Best Breakfast and Brunch Places 2013

We found 30 places that sizzle for weekend brunch or everyday breakfast.
Edited by Suzanne Loudermilk. Photography By Scott Suchman. By Jess Blumberg, Ron Cassie, Suzanne Loudermilk, Amy Mulvihill, Bianca Sienra, Martha Thomas, and Mike Unger with Jane Marion and Karen Nitkin - October 2013

Best Breakfast and Brunch Places 2013

We found 30 places that sizzle for weekend brunch or everyday breakfast.
Edited by Suzanne Loudermilk. Photography By Scott Suchman. By Jess Blumberg, Ron Cassie, Suzanne Loudermilk, Amy Mulvihill, Bianca Sienra, Martha Thomas, and Mike Unger with Jane Marion and Karen Nitkin - October 2013

Remember when Mom used to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? She was right, of course, but we're not sure she was talking about the eggs Benedict and mimosas we like to indulge in at weekend brunch or the decadent omelet and fancy latte we devour before hitting the office during the week. But sometimes, you just have to take a break from cold cereal and OJ at home. With that in mind, we went in search of the best places to nurture our appetites before tackling the day, including local coffee shops. We even took it a step further, suggesting particular dishes you must try—the Elvis pancakes at Golden West Cafe will leave you swooning. And for those days when you'd like to be in the kitchen, we talked to three experts about how to make the perfect omelet, cup of coffee, and Bloody Mary to wow your family and friends. Indeed, Mom does know best.


Baldwin's Station

7618 Main St., Sykesville, 410-795-1041
It makes for a lovely fall Sunday to drive out to historic Sykesville for brunch at Baldwin's Station, where the pretty covered deck overlooks the Old Main Line (the oldest commercial railroad in the country) and the Patapsco River. In chillier seasons, the charming dining room is also a cozy place to dine. In any season, don't miss the eggs Chesapeake—pan-seared crab cakes, poached eggs, and Old Bay-and-roasted-corn hollandaise atop homemade biscuits—or the flat-iron chipotle-seasoned steak and eggs if you're looking for strictly breakfast fare. If you're in a more lunch-y mood, the luscious seafood melt is a must: This glorified BLT is mounded with Gulf shrimp, lump crabmeat, and bay scallops, then tossed in Old Bay aioli, and topped with melted cheddar cheese. Must-have dish: The meat-lover's omelet with applewood-smoked bacon, sage-infused sausage, pancetta, and provolone.

City Cafe

1001 Cathedral St., 410-539-4252
This Mt. Vernon favorite, serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays and breakfast daily, always reminds us of a hip artist's loft, and we were happy to be seated upstairs to watch the hubbub below. We started out with a potent orange crush (made with house-infused orange vodka) and a refreshing mint-and-lime lemonade. We really like that the restaurant serves complimentary gooey cinnamon buns before the meal arrives. Our animated waiter, Seth, recommended the croque madame, so we obliged. The dish is a version of its monsieur counterpart—a grilled-ham-and-cheese sandwich—with an over-easy egg and a cheddar Mornay sauce on top. Decadent is an understatement. But we didn't feel too guilty since it came with a generous portion of fresh fruit. Must-have dish: The fried chicken and biscuits includes two poached eggs, all topped with Sriracha hot sauce and that silky Mornay sauce.

The Food Market

1017 W. 36th St., 410-366-0606
From the inventive drink menu to the carefully arranged plates, everything is done here with creativity and precision. This includes weekend brunch, which is served on Fridays, as well as the traditional Saturdays and Sundays. The menu covers a lot of gastronomical ground. Perhaps you'd prefer the comfort-food balm of Amish soft pretzels with a beer-cheese fondue. Or maybe your taste runs to the more exotic duck scrapple with a sunny-side-up egg, garlic toast, and local greens. Better yet, indulge in the creamy lemon-ricotta pancakes. Do save room for a morning cocktail, from a deliciously spicy Bloody Mary to a tart, grapefruit-based Snapdragon. Must-have dish: The turkey-sausage tacos: a trio of mini tortillas filled with chorizo-style ground turkey, scrambled eggs, diced tomatoes, cilantro, shredded white- cheddar cheese, and a healthy dollop of whipped avocado.


