11-worth cafe
Matt Houska/Thrillist
11-Worth Cafe
a 1 diner
Michael Giberson/Thrillist
A 1 Diner
al's breakfast
Flickr/Peter Merholz (edited)
Al's Breakfast
ann sather
Ann Sather/Thrillist
Ann Sather
beachside coffee bar
Kevin Alexander/Thrillist
Courtesy of The Busy Bee Cafe
clary's cafe
Flickr/Garrison Gunter (edited)
Clary's Cafe
biscuits and gravy
Courtesy of Found Media Group LLC
Counter Cafe
king cakes
Kathleen Cavalaro/Thrillist
The Friendly Toast
Courtesy of Hamburg Inn No.2
Hamburg Inn No.2
the laundry
Holly Nachtigal/Thrillist
The Laundry
matt's big breakfast
John Hall Photography/Courtesy of Matt's Big Breakfast
mickies dairy bar
Sharon Vanorny/Thrillist
pancake pantry
Courtesy of Pancake Pantry
Pancake Pantry
Flickr/Praveen (edited)
Pine State Biscuits
pipes burrito
Kevin Alexander/Thrillist
Pipes Cafe
rise durham
Briana Bough/Thrillist
Courtesy of Shopsin's
creole slammer slims
Scott Gold/Thrillist
Slim Goodies
Lee Breslouer/Thrillist
Flickr/Erik Drost (edited)
West Side Market Cafe
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1. 11-Worth Cafe 2419 Leavenworth St, Omaha, NE 68105

When you go to Tony Caniglia's legendary Omaha joint, you better be hungry, especially if you opt for our move, and get the #18, aka the Country Potato Casserole, aka hash browns sautéed with onion, tomato, pepper, mushroom, American & Swiss, plus chicken fried steak, all topped with their infamous country gravy.

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2. A1 Diner 3 Bridge St, Gardiner, ME 04345

Since 1946, the A 1 Diner dining car has sat in Gardiner, Maine, and though the scene inside does feel a bit like a time capsule, the food is very much up-to-date, and delicious.

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3. Al's Breakfast 413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Come early to this 10-ft wide Dinkytown diner to grab one of the 14 stools, but the huge bacon waffle, with chunks of salty porcine goodness baked into the fluffy waffle, is worth the wait.

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4. Ann Sather 909 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day at neighborhood institution Ann Sather, a Swedish restaurant that has built its reputation on gooey cinnamon rolls and light Swedish pancakes. Even if you opt for the French toast, you still can't get away from those buns: it is made from halved cinnamon buns dipped in egg and filled with mascarpone. The charming dining room, mirroring a Swedish great room, packs during brunching hours, so come early. A sampler platter hits the traditional savories you expect with lingonberry-glazed duck, meatballs, potato sausage, buttered noodles, sauerkraut, and brown beans.

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5. Beachside 4300 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

From the same couple behind micro-batch-brewing Java Beach Cafe, Beachside is a church-pew'd, walnut-slabbed, creatively boozy coffee bar and kitchen set in what was once the downstairs saloon of a boarding house erected in 1908, a time when men were men, unless they were Irish. Or Italian.

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6. The Busy Bee 10 North Main St, Buffalo, WY 82834

The modern-ish café, housed in Buffalo's historic Occidental Hotel, specializes in huge, cowboy-tranquilizing breakfasts ranging from overstuffed breakfast burritos to baked goods and locally farmed chicken-fried steaks.

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7. Clary's Cafe 404 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401

Savannah's decades-old diner hit national acclaim in John Beredt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation, but was famous in Savannah decades before. Mingle with the locals while you eat a giant plate of corned beef hash, which is meal enough on its own, and that’s before you get to the two eggs, grits, and a biscuit.

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8. Counter Cafe 626 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

An old-school breakfast-,brunch-, and burger-slinging diner, Counter Cafe's got local comfort food that is way better than the spot's humble exterior would seem to indicate. Big plates of roasted quail, steak, crab cakes, and fried oysters draw eyes as the wait staff pass, but the house's specialty Counter Burger with gooey cheddar cheese and a thick, square patty on soft sourdough is the true must-try dish when you're spending an afternoon Downtown.

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9. Hamburg Inn No. 2 214 N Linn St, Iowa City, IA 52245

Forget about the fact that presidential candidates now consider it a must-stop on their way through Iowa, or that you can sit next to a signed picture of Roseanne and Tom Arnold from the very early 90s, or that it happens to be the oldest family owned restaurant in Iowa City. But don’t forget the omelets -- especially the terrifyingly unhealthy/delicious Haweye Hog, featuring sausage, hash browns, and American smothered in country gravy.

