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The 101 Best Breakfasts In America: The West

The 101 Best Breakfasts In America: The West: Sean Noyce

Sean Noyce

From an epic meal in a lodge perched on the edge of a waterfall, to a perfect breakfast sandwich at stand in the middle of bustling urban market, Playboy editors and contributors have scoured the Western states to find the region’s best breakfasts. It didn’t matter if the places were high-end or hole in the wall, all they had to be was good. Oh, and we did the same for the Midwest, Northeast, and South). Did your favorite restaurant make the cut as one of America’s 101 Breakfast spots?

1. Snow City Cafe
Anchorage, AK
You can get omelets and scrambles a lot of places, but you’re in Alaska, so you should probably get the one here that features reindeer sausage. Rudolph, green pepper, onion, mushrooms and cheddar combine for a delicious dish. –Peter Cochran

Matt

Matt’s Big Breakfast

2. Matt’s Big Breakfast
Phoenix, AZ
Matt’s lost some of its charm when it moved out of its hole-in-the-wall spot down the street from it’s current location, but it still serves the best breakfast in town. The wait can be up to an hour on the weekends, but it’s worth it for the Chop and Chick—scrambled eggs with a pork chop that’s been marinated in pesto—and a side of peppery bacon strips that are as thick as ham steaks. –Albert Chen

3. Red Rock Cafe
Sedona, AZ
“Be careful, it’s a meal!” says the Red Rock Cafe menu about the cinnamon roll here. Though the thing costs just $4.29, it’s literally bigger than your head and could probably feed a family of four for most of a day. And the cinnamon roll itself—rich, sweet and bready—is good in addition to huge. The unassuming cafe sits in a strip mall a few miles south of Sedona’s concentration of luxury spas and resorts, but it’s definitely worth the detour. –Jason Horn

Blu Jam Cafe

Blu Jam Cafe

4. Blu Jam Cafe
Hollywood, CA
The line of people waiting for a table spills down the sidewalk on Melrose every weekend for a reason. Blu Jam is one of the tastiest places in Los Angeles to grab breakfast. The breakfast menu is available all day at this cozy cafe, which was once a blues bar whose walls now pay homage to the greats. Favorite dishes include the Brunch Burger, which is exactly what it sounds like, and Migas, a spicy combo of eggs scrambled with jalapenos, chipotle, beef chorizo sausage, red bell peppers, tortilla chips and mozzarella, topped with homemade tomato salsa and served with crispy potatoes.* –Joe Donatelli

Nicole Theodore

Nicole Theodore

5. Eggslut
Los Angeles, CA
Get a real taste of downtown LA by roaming the historic Grand Central Market, a 30,000 sq. foot arcade packed with butcher shops, fruit stands and more than 20 lunch counters. Stand still for a moment and absorb the clamor of the market: meat cleavers pounding carnitas, hands patting fresh pupusas, the sizzle of fried eggs. It’s an urban poetry that’s been happening for nearly 100 years. It’s never too late in the day for Eggslut’s updated version on a classic breakfast sandwich, which features smoked bacon, an over medium egg, cheddar, and chipotle ketchup, all on a Portuguese bun. –Justin Bolois

6. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
Rosemead, CA
San Gabriel, with its prominent Chinese community, has become LA’s unofficial second Chinatown. And it’s got the restaurants to boot, including this unconventional dim sum spot. Unlike typical dim sum, they don’t push the food around in carts, so everything you get is made to order, like shumai, their delicious pork dumplings. –Jeremiah La Torre

7. Fox & Goose
Sacramento, CA
There are only two good parts to the English diet—beer and breakfast—and Fox & Goose has improved on both. Modeled after a 200-year-old English pub of the same name, this Sacramento eatery starts serving breakfast at 6:30 a.m., seven days a week, with all of the U.K. classics from three-egg omelets filled with Welsh rarebit cheese sauce to house-made scones with Devonshire cream. BTW: The Benedict Arnold is worth treason. –Keith Gribbins

Cafe 222

Cafe 222

8. Cafe 222
San Diego, CA
Sometimes, you just need to stuff something delicious with something else delicious. That’s math, right? And fattening math is the best math. At this Gaslamp District joint, they’ve got waffles and eggs and pancakes and omelettes and whatever. But the reason you go here is for their Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast. The reason you go here is to sit on their patio, eat that french toast, tempt an Elvis Presley-sized coronary, roll back to your hotel room, and take a nap. Taking care of business in a zzzzzzzzzzzz. -Marc Bernardin

