Cozy up to these breakfast places to start your day off right.By Marina Davalos
Going out to breakfast is a weekly tradition for some and a special event for others. Cape Codders are fortunate to have so many great restaurant options for the most important meal of the day. Here we highlight comfortable, cozy and charming spots that serve everything from breakfast burritos wrapped in organic tortillas to pancakes with lemon ricotta. Time to loosen your belt a notch or two!
Café Heaven, Provincetown
Twenty-five years ago, owner Patrick Drummey launched his career as a restaurateur when he and his late husband, Alan Cullinane, purchased Café Heaven. “All I know about the restaurant biz, I owe to him,” says a humble Drummey, whose café is a reliable source for great breakfast food and local artwork on display. Drummey says the homemade English muffins are out of this world and one of the café’s specialties is a blended cheese variety. What keeps people coming back? The Benedict on an English muffin with a variety of options: Florentine, bacon, crab cake, lobster and even filet mignon. As if that’s not enough, their signature pancakes include blueberry, raspberry pecan, lemon ricotta and caramelized pear. Not to be missed: Homemade cinnamon roll French toast.
199 Commercial St., #10, Provincetown, 508-487-9639
Dishing Up Nostalgia
Betsy’s Diner, Falmouth
You know the spot. The retro diner car with the pink-and-blue neon sign telling customers to “eat heavy.” For 25 years, Betsy’s Diner has delivered their most popular item: homemade corned beef hash, served with eggs any style. The menu also features classic diner food, including fluffy three-egg omelets, stacked pancakes and Belgian waffles. Owners David and Karen Chandler offer traditional breakfast food, plus specials every day. “We like to get people to try something different,” says Karen. One special that regulars crave is the sausage Benedict on grilled cornbread. At Betsy’s, you’re in for an authentic retro experience—the diner is set in an actual 1957 Mountain View dining car.
457 Main St., 508-540-0060
Living the Dream
Wellfleet’s hottest new breakfast spot, overlooking Duck Creek, opened this past summer. The Fox and Crow serves up unforgettable breakfast sandwiches and burritos using organic and homemade ingredients. The fried egg sandwich on Ciabatta bread features bacon, cheddar and arugula with an aioli sauce. Breakfast burritos wrapped in organic tortillas boast spinach, eggs, pink beans and their signature homemade salsa. Owner Trudy Vermehren says she always dreamed of opening her own coffee shop/breakfast joint someday. The stars aligned when she opened Fox and Crow (“her spirit animals”) in the former location of The Juice. Vermehren says that locals are thrilled to grab an espresso, cappuccino or a cold brew, and her coffees, like most of her ingredients, are mainly organic and non-GMO. Plus, she offers gluten-free, vegan and paleo options. The café opens bright and early at 6 a.m.
6 Commercial St., Wellfleet, 508-214-0366
Good Friends Café, West Dennis
At Good Friends Café, there is a wall devoted to customers’ mugs. “When they come in, they just grab their mug,” says owner Chrissy Carr. “The staff knows whose is whose.” Good Friends is famous for its grilled breads, including cinnamon raisin, apple walnut, apple cranberry, cranberry walnut, blueberry apple and—Oreo bread! And they will make any of these amazing breads into French toast. Swing in and try the fresh strawberry and Nutella-stuffed pancakes. Chrissy’s signature omelet, the Chrissy, boasts flame-roasted Fuji apples, onion and American cheese. She says that each of her family members (she and her husband, Dennis police officer Ryan Carr, have six children between them ranging in age from 2 to 21) has something named after them, as do some of the regulars. The café also offers gluten-free options and accommodates food allergies.
83 School St., 508-760-2727
Sunny Side Up
The Optimist Café, Yarmouth Port
They may be known for their homemade buttermilk pancakes, crêpes and scones, but locals are saying “OMG!” about the Cape Cod Delight—a croissant with scrambled eggs and loaded with lobster, tomato, onion and gruyère cheese, topped with a lobster cream sauce. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, try the various eggs Benedict options such as the Fisherman, featuring smoked salmon; the Portuguese with linguiça; or the Irish with corned beef hash. Veggie options are available, too. Top any of these off with a bloody Mary or a mimosa. Set in an 1849 sea captain’s home, The Optimist offers a quaint, upscale vibe, with hardwood floors and multiple rooms for dining. Since they bought the eatery in 2013, Kristina and Daryl Dittmer have continued its longtime tradition of lifting people’s spirits. “People come here just because of the name,” says manager Jessie McMahon, ever the optimist.
134 Route 6A, 508-362-1024
Red Cottage Restaurant, South Dennis
Chef/owner Dan Rosenbach is busy cooking 90 hours a week, and he’s been doing it for 37 years, so he knows a thing or two about what his customers want. At Red Cottage, you’ll discover that hollandaise is not just for eggs Benedict anymore. Their home fries—freshly cooked potatoes with onions, green peppers and tomatoes—are topped with the buttery French sauce. You can even upgrade to home fries with lobster. Or indulge in the sirloin tips and scrambled egg crêpe, topped with hollandaise. But just when you think you have chef Dan all figured out, he’ll serve up a lobster Benedict with Newburg sauce. And there’s sweet stuff, too—apple pie crêpes, apple pie French toast and French toast Foster, featuring caramelized bananas with rum, banana liqueur, butter and brown sugar. Need we say more?
36 Old Bass River Road, South Dennis, 508-394-2923