If breakfast is one of your favorite meals of the day, Traverse City has some of the best restaurants and cafes in Northern Michigan. As a matter of fact, the city is considered the Culinary Capital of the region. Among the locals, breakfast is a lasting tradition, which bodes well for visitors who want the full experience. Featuring a range of classic and local-inspired recipes, these are our top spots to get the best breakfast in Traverse City.
Best Traverse City Breakfast Restaurants and Cafes
Red Spire Brunch House
With a colorful, warm dining room, Red Spire Brunch House has a classic selection of breakfast and brunch dishes with a few twists. The menu includes pancakes, French toast, and various eggs Benedict options. Then, there are omelets served with fruit or hash browns. The brunch house makes its own cinnamon rolls, pecan rolls, granola, yogurt, and baked oatmeal too. Satisfying those on gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets, you can find the restaurant in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.
The Towne Plaza
Serving variations of American breakfast classics, The Towne Plaza uses only the freshest ingredients from local farms. With a passion for food, its mission is to create original dishes. For example, it uses cranberry raisin bread for its French toast and Cajun sauce on its Tasso Benedict rather than hollandaise. Pancakes, omelets, and fruit salads are featured on the menu as well. Weather permitting, you can enjoy your breakfast in the outdoor plaza.
At Benedict, the name says it all. This cafe aims to serve local seasonal food without compromising quality and while focusing on the beauty of poached eggs. Its classic eggs Benedict comes with a traditional hollandaise and chives, house Canadian bacon, an English muffin, and home fries. Along with a couple of Benedict alternatives, it makes several specialty items for breakfast, including a French-style omelet, biscuit sandwich, fried egg sandwich, and a seasonal hash.
The Omelette Shoppe
While many restaurants and cafes serve omelets, The Omelette Shop on Cass Street is the best place to get an omelet breakfast in Traverse City. This local spot has been folding delicious ingredients into eggs for nearly half a century. It has a folksy atmosphere, and alongside 14 signature omelet dishes, it creates savory quiches, sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes. The pineapple upside-down pancakes are a true twist on the conventional favorite. A wonderful selection of baked goods, including oversized cinnamon and pecan rolls, are made fresh every day too.
Despite the under-the-radar dining room, The Cottage is a spectacular eatery that serves American comfort food. The breakfast and brunch options are particularly awesome. You can expect a menu with all of the traditional dishes, such as hash browns, French toast, pancakes, omelets, and poached eggs. Additionally, The Cottage makes homemade biscuits and gravy, hash brown casserole, and breakfast burritos big enough to feed two people.
Here is a place where you can find French-style coffee drinks, and some really interesting breakfast choices. The staff at Brasserie Amie are all very knowledgeable and friendly, and the menu is definitely different than most choices in Traverse City. Also, they have some delicious French pastries to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Traverse Bay Café
When you want an exceptional homemade breakfast or brunch, Traverse Bay Café is one of the top cafes in the area. The goal of the staff is to make you return for its quality food, which includes nothing but fresh ingredients. The classic dishes include pancakes, French toast, oatmeal, and biscuits and gravy. Frittata, fritters, breakfast sandwiches, and fresh-baked cinnamon rolls are on the menu as well. However, the cafe is known for its authentic Cuban coffee, which is an excellent pick-me-up in the morning if you don’t like strong espresso.
More Places That Serve the Best Breakfast in Traverse City
J & S Hamburg
No matter which location that you choose, you can always expect a traditional breakfast at J & S Hamburg Downtown and J & S Hamburg South Airport. The menu at each diner is slightly different, though. At the downtown spot, you can expect specialty omelets, homemade biscuits and gravy, country-fried steak, French toast, and pancakes with optional toppings. At the airport-themed location, stuffed biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos, and steak and eggs are a few different menu items. Either way, you’ll have a friendly diner experience.
The Original Flap Jack Shack
With a name like The Original Flap Jack Shack, there’s no question about what to expect at this restaurant. Although it’s owned by the same group as The Omelette Shoppe, it has a slightly different style. The informal dining room is a fantastic place for families, and the variety of flapjacks is especially tantalizing. Some of the most interesting options include New York cheesecake, Reese’s, sausage-wrapped flapjacks, and stuffed flapjacks. Other classic breakfast items include French toast, waffles, and biscuits and gravy.
