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Posted on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

The search for Ann Arbor's best breakfast joint

By Jessica Webster


The American Breakfast at Zingerman's Roadhouse

Jessica Webster |

When I was a picky 10-year-old, I refused to order breakfast food in restaurants. We rarely ate out for breakfast anyway, and when we did, I would ask the kitchen to make me a hamburger or something from the dinner menu. The thought of eggs and pancakes in the morning (unless my mother had made them, of course) was abhorrent to me.

Fast-forward a couple of dozen years (or so) and things have changed dramatically. Despite the fact that breakfast is one of the easiest meals to whip up at home, I'm a fool for a decent breakfast joint. Fluffy pancakes topped with berries? Yes please. A simple over-easy egg served with bacon and toast? I'm there.

When it comes to breakfast spots in Ann Arbor, we've got an embarrassment of riches. From greasy spoons to more upscale, locally sourced joints, you can take your pick every morning of the week.

We've been soliciting your favorite Washtenaw County breakfast destinations for our entries in our partner site MLive's search for Michigan's Best Breakfast Joint, and as all of your suggestions have come pouring in, I've started thinking about my favorite breakfasts.

Benny's Family Dining: This unassuming diner on Ann Arbor's South Industrial Street is a favorite of student athletes and Burns Park families alike. The food is fast, delicious and inexpensive, and the staff is extraordinarily friendly. There is often a wait at the door, but tables turn over quickly, so you never have to wait for long.

The best deal on the menu is the Original Mini: $3.99 for an egg, two bacon slices and three small pancakes. And if you're in the mood to splurge on calories, the Southern Omelette — topped with sausage gravy and served with toast — is really tasty.

Beezy's : Located on Ypsilanti's Washington Street, just north of Michigan Avenue, Beezy's has been serving up "simple, honest food" for a little more than four years now. Owner Bee Roll has an imaginative menu of breakfast favorites, with ridiculously delicious specials, including breakfast scrambles and imaginative and sometimes off-the-wall french toast creations.

Northside Grill: Walking into this breakfast and lunch joint on Broadway near Pontiac Trail can feel like entering Cheers. Much of the staff has been working there for years, and they'll remember you from your last visit. They serve up good coffee and locally-sourced eggs (from "happy chickens" according to a sign at the counter). Everything I've tried, from the Huevos Rancheros to the "Morning Eggdition" sandwich has been great. And it doesn't hurt that they're always playing WEMU overhead.

Zingerman's Roadhouse : The Grits and Bits Waffle (with bacon and grits in the batter!) served with a side of two over-easy eggs is my dish of choice, but you really can't go wrong with anything on the breakfast menu here. Biscuits with chocolate-bacon gravy? Yum. Eggs Benedict with applewood smoked ham? Crazy good.

If you're in a hurry, you can just grab a breakfast burrito to go from the Roadshow trailer. Filled with scrambled eggs, bacon, jack cheese and green chiles, it's one of my favorite indulgences in town.

We're accepting your nominations for Ann Arbor's best breakfast joint until 5 p.m. Haven't chimed in yet with your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Mon, Mar 4, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

I have tried some of the Restaurants(diners) listed on here and I have to say "The Broken Egg" is far MY FAVORITE place to eat breakfast hands down. When I first moved out here 13 years ago, I met a UofM student in my flight and recommended The Broken Egg to me and since then, I am hooked. I love the food, location, easy parking and AWESOME staff. Keep up the consistent quality, great staff and delicious food.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

The Songbird Cafe is a wonderful new restaurant on Plymouth Road that serves breakfast.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Cafe Marie's omelets are amazing!

David Wanner

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:57 p.m.

The Big Sky diner on Ecorse in Ypsilanti is the best. Basic food served timely and hot.

Ron Burgandy

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

Williams Liquor Store on Michigan Avenue, in Pittsfield Twp. is the best. Nothing beats a shot of Jack Daniels with a Pabst Blue Ribbon chaser in the morning!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

I LOVE Afternoon Delight. FOr twenty years AD has been consistently delicious for breakfast and lunch. Love the Veggie Morning Delight with a swirl garnish; waffles, pancakes, killer muffins and brownies, everything is high quality and affordable! Go Tom! Walter is great too. Always a friendly greeting!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

For sure, check out Juicy Kitchen, great new addition to breakfast scene with excellent food and awesome coffee. Also, don't forget Cosmos in Kerrytown, and Sava has fantastic omelets!

