It’s not hard to find a breakfast line to wait in, but there are few restaurants serving up dishes that are worth an hours-long wait. That said, in pockets all across this country you can find breakfasts so delicious they are more than worth writing home about, they’re worth making a pilgrimage for. Every weekend people line up for the menu items selected below, and it’s not hard to understand why. From banana pancakes in Arkansas, to omelets in Alaska, and eggs in Los Angeles, here are a few breakfast dishes worth getting in line for, no matter how long that line might be.
Reindeer sausage omelet, Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant, Anchorage
An Anchorage staple, Gwennie’s has been serving up breakfast for over 30 years. The reindeer sausage omelet at Gwennie’s has been named one of the most delicious breakfasts in the country. Yes reindeer sausage might take some getting used to, but it’s also an Alaskan specialty; regulars at Gwennie’s line up for that old fashioned goodness.
Banana pancakes, The Pancake Shop, Hot Springs (Arkansas)
A quick search for the best banana pancakes out there, and The Pancake Shop’s name comes up again and again. The restaurant has been open since 1940 and its emphasis has always been on pancakes. The banana pancakes have little pieces of banana chopped up in the batter — well worth waiting for.
Oatmeal soufflé, Red Feather Lounge, Boise (Idaho)
A cross between dessert and breakfast, the oatmeal soufflé is a serious original. On weekends the chef at Red Feather Lounge only makes about a dozen oatmeal soufflés — a choice that definitely enhances the frenzy around the dish. Once it’s sold out? It’s sold out.
Littleton buckwheat pancakes, Littleton Diner, Littleton (New Hampshire)
There’s chat that Littleton is on the cusp of being the hippest town in New Hampshire, but whether that happens or not, Littleton Diner will still be one of the best breakfasts in town. There has been a diner in this location for nearly a hundred years, but it’s the buckwheat pancakes with locally milled flour that keep people lining up for breakfast at Littleton.
Cinnamon rolls, Omega Artisan Baking, Columbus (Ohio)
Part of an indoor marketplace, the cinnamon rolls at Omega Artisan are legendary. Everything in the bakery is handmade, but it’s sticky sweet rolls in particular that have been called the best breakfast in Ohio.
Slut, eggslut, Los Angeles
Though we do take issue with the name, we’ll let the menu description of the signature Slut do the talking: “cage-free coddled egg on top of a smooth potato purée, poached in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette.” It’s no surprise the lines at all four eggslut locations are usually long.
Mediterranean breakfast, Jack’s Wife Freda, New York
A weekend wait can be epic, but the Mediterranean breakfast is one of the best morning dishes in NYC. It consists of two eggs any style, chopped salad, labne, avocado, and pita bread. Fresh and light and delicious.
Guava pastry and café con leche, Versailles, Miami
A Cuban hub, go into the bakery at Versailles, take a number, and wait your turn. While there are countless things to choose from, the café con leche and guava pastry (“pastelito de guayaba”) will never let you down.
Cheese grits, The Waysider, Tuscaloosa (Alabama)
The cheese grits at The Waysider are considered by many people to be perfect. Established in 1906, The Waysider is one of Tuscaloosa’s oldest restaurants. The lines can be upwards of an hour and inside there are not many tables to choose from. But the breakfast will be sensational and the cheese grits will be, well, perfect.
Bacon pancakes, Walker Brothers The Original Pancake House, Wilmette (Illinois)
Now an Illinois chain, Walker Brothers has been serving breakfast for over 50 years. The apple pancakes are so popular they even sell a frozen version, but the bacon pancakes have chopped up bacon bits scattered in the batter. Yum times one million.
Shrimp and grits, Hominy Grill, Charleston
Hominy Grill is a Charleston classic, and the shrimp and grits there are oft emulated. But the real deal is served at the downtown Charleston location and award winning chef James Beard is responsible for the menu at this lowcountry favorite.
Wings and waffles, the breakfast klub, Houston
Be prepared to be stuffed. The wings and waffles here may be the quota for the day’s caloric intake, but they are well worth it. The wings and waffles have also reached both national and local fame; and yes, it’s entirely deserved.