Potato Shack Cafe – Quality American Breakfast – Encinitas Magazine – Photos & Words by Kyle Thomas (Stories of Encinitas CA)



Owner Scott Ciancimino also has a secret weapon; kitchen manager, Lane Stewart. A dedicated chef, having perfected his craft in his early days at the Poseidon in Del Mar, and then later at Yogi’s in Cardiff, Lane practices a simple philosophy; “In everything, we emphasize quality.”



“The Potato Shack has always been a very popular breakfast restaurant since the mid eighties,” Lane states mater-of-factly. “I started 20 years ago in 1995, managing the kitchen. What I focus on is quality of foods. I get my mushrooms from Mountain Meadow in Escondido, and my potatoes come from Larry Minor’s Agra Empire in San Jacinto. So I try to source things locally and use the best quality product that I can. We use ten-count bacon, meaning ten slices per pound, so you cant see through it… it’s really thick. The sausage I use is Fontanini out of Chicago, the steaks are a choice top sirloin and we use a 7 ounce chicken breast for our chicken sandwiches.”

The menu offerings begin with their specialty breakfasts. If you’ve got a big appetite, try selection ‘A’. You’ll be choosing between a choice top sirloin steak, chicken breast, chicken fried steak or two pork chops, all with two eggs and one of their famous “Manhole Cover Pancakes” or toast and American Fries. Both toast and pancakes are available in gluten free options.



One of my favorites, the Three Egg Western Omelet is at the top of my list for best omelet. Potato Shack uses the freshest eggs sourced from a local egg ranch in Ramona. You can also find rotating weekday specials like Pastrami Scramble and Eggs Benedict.

And then of course there are potatoes, seven different varieties; American Fries, Baked Potatoes, Hand Cut Fries, Curley Fries, Ranch Fries, Potato Patties and Sweet Potato Fries, not to mention the 18 different potato toppings you can choose from.

Don’t let the construction on the Coast Highway and ‘I’ Street distract you from your mission to the Potato Shack. They’re open every day for breakfast and lunch, from 7:00 am till 2:00 pm.

Leave a comment

  • Jose Roberto dos Santos Fernandes

    March 23, 2021 , 3:05 PM

    Nice meal, and a surprise for me seeing the Hang ten surf poster, and your relationship With that surf brand. I visited potato shack in 2014 dec.
  • Genevieve M. Wunder

    March 28, 2021 , 6:40 PM

    Are you the Potato shack that use to be on Camel Valley Rd?
    • Kyle

      April 8, 2021 , 11:06 AM

      No, this Potato Shack is located at 120 W I St #4436, Encinitas, CA 92024