10 Art Museum Dr., The Baltimore Museum of Art, 410-889-3399
The essence of brunch is relaxation, and no setting provides a more serene environment for a weekend mid-morning meal than Gertrude's patio in the museum's sculpture garden. Sipping a jalapeño popper—a Bloody Mary made with chili-infused Tito's vodka and served with a pickle spear—is so soothing you're almost disappointed when your food arrives. But not for long. A crabmeat omelet is filled with lumps of succulent crab and sherried mushrooms and bathed in a Gruyére-laced Mornay sauce. A build-your-own option (pick an entree, sauce, and two sides) offers a world of possibilities. Must-have dish: Eggs Gertrude: broiled crab cakes, poached eggs, and tomato on a toasted English muffin with hollandaise and served with hash browns.

Harry Browne's

66 State Circle, Annapolis, 410-263-4332
For sheer value, it's hard to beat the Sunday brunch at this Annapolis landmark. The prix-fixe breakfast buffet ($19.95) is an all-you-can-eat affair with an omelet bar, waffles awash in fresh fruit, and platters of lox and steamed shrimp dusted in Old Bay. The dessert selection includes luscious cheesecake and fruit tarts. Plus there's free champagne or the $6 option of a Bloody Mary bar. A-la-carte options include Benedicts—classic with ham or topped with crab cakes or oysters—as well as salads. (Try the buttermilk fried chicken.) Must-have dish: the Phillibuster sandwich (the menu's only reference to Harry Browne's proximity to the Maryland Statehouse): a Philly-style hot roast-beef sandwich on ciabatta bread, oozing with provolone.


two locations, including 2400 Boston St., 410-534-3287
The restaurant's Canton locaton has hit on the right formula for weekend brunch. For $15.95, diners get an entree, a complimetary mimosa, and unlimited access to a buffet laden with sides like hash browns, bacon, grits, salad, fruit, and muffins. This Low Country-inspired restaurant turns out an impressive Chesapeake Benedict—two poached eggs atop a seared jumbo-lump crab cake, cut in half and set on English muffins with hollandaise sauce. Other menu items include sourdough French toast, three omelet options, and a South Dakota range steak with eggs. Must-have dish: Langermann's hash with spicy chorizo, short ribs, corned-beef hash, peppers, and onions, topped with two eggs any style. (We recommend adding some hot sauce for an extra kick!)

Maggie's Farm

4341 Harford Rd., 410-254-2376
This cheery yellow row-house restaurant in Lauraville is the perfect place to ease into a Sunday. Zeke's Coffee is always brewing, or maybe you'd like one of Maggie's artisanal cocktails like the “mimos-def," a mix of Prosecco, amaretto, orange juice, and house-made maraschino cherries. If you're dinning en famille—which many do at this neighborhood spo—order several small plates to split, including the deviled eggs (usually served with salmon and pepper jelly, but on our visit filled with a tarragon-and-cilantro mousse) and the Chick N' Biscuit, a stack of juicy fried chicken with sausage gravy on a biscuit. Entrees are filling and eclectic, ranging from an omelet packed with farmers'-market produce and served with fresh fruit or house-made granola to a Hangover Breakfast of kimchee fried rice, eggs, peas, chilies, and roasted pork belly. Must-have dish: The glistening, maple-bourbon glazed donut is a thing of beauty.

Michael's Cafe

2119 York Rd., Timonium, 410-252-2022
This is the place to come on weekends for top-notch classic eggs Benedict—two delicately poached eggs perched on top of Gruyére cheese, Canadian bacon, and a toasted English muffin with hollandaise sauce. But, oh, there are variations. Michael's also serves filet Benedict, substituting two three-ounce filets for the Canadian bacon and Chesapeake Benedict with jumbo-lump crab meat—all served with the restaurant's “ultimate" fried potatoes, which are well-seasoned with red and green peppers and onions. Other brunch items include Belgian waffles, stacked with strawberries, bananas, and walnuts, and crème-brûlée French toast—both served with maple syrup and either applewood-smoked bacon, ham, or sausage. Michael's original Bloody Marys are just dandy, too, with a stalk of celery, a lime, and an over-sized olive in an Old Bay-rimmed pint glass. Must-have dish: Fried-green-tomato Benedict. It's like the above classic but with fried green tomatoes and jumbo lump crab.

