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Breakfast club: Where to get the best breakfasts in Spokane

The early bird gets breakfast.

Long touted as the most important meal of the day, breakfast – with, if you’re like many, coffee, plus a couple of refills – is a must. But it doesn’t have to be super fancy.

Some of the best breakfasts around town are unfussy. Look for quick and simple staples, such as biscuit or croissant sandwiches, classic bacon and eggs, over-stuffed omelets, pancakes and waffles with whipped cream.

And keep the coffee coming.

Here are some of the best places in and around Spokane to enjoy the first meal of the day.

Frank’s Diner

All aboard for breakfast; this classic American diner is in a vintage railway car. It’s been a Spokane landmark for nearly 40 years and gets pretty busy, especially on weekends. Sit at the counter and watch the line cooks make your eggs. Or, opt for a booth. Either way, it might feel a bit snug; the dining room is limited by the footprint of the train car. The breakfast menu, however, is expansive. There are 14 breakfast favorites, including Conductor’s Derailer with a Belgian waffle or French toast, bacon or sausage, hash browns or fruit, and two jumbo eggs. Look, also, for fried green tomatoes and eggs, corned beef hash with eggs, pepper steak and eggs, and a Hobo Scramble with sausage, cheddar and more. There are seven omelets and six kinds of eggs Benedict, plus hot cakes, waffles and French toast. Downtown: 1516 W. Second Ave. (509) 747-8798. North: 10929 N. Newport Highway. (509) 465-2464. franksdiners.com

The Satellite Diner and Lounge

This quintessential downtown diner closes for only three hours Monday through Friday and for four hours on weekends. Breakfast is served the rest of the time. The Satellite offers hearty breakfast grub at price points that won’t empty your wallet. Specialties include the Hot Mess with chopped bacon and sautéed mushrooms and onions on a bed of hash browns, all smothered in Hollandaise sauce and topped off with two eggs. Also look for assorted scrambles, omelets, breakfast burritos, eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, and more. 425 W. Sprague Ave. (509) 624-3952. satellitediner.com

Wall Street Diner

Breakfast is served all day at this vintage-looking, Spanish-style stucco eatery, a favorite North Hill neighborhood spot since 1949. Walls are wood-lined and decorated with black-and-white photos and antique plates. Service is fast and friendly, and there are plenty of breakfast items: chicken-fried steak and eggs, French toast, oatmeal, pancakes, eggs Benedict and the Wall Street Breakfast with three eggs, hash browns and a choice of bacon or sausage links or patties and toast, muffin or buttermilk biscuit. There’s an assortment of scrambles and omelets, such as the California with avocado, spinach, tomato, onion, green pepper and Jack cheese. There’s a kids’ menu with a two-egg omelet, chocolate-chip pancake, silver dollar pancakes and more. 4428 N. Wall St. (509) 325-4730.

Skyway Cafe at Felts Field

If you have kids, there’s no better breakfast in Spokane than the Skyway Cafe. Breakfast is served all day at this unfussy eatery, where patrons get prime views of Felts Field’s runway. When they’re not eating, kids are captivated by the search for the next incoming plane. Meals include generous portions, and the cinnamon rolls are house-made, huge, gooey and mouth-watering. 6105 E. Rutter Ave. (509) 534-5986. skywaycafe.com

Cottage Café

Traditional, home-style breakfasts with generous portions keep customers coming back to this popular eatery, known for its country gravy, specialty breakfast potatoes and ample cinnamon rolls. There’s a signature scramble, too, along with three kinds of eggs Benedict, a couple of breakfast sandwiches, and combo plates with waffles, pancakes and French toast. Look, also, for chicken fried steak and eggs, and eight omelets. Or, create your own. Beams on the ceiling add to the warm and inviting country cottage feel. Expect a wait on weekends. 6902 E. Appleway Blvd. in Spokane Valley. (509) 928-8888.

The Chalet

This unfussy, family-friendly South Hill staple loosely resembles an alpine lodge and offers eight kinds of omelets, plus three kinds of eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, breakfast combinations with pancakes, waffles or French toast, and more. It’s old-school; servers write down your order with black Sharpies. 2918 S. Grand Blvd. (509) 747-6474.