Great Maple

Great Maple

9. Great Maple
San Diego, CA
A must no matter what you’re getting here is an order of maple bacon doughnuts for the table. Once those are procured, up next will be the Cerrillos Chilaquiles: Corn tortillas with chorizo, chile verde, queso fresco, scrambled eggs, roasted red peppers, avocado, onions and cilantro sour cream. Also, keep an eye out for when the staff carries a massive wooden board lined with pastries out to the dining room for an impromptu flash sale of sweets. –Ryan Pioquinto

10. Hash House A-Go-Go
San Diego, CA
Gluttony is the name of the game here. Food comes on plates that would be more aptly called serving platters. Atop them are fluffy pancakes large enough to swaddle a baby. What a lucky baby it would be. Order the cakes packed with broken-up Snickers bars—they’re not pretty, but they sure are delicious. –Jeremy Repanich

Dottie

Dottie’s True Blue Cafe

11. Dottie’s True Blue Cafe
San Francisco, CA
For San Francisco’s best breakfast, all signs point to the SoMa district. Brave the interminable lines at Dottie’s, and you’ll be treated to comfort food favorites like blueberry cornmeal pancakes, smoked whiskey-fennel sausage scramble, and chili-cheddar cornbread smeared with jalapeno jam. Though the giant portions make it challenging, save room for a piping mug of hot chocolate (just right for a foggy San Francisco kind of day). –Jen Jones Donatelli

12. Huckleberry
Santa Monica, CA
There are many reasons for the massive line here every weekend. The breakfast burrito with Nieman Ranch Bacon is one of them. It’s the perfect balance of guacamole, eggs and potatoes, seasoned well and served with some tasty salsa verde and house-made chips on the side. –Jeremy Repanich

13. 26 Beach
Venice, CA
You’ll want to say “oui” to the 19 varieties of French toast on this notorious brunch spot’s menu. Pay homage to the King with “The Elvis” (stuffed with peanut butter, bananas, and blueberry jam), or try the honey lemon ricotta French toast topped with fresh blueberries and raspberry coulis. Just blocks away from the beach, this bustling, airy restaurant makes a fitting place to savor your Sunday. –Jen Jones Donatelli

Griddle Cafe

Griddle Cafe

14. Griddle Cafe
Hollywood, CA and Las Vegas, NV
Come hungry to this always-crowded pancake house just past the end of the Sunset Strip and now a spot in Vegas as well in the SLS Las Vegas. The pancake and French toast creations are like the fever dreams of a stoned pastry chef: a huge red velvet pancake swirled with cream cheese icing; graham cracker-crusted French toast with cheesecake filling; flapjacks with Bailey’s and Kahlua mixed into the batter—and that’s just breaking the surface of the huge menu. If you’re really hung over, there’s even a dark, quiet room in the back you can request a table in. –Jason Horn

15. Lola
Denver, CO
While Lola’s rotating specialty benedicts–shrimp and grits, carnitas, carne asada, etc–are super tasty, the chicken and waffles with chorizo gravy and cherry fresno syrup is the must have dish. Accompanied, of course, by the Ultimate Bloody, which includes shrimp, bacon, cheese and some veggie fixins. Throw on a side of the sweet potato chorizo hash and no matter whether you’re there brunch or dinner, never skip the table side-prepared guacamole. –Troy Pitman

16. Pete’s Kitchen
Denver, CO
Twenty-four hours a day you can wander into this Denver institution that’s been around since 1942 and order a Greek twist on a breakfast burrito. Hash browns, two scrambled eggs, and gyro meat are stuffed into a flour tortilla then slathered with green chili sauce. –George Maynard III

Longhorn Nation/Flickr Creative Commons

Longhorn Nation/Flickr Creative Commons

17. Gazebo
Maui, HI
The best bet at this little seaside restaurant is the macadamia nut pancakes served with house-made whipped cream and delicious coconut syrup. For those looking to gorge, order the fried rice plate too, a heaping mound of rice, peppers, sausage, herbs and scrambled eggs. –Greg Buchanan

