07 Apr Best Breakfast Cafe’s in Grand Rapids
For me it is hard to beat a great breakfast, so I have listed 5 of my favorite places to grab a hardy breakfast in the greater Grand Rapids area. While, I am confident you can get a very healthy meal at each of these establishments, you know the saying, bacon makes everything better. The list is in no particular order, so make sure to get to all 5 and let us know what you think of each.
- Real Food Cafe – They have two places in Grand Rapids, the original site is in Alger Heights and their second location is on the north side of town, on Plainfield Ave. I have only visited the Alger Heights location, but I have to assume both operated very similar. Three quick things to know about the Real Food Cafe; 1) they do not take Credit Cards, but they do have an ATM in the back, 2) They do not have WiFi and 3) you will probably will have to wait an extended amount of time before you get seated, especially on the weekend. Those three things alone have to tell you their food must be great, right? I was there a couple Saturday’s ago with my Uncle and I arrived about 15 minutes before he did, since he was traveling from Byron Center. We were seated within ten minutes after he arrived, and at that time there were at least 30 people waiting to be seated who arrived after me. I ended up getting their Breakfast Burrito, a side of their home fries, a side of bacon washing it all down with a large Orange Juice. Needless to say, I took home enough food for another complete meal I enjoyed later in the afternoon. This was not your fast food style burrito, so don’t get it twisted. It took up more than half the plate, the tortilla was stuffed with scrambled eggs, chorizo, tomatoes, green chiles, onions and a generous amount of cheddar cheese, along with both salsa and sour cream on the side. The other half of the plate had what seemed to be an endless amount of their home fries. My second plate had four perfectly cooked thick apple-wood smoked pieces of bacon and whole wheat toast. My Uncle was a bit more vanilla with his selection and opted for Oatmeal, with fresh fruit on top and Raisin toast. Their breakfast menu is two full pages with more than 50 entrees and 15 sides. The price is more than reasonable, especially considering the portion sizes they provide.
- Wolfgangs – I have been going to Wolfgang’s since I moved back to Grand Rapids as a kid in the early eighties, it first opened its doors in 1977. Located in Eastown, it was the first of its kind in GR doing just breakfast and being open late night. It has since added a small lunch menu and trimmed the hours, but that is not why people continue to visit Wolfgang’s, often multiple generations at a time. It’s been a couple months since I stopped at Wolfgang’s for breakfast but each time I usually end up getting one of their monstrous Omelettes. My go to choices is the Polish Sausage Omelette that comes standard with a ridiculous amount of cheddar cheese and Polish Sausage and just the right amount of onions. Over the years I have added mushrooms to this football sized egg concoction, just because I can. Once in a while I change my game up and go for their Eggs Benedict or one of their delectable Skillet offerings. I always add their seasoned redskin potatoes, side of bacon and choose their english muffin toast, and a large orange juice. There are several reasons this place is still going strong after 40 years in business, great food, great portions, reasonable prices and great service.
- Manna Cafe – These guys are one of the newer Breakfast Cafe’s in the area and they pride themselves on offering a creative menu, with premium ingredients, regionally sourced whenever possible. They offer in-house apple-wood smoked meats fresh homemade breads and baked goods and put a unique twist on each menu item. They are located in Cascade on Forest Hills avenue. I have not established a go to breakfast at the point, since everything I have sampled to date is so creative and mouth watering. The last time I visited Manna’s for Breakfast I got their Pork 3 Ways Omelet, which consists of eggs, house smoked sausage & pulled pork, crumbled bacon with white cheddar cheese. Is there a such thing as too much pork, I say not a chance. A few of their other selections I have knock off the list are their Huevos Rancheros, Manna Hash, Biscuits & Gravy and their traditional Eggs Benedict. They have three other twists on Eggs Benedict that need to be tackled at some future visit, Smoked Salmon, Jamaican Jerked and Reuben. And you probably noticed by now, I love me some bacon, theirs is possibly the best I have sampled in many years. They do offer a lighter healthier breakfast too if you are into that thing, but I will leave that for others, at least until I try pretty much everything else on their menu. I believe my next visit will be to try their Cinnamon Bread French Toast, but truthfully I never really know until I enter the Cafe.
- Sundance Grill and Bar – I first started going to Sundance Grill in the early 1990’s along with my boss, who would put me through what we called Networking 101. We would meet up there at 7:00AM once a week, grab breakfast and I would learn a new concept or product centered around Information Technology. Today, Sundance has two locations, the original is on 28th St in Cascade and their other location is Downtown GR. The last time I dined at Sundance I got their Steak Fajita Omelette which features marinated strip steak, Bell peppers (which I substituted mushrooms for), onions, cheddar & monterey jack cheese, topped with sour cream and fresh pico de gallo. This was a Sunday, so we decided to test their BLT Bloody Mary’s and that was not a disappointment at all. After all it is garnished with bacon,lettuce & tomato, served with toasted sour dough bread, mayo & a 5oz shorty. A few of my other favorites are their Chorizo & Bacon Breakfast Taco, Morning Star Scramble, San Jose Skillet and their almost sinful Bananas Foster Waffles. Their Sundance Spuds are no joke either.
- Anna’s House – This place has been around for quite some time, but it’s roots were established on the north side of GR. Now Anna’s House has three locations in Grand Rapids, one in Holland and one in Kalamazoo. They provide all-natural, fresh, local quality ingredients in each of their dishes. Its been a minute since I last ate at Anna’s but I do remember getting their Chicken N’ Waffles, which are malted waffles topped with crispy chicken and house made maple cream sauce, served with two sunny-side up eggs (they offer the eggs any way you want them). My co-worker opted for the Monte Cristo which is ham & swiss grilled between two slices of french toast, topped with raspberry melba sauce. I have sampled many items at Anna’s over the years and each time it brings a smile to my face and fills my belly. Just like Real Food Cafe, Anna’s gets slammed quickly on the weekend, but the wait is well worth it.
While there were other places in town I would love to have put on the list, they did not make the top five this year. A friend of mine did tell me about Nonna’s in Ada, but I have not gotten around to sample their menu, although she holds them in high regard. What do you think about my first Fab 5 Funday list? Each time we will tackle a different category, and our next installment is slated to be either the top 5 Wings or Taco’s in the area. Are there any other Breakfast Cafe’s I need to consider for next years list?