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The family is in town for the holidays, and you have taken time off to savor the spirit of the season with loved ones. The kids are running around, laughing hysterically with their cousins, which is fabulous, but there are also constant snack requests, in addition to the meals you’re making to impress the in-laws. Your idea of spending time with loved ones beside the firelight is slipping away, and you’re starting to feel like a short-order cook. “Order’s up, Timmy!”

Nip this situation in the bud! It’s OK to roll up your sleeves and go all out creating a beautiful family dinner or a fun taco bar lunch, but do yourself a favor and preserve your sanity by taking something off your plate. Tell the troops to meet at one of these fantastic Birmingham breakfast places, but you better get there early, because these hot spots enjoy a loyal fan base!

7 Breakfast Places in Birmingham

Crestline Bagel

66-B Church St., Mountain Brook and 5230, 4117 Crosshaven Dr, Vestavia Hills • (205) 871-4583

One has only to witness the line down the sidewalk to know that this American craft bakery is a local favorite. Crestline Bagel bakes more than 350,000 bagels a year and more than 20,000 loaves of bread, and that’s not counting their cupcakes, cookies, granola or dog biscuits. They even regularly ship bagels to New York City. So you know if these bagels are good enough for the Big Apple’s bagel aficionados, they are the real deal! “Our motto is ‘Authenticity Reinvented,’ which I believe says a lot about what we do and how we do it,” says owner Jennifer Yarbrough. “We adhere to traditional, Old World baking techniques, but keep our products fresh and creative. This is an easy thing to do when you have an amazingly talented group of bakers and employees.” After eight years of owning Crestline Bagel, Jennifer’s favorite part of their popular eatery is the countless customers who have become friends. “My husband jokingly refers to us as the ‘Cheers!’ of breakfast places,” says Jennifer.

Best Breakfast Dish:

The eggwich, a breakfast egg sandwich on the bagel of your choice

Oft-overlooked yet fantastic dish:

“Our hand-rolled biscuits,” says Jennifer. “They are amazing.”

bagels at Crestline Bagels

The diverse bagel offerings at Crestline Bagel

best breakfast Crestline Bagel

Housemade cream cheese flavors, breads and granolas, as well as the eggwich and pizza bagel, a kid fave, at Crestline Bagel

Nova lox on everything bagel

Nova lox on an everything bagel with cream cheese, tomato, red onion and capers — YUM!

Big Bad Breakfast

5361 U.S. Hwy. 280, Birmingham • (205) 490-7568

Founded by James Beard Award winner John Currence in Oxford, MS, this outpost was brought to life by James Claborn, the Birmingham operating partner who wanted to bring the Southern breakfast powerhouse to the Magic City. “We have a total dedication to authentic food,” says James. “We cure our meats — our Big Bad Bacon, patty sausage, chicken sausage and andouille — at our processing plant in north Alabama. Everything else is made in-house daily.” And this commitment to excellence has won them a fiercely loyal clientele and a waitstaff that is constantly acknowledged on social media for their fantastic service and bright personalities. “Kaylyn Ray, our bartender and shift leader, is becoming the breakfast cult princess of Birmingham,” says James, who can’t quite pinpoint what he loves most about Big Bad Breakfast. “I love the way it feels — cool staff, cool music, cool customers, octane coffee, fabulous custom cocktails and excellent food.” And be on the lookout for Big Bad Breakfast’s new location downtown near Pepper Place!

Best Breakfast Dish:

The Big Bad Breakfast plate, “a solid sampling of all things breakfast,” according to James. It includes eggs, a choice of BBB breakfast meats, locally sourced McEwen & Sons grits or the new potato hash with fresh herbs, and a great big biscuit with housemade jelly.

Oft-overlooked yet fantastic dish:

“Lunch items,” says James. “We make a fabulous burger, a very unique take on shrimp and grits with fried eggs and red-eye gravy, fried chicken and great sandwiches.”

Big Bad Breakfast on Highway 280 in Birmingham

Big Bad Breakfast on Highway 280 in Birmingham

The "Yard Work" skillet breakfast with two scrambled eggs, six veggies, hash, herbs, goat cheese and Swiss cheese at Big Bad Breakfast

The Yard Work skillet breakfast with two scrambled eggs, six veggies, hash, herbs, goat cheese and Swiss cheese at Big Bad Breakfast

Eggs Benedict with country ham and hollandaise

Eggs Benedict with country ham and hollandaise on a biscuit with marinated tomatoes on the side at Big Bad Breakfast

Crape Myrtle’s Cafe

2721 18th St. S., Homewood • (205) 879-7891

Open since 1993, this cafe is truly a hidden gem, that is, unless you are one of the devoted Crape Myrtle’s customers. Tucked into The Little Professor book store in Homewood, this humble eatery boasts an impressive brunch menu of everything from oatmeal brûlée or granola with yogurt and fruit to Eggs Benedict or a brunch burger with cheddar and pepper bacon. The space has large tables, as well as banquettes, tucked away for restorative moments of quiet. Add a side of the Birmingham News or The New York Times to your Sunday brunch table at market price, or grab a book from The Little Professor before you settle into the breakfast nook of your choice.

