On the Road Eats: FN-Approved Breakfast Spots
With coast-to-coast picks including the award-winning blueberry pancakes at New York's Clinton St. Baking Co., ooey, gooey cinnamon buns at Chicago restaurant Ann Sather and eggs Benedict made with fresh Dungeness crab at Lowell's Restaurant & Bar in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, you're sure to find a delicious reason to rise and shine — and dine.
1. Ann Sather — Chicago
When the owners of this restaurant space in Chicago decided to retire, Ann quit her job of 22 years, pooled her life savings and bought herself a diner. Her devotion to made-from-scratch food, especially the giant cinnamon rolls Jeff Mauro calls "insane," is now legendary in the Lakeview neighborhood. For a more savory morning meal, choose from five flavor-packed breakfast wraps, or build your own using a variety of available ingredients.
Recommended Dish: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
2. Aretha Frankenstein's — Chattanooga
Chattanooga may be known for its trains but on $40 a Day, Rachael Ray discovers The Waffle of Insane Greatness at Aretha Frankensteins. Breakfast lovers beware: Aretha Frankenstein's has scarily good deals on shrimp and grits, omelets, breakfast burritos and fat stack pancakes with Maine blueberries. Fans of their classic buttermilk pancakes can also order a box of the tasty pancake mix online.
Recommended Dish: Waffle of Insane Greatness
3. The Bagel Store — Brooklyn
If you've been dreaming of New York-style, boiled-then-baked bagels as big as your head, head across the Williamsburg Bridge to The Bagel Store for the cheapest, best bagel sandwich ever (at least according to Jeff Mauro, who devoured a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bagel topped with bacon bits on $24 in 24). Every bagel is hand-rolled, and a variety of cream cheeses and tofu spreads are made fresh in house. Not in New York? Not a problem: The artisanal bagel shop ships nationwide.
Recommended Dish: Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bagel
4. Cafe 222 — San Diego
For breakfast-lover Bobby Flay, traditional French toast may be good, but the Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast at Cafe 222 deserves a spot on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Owner Terryl Gavre created the decadent dish after reading an article about Elvis' famous love of peanut butter, banana and pickle sandwiches, and Bobby calls it "good stuff." The cafe menu is stocked full of breakfast classics like pancakes and eggs, and the Pumpkin Waffle deserves a mention as a local favorite.
Recommended Dish: Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast
5. The Coffee Cup Cafe — Boulder City, Nev.
This roadside diner makes dishes like peanut butter pancakes and huevos rancheros fresh to order under a "world famous" tagline. The eatery is easy to miss, and when Guy Fieri stopped by on Triple D, he regretted his earlier drive-bys. After sampling the Pork Chili Verde Omelet, served with a choice of hash browns or pancakes, he declared it to be nothing short of "the bomb."
Recommended Dish: Pork Chili Verde Omelet
6. Clinton St. Baking Co. — New York
The award-winning Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter at Clinton St. Baking Co. & Restaurant are so irresistible, Bobby just had to challenge the owners to a throw down. If you stop by the homey spot for brunch, also try the buttermilk biscuits and tomato jam, hearty omelets and sugar-cured bacon. All baked good are made in house from scratch, and early-risers who stop by the eatery at 8am will be rewarded with warm-from-the-oven muffins and scones.
Recommended Dish: Blueberry Pancakes
7. Dor-Stop Restaurant — Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh locals know when it's time for breakfast, it's time for Dor-Stop. On Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy swung by this family operation serving hearty favorites like sweet pumpkin hotcakes and crunchy raspberry French toast. For egg lovers, try the one-of-a-kind Jumbot, a mix of eggs, sausage, green bell peppers and "anything you would want," or keep it simple with "Bob’s Specialty," a serving of two eggs with German potato pancakes, applesauce or sour cream and toast.
Recommended Dish: Jumbot
8. The Egg and I — Las Vegas
Located a quick 10-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip on Sahara Avenue, The Egg and I boasts reasonable prices and friendly service. Wake up hungry? Rachael calls the Key Largo Crepe, made with guacamole, bacon, turkey, tomatoes and cheese, "a remedy for the breakfast blahs." For more hearty and delicious options, look no further than the Eggs Benedict with Blackened Prime Rib or Pesto Scramble with Sliced Chicken, Tomatoes and Feta.
Recommended Dish: Key Largo Crepe
9. Franks Diner — Kenosha, Wisconsin
On Triple D, Guy takes a heaping mouthful of the famous Garbage Plate at Franks Diner, a Kenosha institution since 1926. The signature dish starts with three to five eggs mixed with hash browns, peppers and onions; you can then choose to add up to five different meats and five different cheeses for a filling, flavorful feast. In the mood for something a little sweeter? Try the French Toast Cinnamon Rolls or Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes.
