10 Great Breakfast Spots In Orange County

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Edwin Goei
In this list of morning meals, you'll find not just the egg, bacon and pancake joints (although there are certainly a lot of those in there), but also a certain Swedish furniture super store that practically gives away its food, a Cambodian/Vietnamese noodle shop and a place to dip Chinese fried crullers in hot soy milk. Let's face it, not everyone considers loading up on fried eggs and processed pork products breakfast...not that there's anything wrong with that.
 
And if this were a list of 20, you would've also seen McDonald's for their Egg Muffin and the breakfast burritos at Athenian Burgers #3, which Gustavo actually has already praised in his list of great burritos.

Share your favorite places for starting your day in the comments.
 

10. IKEA
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Edwin Goei
The 99-cent breakfast from IKEA, in business parlance, is called a "loss leader". It's an item priced at or below cost to attract customers. In laymen's terms, it's bait--the proverbial carrot for cheapskates to come and eat and then get subsequently lost in their inescapable showroom/maze. But for us? We know the route to bypass the IKEA furniture labyrinth. It's quite easily bested, actually. And once we gobble up our eggs, bacon and taters, we can usually escape without seeing a single Klavsta lampshade. Served on actual IKEA plates, with IKEA silverware and eaten in their IKEA furnished dining room, the breakfast is still scooped from an industrial trough. The eggs are curdled and overcooked. The two slices of bacon are so thin, it might as well be transparent. But the home fries--crispy outside, soft as fluffy cotton inside--are worth the hundred and seven cents (when you include tax) already. The best day to come is on Mondays where the 99-cent breakfast is actually free! Yes! Free and thus further immune to any sort of snide criticism. So do your cheap ass a favor and order the Swedish pancakes, too. 1475 South Coast Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626, (714) 444-4532; http://www.ikea.com

9. Rick's Atomic Cafe
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Edwin Goei
You've had egg breakfasts at home, at Denny's, at your local greasy spoon. What Rick Le Blanc of Rick's Atomic Cafe serves starts with the same basic kind of ingredients as everyone else: bacon, eggs, toast and potatoes; but the end product is somehow better, more special, thanks to the fastidious care he takes. The toast is from artisan bread, buttered by Rick, ready to be spread by a thimble of preserves he selected out of a bigger jar. A food nerd with horned-rimmed glasses and a buzz cut that makes him look more like a NASA engineer than a cook, Rick will salt things with care and put in some elbow grease to hand-squeeze a dozen oranges just so he can give you one glass brimming with pulp. And oh, Rick's potatoes! The cubed spuds burst with flavor, steam and other intangible toe-curling properties. 3100 Airway Ave., Ste. 113, Costa Mesa, (714) 825-0570; www.ricksatomiccafe.com.

8. Plum's Cafe
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Anne Marie Panoringan

Plums Café serves food that's distinctly Pacific Northwestern, a grub devised to fortify lumberjacks and other hardy souls against damp weather and rugged terrain. Dutch babies, its signature brunch item, is described as a deep-dish pancake, but with its girth and puffiness, it can double as Paul Bunyan's shower cap. And, of course, there is smoked salmon, scented of sweet alderwood and tossed into a chunky hash with red potatoes, onions and peppers. To this, a poached egg with Hollandaise makes the plate perfect for an Oregonian day, whether it's jamming with a grunge band or hauling lumber. 369 E. 17th St., Ste. 7, Costa Mesa, (949) 722-7586; www.plumscafe.com.


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26 comments
Hilarie Kelly
Hilarie Kelly

The geographical spread of this list seems a bit limited. I guess that is one of the drawbacks of short lists.

Mark Vieth
Mark Vieth

I just love to eat at IHOP on Main St in HB...can eat and walk 3 blks to HB Pier to walk it all off :D

Jeff Moore
Jeff Moore

I'd like to see that top 20 list. Would Early Bird and Kimmie's beat out the Golden Arches?

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

Great article! You missed one: Cafe Cup in Huntington Beach. Do it.

Wendy Hughes-Jelen
Wendy Hughes-Jelen

I just moved here from Seattle, I need more lists like this! Thanks.

Luke Armstrong
Luke Armstrong

Pop's Cafe takes the cake! Deep fried french toast will humble you!

dollarbuild
dollarbuild

From the makers of Burger Parlor in Downtown Fullerton is Early Bird in North Fullerton.  You can add it to the list as # "1.B".

Northofthe405
Northofthe405

This may come as a shock to you, but you have readers in north OC! Yes, there is an OC north of the 405! Maybe you can include us now and then...just a thought.

Muunlitr
Muunlitr

Don't know how you missed Flappy Jacks in Orange? 

Pat
Pat

Since you cover Long Beach, I'd throw in Coffee Cup Cafe on 4th St. Get's Juan's Favorite omelette, with a vegan chorizo and avocado and their salsa. it's divine, as is everything else

Deucelawyer
Deucelawyer

Thanks - as someone whose favorite meal is "Breakfast" - this comes in handy.

Rick
Rick

Arthur's didn't make it on the list either............Arthur's is Breakfast!

shannon
shannon

Katella Family Grill in Orange. I crave their ham & eggs, it's one of the few places that I can drink the coffee black, and my mom loves the cinnamon roll French toast!

DanGarion
DanGarion

Great list, although I disagree with #3, I just can't get over that I wasn't at all impressed by Pop's Cafe. But #1 is a fact.

JB
JB

I think it is so funny that just after you alight from the escalator and turn the corner to head for IKEA's dining hall in the Costa Mesa store, you pass right by the display of ($1) coffee cups you will be drinking out of minutes laterLOL

1000steps
1000steps

Definitely missed Bonjour Cafe In Dana Point

Rick
Rick

What....Paul's coffee shop in Fountain Valley wasn't good enough?

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

Arthur's ain't bad, but its nothing to write home about. 

cpudan
cpudan

@1000steps Dude I was just there last week. MAYBE 8 years ago it was still good. BonJour is HORRIBLE now! They are using Powdered Hollandaise sauce! The last time I ate there it was not even BLENDED powdered hollandaise... I had little lumps of powder on my Eggs Benny. It was LAUGHABLE how bad it was, and the people working there did not care. That was my last time to ever go there unless it is resold to somebody else who cares.

JB
JB

The coffee at Paul's is excellent...exceptional...outstanding.  The atmosphere is warm and lively, as is the service. 

However...the food....can't say top 10.  Too many curiously dry, tasteless omelettes have met my taste buds.  Just my humble two cents. 

Rick
Rick

Is Ikea anything to write home about other than it's undervalues prices?..think about it.......they are paying you to eat there hoping you will take home a DIY book case!

Rick
Rick

Have you tried the platter sized chicken fried steak?

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

No, I agree, putting Ikea on the list is totally ridiculous, and I have eaten their breakfast before. I've actually also eaten it in Sweden and Iceland and its all no different than the shitty cafeteria food you got back-in-the-day at school. I really have no idea why its on here and the novelty of it being 99 cents does not merit its appearance on an otherwise great food blog. I'm not even sure they're real eggs.

JB
JB

I have not had the chicken fried steak....looking forward to it....I love chicken fried steak.  But chicken fried steak does not make a place a '10 Great Breakfast' spot!!

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