Whether you need to find a way to feed hungry holiday houseguests or you’re just ready to get out of the house for a bit between Christmas and New Year’s, then few things do the trick like the perfect breakfast spot. From home cooked, all-American classics to elegant brunches, Virginia has a long list of restaurants and diners that serve up just what you’re looking for.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Millie's Diner, Richmond
As a Richmond landmark, Millie's weekend brunch usually comes with a line out the door. But once you're in, it's more than worth the wait. Try a "Mess" like the Cajun Mess, the Devil's Mess, the Veggie Mess or Castro's Mess - its a heap of scrambled eggs with piles of perfect toppings. And be sure to pair it with one of the Millie’s famous Bloody Marys – which can be ordered while you wait. Millie’s serves up their mouth watering brunch every Saturday and Sunday at 2603 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23223.
2. Bluegrass Grill and Bakery, Charlottesville
This all-American classic is a Charlottesville favorite with standard breakfast served alongside creative concoctions. Featuring specialty items like the Tugboat (poached eggs over lox on top of an English Muffin covered with a bacon hollandaise and served with a side of home fries) and “Pig Candy” (crystalized sugar-coated bacon), the Bluegrass Grill and Bakery is well-worth the trip. Be sure to check them out at 313 2nd St SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
3. Citrus, Virginia Beach
Since 2006, Citrus has been known for their bright atmosphere and superior freshness. Featuring locally sourced ingredients and exciting regional dishes, Citrus has been recognized nationally by Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” where their signature Citrus pancakes topped with fresh oranges and pineapples and an orange glaze “citrus gravy” was declared a must-try. Be sure to check them out at their new location at 357 North Great Neck Rd., Virginia Beach, VA 23454, as well as the original spot at 2265 West Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
4. Gillie’s, Blacksburg
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate the incredible breakfast served up at Gillie’s in Blacksburg. And once you’ve tried it, you’ll see why this little College Street hotspot is consistently voted one of the best breakfasts in the ‘Burg. From standard breakfast items (minus the meat) to specials like the Spanish Fritatta, an open-faced omelet with artichokes, black olives, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, feta, and cheddar cheese drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette, Gillie’s has something to make even the pickiest palate happy. Visit them at 153 College Ave., Blacksburg, VA 24060.
5. Little Grill Collective, Harrisonburg
As one of the most popular breakfast spots in Harrisonburg, The Little Grill comes with a backstory as good as the breakfast they serve. This modest little restaurant has been around since the ‘40s but became a collective in 2003. It is now worker-owned and closes on Mondays when it offers a free lunch to the underserved in the community. With options like locally sourced cornmeal pancakes with ginger peach compote and whipped cream, The Little Grill Collecive serves good food that that you can feel good about. Try them out for yourself at 621 N. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802.
6. Bazin’s on Church, Vienna
Listed as the #1 spot on the Gayot’s Top 15 Brunch Spots in the Washington D.C. Suburbs, Bazin’s on Church does not disappoint. From their specialty brunch cocktails like the Dirty Mary with Blue Cheese Olives to their Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict featuring smoked salmon on toasted brioche with hash browns and hollandaise, the food is as delightful as the upscale atmosphere. If you’re looking to impress a breakfast guest, Bazin’s on Church is the place to do it. Visit them at 111 Church St NW, Vienna, VA 22180.
7. Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm, Broadlands / Ashburn
Located in an old converted barn, Clyde’s delivers ambiance as delicious as their brunch. Known for their delicious meals throughout the day, Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm is an offshoot of the famous Clyde’s Restaurant chain – which means you know the food will be nothing short of superior. Try the spinach Florentine, served with bagels and 2 poached eggs alongside rustic roast potatoes – you won’t be sorry you did. Clyde’s only serves brunch on Sundays, so you may want a reservation. Call ahead at 571-209-1200 or simply stop by 42920 Broadlands Blvd, Broadlands, VA 20148.
8. Dixie Restaurant, Petersburg
As the name implies, Dixie Restaurant serves up good old fashioned Southern classics. Although scrapple, a combination of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour and spices to form a loaf, may not be something that sounds good to everyone, at Dixie’s, it’s a hit time and again. And of course, you can never go wrong with their classics like pancakes, eggs and bacon. Don’t miss out on this historic Southern classic at 250 N Sycamore St., Petersburg, VA 23803.
