Food & Drink

The 22 Best Breakfast Spots in Michigan

If most people drew a map that showed exactly what they thought of Michigan (Oh wait, we already did that!), it probably wouldn’t have a bunch of breakfast joints on it, but that’s only because they’ve haven’t checked out our list of the best AM-eats spots in the state. Or they just really prefer brunch.

Brooklyn Street Local

Detroit
What you're getting: Breakfast Poutine
It took awhile for Canada’s favorite French fry-based dish to really take hold in Detroit, and we largely have Canadian-people-owned Brooklyn Street Local to thank for really making it happen. The traditional poutine is a must-get side, but if you're all in on poutine for breakfast, get the Breakfast Poutine (duh!): hand-cut fries with beef or mushroom gravy and organic cheese curds from Oliver Farms in Fostoria, MI, topped with bacon (or tempeh) and a sunny-side-up egg.

Coffee and (___)

Detroit
What you're getting: Whatever is available that day, but probably egg strata
The menu items are always changing depending on what owner Angela Foster makes fresh that morning, and it is currently functioning as more of a pop-up with limited days and hours now as restoration work continues on the historic old building, but the obstacles make the rewards even greater. Egg strata is a fairly regular menu item, with locally sourced ingredients always changing based on seasonality, and there's also always pie and/or other baked goods. Pro tip: it's worth making a drive across the state to be there when Angela makes her key lime pie.

Commonwealth

Birmingham
What you're getting: Fried egg sandwich
Dear Commonwealth: thank you for your house-roasted coffees, your pour-overs, and your cold brews. Thank you also for your fried egg sandwich, made with two Sunrise Acres eggs over easy, guacamole, tomato, Pinconning cheddar, and hot sauce on toasted Dakota Bread Co. multigrain.

Crow's Nest

Kalamazoo
What you're getting: Baker's Benedict
The Crow's Nest is perched atop the Fourth Coast Café -- very nest-like! -- in K-zoo's Vine neighborhood, and serves coffees from the café, breads baked fresh daily at the Fourth Coast Bakery (also downstairs), and produce from local farms and co-ops. Try the delightful Baker's Benedict, with bacon, sautéed onion, garlic, Gorgonzola cheese, two medium eggs, hollandaise, and fried leek on sea salt focaccia.
 

Krystal Jo's Diner

Flint
What you're getting: Ginormous Breakfast Platter
Krystal Jo's is a teeny-tiny diner in Flint; the kind of place where the owner is always around to welcome you and cooks up your food himself. There's nothing super fancy about it -- no breakfast sandwiches on artisan bread smeared with flavored aioli, no custard-dipped brioche French toast scented with lavender honey -- but the "Ginormous Breakfast Platter" is everything it's made out to be with three eggs, three slices of bacon, three sausage links, two silver dollar pancakes, hash browns, AND toast for just $7.99.

Donckers

Marquette
What you're getting: The Five Fifty
Donckers in Downtown Marquette is an old-school candy shop, soda fountain, and diner (seriously, the building itself dates back to 1914) with new-school sensibilities when it comes to its locally/seasonally driven all-breakfast menu. Try one of its creative breakfast sandwiches on ciabatta that are served with a side of hash browns, particularly The Five Fifty, made with organic egg, prosciutto, pesto mayo, tomato, roasted red pepper, and smoked Gouda cheese.

East Egg

Kalamazoo, multiple locations
What you're getting: Backpack Sandwich
East Egg has a whole bunch of locations in and around Kalamazoo, including one right on WMU's campus. So, then, it's no surprise that the menu caters to the college crowd with items like "Hippie Hash" (hash browns with two eggs, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and feta) and our personal favorite, the grab-and-go "Backpack Sandwich" made with egg, cheese, bacon, and sausage between two pancakes (or bagel or English muffin, etc., but obviously pancakes are the correct choice), perfect for the student on the go, or... well, anyone.

Golden Harvest Restaurant

Lansing
What you're getting: Cereal Killer San'wich
If we were to compare Golden Harvest to another place of greater fame, it would have to be Chicago's heavy metal burger bar Kuma's Corner. Golden Harvest is sort of the breakfast joint equivalent, with a similar in-your-face, eff-you vibe and really good effing food to go with it. All of its specials are worth trying, but you can't go wrong with the Cereal Killer San'wich made with smoked ham, fried egg, and American cheese stuffed between two slices of its popular Cap'n Crunch-encrusted French toast.
 

The Jagged Fork

Grosse Pointe Farms
What you're getting: Voodoo Benedict
Despite the misleading name, Grosse Pointe Farms is not, in fact, a farm, let alone plural "farms." Regardless, the Jagged Fork prides itself on fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and it has a huge range of Benedicts, omelets, skillets, and other stuff to choose from. Get a little spicy with the Voodoo Benedict, made with two poached eggs, guacamole, chorizo, cheddar cheese, and topped with salsa verde on an English muffin.

Fuzzy's

Saginaw
What you're getting: Folded Breakfast
Fuzzy's is famous for its "folded" sandwiches, stuffed into its homemade, hand-rolled bread. Since this is its signature dish, you have to try the breakfast version, with eggs, choice of meat, cheese, and hash browns stuffed into said bread.