The Milton Inn

14833 York Rd, Sparks, 410-771-4366
This longtime classic country inn, with its hushed, antiques-laden setting, is just the place if you're looking for an alternative to the usual bustling Sunday brunch scene. Mounds of béarnaise-enrobed jumbo-lump crabmeat gild poached eggs and the Inn's upscale version of steak and eggs features medallions of filet Diane and scrambled eggs flecked with goat cheese and basil. There are wonderfully rich versions of standards like French toast, but if you're looking for more substantial fare, dinner-like entrees like seared chicken breast and rack of lamb are also available. Must-have dish: The wild-mushroom phyllo, featuring layers of mushrooms, Grana Padano cheese, herbs, and delicate phyllo atop a mound of sautéed spinach, tomato-red-pepper coulis, and pesto.

The Oregon Grille

1201 Shawan Rd., Cockeysville, 410-771-0505
Elegance, impeccable service, and exquisite cuisine are staples at one of Baltimore County's most consistently classy restaurants, no matter when you dine. Sunday brunch brings a more casual atmosphere to the white-tablecloth dining rooms, wood-heavy bar, and expansive patio. Start with a custom cocktail like the Bloody Mary made with house-made bacon-infused vodka and sprinkled with prosciutto dust. Served with blue cheese-stuffed olives and celery ribbons, it could be breakfast by itself. The extensive menu features a full selection of appetizers, including crispy crab-and-avocado wontons. Salads, steaks, and traditional breakfast entrees are also available, as is fancier fare like veal Marengo and pan-fried rainbow trout. Must-have dish: Hangtown Fry, a frittata-style egg dish topped with fried oysters, bacon, ham, green onions, and cheddar.

Petit Louis Bistro

4800 Roland Ave., 410-366-9393
This Foreman Wolf restaurant just gets us. Did we want to start our Sunday brunch with a mimosa, our pleasant and efficient waitress inquired? Why, yes we did, and the staple breakfast libation was made just the way we like it: heavy on the bubbly, easy on the juice. Despite the French menu descriptions, the dishes are often surprisingly simple. Oeufs brouillés is really just a bowl of creamy scrambled eggs accented with Gruyère and chives and served with a slice of thick, salty ham. If you're feeling adventurous, though, try the beignets de crevettes with white shrimp, zucchini, and an espelette (chili pepper) aioli. But even if you stick close to home menu-wise, you won't be disappointed. A dish of potatoes with standard peppers and onions is elevated by a quick glaze of duck fat. Must-have dish: The poached eggs come with Madrange ham, crunchy brioche, and—bien sûr!—a decadent hollandaise sauce.

Regi's American Bistro

1002 Light St., 410-539-7344
When the weather is pleasant, there's no better spot on a weekend morning than the awning-covered front patio at Regi's, where you can sip on Zeke's Coffee or a breakfast Bloody Mary and watch Federal Hill come to life. But inside is equally sublime in the sunny-yellow dining room with white beadboard accents that impart the feel of a summer house. You get off to a good start with a basket of complimentary mini muffins—sweet cranberry with a touch of star anise on one visit. Choose from the breakfast side of the menu—omelets, Benedicts with crab cakes or Canadian bacon, and an over-the-top Elvis waffle with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and crumbles of bacon—or lunch, which includes an array of sandwiches and oversized salads. Must-have dish: Gary's Big Mouth turkey burger served on a boule roll.

Rusty Scupper

402 Key Hwy., 410-727-3678
Sunday brunch at this Inner Harbor institution—with its gorgeous views, live jazz, complimentary drinks like Champagne, mimosas, and Bellinis, and all-inclusive, wide-ranging buffet—is a special-occasion destination for many Baltimoreans. The food spread offers excellent traditional fare—from scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, applewood bacon, maple sausage, and Old Bay home fries to seasonal fruit and house-made breads and bagels—and also some surprises like seafood macaroni and cheese and a fish platter. There's more: a raw bar, including mussels and oysters on the half shell, a sirloin-and-baked-ham carving station, omelets—with crab and shrimp—and Belgian waffles made to order. Must-have dish: Bread pudding, served moist and warm, but not too sweet, with rum-raisin sauce and a raspberry-based coulis on the side.

Teavolve Cafe & Lounge

1401 Aliceanna St., 410-522-1907
This loft-like space, a peaceful retreat amid the swirl of Harbor East, is aptly named. The place evolves throughout the day—from a quiet morning of early risers tapping on laptops to afternoons of informal business discussions over salad and evenings with poetry readings and book groups meeting over wine and snacks. But the weekend brunch is when the place kicks into gear. An extensive menu ranging from eggs and crab on a croissant to a smoked salmon omelet will certainly perk you up—especially when washed down with one of the signature coffee drinks. (Chocolate-covered almond, anyone?) Of course, you can always go another route with an infusion of loose-leaf Himalayan tea or a green-tea and-mango shake. Must-have dish: The apple-cinnamon French toast with chantilly cream.

