Dallas' best bakery? The local Francophiles who stake out this bastion of baguettes think so, and with good reason. The shop's hearth-baked boules, crusty baguettes and buttery croissants are as good as any found across the Atlantic. And the pastries: eclairs, tarts and the like–are worth a browse too. But if you want something more substantial to start the day, sneak into a space at one of the tables on the patio and settle in with an espresso and a slice of quiche or a bowl of house-made granola. Boulangerie also churns out lunchtime fare, from savory croissants to croque monsieurs and rustic style sandwiches. Do make sure to try the canelés--little bell-shaped cakes with caramelized crusts and custardy centers–they are always a winner. Time it right and you could snag a fresh one straight from the oven.
Recommended for Breakfast because: For the best baked French treats in town, Boulangerie is the only place you need to know about.
Ilene's expert tip: They sell out of baked goods often, so if there's something special you want, be sure to call and ask to have it saved for you.
This family-owned German market and restaurant has been anchoring the corner spot in Snider Plaza since 1961. And, not only does the place boast one of the best selections of meats, sausages, cold cuts and European food imports in town, it's also the perfect place to load up on a substantial breakfast. You could opt for healthier options like oatmeal and a fruit cup, but that's missing the point–here, it's all about house-smoked pork chops and eggs; build your own omelets; or a Bavarian style eggs Benedict dish (think: toasted rye bread topped with Canadian bacon, tomatoes, two sunny-side up eggs and hollandaise sauce) that would fill up an elephant. Kuby's serves up plenty of other Bavarian goodies as well, including potato pancakes (with applesauce and sour cream), rouladen (thin beef rolled with bacon, onions and pickles) and frikadellens (a German-style hamburger). Incidentals – breakfast biscuits, German style French toast and endless cups of coffee – are also excellent.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Kuby's is where to find a Bavarian breakfast at its best.
Ilene's expert tip: Order a soft drink so that you can get a souvenir plastic cup with Kuby's logo on it.
This hidden jewel box bistro on the mezzanine of the Westin Galleria hotel is always a great place to duck into for a meal when shopping at the Galleria. But with its serene, welcoming atmosphere and tempting breakfast menu, it's also a splendid place to start a morning on the right note. And the weekday breakfast menu is equally as delicious as weekend brunch. There are traditional staples such as bacon, eggs and cereal as well as more decadent options such as blueberry almond flour pancakes and brioche French toast. But if you really want to get your morning going in style, consider the lobster and crab omelet. Loaded up with Camembert, asparagus and mushroom cream– it's nothing short of spectacular.
Recommended for Breakfast because: For chic surrounds and gourmet breakfast options, you can't go wrong with anything at the Second Floor.
Ilene's expert tip: You can take advantage of free valet parking when you dine here, just make sure to get your ticket stamped.
Deliciously authentic, fresh to order crêpes in Dallas? Mais oui. This cubby-hole of a creperie nestled in Oak Cliff's trendy new Sylvan Thirty development has been winning the hearts of area Francophiles with its eclectic lineup of sweet and savory crêpes. The operation is the brainchild of Parisian born Julien Eelsen, whose family has a background in restaurants and hotels in Normandy–so it's safe to say he knows what he's doing when it comes to making those wafer-thin discs of goodness. For breakfast, the options run from savory buckwheat galettes stuffed with eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat to sweet crêpes (made with white wheat flour) loaded with everything from house-made caramel to Nutella and bananas. And to wash it all down, there's freshly squeezed juice, espresso and homemade hot chocolate.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Whisk is the only place in Dallas to get truly authentic crepes.
Ilene's expert tip: Sign up on the website with your email address to receive promotional offers, news and updates.
Nostalgia rules the roost at this queen of comfort cooking icon that's been slinging up chicken-fried steak, hearty country breakfasts and mile-high pies since 1956. And while the menu has been modernized over the years, Norma's still very much adheres to the old-school genre with vinyl-padded booths, counter seating, an affable staff and plates filled with classic diner requisites that don't break the bank. Find breakfast to include a roster of quintessential egg dishes– alongside waffles, pancakes and Mexican specialties like huevos rancheros. But the real star of the show is the hangover-busting big ol' number 7, a pie tin loaded up with two biscuits smothered in gravy, three scrambled eggs, hash browns and melted cheddar cheese topped with sausage, bacon, jalapeños and tomatoes. Remember to save room for dessert, Norma's mile-high pies are what put this place on the map.
Recommended for Breakfast because: All-day breakfast and a magic cabinet of homemade pies makes Norma's one of Dallas most-loved institutions.
Ilene's expert tip: Keep an eye out for specials like free pie on National Pie Day and free grilled cheese National Grilled Cheese Day. Plus you can sign up on the website and receive a free appetizer when you come in.