Robert Coon

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

So many great breakfast choices! When it comes to the Ann Arbor area, a great breakfast is one of the easiest things to find. My favorites are Village Kitchen, Uptown Coney Island, and Cafe Zola.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 6:49 a.m.

I have to give props to my regular breakfast spot of some 20+ years, the Aut Bar and La Casita before it. Both the trad and Mexican inflected breakfast menus are first rate, the Mexican, perhaps, sublime, and you can't beat the hands on presence of the owners, Martin and Keith! Also, a nod to Holidays, which won me over from Benny's by dint of their ability to make a hot piece of toast and sealed the deal with good food and friendly service. The folks at Benny's were friendly, but the toast proved a challenge, the turnover in the kitchen seemingly never ending!

J. Zarman

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:20 a.m.

Bomber, on Michigan Av in Ypsi. Uptown Coney, on Jackson Rd in AA. Mark's Midtown, on Plymouth Rd in AA.

Hans Masing

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

How is it possible that Dimo's is not mentioned?!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

The bomber is my favorite! My folks always insist on going when they visit. Sometimes I suspect the bomber's homemade hash is the only reason they agree to spend the night!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Mark's Coney Island off State just south of I-94. The place is always packed and their French Toast beats anyone's. The service is top flight and the prices are very reasonable.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:32 a.m.

Best French Toast around is at The Bomber in Ypsilanti--beats out Angelo's by just a tiny bit!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:16 a.m.

I have been a sucker for breakfast joints forever. I have many favorites depending on my mood. However, I have to say that the one place that will never let you down is The Golden Egg. I actually hate to tell people about The Golden Egg because I don't want people to go there and love it and then I have to wait but when a restaurant is that good you just have to give them credit. The food is made by the owner cooks and you can watch them work at the breakfast bar. The waitresses will remember you if you have been there more than once and they are funny and really friendly. You can not beat the price either, especially for how awesome the food is. You just will not have a disappointing meal there!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

We like Leos Coney Island on Anna J. Stepp in Ypsilanti Twp. Their food is great. We go there all the time.

Susan Todoroff

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:44 p.m.

My favorite breakfast place is the one I open the door to each morning at 6:30 - Juicy Kitchen! Breakfast Sliders, Caramelized Apple & Cream Cheese Stuffed Whole Wheat French Toast, Chai Granola, Steel Cut Oats, Quinoa Bowls and tons of fresh fruit with everything. Quiche and Omelette specials every day. Local eggs, Caulder's milk, Avalon bread, and really good, Mighty Good coffee. Fresh squeezed OJ and Grapefruit juice too.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:24 p.m.

Even though my 12 year old son won't go with me because the cliental scares him, my go to spot for a comfort breakfast or a late night gyro is Abe's in Ypsilanti. Good food, friendly service, and good prices.

Jessica Webster

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

I believe President Clinton ate there during a visit to the area.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

Aut Bar on Saturday and Sunday. The best food, and moderately priced.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

In the "Blast From The Past" category: I still kinda miss weekend brunches at the Southside Grill that used to be on Packard at State. They had a wonderful menu full of things like gingerbread waffles.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

Southside Grill! That was the best thing that ever happened to that particular corner.

Frustrated in A2

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

I love going to Bell's Diner on W. Stadium. Huge pancakes, great sausage and bacon. The biscuits are great along with the sausage gravy. Haven't had something here for breakfast I didn't like!!!

Lou Perry

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Bomber's in Ypsi. Food Network award winner!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

The very best breakfast is the one in front of you. It is hot, came in a reasonable amount of time, and you did not have to take out a loan to pay for it.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Today it was the Salmon Eggs Benedict at Cafe Marie. Shamefully my first visit, but not my last!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

You can pretend you are in AA but drive 45 minutes west and get the best breakfast in the whole state in Jackson (yes Jackson) at The Roxy Cafe.

Brett Petersmark

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:43 p.m.

