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Breakfast in Baltimore Is No Light Affair



The great thing about breakfast in Baltimore is that it can be as light as a French croissant or as heavy as a jumbo lump crab omelette with hollandaise sauce. Whatever your fancy, one of these 10Best Baltimore breakfast spots has you covered.

Breakfast can be a family affair or the after-party to a late night on the town. No two cafes or restaurants in Baltimore do breakfast alike. As subjective as it is to pick the city's best crab cake, so is it for picking the best restaurant. Each restaurant on our 10Best list has won accolades for their creations, whether it be from professional critics or neighborhood locals. And deciding where to dine is dependent on individual tastes and cravings. 

10Best readers will find much to enjoy at Piedigrotta, serving up over-sized portions of Italian and local goodness. Meanwhile, it's hard to not mention the popular Miss Shirley's, which serves just what you're looking for when you're in the market for a great breakfast.


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TeaVolve Cafe & Lounge


Teavolve Cafe & Lounge is located in Harbor East, a stone's throw from the Inner Harbor, right after you pass Little Italy and before you enter Fell's Point. This trendy, hip cafe and lounge welcomes large groups as well as the single patrons you may occasionally find sipping on a cup of tea while reading a book. After brunch hours, it's also acceptable to use the free WiFi and cozy up with a laptop. Teavolve offers gourmet loose leaf teas, tea-infused sangria amongst many other unique drinks. The menu is friendly to vegetarians with a healthy list of options. However, what draws the crowds in and makes Teavolve famous are their red velvet pancakes, nothing short of desert for breakfast. Teavolve has a Saturday and Sunday brunch seating and accommodates large dining parties.

Local Expert tip: If you want to use the cafe's free wifi, you'll have to do so after their busy brunch hours.

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7
East Baltimore
Bonjour Bakery
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Bonjour Bakery is located a few minutes away from the downtown area off of 83 off of Falls Rd. This French Bakery is a great option for those looking for options outside of the downtown area. Crepes, pastries, quiches, tarts, croissants, and cakes reside in the display cases of this bakery. Items are baked off site and delivered fresh daily but you'll have to be quick to catch their fresh breads.

Local Expert tip: They sell a 7-layer gluten free pastry covered with chocolate fondant that's to die for.

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6
Mt Vernon


City Cafe is located in historical Mt. Vernon amongst the area's cultural landmarks and artsy entertainment. This stylish and modern restaurant is well appointed and a popular stop for theater-goers. A fairly young restaurant, City Cafe has earned its fair share of accolades in the past few years: Best New Chef in 2010; Best Happy Hour in 2009; and one of Baltimore's top 10 best burgers. The menu consists of regionally-inspired American cuisine featuring seasonal and local ingredients. City Cafe is open daily for lunch and dinner and offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch. Due to its popularity, reservations are recommended though not required. Happy hour is a daily affair from 4-6:30 with $4 mixed drinks, $5 featured wines, and $4 drafts.

Local Expert tip: You may find prices to be a little higher at City Cafe than some of the other more intimate breakfast spots in the city.

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Fenwick Bakery


Fenwick Bakery is located in Parkville in very unpretentious surroundings. Although Fenwick was featured on the Weather Channel, it hasn't allowed notoriety or fame go to its head. This is probably one of the most affordable bakeries you'll find in Baltimore and one of the few remaining scratch bakeries in operation.� They produce wedding cakes as well as regular cakes and cupcakes. They offer a variety of breads and rolls ranging from Vienna to French to Irish soda. In addition, you can find pies, buns, cookies and other pastries in the bakery storefront.

Local Expert tip: Your money will go a lot further at Fenwick than at other bakeries in the city.

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4
Roland Park
Paper Moon Diner


This is a diner with an independent streak. It doesn't abide by the classic chrome-and-vinyl formula, but instead has a dining room full of fun and funky accents like classic toys and elaborately dressed mannequins lurking in the corners. The menu is more traditional though, offering pancakes, challah French toast, and egg sandwiches. Other times of the day, opt for the meatloaf or fried chicken – just like your mother used to make! The colorful atmosphere and tasty comfort food attract a diverse crowd, from yuppies to punk rockers.

Local Expert tip: The decor on the walls may be channeling "hippy hangout" but the food is on the money. It may be a little early for it but the caramel and sea salt milkshake is writing home about. Also note that 18% gratuity is automatically added to tables of 5.

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3
South Baltimore
Hull Street Blues Cafe


Hull Street Blues Cafe, situated at the base of a row home, is the resident cafe restaurant for the Locust Point neighborhood. What started as a saloon in 1889, Hull Street Cafe is named after a naval hero from the War of 1812. The cafe has a bar upfront and a cozy dining area in back. The atmosphere is laid back and the staff is upbeat and friendly. Their menu emphasizes seafood but other meat options are also available and priced slightly higher than most neighborhood cafes. They offer daily specials and a $12 Tuesday menu. Their Sunday brunch is hearty with such items as their infamous blueberry pancakes, home fries, and crab dip, in addition to your standard breakfast fare.

Local Expert tip: On Tuesdays, Hull Street Blues Cafe offers a $12 menu, a little less expensive than other days.

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Blue Moon Café


Blue Moon Cafe, located in Fell's Point, serves up breakfast and brunch in its own unique way. The atmosphere and decor is down to earth and just as eclectic as the menu. The cafe serves up large meals in its intimately small space. Its reasonable prices and Food Network notoriety make it a hot spot for visitors and sometimes locals as well. Signature dishes like the famous Captain Crunch French Toast, which by the way is not on the menu but must be requested, the cinnamon roll french toast, and the crab benedict are crowd pleasers and waistline-busters. Blue Moon also offers vegetarian options like the vegetarian potato pancakes. Due to its popularity and its limiting seating capacity, weekend waits can be a challenge but there's also a to-go option. And if all else fails, Blue Moon Cafe is open 24/7 on the weekends.

Local Expert tip: This restaurant has about 10 tables in total so seating is very limited. The Captain crunch french toast isn't on the menu so be sure to order it from your server.

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1
North Baltimore
Miss Shirley's
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Miss Shirley's operates in three locations: the Inner Harbor, Annapolis, and Roland Park, Baltimore. The food here is decadent, hearty, mouth-watering and any other adjective you can give to award-winning breakfast dishes like the pumpkin cheesecake stuffed french toast or the cornmeal encrusted oysters. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, receiving accolades and awards for both. Specifically, Food Network awarded the "Shirley's Affair with Oscar", an eclectic coupling of beef filets, crab, hollandaise sauce, fried green tomatoes, grits and a dash of old bay, the best breakfast dish in Baltimore. Miss Shirley's is a favorite for tourists and locals alike. Though reservations aren't accepted, come with your patience and your appetite.

Local Expert tip: Miss Shirley's also has a food truck that you may be able to catch a bit to eat while exploring around town.

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Meet Tawanna Browne Smith

Tawanna has had a wanderlust spirit since she was 13. A dozen or so addresses later, she now resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons.

Tawanna is the founder and creator of Mom's...  More About Tawanna

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