The restaurants serving the best breakfast in Miami do more than just serve food to the masses: they provide a public service. A very wise 1980s cereal jingle once said, “You can’t be your best, if you don’t eat a good breakfast.” And we couldn’t agree more. Still, more and more folks seem to be skipping the most important meal of the day in our busy times, opting instead for late-night drunk food in Miami, the best desserts in Miami or a quick in-and-out Miami coffee shop. Shame. They’re missing out on dozens of outstanding eats that want to help you properly jumpstart the day. From old-school diners and organic cafes to classic Cuban joints, meet the heroes serving the best breakfast in Miami.
Best breakfast in Miami
Not only is this place Brickell’s best bagel spot, but it’s also home to the best bagel sandwiches in all of Miami. The Little Havana Bagel (they're all named after different Miami neighborhoods) is the go-to for meat eaters. It’s topped with eggs, steak, onions and American cheese. For vegetarians, the Collins breakfast wrap is a must, stuffed with scrambled eggs, feta, and spinach. Just make sure you get there early on the weekends—lines for this place are intense and they do run out of bagels quickly (especially the whole wheat everything!). Fans of iced coffee will appreciate the frozen coffee ice cubes served with every cup.
The Daily is one of those spots where literally everything on the menu is fantastic. So you can take comfort in knowing whatever you order won’t disappoint. Hankering for a giant breakfast? Try the Me So Hungry: fried rice with cilantro and sriracha topped with sunny-side up eggs. The challah French toast is always a winner, as is the Elvis sandwich with peanut butter, banana and bacon. For the healthy, the Nutella power sandwich on multi-grain bread will leave you full far past your lunch break. Nutella is good for you, right?
The novelty of eating breakfast where that iconic Moonlight scene took place aside, Jimmy’s is one of the great breakfast experiences one can have in this city. The clientele hasn’t changed much in 40 years and the prices haven’t gone up much either. And please don’t come here looking for avocado toast with chia seeds. The menu is strictly eggs, sausage, frittatas and hotcakes, making it one of the most authentically old-school breakfasts in Miami.
Morning commutes up US-1 are right up there with property taxes and club promoters as the worst things about living in Miami. However, those commutes can be considerably more bearable with a piping hot bag of bagels in your passenger seat, conveniently available at this deli near the perpetually jammed intersection of SW 27th Ave. If you’ve got a little more time, relax in this classic deli setting and enjoy a Dr. Brown’s soda with your nova sandwich or corned beef hash—though, we wouldn’t recommend trying either while driving.
At this point, Acai bowls at 7-Eleven are probably imminent. Still, this spot at the base of Portofino does the food trend tastier than anyone in town. The Maui transplants who opened Lilikoi include a chef with Fat Duck pedigree, who’s serving up stuff like sous-vide eggs on quinoa flour waffles with coconut milk whipped cream and organic eggs on homemade whole wheat toast. They’ve also got juices pressed to order, and an innovative smoothie menu highlighted by a kale piña colada.
When you have visitors in town who want an experience they won’t get elsewhere, Enriqueta’s should be the first stop of the day. Their Cuban breakfast is essential Miami fare, and it’s hard to go wrong ordering a tostada, fruit and café con leche at any decent Cuban restaurant in the city. But the best is here, at this midtown sandwich shop, where dipping your freshly baked-and-buttered Cuban bread in coffee creates a flavor that is pure Magic City.
People who still call it “Dade County” and remember a time when the zoo was on Key Biscayne will tell you the best breakfast in Miami is at Wagon’s West. Fancy, it is not. But it’s got charm all over the place, from its wooden dining room to the waitresses that have seen their customers grow up and bring their children to the table. Ambiance aside, South Dade locals still flock here for the food, where omelettes and waffles are the stars of the show. It’s a true throwback spot that hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1981.
Sandwiched between Fooq’s and the Corner, this coffee shop has a stellar lineup of breakfast sandwiches. Java junkies will also love their extensive list of coffee options, featuring different origins and brewing methods. The French toast and Runny & Everything (fried egg, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli on an everything brioche bun) are must-order items.
Given Miami’s large population of New York transplants, the city has an upsettingly-small number of great bagel places. But many say the best in the city can be found here, at this deli-diner hybrid near Sans Souci. At Bagel Bar, Miami Shores lifers enjoy hand-rolled bagels and bialys next to MiMo transplants at the counter. It’s a delightfully odd cross-section of Miami you won’t find in most places. And if you’re not bagel-obsessed, the chocolate chip pancakes they serve on the weekend warrant a visit.
There may not be a breakfast spot in Miami that offers more for everyone than this Aventura staple. Not only does the menu boast savory stuff like short rib and sliced lox benedicts, but it also has options for those with a sweet tooth, like the cookie dough-stuffed French toast. Add in a quinoa porridge and Greek yogurt granola parfait for the healthy and you’ve got an easy choice for breakfast with a large group. Pro tip: Go early on the weekends to avoid a wait. People into this kind of decadence don’t wake up early.
The take-out market next to iconic Joe’s Stone Crab might be the best-kept secret (in terms of value) on the Beach. Though widely known for its fried chicken, the breakfast here is also one of the best deals around. You’ll get the same high-quality food as next door, but breakfast for two here with coffee and OJ is rarely over $30 with tip. The omelettes are the best pick, especially if you pack them with seafood, and the hash browns are just as delicious in the morning as they are next to hearty stone crab claws at night. (Note: the restaurant closes for the summer.)
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Grace M.
If staring at the cases of chocolate-covered heaven while you wait for your brunch table is just too painful, head there during the week for plain old breakfast. This gourmet bakery does eggs, omelettes and brioche French toast as well as anyone, but the real draw is the indulgent sweets in the display case. Try not to think too hard about the calories, and be sure to take plenty of pictures for ’gram.
Once in a while, you need to act like a tourist to remind yourself why you live here. Waking up on a glorious blue-sky morning and eating at News Café is a great way to do that. The people watching along Ocean Drive is some of the best entertainment in the city, and the food is not only good, it’s not tourist-trap overpriced (a miracle on Ocean Drive). The best bet is the continental breakfast, a giant basket of pastries with coffee and juice for $8.75—or roughly what a Diet Coke would cost you anywhere else on the street.
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Phillip Pessar