Leslie Depot Diner

Leslie
What you're getting: BTS Waffle
Breakfast and brunch sometimes get a bad rep, what with all the sugar-laden waffles and pancakes stuffed with sugar and covered in more sugar. It may be that this isn't the healthiest way to start your day. However. If one IS aiming for dessert for breakfast, then the BTS Waffle at the Leslie Depot Diner is where to get it. Its homemade Belgian-style waffle is loaded up with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream, covered in caramel and hot fudge, topped with pecans, whip cream, and a cherry. Typing that just made our teeth hurt.

Patisserie Amie

Traverse City
What you're getting: Normande crepe saveur
Oh Traverse City, you fancy. This adorable tres French-style bistro serves all sorts of sweet and savory crepes along with sandwiches and salads, and the menu is even (mostly, sort of) in French! Magnifique! But enough of us trying to sound cultured. We're not. But we like to eat, and we REALLY like the "Normande" crepe saveur (savory crepe!) made with ham, apple, bleu cheese, and walnuts.

Marie Catrib's

Grand Rapids
What you're getting: Stuffed French toast
Marie Catrib's is one of the best restaurants in Grand Rapids and so there is obviously plenty to choose from, but we can't help but be partial to the stuffed French toast: caramelized bananas, cream cheese, and peanut butter stuffed into cinnamon raisin bread French toast.
 

Mike's Village Restaurant

Dimondale
What you're getting: Donuts
Mike's is a total small-town diner with a friendly neighborhood vibe and a real fixation on mustaches (in homage to Mike, the guy whose name is on the sign). Order up one of its made-from-scratch donuts -- served with a donut hole! -- and a mustache mug of coffee. Sometimes it's the simple things in life, you know?

Real Food Café

Grand Rapids
What you're getting: Irish Benedict
As opposed to serving fake food, presumably, Real Food Café is all about farm-fresh, quality ingredients: the French toast is popular, but do try the Irish Benedict -- two poached eggs on a toasted English muffin topped with corned beef hash, spinach, and hollandaise sauce.

Roxy Café

Jackson
What you're getting: No. 26
If you're not familiar with the Roxy Café in Jackson, there's something you should know. It's got a menu of 26 different three-egg omelet options, but those options get a little... interesting. For example, option No. 11, the "Desperate Wife," comes with "peace and quiet with music and chocolate by a shirtless plumber" (cost: priceless) and option No. 14, "Biker's Dream," includes a "Harley Davidson, shirt polished by a brunette, blonde, or red head" (for $25,000). Thankfully there are also more traditional (and less sexist!) options, like the No. 26 with asparagus, ham, and Swiss covered in hollandaise for a much more affordable $7.99.
 

Suomi Home Bakery & Restaurant

Houghton
What you're getting: Pannukakku
At Suomi you are in high Yooper territory and are therefore obligated to try the pannukakku, a Finnish dish (and its specialty), that's baked custard described as a "Finnish pancake" but more closely related to a custard pie than a pancake (at least by American standards). Good luck trying to pronounce it: non-Fins will be tempted to sound out "pan-ooo-kack-ooo," which is wrong but close enough. The Finnish pronunciation is much more staccato and when your server repeats it back to you, just look blankly at her and say, "Yes."

The Songbird Café

Ann Arbor
What you're getting: Whatever is on special
The Songbird Café is a stylish, adorable café in Ann Arbor's north side. The weekday breakfast is pretty basic but the weekend brunch is not; unfortunately, the menu changes every week (based on seasonal availability) so we can't quite tantalize you with promises of food items it might never serve again, but we CAN tell you that past brunch specials have included a cookie butter crunch French toast and Kogi (Korean BBQ) breakfast tacos. So. Go.

Toast

Ferndale
What you're getting: B-Street French Toast
Ferndale was, at least for a time, the breakfast and brunch epicenter of southeastern Michigan. The closing of Pete's Broadway Café and Club Bart and the recent sale of Mae's just a few blocks up Woodward in Pleasant Ridge (still cute! But... the same?) have robbed Ferndale of its championship brunch belt, but the original Toast is still here and it is still just as delicious and adorable as ever. There are lots of yummy things on the menu but you can't lose with the B-Street French Toast: crispy fried baguette, fresh bananas, and candied bacon dusted with cinnamon sugar and doused with brown butter bourbon sauce.

Courtesy of Zingerman's

Zingerman's Deli

Ann Arbor
What you're getting: #60 The Extra Special
Zingerman's Deli is hands down the most famous place on this list, and with good reason. (Not just because it was doing the whole local/artisanal thing about 20 years before it was cool... but a lot of that, yes.) There are a lot of things you should probably eat there, including every variety of corned beef and pastrami available. But for breakfast, we're going with the closest thing to New York lox this side of Newark: #60 "The Extra Special," featuring smoked Maine salmon and Zingerman's smoked whitefish salad with scallion cream cheese, tomato, and red onion on a toasted Zingerman's sesame bagel.

Soup Spoon Café

Lansing
What you're getting: Yooper Benny
The breakfast game is strong in Lansing, and Soup Spoon Café definitely has one of the strongest. Order up the Yooper Benny, with two poached eggs and fresh walleye atop English muffins and drizzled with tarragon-lemon aioli.
 

Studio Grill

Kalamazoo
What you're getting: Corey's Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Studio Grille is a homey little red-and-white checkered cloth kinda diner with consistently solid food (and it's the kind of place that puts grape jelly on a burger!). For breakfast, opt for the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. Which are cinnamon rolls. In pancake form. So, basically, everything you never knew you totally needed from breakfast.
 
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