Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some food. I would like to say that I am an equal opportunist when it comes to the three meals of the day, but I have to admit that I have a special place in my heart for a really good breakfast (especially when I don’t have to make it. 😉 ). But truly, there is just something wonderful about starting your day off with a great cup of coffee and a plate of delicious food. Mmmm… So without further ado, here is a list of some of our favorite restaurants to start the day.
Disclaimer: There is very little rhyme or reason to the order here–they are all so very delicious and all deserve #1 for their own reasons. 🙂
#10 Oryz Cafe (Hemet, California)
Oryz Cafe is a small little diner in my hometown of Hemet, California. If you don’t live here (or maybe even if you do), you would never know it existed. But it definitely does exist, and it is a great spot to stop in for breakfast. The food is consistently good, and the chilaquiles are fantastic. But my favorite thing about Oryz is the atmosphere. It is a small little diner with old school pictures and knick-knacks all around. The appliances look vintage–which I love–and give you a sense that you may have just sat down for breakfast in the 50s or 60s. All in all, it is a pretty good little place to start your day if you happen to be in Hemet.
- The diner is small and fairly crowded on weekends, so get there early or be ready to wait a bit.
- Oryz is closed on holidays, so probably best not to show up Christmas morning. 😉
- In true greasy spoon fashion, the coffee is nothing to write home about, but it is caffeinated and will help you kickstart your day.
#9 Dottie’s True Blue Cafe (San Francisco, California)
We were very excited to try Dottie’s after we had ready about it somewhere and then found excellent reviews to back it up. The restaurant itself is absolutely tiny, so we were happy to be seated without too much of a wait. The look inside is very interesting–one can easily pass the time just gazing around at the eclectic decorations throughout. But when the food arrives, you will forget all about the decor as you dig into the plate of deliciousness in front of you. It has been several years, and I can’t remember everything we ordered, but I know there was blue cornmeal involved. Mmmm…
- Get to Dottie’s True Blue early. It is small and popular, so you may not be seated right away.
#8 Mother’s (Portland, Oregon)
Another breakfast spot that has been fixed in my mind is Mother’s Bistro in Portland, Oregon. We ate at Mother’s years ago when we were visiting family in Canby. Toward the end of our trip, we spent a couple of days in the city and headed to this cute little bistro after reading great reviews. And oh my goodness, I am so glad we did! We had such a terrific breakfast at Mother’s–including crispy French toast and French-pressed coffee. I remember loving the food, but I think the quality coffee was what elevated this place to my list of favorites!
- Get yourself some French-pressed coffee.
- If you want to try more than one item on the menu, some of the dishes are available as half portions.
#7 Sarabeth’s (New York City, New York)
It has been 11 years since I have been to Sarabeth’s, but I still remember how much I loved this restaurant. You know the food is pretty darn good if you can recall your exact order after a decade, and I can: super delicious lemon ricotta pancakes. Oh man they were good! Every now and then I try to make something similar, but it never achieves the right flavor or texture. I suppose I will just have to wait until we have the opportunity to go back to New York…
- Try to get to Sarabeth’s more than once a decade! 🙂
#6 Scarlett Begonia (Santa Barbara, California)
Hipsters unite for breakfast at the Scarlett Begonia in Santa Barbara. Tucked away in a little cluster of shops on the corner of State x Victoria, you can almost miss this cute little restaurant if you are not looking carefully. When we went, we were seated in the lovely courtyard, where we were able to enjoy the beautiful Santa Barbara weather and one of my favorite past times, people watching. And the food, well, the food is lip-smackin good! I ordered the shrimp and grits, which were so so good–I swear it took a few weeks for me to stop day dreaming about them. The coffee was strong with good flavor, and I think I recall a yummy pastry that we had to tide us over while waiting for food. On account of the food quality, I would probably move Scarlett Begonia to a higher ranking on the list, but my husband is allergic to hipsters. 😛
- Get there earlier than you want to eat–there will most likely be a wait.
- While waiting, spend some time browsing through the nearby shops–there is a great vintage shop (Punch Vintage) right around the corner.
I have no pictures of Scarlett Begonia, so I thought I would just add some lovely Santa Barbara pictures in its place. Gorgeous, right?