The Bomber in Ypsi on Michgan ave. You will never walk out of there hungery. You see many students wearing sunglasses trying to recover from last nights excursions:) The staff knows all of the regulars. Price's are good, and the cap'n crunch french toast is like having dessert. Nothing funnier than watching a table cheer on someone who thinks they can eat all of the Bomber Breakfast special; 4 eggs, 1 pound of potatoes, 1 pound of breakfast meats and toast. It is an experience!!!

Top Cat

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

And you can just hear the sound of the Wright Cyclone engines humming and throbbing on the Yankee Lady B-17.

Melanie Maxwell

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

I spent the morning there today filming a video about the Bomber Breakfast. What a cool place! It's hard not to love a place with such personality and heart.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

SELMA Cafe on Friday mornings, Northside Grill on weekends!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.



Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

Bell's Diner on the west side! Amazing American favorites with equally as good Korean dishes. Read more here:


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

Will Cafe Marie is #1 with me. The spinach skillet is 5 stars


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

village kitchen - their early bird special (2 eggs, toast, hash browns, and bacon) is perfect Classic Cafe on Jackson is also a very nice breakfast


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

If someone is over at Sam's Club on a quiet morning, try Harvest Moon Cafe which is right across the street. Good food overall.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Love going to Big Sky Diner in Ypsilanti off Ecorse. Huge breakfast at a decent price.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

Beezy's - Hands Down.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

Cafe Zola for sure! I have never had a breakfast I didn't enjoy there, and their coffee is hands down my favorite anywhere. I order a hybrid crepe every time now - the strawberry banana crepe with the filling for the blintz crepe.

Cole Bertsos

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Not gonna lie — even though I don't do dairy now I still have dreams about Angelo's Eggs Florentine. So good!


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Yes! The Eggs Florentine is my fave!

Jessica 'Decky' Alexander

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

The best breakfast is ... Alpha Coney Island off of Ann Arbor Saline Road (in the Target Mall)! The food is really fresh and consistent. One may associate a Coney Island with grease and grime, but Alpha Coney Island is anything but greasy; it's easy on the palette. The spinach skillet (egg-whites) is my standard Saturday treat and is the best skillet around. Include them in the Best...


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

The Classic Cup Cafe on Jackson has the best Eggs Benedict as well as other equally good breakfast choices.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

I think the restaurant name is misleading. I think the food is ok, but the coffee is terrible. I find myself calling it the Crappy Cup instead. I prefer Northside. I think their coffee is better, and their bene is better too.

Jojo B

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

YES! Totally agree!! I love the Classic Cup Cafe and their Eggs Benedict.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

Cafe Marie's on Plymouth. The salmon scramble is great.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

No mentions for the Fleetwood Diner? Last fall, when my power went out, I walked downtown and had pancakes and bacon on the "terrace" at the Fleetwood. They were great.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

mr_annarbor, I agree with you, i have eaten there hundreds of times over the years and have yet to get hit with either salmonella OR ecoli. Love their hippie breakfast!!!!

Jojo B

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Well, at least the Fleetwood came in second as the scariest bathroom in an A2 restaurant. So there's your consolation.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

I nice serving of salmonella and ecoli to go with your hippie hash. Sorry, but that place is the most disgusting kitchen I have seen in An Arbor and I saw the old Golden Chef .


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

also Mark's Midtown Cafe is very good.


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

Hands down the best! I have tried Alpha which I found to be dirty. I sat at the counter and it was disgusting. I also tried Nicks. Will never go back. A simple order of French Toast with NO meat cost over 8 bucks. What a joke. Mark's midtown has great food, service and pricing!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

Uh.... did anyone forget Angelo's???? Com'on...


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

no-no NoPC, Angelo's has been roundly praised here, including myself.(See: deep-fried french toast!)


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:27 p.m.

Saline's Downtown Diner. Breakfast Burrito, Rib-eye steak for the "chicken fried steak and gravy", and my wife says they have the best Hollandaise sauce on the eggs benedict she's ever eaten.

Brian Hill

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

Cafe Zola. The blood orange mimosas.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Okay, I digress, but speaking of blood orange-flavored drinks, you have to try the blood orange frozen margaritas at Isalita- SO GOOD. And just $5 during happy hour.

Area Man

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

Beezy's for shore!