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10. Matt's Big Breakfast 116 East Garfield Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

When Matt and Ernie Pool first opened their breakfast spot a decade ago, it was a simple homage to the old-school diner but set inside a vamped-up 25-seater. Today, the simple formula is still working with delicious, fresh, organic meats and breads from local vendors, but the hours-long waits have forced a move a few blocks North to a 50-seater spot.

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11. Mickies Dairy Bar 1511 Monroe St, Madison, WI 53711

Squeeze into a booth at this Madison diner that looks like it was imported from a slightly more realistic Pleasantville and order up a Scrambler: an imposing pile of meat, potatoes, about 47 eggs, shredded cheese that’s still in the process of getting perfectly melty when it hits the table, plus about a coffee cup’s worth of gravy.

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12. Pancake Pantry 1796 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212

This mom & pop shop’s formula for success includes a lot of family tradition, regular trips West into the Great Smokey Mountains for fresh-milled TN flour, and a secret recipe base that Robert Baldwin, the current owner’s father, concocted when he opened Pancake Pantry’s doors in 1961. And, despite a half-century of growth, you’re still going there for the pancakes. Not that you could forget that, since even the huge omelet or egg-combo orders (like the 8oz ribeye steak & eggs option) also come with buttermilk cakes.

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13. Pipes Cafe 123 Liverpool Dr, Cardiff By Sea, CA 92007

There is a reason there is a big sign next to Pipes that proclaims “NO PIPES PARKING HERE.” The place is always packed with college-aged surfers, old surfers, and those people who just live in North County and kind of look like surfers by proxy. And the food they serve is perfect to satiate someone who just got off the water. Get a behemoth burrito for breakfast and, for later... still get a burrito.

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14. Rise Biscuits & Donuts 8200 Renaissance Pkwy, Durham, NC 27713

This small Durham take-out shop puts out Southern-inflected donuts and biscuits daily with a solid small menu (opt for the fried chicken biscuit with pimento cheese and a runny egg) and daily specials that are well-worth your attention.

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15. Shopsin's General Store 120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

Not only can you eat the best breakfast in New York here, but we'd go so far to say that Shopsin's has some of the best breakfast dishes in America. The tiny Lower East Side diner boasts a 900-item menu filled with things like mac & cheese pancakes and donut sliders...need we say more?

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16. Slim Goodies Diner 3322 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

There’s a line out the door of this Magazine Street eatery every morning, and it’s no surprise: locals and tourists alike recognize that Slim Goodies Diner is a breakfast haven. The neighborhood haunt (complete with plush red leather booths and polaroid photographs of regulars and famous folk tacked onto art-laden walls) marries bold Cajun flavor with breakfast staples, resulting in satisfying plates like the Creole slammer, a glorious stack of perfectly crisped hash browns dressed with crawfish étouffée, two eggs, and a biscuit, because you’re going to want to soak up every last spoonful. Many items can be made gluten-free or vegetarian too, so everyone can get their “swamp power” on regardless of dietary needs.

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17. The Friendly Toast 121 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

While the Friendly Toast's regular waffles are delicious and made using a homemade mix, this is the place to go for something outlandish, like their Sklarmageddon omelette “built to kill” with sausage, bacon, ham, red-chile pecans, and jalapeno-jack & Swiss or the King Cakes -- two not-very-“mini” pancakes packed with chocolate chips/bananas, slathered in peanut butter, topped with whipped cream, and surrounded by bacon. Suck it, regular waffle.

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18. The Laundry 125 W Shiawassee Ave, Fenton, MI 48430

Located in the Rockwellian mid-Michigan town of Fenton, The Laundry has become an institution of the downtown scene, a rock-solid bakery that doubles as a supper club, a craft cocktail bar, and a destination for exceptional comfort food with a side of small town charm. The funky, checkerboard-floored cafe and its hedge-lined patio host everyone from Fenton's seniors to young families to out-of-towners hungry for Laundry's luscious menu, which features dishes like a decadent stack of bacon & brie pancakes, chicken pot pie, and shrimp & grits.

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19. Village Coffee Shop 1605 Folsom St, Boulder, CO 80302

It's hard to go wrong at Boulder’s 43-year-old greasy spoon, but opt for the massively large egg burrito or the battered French toast. Or, you know, both.

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20. West Side Market Cafe 1995 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113

Tacked onto the side of Cleveland’s massive West Side Market -- a monolithic marketplace full of farm stands, butchers, and bakers -- this chill, blue-collar joint’s simple aesthetic belies some seriously great, seriously cheap comfort food, the ingredients for which come from next door.

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21. Pine State Biscuits 2204 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Pine State Biscuits uses ingredients taken straight from the farm to make biscuit creations that'll satisfy every comfort food craving.