In our experience, even the most reluctant morning person can muster the willpower to get out the door if good food is the promise. So rise and shine, because after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and, as they say, the early bird gets the worm (Sorry, that was annoying).
From bacon and eggs, to your must-have morning pastry, the homestyle breakfasts offered at these places aren’t for the faint of heart. One small piece of advice: wear the fat pants. You’ll thank us later.
47 Phila Street
8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. daily. Bakery open until 3:00 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays, Open 7 days a week during track season
A classic little café, with an almost European vibe, Sweet Mimi’s not only touts traditional breakfast fare, but they make some of the best pastries in town. On the sweet side, we have trouble choosing between the Buttermilk Waffles ($8.50), the Challah French Toast ($10.95) and the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes ($11.50). For savory, we’re all about the Mediterranean Strata ($11.95), served up on weekends only, featuring locally-made Italian sausage from Parillo’s.
Make sure you get there early on Saturdays and Sundays. They don’t take reservations and the wait, while worth it, can sometimes be over an hour. Use the NOWAIT app for best seating.
25 Church Street
Monday-Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
This charming little eatery on the corner of Church Street and Woodlawn Avenue serves the next best thing to a home-cooked, country breakfast. The Breakfast Bowl is everything we’ll ever need before 10 a.m.
But what really sets them apart is the house-made jams, jellies and fruit spreads. We’re partial to the traditional strawberry and raspberry jams, but any and all of them are delicious slathered on the fresh made scones ($1.99) or on Ida’s Original Swedish Oatmeal Pancakes ($6.99 for a stack). Don’t forget to grab a few jars, on your way out, to jazz up your regular morning toast or gift to a friend.
35 Maple Avenue
Monday-Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The newest establishment on our list is technically a self-described brunch spot, but opens its doors at 8am, which is definitely breakfast in our book. Housed in a historic 1925 warehouse, the restaurant is modeled after your classic American food hall (think Boston’s Quincy Market) with long communal tables and plenty of space for hungry patrons. We’re still dreaming about our first (and many future) bites of The Staple egg sandwich with its crispy bacon, brioche bun and maple sriracha ($10.50).
Bonus: They serve Kru Coffee’s Cold Brew on tap.
400 Maple Avenue
Monday-Saturday 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Triangle Diner boasts anything you could want from a small-town American diner menu including reasonable prices and generous portions, with a few creative options like The French Toast Club (layers of sausage or bacon, egg and cheese sandwiched between towering slices of gooey French toast ($9.95)), and an always rotating list of specials. When it comes to staples, their Benedicts can’t be beat, and the Irish Benedict ($10.95) with its homemade corned beef hash is a hands-down favorite.
Tip: This one has its own parking lot, but it fills up quick. Again, the early bird gets the…well, you know.
42 Phila Street #1
Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
This casual counter is perfect for grab-and-go, but their booth/table seating is ideal if you plan to order a full-sized breakfast. We can’t get enough of their fresh baked donuts ($1.25/one, $7.50/half dozen, $12/dozen, available Friday, Saturday and Sunday), but the Cinna-Bunn French Toast, with house-made Challah bread, is where it’s really at ($11). If savory’s what you’re feeling, the Country Pork Benny with cheddar scallion scones, pulled pork and two fried eggs ($13) is exactly what you need.
Monday-Friday 4:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 3:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
This retro-inspired Broadway diner is the place for your standard, wallet-friendly scrambled eggs, homefries and toast ($5). While it won’t satiate your craving for something creative, Compton’s will cure a hangover. The booths are comfortable, the service is friendly and the coffee is bottomless. Oh, and in case you need some greasy grub after closing down the bars on Caroline Street, they open at 4 a.m. Monday – Friday and 3 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
74 West Avenue
Monday-Saturday 6:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Another great American diner, Shirley’s has been a west-side staple since 1961. They’re loved for their traditional diner menu, but it’s the Montreal smoked meat and the poutine that keeps us coming back. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, you can order the smoked meat on top of your poutine (regular $8.95).