Jennifer Shikes Haines

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

They're the new kids on the block, but Juicy Kitchen Cafe gets my vote - out of this world egg dishes and great coffee, and my husband swears by the non-egg things, too. Stuffed french toast, various specials, including one with banana bread, greek yogurt, pb and fruit, fresh fruit with everything, home-baked donuts and other pastries - just fabulous.

Susan Todoroff

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

So happy you like the new kids on the block - that's me! I wanted to create a healthy, delicious breakfast spot with a warm, inviting atmosphere and great coffee. I'm so glad you like it!!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

Nick's pancake house has terrific food!!!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8 p.m.

Angelo's, Afternoon Delight, Broken Egg, and Nicks!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:55 p.m.

Juicy Kitchen! Breakfast Sliders...need I say more!

Susan Todoroff

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

Thank you, Dukdust! I'm so happy you like our sliders!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:30 p.m.

The Grotto Club on Stadium serves breakfast to the public on the third Sundayand has always been a great deal. How come nobody nominated Frank's? That place is an Ann Arbor mainstay

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

Thanks for mentioning Frank's - I've often wondered the history of that place. Wondering if it would make for a good story on how they've survived the times and watched Ann Arbor change.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

I was just going to say, Frank's! You can get a complete breakfast for $5 or under.

Irwin Daniels

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Two words "Broken Egg"


Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 6:23 a.m.

Their service is terrible. The last time I ate there was about 6 years ago, and I'm still waiting for someone to refill my coffee.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

Got me. I kinda like the place.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Why is this down-voted?

Top Cat

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

Bacon and eggs at The Bomber in Ypsi! You can just imagine Tom Waits sitting at the counter.

Frank Grzybek

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

Golden Egg, Golden Egg, Golden Egg. Excellent skillets, great coffee and reasonable prices.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:46 p.m.

I am, of course, prejudiced in this matter, but you can't talk about great breakfast food in Ann Arbor without at least MENTIONING the \aut\ BAR.

Holly Richardson

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

The \aut\ bar has the best brunch, especially when you can enjoy it on the patio in warmer weather! My favorite Saturday morning includes a visit to the farmer's market and then Braun court for a phenomenal brunch at \aut\.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

aut BAR has tempeh which is a big plus for vegetarians.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Yes, great breakfast and coffee and definitely an awesome experience when its warm outside and you can sit in the courtyard. I love the staff there too, they're so friendly.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

That is SO TRUE. But a lot of people don't know about the weekend brunch menu. Huevos Motulenos FTW!

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

Jess, great choices. I agree, the Original Mini is a delicious steal. I wonder who told you about that...? I'd add Nick's and Jefferson Market to that list. Beezy's has awesome bacon, Zingerman's has great coffee, Northside has great skillets, Nick's has great banana pancakes and Jefferson Market has a great atmosphere and fun specials. I can't wait to try the Lena brunch soon, especially since they just put a coupon up on our site. A good deal makes the food taste even better.

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

Yeah, Lena's not cheap, but they definitely have some interesting offerings I look forward to trying (including the latin pancakes). I think they have a fair number of coupons out too, like a free small plate with a main plate offer.

Jon Saalberg

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

Just be sure to bring your $$, because Lena is not cheap. Hopefully, their breakfast offerings are not similar to the appetizers we tried, which looked pretty, but were small and expensive.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

Ha - yes! Kellie Woodhouse told me about the Original Mini. Thanks for the tip, Kellie!!

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

I promise Lena did not pay me to say that. All thoughts offered in the comments section are the author's opinion and not an endorsement... :)

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

I, too, am a sucker for breakfast joints, even though it's so easy to make and hard to justify cost-wise! I just love going for breakfast/brunch with my girlfriends to catch up. I haven't tried Zingerman's or Beezy's for breakfast, but Benny's was a staple when I lived at State and Packard in college.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

Angelo's. I love their version of Eggs Benedict; it's not refined, with huge slabs of their homemade toast and thick pieces of Canadian bacon, but it is excellent.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

They make their hollandaise sauce with chicken broth I makes it MAGICAL.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Seldon, too right! I also recommend their deep-fried french toast w/a side of sausage. Just don't tell your cardiologist! will try their Eggs Benedict next time I'm there, it sounds really good.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

I haven't tried the Eggs Benedict from Angelo's yet. Sounds great. Thanks for the tip!

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

I agree: my college favorite. (sans the meat, but still good!)