OC Breakfast Joints: 9 Fab Spots to Start Your Mornings
So you’ve had a long week, maybe even struggled with some colds (why is the cold season so late this year?) or busy schedules, and it’s finally Saturday morning. Don’t stress yourself over what you’re going to do with the kids. Give yourself a much needed break and get some fresh air and yummy breakfast to start the day off right. Got grandparents or family visiting too? No problem, we’ve got that covered too. We’ve rounded up 9 great OC spots that the whole family will enjoy. Plus tips on things to do afterwards! You’re all set to recharge and enjoy your weekend.
The Filling Station in Old Town Orange
Tell the kids they’ll be transformed into human vehicles and taken to a gas station to fill’em up with a power breakfast! Located in the classic Old Town Orange, you can eat your breakfast in the spacious courtyard of this old school gas station-turned-popular breakfast spot. They kept a lot of the original parts of gas station so you can really feel the history here. The kids will be happy with any of their pancakes, Belgian waffles, or French toasts.
Good to know: There is plenty of street parking in and around the restaurant. It is a popular joint and can get crowded on the weekends, but you can put your name down on the waiting list and take a stroll to visit the cool soda shop and antique shops nearby with the kids while you wait.
201 North Glassell Street
Rialto Café in Fullerton
A cute, cozy café in the middle of a college town. If you’re in the mood for exploring and trying something new with the kids, this might be a good spot. It is a small spot, but they can accommodate 6 people comfortably. The best news is, breakfast is served all day! The kids will love the pancakes or the stuffed French toasts. Afterwards, walk around the Fullerton College campus and look for the huge hand sculpture with the kids.
Good to know: Parking lots and street parking are available. The streets are lined with cute cafes and shops. Perfect to walk around with the kids after your meal. Since Rialto Café is small, you should keep the stroller by the front entrance while you are eating your meal, otherwise keep it in the car.
108 West Wilshire Avenue
Las Brisas Breakfast Buffet in Laguna Beach
A fancy breakfast buffet that is kid-friendly with amazing views of Laguna Beach. This popular family breakfast spot is surprisingly affordable, great kid-friendly service, and delicious. The kids will get a kick out of the omelet guys at the make-your-own omelets station. Let the little ones dictate which veggies will go into their very own omelet and watch the assembly line as they quickly and efficiently toss and fry their creations. The kids will also love the Belgian waffles freshly made on the spot. A wide selection of pastries and fruits are available as well. For the parents, they make a great cup of joe so that you can power charge yourself with the energy you need to run around at the beach after breakfast.
Good to know: The signature breakfast buffet is served 8:00am-10:30am, Monday through Saturday. Valet is offered, but there’s plenty of metered street parking right in front of the restaurant as well. Adults are $17.50 and kids (12 years and younger) are $8.75.
361 Cliff Drive
Laguna Beach, Ca
Pancakes R Us in Costa Mesa
First came Babies R Us, then came Toys R Us, and now Pancakes R Us! If your little ones love pancakes, this is the place to be for breakfast. The casual, diner atmosphere will put you at ease to enjoy your breakfast with your loud bunch. What to order the kids? There is a set kids menu that includes a Jr. fruit pancake combo, pigs in blankets, silver dollar pancakes and a chocolate chip pancake happy face.
Good to know: Located in a strip mall with plenty of parking. Always ask to see what the specials of the day are. After breakfast, don’t forget to stroll around Newport Beach that is a short drive down the street!
329 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, Ca
Old Vine Café in Costa Mesa
A cute, hip, and artsy breakfast spot nestled in the middle of The Camp. This is a great spot to have a family brunch or have another play date with a mommy friend. They have out-of-ordinary creations that the kids will enjoy, such as the peanut butter & chocolate French toast, the pumpkin pecan French toast, and fresh baked cinnamon roll. If your kid is more into the savories, order the biscuits with gravy or the pizza omelet (that’s right, pizza for breakfast!). The portions are big so you might want to share the dishes.
Good to know: Spacious parking lot that has free valet during the peak times. The Camp is a good place to hang out and browse after breakfast with the kids. The bathrooms are single rooms, numerous and spacious, perfect for families and big enough to push the strollers into. Breakfast is served daily from 9:00am – 3:00pm. Reservations are highly recommended!
2937 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, Ca
Plum’s Café in Newport Beach
Casual with a touch of elegance, it’s a good place to have breakfast when the grandparents are in town. Every plate is beautifully presented and looks like a work of art. They have a kidz only no grownups allowed menu tailored just for the little ones. Order them the dark chocolate pancakes, 3-2-1 blast off which includes pancakes and bacon or eggs, and bad pancakes which are strawberry pancakes with fresh spanked cream and yeah that’s right, it’s bad!
Good to know: Located in a strip mall with plenty of parking, be sure to make reservations because it does crowded.
369 East 17th Street
Costa Mesa, Ca
Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop
We shared with you about Greenleaf’s amazingly healthy meals in our opening article. Now we want to let you know that they’ve added a breakfast menu just for kids. Their best seller and Chef Jonathan Rollo’s favorite is the PB&J wrap. Don’t forget to ask about kid-friendly weekend events that are on-going.
Good to know: Plenty of parking behind the restaurant and the restrooms are spacious. If the weather is nice, definitely sit out on the deck to enjoy the view of the Chef’s garden.
234 East 17th Street
Costa Mesa, Ca
Early Bird in Fullerton
This spot just opened and has gotten rave reviews from Nancy Luna, OC Register’s Food Maven. It seems that the buzzing item is the chicken and waffles. Let the kids have fun with this sweet and savory plate for breakfast! If the kids want something sweet, try the french toast or just the waffle alone. Mom and dad might enjoy and appreciate the duck confit hash. It’s a great spot with both kid-friendly and adult-friendly flavors to satisfy the whole family!
Good to know: There is a private lot for parking. Since they don’t take reservations, try to expect a wait time since this is a popular joint. You might want to call ahead and see what the wait time is like before you pack the kids into the car.
1000 B East Bastanchury Road
Café Zinc & Market in Laguna Beach
A classy, clean, marbled ambience that is reminiscent of the sophisticated Joan’s on Third in Los Angeles. This healthy, vegetarian-friendly café offers quinoa with ricotta cheese and fruit, bagels and French toast. If your kids love eggs, order them the wonderful quiche plates that are served with bagel, muffin, toast, and fruit.
Good to know: Although they do have a small parking lot, metered street parking is your next option. Also ask about enrolling in the loyalty card if you think you will be returning for more. Leave the stroller in the car since the café is not too big in size. Afterwards, walk along the street and just take in the local Laguna Beach neighborhood.
350 Ocean Avenue
Laguna Beach, Ca
Where does your family go when you need a breakfast out?