Wakey, Wakey: The Haute 5 Places to Eat Breakfast in Orange County

My fiancée will tell you the way to my heart (after Taschen books and Champagne) is breakfast. Few things satisfy like perfectly cooked Eggs Benedict with a flawless Hollandaise sauce (not watery and just the right amount of lemon) or a velvety quiche Lorraine. For some breakfast is purely food, eating a granola bar or grabbing a bagel on the run, but for others breakfast is an experience, a lavish Sunday brunch with friends or hours spent making the perfect frittata. No matter what your morning routine, the following restaurants provide the perfect nourishment to tackle the day. As my dear friend Amanda would say “It’s never a bad morning with bacon.”


The Original Pancake House 

During weekends the line of waiting patrons can stretch into the parking lot of this celebrated Orange restaurant. Diners queue up for house specialties including the apple pancake with Sinkiang cinnamon glaze, an oven baked pancake topped with lemon and whipped butter affectionately dubbed the “Dutch Baby,” and the homemade corned beef. Forget small plates at this country kitchen; the single portions are large enough to feed a small family so come hungry.  Rest assured, you’ll leave happy.

 The Original Pancake House is located at 3322 East Chapman Ave., Orange, Calif., 714.221.8674

Kimmie’s Coffee Cup 

Nothing, we repeat, nothing is pre-packaged at Kimmie’s. Using only the freshest ingredients, every menu item is made-to-order and served fresh and piping hot. Their signature country style sausage patties are circular bites of heaven and their homemade chili would make a Texan proud. Speaking of Texas, the Cowboy Steak and Eggs is a hearty helping of Angus rib eye served with three eggs, red skin potatoes, and biscuits and gravy. Thank goodness, they have large to-go boxes.

 Kimmie’s is located at 1605 West Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, Calif., 714.1580


The seaside views are second to the delicious food at this legendary Crystal Cove eatery. Locals rave about the Filet Mignon Chilaquiles that features a delectable avocado puree, sunny-side-up egg, and savory filet mignon. Yum. The Brioche French toast is an innovative plate featuring black currant Brioche baked soufflé style in rich and creamy vanilla custard. Trying to eat healthier? The homemade oatmeal is served with toasted, slivered almonds and dried cranberries and tastes nothing like cardboard.

The Beachcomber is located at 15 Crystal Cove., Newport Coast, Calif., 949.376.6900

Madison Square 

Situated in an eclectic house located across the street from the Laguna Beach Museum of Art, this quaint café blends classic breakfast cuisine with modern recipes. The ricotta pancakes are flavored with lemon and ginger then topped with homemade berry butter with the end result being a craving for seconds. Locals swear by the Eggs Benedict which came be ordered with Canadian bacon or smoked salmon all topped with one-of-a-kind Hollandaise sauce.

Madison Square is located at 320 North Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, Calif., 949.494.0137


Harbor House 

Since 1939, Harbor House has served up staple homemade breakfasts worthy of Grandma’s praise. The biscuits and gravy is a veritable pantheon of country cooking and features chopped sausage and country bacon. The homemade goodness doesn’t stop there. Fresh waffles served crisp and golden are available with toppings including pecans, walnuts, bananas, chocolate chips, and fresh blueberries, making this dish more of a dessert than a start-your-day meal. Still can’t decide what to order? The omelet menu offers 24 various creations guaranteed to satisfy the pickiest patrons.

Harbor House is located at 34157 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, Calif., 949.496.9270