Wine Market Bistro

921 E. Fort Ave., 410-244-6166
The Locust Point restaurant is a Sunday draw for ladies who lunch and twentysomethings who brunch. With that in mind, we decided to try both options on the menu. The Southern-style breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, black-eyed-pea salsa, bacon, and avocado accompanied by hash browns was delicious. From the lunch end of the equation, we also dug into the B.A.L.T. with candied bacon, avocado, aioli, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted brioche. It was hefty and messy, but we didn't mind, especially since it came with crispy, addictive “market" fries dusted with cayenne. Must-have dish: The grapefruit-limoncello mimosa, a fun twist on the classic cocktail with sparkling wine, grapefruit juice, and the Italian lemon liqueur.

Woodberry Kitchen

2010 Clipper Park Rd., 410-464-8000
Be warned: You'll have some agonizing decisions to make selecting your brunch here. Go sweet and you'll be confronted with a choice between, say, a corn waffle bursting with fresh kernels (and topped with lush local peaches, maple butter, and blueberry cream) and the Bake Shop on a Board, an assortment of Woodberry's fabulous fresh-baked croissants, coffee cakes, scones, and muffins. Go savory and the choices get even harder: Will you pick the frittata with a bounty of seasonal vegetables and homemade quark (fresh cheese)? Or perhaps you're feeling traditional and will opt for the eggs Benedict. No matter what you decide, there's no better place to wrack your brain on a weekend than in the restaurant's rustic-chic surrounds while you sip a Manhampden, a sweetly satisfying variation on a Manhattan. Must-have dish: A breakfast flatbread with maple sausage, potatoes, caramelized onions, cheddar, chili oil, and a poached egg.

Ze Mean Bean Café

1739 Fleet St., 410-675-5999
The Sunday jazz brunch at this charming eastern European-inspired Fells Point eatery has been a mainstay for years. (A smaller brunch is also served on Saturdays minus the music.) Its reliable combination of cheerful service, artfully made cocktails, and eclectic and authentic food proves why. Any meal here should start with a plate of pierogies. The sauerkraut, potato, and sweet farmer's cheese-filled dumplings are handmade, sautéed with butter and onions, and surely among the best on this side of the Atlantic. Wash them down with a glass of ice-cold Polish lemonade—it's the standard variety improved by adding cinnamon-honey vodka. The frightfully delicious Red Scare, two potato pancakes layered between scrambled eggs, kielbasa, melted Gruyére cheese, and hollandaise, like Ze Mean Bean itself, hits the right note every time. Must-have dish: The Polish muffuletta: roasted pork loin, sliced kielbasa, kalamata tapenade, tomatoes, and Gruyére on sourdough bread.


Artifact Coffee

1500 Union Ave., 410-235-1881
Favored by the bike-and-laptop crowd, this farm-to-table restaurant and coffee shop in the renovated Union Mill building is so exquisitely styled you'll feel like you've slipped into a Walker Evans or Dorothea Lange photograph—but with much better food, of course. The breakfast menu is compact, focusing on house-made baked goods, breakfast sandwiches (served on house-baked biscuits), and coffee, which is an art form here. A basic cup is served pour-over style, wherein the barista hand brews each cup by slowly funneling hot water onto the grounds. This produces an exceptionally clean, clear, strong cup. Other options include macchiatos, lattes, and espressos, all topped with foam-art designs. Must-have dish: The still-warm-from-the-oven seasonal quick bread (we had zucchini) is presented as two mini loaves on a wooden cutting board with a ramekin of house-ground natural peanut butter on the side—perfect for sharing!


several locations, including 1407 Clarkview Rd., Ste. 600, 410-296-0373
When we're out and about, we like to stop by this outpost along Falls Road in Baltimore County. It's definitely a regulars' place. Customers sidle up to the counter only to be greeted with a knowing grin and a rhetorical, “The usual?" There is table service available, too. The menu is concise, but covers the basics. We opted for the Bare Hills Breakfast: two eggs any style (we choose scrambled), two strips of bacon, a side of home fries, and buttered toast. Then, for good measure, we ordered a chicken-salad sandwich to go, so we could keep the Atwater's dining experience going all day. Must-have dish: The house-made fruit-and-yogurt parfait with Greek-style yogurt, chunks of granola, honey, and seasonal fruit.

