Eating breakfast out is one of those things that has to be done right to make it worth the while. Luckily, we here in San Joaquin County have plenty of options to fulfill that need, from greasy spoon diners, to waterfront views, to high-end farm-to-table fare. Many (in fact, most) of the breakfast spots on our list have developed a cult-like following, so while you may have to wait to be seated, it’s a small price to pay for the food and the service you’ll receive. Indeed, just one bite of a crepe at Midtown, the Poor Man’s Benedict at Avenue, or a giant pancake at Chuck’s, may make you want to start a Breakfast Club of your own. If you’re looking for a local place to break your fast, look no further.
A frequent traveler to New Orleans, Mathew Grizzle, who owns this Miracle Mile creperie along with wife Melissa, wanted to bring those flavors back to the West Coast. Utilizing locally sourced ingredients, this N’awlins-inspired restaurant specializes in (you guessed it) decadent and innovative crepes. With seven crepe batter options (including gluten-free), they offer a plethora of savory or sweet crepe variations to satisfy any palate. Beignets, Belgian waffles, Pain Perdu (French toast made with Genova French bread), and omelets balance out the menu. Craving some jambalaya to cure that hangover? This is the place. A carafe of Fleur de Lis or Wild Blooming Hibiscus Royale is likely to perk you up, regardless of the state from which you awoke. With a new two-story location right next door to their old site, Midtown Creperie & Café has now doubled their seating capacity—almost eliminating wait times at this popular breakfast locale. As they say in New Orleans, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!)
Voted by Stockton residents as the #1 Burger, Breakfast and Place to Eat on the Delta, Bob’s has an understated 1950s environment just enough to make you feel a little history but not to go overboard. There’s a cozy fireplace for the cold winter months and a large beautiful outdoor patio for those warm summers. The patio, which overlooks the Stockton Delta and has direct boat access, is perfect for large parties and banquets with big umbrellas and a giant canopy. Bob’s was “The place to go on the Delta,” according to the Stockton Record twelve years ago, and they’re still holding that title! In business since 1982, the breakfast at Bob’s (think eggs, omelets, French toast, and bacon) remain both large and popular among their dedicated patrons.
2505 West Turner Road
If you’re craving something a little more sophisticated from your breakfast fare, The Towne House Restaurant at Wine & Roses is the place to go in San Joaquin County. A legacy to the country farm it once was, Towne House features innovative dishes using the highest quality seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients. The cuisine is simple but creative and made for sharing, offering a farm-to-table experience with both a breakfast and brunch menu. One to try: the Smoked Salmon Scramble, featuring cream cheese, scrambled eggs, caviar and crème fraiche— a perfect start to a picturesque day of wine tasting in the heart of Lodi Wine Country.
6034 Pacific Ave
Stockton, (209) 473-9977
A local breakfast favorite, this quintessential greasy spoon always boasts a packed house. The restaurant (which has been through seve
ral incarnations since Country Joey Marengo first opened the space in 1950 under the name Yummy Yum Café) has been owned by the Grant family since 1960, and Chuck Grant’s likeness is still used on the signage. Today, diners can watch Steve Grant (Chuck’s son and the current owner) as he works the line on open grill. Marie, Steve’s mother, still works at the restaurant as well, along with Steve’s son, Jeremy and daughter, Jamie. This sense of family translates to its customers—Chuck’s Hamburgers has an entire page on their website dedicated to their regular patrons. With ridiculously oversized portions (the pancakes are bigger than the plates) at reasonable prices, it’s no wonder this breakfast hub is repeatedly awarded “Best Breakfast in Stockton” honors.
Lodi’s most popular breakfast spot, the Avenue Grill, is the type of place where they literally know your name. The service is exceptional–friendly and always welcoming; it’s no wonder the joint is consistently busy. You’ll probably have to wait for a table, but don’t let the line out the door deter you – they sit and serve quickly. The menu itself boasts old-fashioned American breakfast fare, including pancakes the size of hubcaps and bottomless cups of coffee. The Poor Man’s Benedict and Potato Platter are fan favorites, providing patrons with the perfect fuel for a day of wine tasting (or to recover from one)!
The Dancing Fox Winery & Bakery
203 S. School Street
Lodi, (209) 366-2634
This century-old brick building is one of the area’s most unique places to eat and drink– a fanciful spot where both legend and reality join to take you back to a time when bread was made from fresh ground grain gathered from the field. In fact, all of the breads are naturally leavened from the restaurant’s own culture, created from the Lewis family vineyard Petite Sirah grape and baked in The Dancing Fox’s famous Llopis wood-fired oven. With menu items such as Sourdough waffles and pancakes, and a Sunday brunch and buffet (omelet station included), The Dancing Fox offers diners a bit of breakfast magic. Just be mindful of the Dancing Fox, fairies and other mischievous creatures– they will do anything for a scrap from your plate!
7628 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, (209) 957-2081
Yet another local favorite, UJ’s Restaurant has been serving Stockton residents with delicious homestyle cooking for the past 22 years. Renowned for creating their homemade pancakes from scratch, UJ’s is a family-owned and operated restaurant, where diners can always expect their breakfast to be made fresh with a homestyle flavor. Additionally, breakfast can served “your way” with a mind-numbing number of options. For example, Eggs Your Way consists of two farm fresh eggs, any style, with your choice of bacon, ham, beef patty, Canadian bacon, German sausage, sausage patty, linguica, corned beef hash, Italian sausage or chicken apple sausage. And that doesn’t even include the side options—panca
kes, hash browns, blueberry muffins, biscuits and gravy, etc. Need I go on?
By Kelly Soderlund, Photos by Dan Hood