South Hill Grill

Its exterior is reminiscent of an old-fashioned country general store, but the place has a contemporary vibe. Stuffed French toast – with honey cream cheese and berry sauce, bacon, two eggs and roasted potatoes – is big enough to split. Look, also, for sweet cream pancakes, blueberry pancakes, a Belgian waffle, honey-cream waffle and chicken-and-waffle. There’s country-fried steak, too – and corned beef hash, a Mediterranean Benedict and an array of omelets, including the Seattle with smoked gouda, prosciutto, tomatoes and pesto. A roll-top door opens onto a sun-filled patio with wrought-iron tables and chairs, strings of Edison bulbs, umbrellas, baskets full of blooms, and potted plants on a wooden wall along with a water feature. It’s set far back enough from the road that you forget about the traffic on 29th Avenue, a main east-west thoroughfare on Spokane’s South Hill. A steady stream of contemporary country music in the background also helps drown out the traffic. 2808 E. 29th Ave. (509) 536-4745. southhillgrill.com

Dolly’s Cafe

This cozy North Side spot specializes in breakfast, and sometimes there’s a line out the door. The small eatery features intimate upholstered booths as well as counter seating. There’s a variety of omelets as well as assorted pancakes, a couple of kinds of eggs Benedicts and scrambles, steak and eggs, country fried steak and eggs, or a Belgian waffle. The Dorothy’s Special includes an egg and choice of bacon or sausage and pancake, French toast or waffle. One of the best omelets – it comes with avocado and feta – isn’t on the menu, so be sure to ask about it. Note: There really was a Dolly. Dolly Mueller opened her neighborhood eatery in 1958. About four years later, she was struck by a vehicle driven by a drunken driver in front of her business. The cafe has changed hands several times since her death, but all of the subsequent owners have kept her name. 1825 N. Washington St. (509) 326-0386. facebook.com/dollyscafe

Knight’s Diner

Knight’s 1906 Pullman car has been home to a diner since 1949, though at different locations. Since the early 1990s, it’s been serving hearty breakfasts with super-friendly staff on Market Street, just south of Hillyard. It’s not ideal for young children or for large groups who want to carry on a conversation since there’s only counter seating. But for parties of one or two, the scenery of the historic rail car, friendly servers and perfectly crafted hash browns make Knight’s a classic Spokane breakfast hangout. 2909 N. Market St. (509) 454-0015. knightsdiner.com

Madeleine’s Cafe and Patisserie

Crepes are a favorite at this downtown French-inspired eatery. They feature a blend of ricotta, lemon zest and cream cheese as well as seasonal fruit and vanilla whipped cream. Look, also, for that French classic: Croque Madam with ham, Gruyere, bechamel, herbes de Provence and a fried egg served on or in two slices of white bread. The menu also includes corned beef hash, cinnamon swirl French toast, biscuits and gravy, a couple of omelets and a classic two-egg breakfast with pepper-and-maple-cured bacon or maple sausage and toast. There’s espresso, too – and a wide variety of pastries and cookies. 415 W. Main Ave. (509) 624-2253.

Maple Street Bistro

This cozy neighborhood cafe offers quiche, pastries and breakfast sandwiches at reasonable price points. Try the egg-and-cheese sandwich or breakfast wrap with ham, bacon, egg, tomato, cheddar, pepper jack and potato hash. The club comes with egg, ham, bacon, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, cream cheese and honey-mustard dressing on a bagel or English muffin. Other items include steel-cut oats, fruit and yogurt, smoothies and an assortment of baked goods, including cinnamon rolls, all made from scratch in-house. Entrees are served with a side of the signature baked applesauce. There are espresso drinks, too. Order at the counter, then take a seat; your food will be brought to you. In warm weather, opt for the patio where shrubs protect guests from the whir of traffic on Maple Street, the north-south thoroughfare from which the cafe takes its name. 5520 N. Maple St. (509) 443-3129. maplestreetbistro.com

The Farmer’s Daughter

This food truck specializes in scratch-made breakfasts with locally sourced ingredients. Proprietor Jillian “Jill” Gay named the business for herself and her dad. She’s the farmer’s daughter; he’s the farmer. Dad raises chicken and pigs so most menu items feature eggs or some kind of salty pork. Gay makes the whole-wheat sourdough English muffins for her signature breakfast sandwich with a fried egg from Dad’s farm, local cheese, garlic aioli and bacon, ham or breakfast sausage. Check the schedule on Facebook at www.facebook.com/farm2truck. The menu is at farmersdaughterfood.com.