Recommended Dish: Chorizo Garbage Plate
10. Golden West Café — Baltimore
For a delicious taste of the Southwest on the East Coast, stop by Baltimore's Golden West Cafe for a Breakfast Burrito, Breakfast Quesadilla or Duff Goldman's favorite, the Huevos Montulenos made with kernel corn cakes, tasty pinto beans and fried banana. In addition to the New Mexican specialties, you'll also find classic pancakes and omelets.
Recommended Dish: Huevos Montulenos
11. Kanella Restaurant — Philadelphia
This welcoming eatery serves authentic, unfussy Greek cuisine to Philadelphia's Washington Square neighborhood, garnering rave reviews from loyal locals and traveling food aficionados alike. On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Esquire food editor Ryan D'Agostino recommends the Cyprus Breakfast for the ultimate morning meal, calling its crunchy fried egg and lounza ham pure "salty goodness." For a light bite, try the warm semolina cereal with preserved fruits, almonds and honey.
Recommended Dish: Cyprus Breakfast
12. The Kneadery — Ketchum, Idaho
Fuel up for the Sun Valley slopes with a fresh and filling breakfast from this family-friendly Idaho spot, known for big portions packed with equally big flavors. Enjoy classic pancakes, savor the avocado-topped Sun Valley Omelet or take Rachael's recommendation and devour the Rocky Mountain Benedict — an eggs Benedict with smoked trout that she calls "the perfect way to start the day."
Recommended Dish: Rocky Mountain Benedict
13. Lowell's Restaurant & Bar — Seattle
Start your day at one of Giada De Laurentiis' favorite Seattle spots: Lowell's, housed in the famous Pike Place Market. With three floors of seating boasting stunning views of Mount Rainier and the ferries crossing Puget Sound, the legendary location calls itself "Almost classy since 1957" and uses only the freshest local ingredients to make classic breakfast dishes with a Pacific Northwest twist, like the Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict.
Recommended Dish: Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict
14. Magnolia Pancake Haus — San Antonio
Magnolia Pancake Haus owner and Chef Robert Fleming is "raising the bar on breakfast" with its high-quality, made-from-scratch morning meals, according to Guy on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Come for the light and airy Buttermilk Pancakes the restaurant proudly calls "The World's Best," and stay for the deliciously unique Pfannekuchen, Bavarian puffed pancakes packed full of Granny Smith apples, zesty cinnamon and secret spices. For a savory spin on a breakfast classic, Guy recommends the "ingenious" Bacon Waffle.
Recommended Dish: Bacon Waffle
15. Maria's Cafe — Minneapolis
You'll want to get breakfast at Maria's when in the Twin Cities, and luckily they serve it all day, so it's not hard to fit it in. Jeff Mauro — and countless loyal locals — recommend the Corn Pancakes (cachapas venezolanas if you're being authentic), made with corn flour, butter and cut corn, then sprinkled with sharp Cotija cheese. For something sweeter, try Fausto’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes, or satisfy the urge for eggs with Pablo's Omelet, made with white rice, refried beans, grilled onions, cheddar cheese and tomatoes.
Recommended Dish: Corn Pancakes
16. Red Arrow Diner — Manchester, N.H.
Since 1922, Red Arrow Diner has been open 24 hours a day (except for the 16 hours at Christmas) and served nearly 500,000 breakfasts a year. On Triple D, Guy took his place in line to sample some of the restaurant's iconic dishes, including the Texas-Style French Toast and handmade Twinkies, known as Dinah Fingers. Savory breakfast lovers can count on "Grandma’s Recipe" for Pork Pie and Eggs: a slice of homemade pork pie served with eggs, any style, panfries, hashbrowns, beans or grits.
Recommended Dish: Texas-Style French Toast
17. Shades Cafe — Jackson, Wyo.
This quaint cafe, situated just off of the Town Square, has the charming distinction of being Jackson Hole's first true coffee-house. Homemade muffins and scones are baked fresh daily, and coffee and espresso are supplied by the nearby Great Northern Coffee Roasters, a local standby for more than 25 years. Grab a cup and enjoy with the simple Egg Scramble, hearty Breakfast Burrito or Giada's favorite, Eggs Tomavo, a spin on classic eggs Benedict topped with avocado and tomato.
Recommended Dish: Eggs Tomavo
18. Silver Fork Lodge — Brighton, Utah
Look no further than this quaint bed and breakfast overlooking some of Utah's best ski runs for cozy pioneer cuisine first thing in the morning. Chef Dan Knopp, a transplant from Oswego, N.Y., serves his Corned Beef Hash with house-cured brisket and tangy Sourdough Pancakes with Apple Compote — a signature dish that's garnered the lodge well-deserved commendations from loyal local diners and media outlets alike.
Recommended Dish: Sourdough Pancakes