If a pile of fried chicken and bacon stacked on top of Belgium waffles sounds to you like the ideal way to kick start your morning, read on. This old school diner cranks out an extensive repertoire of every type of Canadian comfort fare imaginable– which means you'll see plenty of Canadian bacon and poutine (french fries smothered with melting cheese curds and brown gravy) along with burgers, sandwiches and even fish & chips. But the place really goes all out when it comes to breakfast with options covering everything from potato pancakes & eggs to Greek omelets, smoked salmon Benedict and chicken fried chicken with eggs. Speaking of fried chicken, there's the aforementioned chicken-bacon-and-waffles– a mile-high monster of a dish held together with a wooden skewer that's topped with fresh strawberries and cream puffs. And yes, you definitely want to slather the whole thing with butter and maple syrup. Better still, breakfast is an all day affair, so you needn't rise and shine too early in the morning to enjoy the most important meal of the day.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Maple Leaf Diner takes breakfast waffles to soaring heights, literally.
Ilene's expert tip: The diner also sells Canadian merchandise and treats like Nanaimo Bars and butter pies.
You need to roll out of bed early on Saturday or Sunday if you want to beat the ardent locals to a table at this incredibly popular brunch bastion. But its weekday breakfast (served until 4 p.m.) rarely comes with a wait and the menu is just as indulgent. So what's the attraction? A relaxed coziness, a friendly staff and a complimentary basket of freshly baked breads that's delivered to your table as soon as you take a seat. Not that you'll have much room for extra treats as the breakfast dishes, which include pancakes, chicken & waffles, eggs Benedicts and a banana bread French toast (thick slices of seared banana bread topped with homemade whipped cream and sliced bananas) are substantial enough on their own. And if all that is too much for your arteries to take on, try one of the lighter options such as steel cut oatmeal or homemade granola with fresh fruit and yogurt.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Bread Winners is consistently ranked as one of the top brunching spots in Dallas.
Ilene's expert tip: Bread Winners has five DFW locations to choose from and terrific daily specials, check the website for more information.
Dallas may be filled with culinary hot spots, but if you're hankering for some mouthwatering soul food fare, it doesn't get any better than Ellen's Southern Kitchen. This homespun West End diner dishes up elevated comfort classics, ranging from buttermilk battered chicken breasts to chicken-fried steak and gravy. And the menu really shines when it comes to its all-day breakfasts, where you'll find everything from buttermilk pancakes and French toast to bacon and eggs. But here it's all about grits: cheesy grits, Cajun spiced shrimp & grits (yes, for breakfast) and our personal favorite, eggs Benedict grits with bacon, spinach and homemade hollandaise. You probably won't be able to eat again all day, but maybe that's the point. The coffee is good too– the baristas use a snazzy La Marzocco espresso machine to get every cup just right.
Recommended for Breakfast because: There are few things more comforting than Ellen's grits and eggs for breakfast.
Ilene's expert tip: Ellen's offers complimentary soft drinks with any food purchase.
Though this hipster hangout serves meals at all hours, it's breakfast and brunch that draw in the crowds. But be warned, you'll have a hard time deciding what to order. Go sweet and you'll be confronted with a choice between banana cream pie French toast with candied pecans or red velvet pancakes with whipped butter and maple syrup. Go savory-- and the choices get even harder. Will it be the duck chilaquiles with tortilla strips and fried eggs? Or perhaps the Angry Frito Pie (the crowd fave) with wild boar chorizo chili and all the fixings? And if the food isn't enough to persuade you to come in, then the coffee will be–they brew up the best cuppa joes in Dallas using a limited edition La Marzocco Strada espresso machine.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Oddfellows is widely acknowledged for having phenomenal food and a stellar coffee program.
Ilene's expert tip: Don't worry too much about the long wait on weekends, you can wander around the neighborhood while you wait and they'll text you when your table is ready.
Don't be surprised to find long lines outside of this charming 1930s bungalow because Jonathon's is something of an institution, and for good reason. The place not only serves terrific comfort food favorites, ranging from burgers and pork chops to chicken pot pie, it's also the go-to-spot for some of the best brunch options in town. Though the menu churns out everything from eggs benedict to Danger Dogs (a glorious concoction of pancake battered, deep-fried turkey sausage links), it's the southern-style chicken and waffles that really reign supreme. Jonathon's takes the dish's sweet and savory mix to new heights by loading massive hunks of crispy fried chicken onto thick Belgium waffles before crowning the whole thing with pepper gravy. Finished off with a splash of warm maple syrup and the dish becomes pure magic. Best of all, you don't need to wait for weekends to get your chicken and waffle fix--Jonathon's dishes up its brunch options all day long.
Recommended for Breakfast because: Jonathon's is a Dallas institution for chicken & waffles.
Ilene's expert tip: The best thing at Jonathon's is an off-the-menu item called the Nooner, a gut-busting burger with ham, bacon, tomato, fried egg and two kinds of cheese.