18. LuLu’s Waikiki
Honolulu, HI
Mahalo to famed Eggs ‘n Things down the street (with 40 years of breakfast biz cred), but LuLu’s Waikiki has equally awesome morning meals and a wicked, open-air view of world famous Waikiki Beach to boot. Grab a healthy pre-surf breakfast of eggs with steamed rice, island papaya or tofu benedict, or be like every other fat tourist and gorge on Hawaiian-ham-forward omelets, banana macadamia nut pancakes or that island essential called grilled spam. Then, sleep it off on the beach across the street. –Keith Gribbins

Thomas Hawk/Flickr Creative Commons

19. Cristina’s
Ketchum, ID
Nestled in the ski resort haven, Sun Valley, the omelettes, French toast and pancakes are delicious, but the star of the show is the bread basket that’s served with freezer jam and butter. –Barbara Repanich

20. Cafe Pasqual’s
Santa Fe, NM
Locals and tourists love Cafe Pasqual’s, and for good reason—the menu is big, varied and filled with classic Southwest fare. Order the chile relleno con huevos—a not-too-hot Anaheim chile, stuffed with cheese and served with black beans and salsa. Another can’t-lose choice is smoked trout hash, a “scatter of” trout with two poached eggs, a Gruyere potato cake and tomatillo salsa. –Alex Heard

21. Screen Door
Portland, OR
Brunching is like breathing in this town. This popular spot is an ode to Southern cuisine, and by god the South does breakfast right. Screen Door lovingly transports one of the great Southern traditions–chicken and waffles–with enough of a twist so as to not be cliche. Peppery chicken is stacked upon a crispy on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside sweet potato waffle, then held together with a giant steak knife jammed down through the middle like a dagger. Well worth the lengthy wait to get in the place. –Nick Gesualdi

Tasty N Sons

Tasty N Sons

22. Tasty n Sons
Portland, OR
As the city where young people go to retire, Portland is chock-full of brunch joints, and this may just be the best of the bunch. There’s an international assortment of eggy dishes (the Burmese red pork stew is especially excellent), but the reason you’re really here is for a craft-cocktail Bloody Mary. Tasty n Sons offers five, from the traditional Tasty Mary with house pickles, to the Belladona made with local aquavit, bell pepper and Calabrian chiles, to the Lady Vengeance with rye, kimchi and fish sauce. –Jason Horn

Ruth

Ruth’s Diner

23. Ruth’s Diner
Salt Lake City, UT
Order whatever you want here, because no matter what you pick, you’ll get a complimentary order of the famed Mile High biscuits served with butter and raspberry jam. They go through 1,500-1,800 of them on a typical Sunday, and it’s easy to see why people flock to the soft, warm, salty biscuits once you take your first bite. –Peter Cochran

24. Chinook’s
Seattle, WA
Sure, most breakfast places across the country have ample parking, but Chinook’s, located on the edge of Salmon Bay, offers moorage for your boat right outside the restaurant. Dine on its Pacific Northwest twist on eggs benedict: Salmon Cakes and Eggs. As an added bonus, on University of Washington football gamedays, get to the restaurant early, grab some breakfast then hop aboard The Dawg Boat, a booze cruise that will take you to and from Husky Stadium and serves as a floating bar if you want to duck out of the game at halftime for a drink. –Jeremy Repanich

Salish Lodge

Salish Lodge

25. The Salish Lodge
Snoqualmie, WA
There may not be a more dramatic setting for a breakfast in America. Perched alongside the Snoqualmie Falls, your window seat at the Salish Lodge provides a front-row seat to the 268-foot-high natural wonder. The food is pretty excellent, too. Especially the endurance test that is the Country Breakfast, a multi-course feast featuring pastries, steel-cut oats, pancakes and more. It’s probably best to tackle this meal with a friend. –Jeremy Repanich

26. Nora’s Fish Creek Inn
Jackson Hole, WY
The only reason to get out of bed early in this ski resort town, besides the lure of fresh powder, is the huevos rancheros at Nora’s Fish Creek Inn. The 15-foot wooden trout signage that adorns the log-cabin roadhouse might not scream prestige, but the Inn won a James Beard American Classic Award in 2012. For just $8.50 the massive plate of green chili salsa-drenched huevos should provide plenty of fuel for the slopes, but it couldn’t hurt to throw in a couple of fluffy blueberry pancakes as well. –Jennings Brown

*This article originally stated that Blu Jam served Bloody Marys.


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