Wake up and smell the coffee, buttered biscuits and gravy
Breakfast. It’s the stuff of champions and a meal that can make or break your entire day. These upper Texas coast eateries get the griddle going early.
With its butcher block countertops and industrial pushcarts of produce on display, the inside of this Baybrook Mall-area newbie has a chic farm-to-table vibe. At breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the B.E.L.T., a sumptuous sammie served on brioche with a locally laid sunny-side-up egg, lettuce, peppered bacon, rémoulade and a double dose of tomatoes — fried green and farmhouse red. Want something sweet? Try the Strawberry Shortcake “French Toast.” Angel food cake takes the place of toast and is topped with strawberries, strawberry-infused maple syrup and whipped cream.
18840 Interstate 45, Houston, 832.558.2253
Surrounded by pastel beach houses, Porch Cafe seems to have been picked up by a gust of wind in The Hamptons and dropped on Galveston’s East Beach. Inside, the feel is coastal chic with polished concrete floors and whitewashed wood, but, on temperate weekend mornings, the best seat in the house can be found on the patio. Partake in a freshly squeezed mimosa before indulging in either the Crabcake Benedict or the all-you-can-eat pancake bar.
1625 East Beach Drive, Galveston, 409.762.0808
This counter-service establishment on Galveston’s East End draws a big crowd at breakfast time. On most days — and especially on weekends — people line up at Mosquito Cafe hungry to try house specialties like the crustless quiche or corned beef hash tacos. For a morning meal that hugs you from the inside, try the shrimp, grits and eggs, which pairs the classic Southern dish with fresh sautéed spinach and two eggs any style.
628 14th St., Galveston, 409. 763.1010
THE SUNFLOWER BAKERY & CAFE
This East End island neighborhood establishment knows breakfast. From Southern style eggs to migas to Bread Pudding French Toast, the restaurant’s menu is wide-ranging and appeals to any morning-time mood.
512 14th St., Galveston, 409-763-5500
SEABROOK WAFFLE COMPANY
This humble Seabrook cafe is making magic with a whisk and a waffle iron. Whether your meal is coming in the early a.m. or a little past lunchtime, order the fried chicken waffle and add a fried egg — the result is deliciously decadent.
1402 Fifth St., Seabrook, 281.291.8186
SHRIMP ’N STUFF DOWNTOWN
Alongside its famous fried shrimp, diners will find new plates like chicken and waffles and Challah French Toast. If seafood is on your morning agenda, try the succulent shrimp scramble, a protein-packed concoction finished with pepper jack cheese to give it the perfect kick.
216 23rd St., Galveston, 409.974.4609
MILLER’S SEAWALL GRILL
Gulf of Mexico views and the savory use of seafood makes this a coastal way to start the day. Lump Crab Benedict and shrimp omelets happily coexist with Texas classics like steak and eggs and biscuits and sausage gravy. Feeling ambitious? Try The Moby Dick, which includes three eggs, bacon, Belgian waffle or hotcakes, hashbrowns or grits, toast or biscuit.
1824 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, 409-763-8777
RED OAK CAFE
This cozy cafe is the sort of place to while away a weekend morning over a crossword puzzle and a cup of coffee. Settle into a seat at the long bank of booths and peruse the breakfast offerings, which include everything from paninis to parfaits. Try the Texas hash breakfast, a spicy skillet medley of sausage, potatoes, cheese and veggies including two kinds of peppers — jalapeños and chipotles.
6011 W. Main St., League City, 832.905.3150
THE GUMBO DINER
The Gumbo Diner makes classic diner dishes with a Gulf Coast twist. Try the beignets, for starters, with a piping hot cup of coffee. Or, go with your gut and order the country-fried steak and eggs. With The Shirelles playing in the background, it’s easy to drift into Americana nirvana.
3602 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, 409.762.3232
SKIPPER’S GREEK CAFÉ
At breakfast time, it’s all hands on deck at this bustling eatery, where the menu takes a continental turn. There’s a little bit of everything — from kielbasa and eggs to Spanish omelets. Skipper’s, around for 26 years, is famous for using extra large eggs, especially thick bacon and making Texas-worthy biscuits.
1026 Marina Bay Drive, Clear Lake shores, 281.334.4787
OPUS OCEAN GRILLE
Since opening in 2016, Opus Ocean Grille has hooked diners with its divine seafood dinners. But, you’d be wise to wake up to the weekend brunch menu. With everything from lobster rolls to fish tacos, it reads like a cross-country culinary tour. If you’re in the mood for New Orleans fare, sample Opus Ocean Grille’s take on eggs Benedict, which stars flavorful boudin patties and a rich hollandaise sauce.
1510 Marina Bay Drive, Suite 124, Clear Lake Shores, 281.334.0006
STAR DRUG STORE
This restaurant with a U-shaped counter and vintage setting keeps the menu simple yet classic. Try the omelet with Mediterranean flair made with feta cheese, onions and tomatoes or the sandwich with fried egg, cheddar cheese and choice of bacon or sausage on a buttery croissant.
510 23rd St., Galveston, 409.766.7719
SHYKATZ DELI & BAKERY
This neighborhood café has earned near rock star status in Galveston with hearty, home-cooked dishes. We’re particularly partial to The Smuggler, a breakfast burrito filled with eggs, choice of ham, bacon or sausage, home fries, jalapeños and cheese wrapped in a 10-inch flour tortilla, then deep fried and smothered with either house “Red” chili or sausage gravy.
1528 Ave. L, Galveston, 409.770.0500
FARLEY GIRLS CAFE
Greet the day with the Good Morning Galveston, a fabulous fried-egg sandwich served on a house-made bun with bacon and pepper jack cheese. Or, for a high-end spin on a classic Southern dish, try Farley Girls’ take on eggs and grits with Gouda and mushrooms, sautéed spinach and lemon butter.
801 Postoffice St., Galveston, 409.497.4454
MEL’S BLUEPLATE DINER
This down-home diner in residential Galveston is one of the island’s best-kept secrets. When morning rolls around, partake in a comfort classic — the Eye Opener, which comes with open-faced biscuits, two eggs any style and sausage gravy. If your appetite just won’t quit, go for the chicken-fried steak and eggs, which is served with home fries, a biscuit and a side of gravy.
910 38th St., Galveston, 409.789.6355
At this classic diner, it’s all about what’s happening in the kitchen. Housed in a brick box on industrial Harborside Drive, the dining room is as no-frills as the waitstaff is friendly. This is where early risers go for a stick-to-your-ribs morning meal. Try the French toast platter, which comes with eggs and a choice of sausage or bacon.
500 Harborside Drive, Galveston, 409.763.4906
KELLEY’S COUNTRY COOKIN’
It doesn’t get more deep-fried or down-home than this. Famous for cat-head sized biscuits, this restaurant’s specialty is its Grand Slam, which stars a Texas-size chicken-fried steak or country-fried chicken breast, three large eggs however you like them, hash browns, biscuit or toast.
4604 Interstate 45, La Marque, 409.935.3131; 1502 W. Main St., League City, 281.338.0300
Editor Laura Elder contributed to this listing.