9. De Clieu Coffee and Sandwich, Fairfax
Repeatedly ranked as one of the best coffee shops in Fairfax, De Clieu Coffee and Sandwich can’t be overlooked when it comes to a great breakfast. Pair fresh fair trade coffees and lattes with house baked pastries, breakfast sandwiches, quiches and other specialty items. For a sure-fire win, be sure to try the honey bread with cream. De Clieu can be found at 10389 Main St., Suite B, Fairfax, VA 22030.
10. Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles, Roanoke
What makes Thelma’s so amazing is not just the fact that they serve up authentic, true-to-form soul food, or that they make some of the best waffles around, rather it’s the friendly staff who make you feel like family as soon as you walk in the door. Of course, mouthwatering chicken, golden brown waffles and classic breakfast menu items like omelets and home fries don’t hurt either. To try Thelma’s for yourself, stop by 315 Market St., Roanoke, VA 24012.
11. Country Café, Culpeper
If you’re looking for a good ol’ fashioned breakfast, Country Café is the place to find it. As a local favorite, Country Café serves up classics like Southern biscuits and gravy, Western omelets and some of the best pancakes in town. Known for its friendly staff, great service and cozy, retro ambiance, Country Café is one you won’t to miss. Visit them at 1359 Orange Rd, Culpeper, VA 22701.
12. Apple Valley Café, Winchester
The Apple Valley Café doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles that other places might. But don’t let its simple appearance fool you. For a delicious breakfast full of homecooked goodness, the Apple Valley Café is a local Winchester favorite. Try a breakfast “mess” with a fresh cup of coffee and some buttery toast for a breakfast that will satisfy every time. You can find them at 674 N Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601.
13. Heart Line Restaurant, Danville
Considered the best breakfast in Danville by some, the Heart Line provides an authentic diner experience – complete with delicious all-American breakfasts cooked in front of you while you wait. Go for a plate of bacon, eggs and hash browns with a side of biscuits and gravy…you won’t be disappointed. You can find Heart Line at 1817 Riverside Dr., Danville, VA 24540.
14. Fishers Restaurant, Bedford
From 1955 until 1995, Fishers was a staple in Bedford. Known as a favorite local hangout for factory workers between shifts, Fishers closed in 1995, but was reopened in October 2014 by the original owner’s granddaughter. Today, Fishers has come back with the same favorites that they were known for 20 years ago. Try some of their golden brown french toast and you’ll see why it gets nothing but rave reviews. Stop by Fishers at 503 4th St., Bedford, VA 24523.
15. The Thunderbird Cafe, McGaheysville
Known for its funky atmosphere, The Thunderbird Cafe combines old-fashioned diner vibes and urban flair with down-home Southern cooking. Featuring breakfast favorites like The Sticky Pig (french toast stuffed with pulled pork, topped with siracha and real maple syrup, then served with a side of fried potatoes or grits) and breakfast tacos like the Butterscotch Pancake Taco, The Thunderbird is worth the visit. Stop by for a new perspective on old breakfast classics at 42 Island Ford Rd, McGaheysville, VA 22840.
16. Frost Diner, Warrenton
Like their authentic swivel stools and formica lunch counter, Frost Diner has been a Warrenton staple since 1955. Offering everything from T-bone steaks and eggs to an all-cereal entree, Frost keeps the old-fashioned diner experience alive with friendly waiters, reasonable prices and an all-around amazing menu. Be sure to try Frost for yourself at 55 Broadview Avenue in Warrenton.
17. Pop's Diner Co., Virginia Beach & Chesapeake
Voted Best Breakfast in Virginia Beach continuously since 2009, Pop's earns its reputation with hearty breakfast fare and specialties like The Hangover Cure - chopped country fried steak smothered with sausage gravy and grilled onions. Locally owned and operated, Pop's also offers an all-day menu full of comfort food classics. Visit them at 2808 Sabre St. in Virginia Beach near the Lynnhaven Mall or in Chesapeake at 1432 Greenbrier Parkway.
Of course, breakfast, like all foods, is subjective. So if you didn’t find your favorite breakfast spot on this list, then we would love to have you add to the list in the comments below!