The Best Breakfast Spots In Houston

Meals for folks who wake up before 7am (or 2pm).
The Best Breakfast Spots In Houston image

photo credit: Liz Silva

If breakfast and brunch had a Houston-style battle royale, breakfast might just take the top spot. For a city of hustlers, breakfast is important if not downright personal. Arguments erupt over the best fried catfish and eggs, the crispiest breakfast potatoes, or why one breakfast taco spot reigns supreme over another (this usually involves a complex scientific evaluation of tortilla structure). So whether you’re a diner traditionalist or looking to expand your breakfast repertoire, check out this guide.


photo credit: Richard Casteel



$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastCheap EatsLunch
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Mexican cafe and bakery La Guadalupana serves up breakfast tacos, huevos rancheros, and fresh pan dulce from a well-worn strip center in the heart of Montrose. Known for hot cinnamon coffee and a signature drink called the vampiro—a rumored hangover cure combination of beet, orange, and carrot juice—La Guadalupana is busy with regulars, neighborhood locals, and at least one table of 20-somethings, and has been for decades. Head here early mornings for a plate of something comforting, and then take a few empanadas de piña to go.

You could order one of everything at Tel-Wink Grill in the Greater East End and the servers wouldn’t even bat an eye. These people are professional diner servers (each server even has their name posted on the wall near their section). They’ve seen some things. Want to take down a place of chicken fried steak and eggs, fried catfish and eggs, hash browns, and a short stack of pancakes on your own? It’s your life. And Tel-Wink respects that, and serves up excellent diner fare to help you achieve your dreams.

For those who like breakfast with a side of cilantro chutney and a green juice, hit up Pondi Bake Lab above Pondicheri in Upper Kirby. The modern Indian counter-service spot not only has a bright color palette, but also colorful and surprising food like masala-spiked scrambled eggs, sauteed mushrooms with savory waffles, and a pastry case full of turmeric cakes and chili cookies. Join the other athleisure clad diners here for a post-yoga refuel, or just because.

Baby Barnaby’s in Montrose not only serves the best and most crispy breakfast potatoes, but does so from a postage-sized dining room with maybe the best serving staff in town. We don’t know this for sure, but considering the servers are always the same (there are only three), always working, and always remembers the names and orders of every regular, we are convinced Baby Barnaby’s is not only a great breakfast restaurant, but also some kind of non-stop breakfast theater performance. It’s scrambled eggs and waffles with a side of camp, and coffee.

The tiny panaderia and breakfast cafe Imperial Bakery might not look open from the outside, but it serves some of the most simple and comforting breakfast in the East End. Most plates cost less than $10, come with handmade tortillas, and are served by someone who you may or may not imprint upon as a grandmother. Enjoy some huevos Mexicanos while taking in the latest gossip from folks popping in and out for coffee and empanadas de piña.

A long-time staple of the great Westbury-Bellaire-Sharpstown triangle, New York Deli makes the best bagels in town. The tiny, ‘80s linoleum dining room gets packed on weekends when everyone nearby shows up for a couple dozen everything bagels to go and a plate of eggs and lox. Sit at the small diner counter if rolling up solo or split a plate of challah french toast and some cheese blintzes for a brunch.

From the minds behind Reggae Hut, The Breakfast Klub often has a line of people out of the door and hugging the corner. Make good use of your time while you wait, and have your order ready because once inside, everything at the counter service Midtown spot moves at lightning speed. Make your choice from Southern-style classics like golden crispy catfish and grits, crackling fried chicken and waffles, and pillowy biscuits doused in hearty pork gravy. Once you’ve found the right spot to settle into, grab some coffee or hot syrup that’s on tap (yes, you read that right) and think about the next time you’ll brave the line for more pancakes.

Laredo Taqueria in Washington Heights always has a line wrapping around the building, no matter the time of day, but especially at breakfast. Flour tortillas are the standard here—ordering corn complicates things and also slows down the line. These tortillas lovingly cradle some of the best breakfast tacos in the city. Try them with bacon, chorizo, sausage, or spicy potatoes.

This Taiwanese breakfast spot in Chinatown serves rice rolls stuffed with various fillings that make them the ultimate breakfast on the go. If you have a sweet tooth, get the sweet rice roll with pork floss. And for the savory breakfast heads, there’s an egg pancake loaded with sausage that should be served in multiples (so get two, just to be safe). We can count on one hand the number of available tables in Tao Rice Roll, but if you can’t find a seat at one of the few open tables, the breakfast tastes just as delicious from the inside of your car.

In a busy city full of busy folks, often very little time exists for sit-down breakfast. Villa Arcos can assist with this dilemma with quick counter service and legendary, pillowy-soft breakfast tacos. This East End Mexican taco spot off Navigation continues to pump out handmade, fluffy flour tortillas stuffed with refried beans, eggs, and thick crispy slices of bacon. Call ahead if you’re truly in a rush, or grab a Topo and a patio table for focused tortilla enjoyment.

There are multiple locations of Avalon Diner, and the OG location serves the best kind of breakfast: one that’s available all day. The Montrose diner serves loads of chicken fried steak, fluffy pancakes, french toast, and grits as long as the doors are open. Grab a seat at the bar counter and snack on a treat from the gumball machine. Or, settle into a well-loved booth and get started on reading through the dense menu as a server, (who will almost definitely call you sweetie), makes their way to your table to read out the daily specials. Come as soon as the restaurant opens or as soon as you open your eyes for the same classic breakfast that has been served up for decades.

Cucharita serves Mexico City-style breakfast every day of the week. Spawned from the folks behind Cuchara, a Mexican restaurant a block away, because the owners just really like breakfast (same), Cucharita specializes in any manner of eggs, waffles, pan dulce, and lots and lots of coffee. Try the weekly rotating version of chilaquiles, a pile of huevos montuleños with peas and ham, or a waffle de maíz soaking in cajeta caramel. Then grab a concha and coffee to go.

House Of Pies serves quintessential diner-style breakfasts all day long. The Houston-based chain has been around since the ‘60s dishing out hot breakfasts at multiple locations around Houston. At the OG Galleria spot, you can expect the old-timey board listing all of the pies, and retro decor around the room. For breakfast, come to House of Pies for a glass of fresh orange juice, a hearty chicken fried steak with a mountain of gravy and eggs your way, and a blueberry muffin on the side. And while it isn’t technically a breakfast food, having a slice of pie feels like it should be a required part of every meal here, so do yourself a favor and grab a slice or two to-go.

Crepes are basically the French version of tacos, which means they can be sub-categorized as breakfast tacos. That’s just science. One of the best places to grab a French-breakfast-taco-crepe is Melange Creperie in The Heights where breakfast is served all day, everyday. Get the standard ham and cheese with fluffy scrambled eggs or a warm banana nutella crepe if you have a breakfast sweet tooth.

If you want breakfast, Dandelion Cafe in Bellaire can set you straight, fill you up, and maybe even make you feel as though you are being lovingly tucked into bed. Try a soft scrambled egg breakfast sandwich on a kaiser roll, chicken chilaquiles, and, of course, the 24-hour marinated fried chicken served over a fluffy cornbread waffle with spicy maple butter. We appreciate the large coffee menu, fresh juice, and the build your own omelet option—something a small cafe like Dandelion is brave and talented for offering. Get here early on weekdays to avoid the neighborhood crowd of early office lunch-goers and parents holding impromptu PTA meetings.

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