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bemoaning breakfast places

February 19, 2009

OK, I need some help.

In my funny job, I often meet clients and interviewees at coffee shops around the southside.  Sometimes we meet early in the morning for breakfast.

The problem is that I cannot find a decent breakfast place in Edmonton.   Somewhere that is open at 9 am, during the week, isn’t a chain, and serves decent egg dishes.  

I tried both Sugar Bowl and High Level Diner this week and was sadly disappointed.  I love Sugar Bowl for coffee and general hanging out, and High Level Diner is consistently good with the apres theatre chai lattes and munchies.  But neither of them worked for breakfast.

Any suggestions, Edmonton readers, for breakfast places?  I know Calgary has an assortment of Nellie’s and Diner Delux – I believe the whole breakfast phenomenon has not caught on in our fair city.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2009 1:39 pm

    For breakfast in this city, sadly, one must usually go to a chain restaurant. I’ve heard that High Level Diner is very good during the week, but I’ve never been. Obviously, your experience has not been in line with the comments I’ve heard.

    I can’t think of anywhere on the south side, but on the north side of the river, there are a few places that do breakfast pretty well. The restaurant at the Rosslyn Motor Inn was greatly improved during the renovations a few years ago and now serves up a decent breakfast.

    Runway 29 Pub near the Municipal Airport also serves up a good breakfast, but the atmosphere is probably not ideal for a meeting with clients.

    Finally, to my surprise, Lazia does Eggs Benedict amazingly well. However, I think they only offer breakfast on the weekend (a limited menu on Saturday and a full brunch menu on Sunday).

  2. Bellavino permalink
    February 19, 2009 3:41 pm

    I have tried New York Bagel Cafe and thought it was very good. My only complaint there is having to pay for coffee by the cup since they dont offer traditional drip.
    My go to on the weekend is Culina and I think that they are also open at 9 from Monday to Friday.

  3. Linda permalink
    February 19, 2009 5:22 pm

    I am very interested in the responses! If anyone also knows where to get a good breakfast burrito in Edmonton, I appreciate that!

    PS. addicted to your blog FS!

  4. February 19, 2009 6:47 pm

    Have you tried Friends and Neighbors on 108th and Whyte? Parking is always a bit of an issue, but they have a huge breakfast menu and make killer Eggs Benedict of several different varieties (the smoke salmon is my favorite).

    Also, there is the French Meadows cafe on 107th and Whyte. I haven’t been in about a year, but whenever we’ve been for breakfast, it’s been great. I think they open at ~7:30AM and they always have a nice display of fresh bread and pastries when you walk in.

    Linda, Blue Plate Diner downtown has an awesome breakfast burrito, but it’s only available during brunch on Saturdays or Sundays.

  5. Lindsey permalink
    February 19, 2009 7:17 pm

    shot in the dark, I haven’t eaten there for years & only once for breakfast – but… Mosaics on Whyte?

  6. February 19, 2009 7:30 pm

    I thought of another place: Flavours on Whyte has a decent brunch menu (though I’m not sure if it’s available on weekdays). The Eggs Benedict kind of suck (they’re on some kind of crumbly corn bread biscuit that doesn’t really hold together under the weight of the eggs and hollandaise), but the rest of the menu is pretty good, if slightly over-priced.

    However, I must admit that I haven’t been particularly pleased with the service at Flavours during my last few visits. They used to have a great waiter, whose name I don’t recall, who was the epitome of the career waiter. He was excellent and his enthusiasm for the job seemed to rub off on his co-workers. As far as I can tell, he no longer works there, and the service has suffered since his departure.

  7. onlyhereforthefood permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:00 pm

    I agree with you on the lack of a breakfast culture in Edmonton. Galaxie Diner and Diner Deluxe in Calgary are my favourites – you’d be hard pressed to find anything similar in our city, especially for weekday morning service.

    I’m wracking my brain…and beyond cafes that serve good coffee and have baked goods (Leva, Good Earth), bakeries with cafe seating (Breadland), it looks like your only option would be high-end hotels (Madisons Grill at the Union Bank Inn – http://www.unionbankinn.com/newsite_madison.php and Hotel MacDonald for another – http://www.fairmont.com/macdonald/GuestServices/Restaurants/HarvestRoom.htm). Might be something nice to expense :).

  8. February 19, 2009 8:15 pm

    Those are all great ideas. Has anybody been to Culina for weekday breakfast?? It is true they are open and serve breakfast food? I will have to go check it out.

    Winnipeg has a local chain called ‘Stella’s’ that is the perfect breakfast place. They have a gorgeous bakery plus hot breakfast food.

    http://www.where.ca/winnipeg/guide_listing~listing_id~3684.htm

    Ah, Sharon, the expense account…I wish!

  9. Denise permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:32 pm

    Murrieta’s on Whyte has decent breakfast.

  10. Shelly permalink
    February 19, 2009 8:41 pm

    The Artisan-Resto cafe on Whyte (I think around 107th) might work for you. They open right at 6:30 and have lovely egg dishes and a tempting bakery.

  11. February 19, 2009 8:51 pm

    I’m usually a loss about where to go for breakfast, so I was looking forward to the responses as well. Have you tried Fresh Start in Riverbend? I’ve only been once, had a few issues, but it seems like the right idea for a quick sit down. I would go back.

    Thinking of other breakfast/non-chains in the south, although I make no claim on quality – Barb & Ernies, Rick & Alice’s Grill, Artisan Bakery Café on Whyte (I think they do some breakfast), Twisted Fork Diner.

    Maybe we need to create a good list.

  12. Karen K permalink
    February 19, 2009 10:48 pm

    I just went into the Millcreek Cafe the other day (North side of Whyte Ave and 96th St.), and noticed they have a pretty terrific breakfast menu – some interesting and some standard fare. Unfortunately I didn’t notice if it was in effect during the week. The woman at the till told me they even have table service on Sundays. Regardless of the availability of the full breaky during the week, they always have exceptional cinnamon buns, and very good muffins. Their whole grain loaf is one of – if not THE – best in the city, too.

  13. February 20, 2009 7:15 am

    Wow, you’ve all inspired me to start working my way through this list of breakfast places. Well, actually eating my way through this list.

    I’ll report back in some way through this blog…mmmm, breakfast..

  14. February 20, 2009 9:54 am

    There’s also good ol’ reliable Route 99 Diner, if you’re in the mood for some honest grease. 🙂

    Not exactly the place you want to take a client, but there’s something comforting about that place that I can’t help but love.

  15. Karen K permalink
    February 20, 2009 3:39 pm

    Adam – Barb and Ernie’s fits into that category too (the kind of place you’d take a client only if you knew them really well and they had a good sense of humour).

    Good, big food, and a whole lot of Ernie (if he’s there – supposedly he and his wife Barb are semi-retired.) Women are generally greeted with a “hey sexy” …

  16. February 20, 2009 3:43 pm

    You know, I’ve still never been to Barb and Ernie’s. I drive past it every day, and yet when it’s time to go for brunch, it always slips my mind.

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