Blue Moon Cafe

1621 Aliceanna St., 410-522-3940
Even on a Tuesday morning, diners are willing to wait a half-hour for a table in the funky, colorful, eclectic space in Fells Point—unless you can score one of the four seats at the tiny counter, which we happily did. Essentially, the menu is made-to-order diner food served by a friendly staff who offer you coffee immediately. The portions are huge—from the Full Moon breakfast with two thick slices of French toast dusted with confectioners' sugar (or pancakes), two eggs, and sausage to the “universal" omelet packed with ham, sausage, bacon, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, mozzarella, and cheddar, and served with incredible hash browns. Must-have dish: Blue Moon's Cap'n Crunch French toast, made famous on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.


two locations, including 3101 St. Paul St., 410-889-3410
Sure, you can grab a coffee to go and a muffin on your way to work. But we like stopping by Donna's on those weekday mornings when we don't have to go to the office. Its quiet décor—dark wood, metal, and exposed ceilings—makes it an intimate space to open the paper, chat, enjoy breakfast, and start the day slowly. The breakfast menu is small (a weekend brunch menu is more elaborate) but well-executed. The breakfast egg sandwich comes with lovely melted white cheddar—bacon added for an extra buck—on a croissant, bagel, or toast. You can also simply order two eggs any way you wish or indulge in granola or a cup of yogurt. Must-have dish: The bagel with smoked salmon, served open-face with cream cheese, salmon, capers, onions, tomato slices, and romaine on the side.


6010 University Blvd., Ellicott City, 410-750-3115
The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the spotlight—not surprisingly—is on omelets, frittatas, and variations of the classic Benedict. There's a circus-like energy, highlighted by the performance art of its open kitchen, where patrons can watch a high-speed ballet of egg scrambling and pancake flipping. Yet, for all its noise and exuberance, the kitchen delivers food with balance—not overly sweet, not weighed down in whipped cream, and not greasy or salty. The pancakes are light, the eggs are prepared just right, and the fat discs of potato are fried so they are just a little bit crisp with soft interiors. Must-have dish: The Lobster Benny with large, sweet chunks of claw meat, hollandaise sauce, English muffin, potatoes, and fruit.

Golden West Cafe

1105 W. 36th St., 410-889-8891
If you like your mornings muy caliente, this is the place for you. Dedicated to populist Tex-Mex fare with a smattering of familiar offerings for culinary gringos, the menu is chock full of breakfast burritos, quesadillas, and other tortilla-based concoctions. We recommend the filling-and-flavorful breakfast polenta: your choice of bacon, (meat or tofu) chorizo, carne adovada, or veggie sausage served with two sunny-side-up eggs, salsa fresca, and chile sauce on two plump wedges of polenta. Wash it down with Zeke's Coffee or an over-sized mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, and you're ready to face the day. Must-have dish: The Elvis pancakes: Applewood-smoked bacon is baked inside a griddlecake, which is then topped with bananas sautéed in honey butter and peanut butter. Have mercy!

Jimmy's Restaurant

801 S. Broadway, 410-327-3273
Jimmy's is a timeless Baltimore greasy spoon: bar stools, busy grill behind the counter, coffee at the ready, linoleum tables set with paper placemats, maple syrup, and Smucker's grape jelly packets. The food is basic and hearty like the pancake special—two large golden pancakes and two eggs any way you want 'em, coffee included—the French toast, or the creamed chip beef over toast. You can count on the egg-and-cheese sandwich melting in your mouth, the bacon being good and crisp, and the home fries reminding you of the days when your dad took you to classic diners as a kid. Must-have dish: The Breakfast Bowl: eggs (we recommend over-medium), sausage, and cheddar cheese stacked atop home fries in a soup bowl.


4800 Roland Ave., 410-773-0777
The counter at this Roland Park eatery reminds us of a diner—though it's more upscale with its pretty jars on the shelves, a chalkboard with coffee offerings, glass domes stacked with pastries, and zinc-topped tables. (There's also another dining room with elegant Chesterfield banquettes.) The menu has a decidedly West Coast/Mexican flair. The Sacramento omelet—with chorizo, spinach, and cheddar—was a delicious testament to that fusion as were the chilaquiles with scrambled eggs, tortilla strips, queso fresco, avocado slices, and tomatillo sauce. Coffee gets its due here with a “coffee auteur" in charge of the selections. We really like the Chemex process, which filters out the acidity and delivers a mild, flavorful brew. And we're happy to report that Johnny's is now taking reservations. Must-have dish: “The Chicken and the Egg," starring house-made chicken sausage and a fried egg on sweet potato bread.

