Francisco native, Pepples may well be the nation’s first 100 percent organic vegan donut bakery. The restaurant’s zeal for sustainable living even extends to banning paper cups, so if you want coffee to-go, bring your own thermos. The brunch menu includes organic herbed biscuits smothered in shitake and thyme gravy. And for something not likely found in the South, diners can order Pepples’ signature organic vegan donuts and cover those in gravy too.