10 Best Breakfasts on the Main Line
Kick-start your morning with one of Main Line Today's favorite breakfast dishes, from old-fashioned Irish oatmeal to cinnamon bun French toast.
A piece of buttered toast dipped in a perfectly runny yolk, maple-syrup-doused pancakes with a side of crispy bacon, organic yogurt with seasonal fruit and homemade granola. Whatever gets you going in the morning, one thing is certain: A good breakfast gets your day started on the right foot, whether you’re a coffee-and-pastry minimalist or an eggs-over-easy loyalist. Here are some of our favorite a.m. dishes from local eateries. And if you’re more of the p.m. type, check out our brunch picks.
Roasted Red Pepper and Egg Sandwich: Classic Diner
You’ll probably have to deal with long lines if you go on the weekend. Otherwise, this popular Main Line eatery offers everything you love about a diner—minus the grease, stale coffee and questionable ingredients. There’s something beautifully straightforward about the roasted red pepper and egg sandwich—though it’s made a little less so with fresh pesto, melted provolone and rustic Italian bread. 352 Lancaster Ave., Malvern; (610) 725-0515, theclassicdinerpa.com.
Cornbread and Avocado Benedict: Market Street Grill
This college-town gem is known for its interesting food combos—and their souped-up eggs Benedict is no exception. Two perfectly poached eggs and velvety, ripe avocado slices sit atop a sweet hunk of cornbread, all of it covered in a smooth cascade of slightly tangy hollandaise sauce. This quirky diner is also known for its Bruno Burrito, with fried eggs, hash browns, cheese and homemade andouille-sausage gravy. 6 W. Market St., West Chester; (610) 429-5328.
Homemade Pastry and a Cup of Coffee: Town Hall Coffee Co.
The flavorful, made-to-order joe may be the real showstopper at this pristine Merion Station café, but don’t sleep on the homemade pastries and breakfast treats. The selection changes weekly, but we love the cinnamon scone with an aromatic New Guinea blend. Or splurge on a slice of pie—it’s never too early. 358 Montgomery Ave., Merion Station; (484) 270-8041, townhallcoffee.com.
Old-Fashioned Irish Oatmeal: Du Jour Market and Café
Sometimes, simple is best. Du Jour’s creamy, steel-cut oats and steamed milk are topped with a crunchy brown-sugar crumble. Enjoy a bowl with the morning paper, or get it to-go when you need a midmorning pick-me-up. 379 Lancaster Ave., Haverford; (610) 896-4556, dujourmarket.com.
Cinnamon Bun French Toast: Nudy’s Café
French toast and cinnamon buns are sublime on their own—but together? Sinful in the best way possible. The sweet buns are dipped in batter and baked, leaving two fluffy, golden pillows of goodness. The gingerbread and banana-walnut pancakes are also worth a trip, as is the $3.99 breakfast-sandwich-and-coffee combo. We’re just glad there are seven Nudy’s locations, so we’re never far from our morning fix. Various locations, nudyscafes.com.
Ben Franklin Skillet: Desmond Hotel’s Hunt Room
You don’t have to be from out of town to take advantage of the Hunt Room’s morning menu. Beginning at 7 a.m., traditional breakfast items at reasonable prices are served hot out of the kitchen—and breakfast doesn’t get much more satisfying than the Ben Franklin Skillet. Farm-fresh eggs and potatoes are sautéed with bacon, sausage, and lots of veggies (to counteract the breakfast meat, of course), then topped with lots of cheddar cheese and served in a cast-iron skillet with toast or an English muffin. One Liberty Blvd., Malvern; (610) 296-7300, desmondgv.com.
The “Cunshy” Omelet: 401 Diner
“Comfort with a conscience” is the tagline for the overhauled 401 Diner, its menu boasting everything from Lancaster County free-range egg sandwiches to organic-blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Omelet lovers can’t go wrong with the “Cunshy,” with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and local Gouda cheese. Make it even healthier and opt for egg whites and multigrain Le Bus toast. 401 Fayette St., Conshohocken; (484) 351-8029, 401conshydiner.com.
North of the Border Breakfast Burrito: Blue Café
Sometimes, breakfast is that much more enjoyable when it’s all neatly packaged in a warm tortilla, especially when you want something to-go. Scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, peppers, salsa and Jack cheese make for one hearty, protein-packed union. Give your day a little extra kick with a strong cup of Blue Café joe. 150 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Downingtown; (610) 873-1700, ourbluecafe.com.
Smithfield Ham Biscuit: Dixie Picnic
We don’t recommend making this particular breakfast treat a habit, but every once in a while, you just have to say “to hell with it” and dig in. Juicy, thin slices of Smithfield ham and melted cheddar cheese piled into a sliced homemade biscuit amount to nothing less than Southern-style comfort food at its coziest (especially if you add a side of cheddar grits). For something more restrained, try the delicious Heart-Healthy Huevos. 215 Lancaster Ave., Malvern; (484) 320-8024, dixiepicnic.com.
Pancakes: Ardmore Station Café
Breakfast is served all day at this friendly mainstay, located just across from the Ardmore train station. Try a hefty portion of the traditional buttermilk pancakes, or add toasted coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts or fresh berries. We suggest paying the extra $2 for pure maple syrup. After all, why mess with perfection? You may just feel the need to saunter over here for lunch. 6 Station Road, Ardmore; (610) 642-3889.
See also "21 Best Brunches From the Main Line to Atlantic City."