Miss Shirley's Cafe

three locations, including 513 W. Cold Spring Ln., 410-889-5272
The most important counsel we can give when it comes to a visit to Miss Shirley's is to go hungry. Menu items feature lumpy, chewy monkey bread dripping with chocolate sauce, waffles pooled with maple syrup or loaded with crisp chicken, omelets, and much more. The breakfast banana split is vanilla Greek yogurt sprinkled with fresh berries and topped with a thick slice of pineapple. And just because it's morning doesn't mean you can't order soup or a sandwich. The menu is diverse and tempting, and if you start with a seasonal cocktail—a blueberry Mojito, for instance, or a Spicy Shirley (a Bloody Mary with green tomatoes and an Old Bay rim)—you might end up hanging out for the rest of the afternoon. Must-have dish: “Get Your Grits on": blackened shrimp and grits on fried-green tomatoes with crumbled bacon, diced tomatoes, and corn.

Pete's Grille

3130 Greenmount Ave., 410-467-7698
The granite countertop at Pete's Grille is just as much of an institution as the diner itself. There are 26 stools with down-home waitresses taking orders and filling coffee cups behind it. What you see is what you get at Pete's—quite literally, as the food is prepared on an open, flattop grill. The breakfast menu includes standards like omelets, the legendary pancakes, egg sandwiches, and chipped beef. We opted for chicken tenders and fat waffles, which we doused with maple syrup. We also sampled an omelet (bacon, mushroom, and Swiss), which was giant, fluffy, and bursting with ingredients. Two things are always true at Pete's: The coffee is strong (and local from Eagle Coffee) and the joint is still cash only. Must-have dish: The home fries, a mess of tender red-skinned potatoes tossed with onions and seasoned with just the right amount of salt, pepper, and garlic.


1700 Thames St., 410-563-6600
Nowhere can you find a better hangover-mitigating breakfast than at one of Baltimore's most authentic Irish pubs. Old-country favorites like the breakfast boxty—a heaping plate of scrambled eggs, sausage, rashers, and Guinness cheddar between potato pancakes—hit the spot the way the pints did the night before. The waterman's breakfast—fried eggs, green onion, sausage, and shrimp gravy with fried oysters over mushy white toast—is the perfect combination of flavor and grease. An extra $10 gets you bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas from 7-11 a.m. on weekdays. Drink too many and you might find yourself craving another hearty Sláinte breakfast the next morning. Must-have dish: The traditional Irish breakfast: scrambled eggs, black and white pudding, beans, rashers, tomato, mushrooms, and toast.

Spoons Coffee Café

24 E. Cross St., 410-539-8395
This convivial mostly-breakfast spot in Federal Hill takes the art of coffee very seriously. (For example, the menu warns that their macchiato is the real Italian deal.) But there's plenty of hearty, robust morning fare to accompany their excellent cuppa java—the usual variations on eggs, bacon, and pancakes along with some delicious Tex-Mex breakfast burritos and huevos verdes. A Southern take on eggs Benedict features Carolina-pulled pork and chipotle hollandaise. For donut lovers, Spoons's version of a New Orleans beignet—the “O Nut"—is a crispy cinnamon delight showered in powdered sugar. Must-have dish: Crunchy French toast: a coating of cornflakes plus a generous mound of compote made with seasonal fruit.

Stone Mill Bakery & Cafe

three locations, including Green Spring Station, 10751 Falls Rd., Ste. 123, 410-821-1358
On any given morning, there's a line at the counter, where a cheerful Cris Janoff takes your order. If you're a regular, he already knows what you want. If not, he checks to see whether you want your omelet made with egg whites and if you're okay with the dish's ingredients. After you snag a table, it's a short wait for your breakfast burrito—scrambled eggs, black beans, cheddar, and basmati rice, wrapped in a tortilla, with pico de gallo—and a house favorite, a spinach feta omelet, to arrive. But, oops, where are the roasted potatoes? The kitchen, it seems, ran out of spuds. We were soothed with a bowl of fresh fruit instead. Must-have dish: The baked goods—from scones to Danish pastries. Even the “health bread," a seven-grain wheat, had us “oohing" and “aahing."

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