The awesome service and intimate setting at Rounds Restaurant make you feel like a local. Since breakfast is served all day, you can stop by for your morning favorites at any time. The old-fashioned diner menu features country-style options, such as country-fried steak, steak and eggs, and homemade biscuits and gravy. You even have the option to get pancakes with nearly every dish at this hidden gem.
Green House Cafe
Serving breakfast daily since 2000, Green House Cafe is a stylish, family-friendly diner that offers affordable, fast service in downtown Traverse City. One of the preferred menu items among locals is the eggs Neptune, which is poached eggs laid on two crabcakes and covered with hollandaise sauce. The cafe also serves traditional pancakes, French toast, baked oatmeal, omelets, biscuits and sausage gravy, and bagels with cream cheese.
At Sparky’s Diner, you’ll get a classic menu for breakfast in Traverse City. Some of your options include omelets, country-style biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes, oatmeal, and steak and eggs. Two things that make the diner stand out, though, are the build-your-own eggs sandwich and the corned beef hash omelet, which features Swiss cheese.
As another authentic diner experience in Traverse City, Randy’s Diner has been a terrific hangout spot since 1997. It has one of the finest breakfast menus because nearly everything that you could want to start your day is available. Check out this list!
- Breakfast wraps
- Stuffed hash browns
- Oatmeal and cold cereal
- Biscuits and gravy
- French toast, pancakes, and malted waffles
- Homemade muffins
- Fresh fruit
- Omelets and eggs
- Steak or pork chops with eggs
Making fresh, flavorful breakfast and brunch foods from scratch since 2009, Frenchies Famous is a gourmet joint with a funky dining room and patio. For the morning sweet tooth, you can order crepes, French toast, a French toast sandwich with pastrami, or biscuits and jam. If you prefer a protein-rich breakfast, Frenchies serves several different omelets and savory dishes.
Traverse City Restaurant Serving Breakfast
Mostly known for its espressos, coffees, teas, local wines, microbrews, and other seasonal drinks, the Brew is a rustic-chic coffeehouse. You can find it in the same building as the City Opera House. Despite its popularity for beverages, it serves breakfast all day. The menu mainly includes baked items from local bakeries, such as cinnamon rolls and muffins from Old Mission Bakery and croissants from 9 Bean Rows Bakery. Toasted bagels, bagel sandwiches, and other breakfast sandwiches are available as well.
Grand Traverse Pie Company
Another spot on this list with two locations, Grand Traverse Pie Company is a local chain with traditional cafe fare. Along with gourmet coffee, it serves a few breakfast and brunch items: breakfast sandwiches, scramble wraps, and quiches. Also, you can order smoothies and homemade baked goods.
With a name like Morsels, you can guess that this little eatery makes bite-sized goods. In addition, it makes coffee and espresso to order and cafe fare for breakfast in Traverse City. You can get old-fashioned oatmeal, baked French toast strata, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, and bagels with cream cheese. With gorgeous views of West Grand Traverse Bay, you can enjoy your breakfast by the fireplace inside or on the outdoor patio.
Crepes and Co
Offering sweet and savory crepes, Crepes and Co is a French cafe inside the State Street Market and located near Grind Coffee. Its Croque Monsier is a popular comfort-food in France, and it includes sourdough bread, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and béchamel. You can watch the chef make your crepes from scratch, and then eat them inside or on the pet-friendly patio.
Common Good Bakery
Another European favorite among locals is Common Good Bakery. It makes delicious breads with time-honored techniques and simple ingredients; sweet and savory pastries from scratch; and breakfast items that give your brain energy to start the day. Its breakfast menu includes croissants, danishes, cinnamon rolls, and sandwiches. A selection of espresso, coffee, and other drinks complement the menu.
Experience Culinary Art at Its Finest in Traverse City
As the Culinary Capital in Northern Michigan, Traverse City has more to offer foodies than exceptional breakfast spots. There are plenty of unique and local restaurants in Traverse City. You can have great meals at many of Traverse City’s amazing wineries and craft breweries in Traverse City too.
Where is your favorite Traverse City restaurant for breakfast?