#5 Cafe Aroma (Idyllwild, California)
For the past several years, Cafe Aroma has been one of our favorite breakfast destinations close to home. Just about 30 minutes up the mountain into Idyllwild, diners are treated to both a fantastic breakfast and beautiful surroundings. On a nice spring or summer day, you can sit on the deck outside and enjoy your meal in the fresh mountain air. They have space heaters when it gets a bit cooler, and a fireplace indoors when the real winter chill sets in. But even if the location and atmosphere were not fantastic, the delicious food would be enough for Cafe Aroma to make the list! We have yet to try everything on the menu, but here are a few examples just to give you an idea. Penne and eggs: super tasty. Eggs in purgatory: amazing. Breakfast machine: awesome. Pesto Benedict: ridiculously good. Coffee from a local(ish) roaster: delightful! You are getting the idea, right? It’s all delicious!
- Before you get the bill, be sure to order some scones for the road. The currant scone is my favorite.
- They will send you home with some coffee if you ask–and if you are like me, a little more coffee is always a good idea.
- If you are spending some time up in Idyllwild, be sure to make a reservation for dinner as well. Great food and ambiance.
#4 Cheeky’s (Palm Springs, California)
In mid-March we went to Cheeky’s for breakfast, and even now, over a month later, I am still salivating over the delicious meal we ate there! After an hour long wait, we were finally seated in the lovely courtyard, where we were handed menus filled with tantalizing options. Because the menu changes weekly, there were several tributes to St. Patrick’s Day, such as corned beef hash, Irish boxty, and mint patty waffles. But the regular menu options held their own as well, with things like chilaquiles, brioche french toast, and frittatas. We went with some of the staple items like chilaquiles and French toast, and everything was fantastic! Next time we head down to the desert, we will surely stop in for another breakfast at Cheeky’s!
- Get to Cheeky’s early, as it seems to be a popular place.
- They are open Wednesday-Monday, so avoid going on a Tuesday if you don’t want a 24 hour wait 😉
- Be sure to check out the interesting pictures in the bathrooms.
#3 Twenty6 (La Quinta, California)
When we go to desert, one of our favorite places to stay is at the La Quinta Resort. The property is amazing, the rooms are nice, and the restaurants are all fantastic. So as much as we enjoy venturing out and trying new places, we just can’t help but stay at the resort for breakfast at Twenty6. We’ve eaten here many times over the years and it has never once disappointed. The atmosphere is perfect with outdoor seating in a Spanish style courtyard. The menu has just enough choices without becoming overwhelming. The service is prompt and friendly–they even bring diners a teeny tiny smoothie as an amuse bouche. The coffee is strong (in a good way) and the food is delicious.
- Even if you are not staying at the La Quinta Resort, Twenty6 is still worth going to for breakfast.
- Get the eggs Benedict–you won’t be sorry!
#2 La Bombonera (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
If you have read any of my Puerto Rico posts, you probably already know how much I love La Bombonera. This Old San Juan coffee shop and restaurant is the home of of my first glorious taste of mallorcas and cafe con leche, for which I will forever be grateful. ❤ You can read about it in one of my previous posts, an ode to cafe con leche and mallorcas. We have gone to La Bombonera each time we’ve returned to Puerto Rico until they closed a while back. Thankfully they have reopened, and I cannot wait to go back!
- If the newly reopened La Bombonera is as busy as it once was, be prepared for a wait.
- Be sure to order a mallorca–you can have it plain or as a breakfast sandwich, both of which are blissfully good!
- Have a cup of cafe con leche or two. Then drink one for me! 😉
#1 Cody’s (La Jolla, California)
We went to Cody’s last summer when we snuck away for a no-kids night in La Jolla. We were sure to get to the restaurant at opening and we were rewarded with a corner table on the deck. Pretty decent view, huh?? We ordered French toast, chilaquiles, and a side of bacon, and I can say with absolute confidence: it was scrumptious!
- Get to the restaurant at opening to get the best seats in (or rather out) the house.
- If you like hot sauce, ask for some Marie Sharps. Seriously, it will ruin all other hot sauces for you…
- Walk off your breakfast by taking a stroll down to La Jolla Cove to visit the sea lions.
Well that is it for my list. Be sure to comment below if you have been to any of these great restaurants, or if you want to share some favorites of your own. 🙂