Sante Restaurant and Charcuterie

This elegant downtown restaurant serves locally sourced and often organic Pacific Northwest cuisine for lunch and dinner. But don’t overlook the upscale eatery for breakfast. Sante adheres to strict scratch-made and whole-animal butchery practices. Consider the shirred eggs, baked in a small skillet with pancetta, kale and onion. The Tour de Sante includes maple sage sausage, French toast, syrups and eggs. There are a couple of omelets, too – as well as eggs Benedict and a ragu hash with potato, mushrooms, an egg and baguette slices. 404 W. Main Ave. (509) 315-4613. santespokane.com

Ferguson’s Cafe

Opened in 1941, this gem of a neighborhood spot in Spokane’s Garland District has been featured in three films: 1981’s “Why Would I Lie?” and 1985’s “Vision Quest” along with 1993’s “Benny & Joon.” The diner is done in yellow, cream and pale green with black accents. Expect friendly and attentive customer service along with hearty breakfast items that won’t break the bank. 804 W. Garland Ave. (509) 328-1950.

Hogan’s Diner

Don’t be put off by its strip-mall exterior; it’s super cute inside this 1950s-themed diner with deep-red booths anchored by individual coat racks and accented by pale yellow and green. There’s a lunch counter, too, so you can watch the line cooks. The breakfast menu offers plenty to choose from. Portions are ample. Service is fast and friendly. 2977 E. 29th Ave. (509) 535-7567.

Kalico Kitchen

This cozy and casual Gonzaga University-themed breakfast and lunch spot is big on the Bulldogs and breakfast. Most of the menu is devoted to omelets, Benedicts and combo plates. The Belgian Benedict features eggs and Hollandaise sauce on a waffle with ham. The $15.99 Kalico Kreation omelet includes six eggs. And, if you dare, try the $25.99 Kamikaze Kreation: a nine-egg omelet with four cheeses, veggies and double meat – ham, bacon, sausage and smoked sausage – plus a waffle, toast and 1 pound of hash browns. Consume it all in 30 minutes or fewer and win a T-shirt and get your name on the wall of fame by the restrooms. Regular fans of the place can just sign their names in the foyer. You don’t have to be Zags’ fan to eat here, but it makes it even more fun. 2931 N. Division St. (509) 326-7144. kalicokitchen.net

Le Peep

This popular franchise was founded in Aspen, Colorado, more than 40 years ago. Today, it has restaurants in 14 states, including Idaho. (There’s another location in Meridian.) The CdA eatery offers views of the Spokane River along with freshly squeezed orange juice pancakes, crepes, combos, Benedicts, omelets and skillet breakfasts. 1884 W. Bellerive Lane, Suite 101, Coeur d’Alene. (208) 664-0404. lepeep.com

Clark’s Fork

Price points cater to the student and budget-conscious sets, and breakfast is served all day at this contemporary, new University District eatery. It was opened by the founders of the original Clark’s Fork in Bozeman, who plan more locations in the region. Order at the counter and take a number; dining here is fast and casual. The atmosphere is modern, light, bright and airy – with concrete flooring, exposed duct work and green metal stools and chairs. Quotes from the Lewis and Clark Expedition pepper the place. Pastries – cinnamon rolls, apple or nut rolls, chocolate croissants – are generously sized. Look, also, for bacon flapjacks, biscuits and gravy, a variety of wraps, and the Bulldog Bowl with potatoes, eggs, cheese, sausage gravy, peppers, onions and toast. Add berries to the Big John’s Cinnamon Roll French toast for a dollar. And try the huckleberry syrup. 1028 N. Hamilton St. (509) 960-8962. ClarksFork.com

Post Street Ale House

It’s not just for beers – although there are more than two dozen on tap at this downtown establishment, where guests can create their own two-egg omelets. Or, opt for a breakfast sandwich on a croissant with cheddar, egg and ham or sausage. There’s a breakfast burrito, too, in a flour tortilla with bacon, sausage, chorizo and more. One of the more novel items: breakfast nachos with cheddar, bacon, chorizo, black olives, tomatoes, cheese sauce, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and more. 1 N. Post St. (509) 789-6900. www.davenporthotelcollection.com/our-hotels/the-davenport-lusso/dining

For best brunches in the Spokane area, click here.

For the new Spokane Eating Guide, visit spokesman.com/eating-guide.

Jonathan Brunt contributed to this report.

Missed a spot? Please let us know by posting a comment on the story online. Or, Food editor Adriana Janovich can be reached at adrianaj@spokesman.com or 999 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane, WA 99201.