“We’re a comfortable place with good food where you can happily meet friends for conversation, or quietly escape from them for a while, and then hopefully, we can be that for you again sometime,” says Jim Muir who co-owns the cafe with Chop Nguyen. “Corny, but that’s it. My favorite part of this place is all of the really wonderful people who come in and eat.” And dogs are even welcome on Crape Myrtle’s patio, where you can also enjoy lunch and dinner with a glass of wine or beer seven days a week and until 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. It is sure to be your new favorite place to unwind.

Best Breakfast Dish:

A traditional breakfast with scrambled eggs, sweet potato gratin or white cheddar grits, choice of ham, pepper bacon or chicken apple sausage and biscuit or toast.

Oft-overlooked yet fantastic dish:

Smoked trout breakfast of cold Duck Trap River smoked trout with poached eggs, sour cream, capers, lemon, red onion, fresh tomatoes and toast with choice of sweet potato gratin or white cheddar grits.

Crape Myrtle's Cafe

Crape Myrtle’s Cafe and their Eggs Benedict plate with white cheddar grits

Duck Trap River smoked trout

Duck Trap River smoked trout with poached eggs, sour cream, capers, lemon, red onion, fresh tomatoes and toast with white cheddar grits at Crape Myrtle’s Cafe

Huevos rancheros breakfast

Huevos rancheros breakfast at Crape Myrtle’s Cafe in Homewood

Over Easy

5358 Hollywood Blvd., Mountain Brook • (205) 639-1910
2409 Acton Road, Vestavia • (205) 518-5722

With Over Easy’s clean, modern decor and fresh, down-home cooking, it is naturally a Mountain Brook Village hot spot every morning. On his way to see the Tide play Ole Miss, owner Steven Jackson stopped for a quick breakfast at the hopping Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford, MS and he had a revelation. “Since the Coffee Shoppe was closed, but that property was going to be renovated, I decided I was going to put a slick, cool breakfast spot in a place that people had flocked to for years of breakfast dining. A year later, we were open for business,” says Steven. And the rest is history. Steven says it is their fresh ingredients that set them apart, such as the blue-corn grits, which in his words, are “the best grits you have ever had,” and the fresh fruit bowls that are more than just melon. “My favorite thing about Over Easy has to be the cross-section of people who have come in over the years,” says Steven who also extols his long-time staff. “We have developed relationships with some pretty awesome people, and we really do view our staff and customers as family.” Make sure to visit Over Easy’s brand-spanking-new location on Acton Road in Vestavia Hills!

Best Breakfast Dish:

Traditional eggs and bacon, huevos rancheros, Italian eggs Benedict and oatmeal pancakes

Oft-overlooked yet fantastic dish:

“We have some of the best sandwiches around, and often people don’t even make it to the back of the menu,” says Steven. “I would put our chicken caprese sandwich up against any sandwich in town. It’s pretty awesome.”

The "Hash Baskets" breakfast at Over Easy

A decadent special at Over Easy

The hash brown basket at Over Easy

The hash brown basket at Over Easy

Egg-yolk yellow is the signature color at Over Easy!

Egg-yolk yellow is the signature color at Over Easy!

Over Easy t-shirts

Over Easy T-shirts

Iz Cafe

Iz Cafe Original, 2514 Rocky Ridge Road, Vestavia • (205) 979-7570
Iz Cafe English Village, 2037 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook • (205) 414-0081
Iz The Place, 3325 Rocky Ridge Plaza, Vestavia • (205) 979-7522

This popular cafe’s straightforward menu and centrally located neighborhood cafes, make it the perfect spot to meet with friends or colleagues or just drop by and grab something on the go. The items are all made fresh daily, with great specials and healthy options.

“It has been a lifelong dream of mine to open a restaurant,” says Iz Cafe chef and owner, Kay Reed. “It’s a dream that continues to evolve.” With three Iz Cafe locations serving fresh, seasonal fare, as well as Iz Catering service, Iz The Place event venue and Iz Good Stuff packaged popular Iz items, such as coffee, breads and granola, Iz has certainly evolved. What began as a humble neighborhood cafe has blossomed into a dynamic brand, and Kay attributes that growth to cultivating the cafes as neighborhood gathering places. “Being a part of these communities and getting to know our customers and their families is one of my favorite things,” says Kay. “Many of them have been customers for the last 15 years.”

Best Breakfast Dish:

The bacon, egg and cheese croissant filled with two eggs, omelette style, cheddar cheese and two slices of applewood smoked bacon, and the cappuccino chocolate chip muffin

Oft-overlooked yet fantastic dish:

The kick-start breakfast, which is oatmeal and berries topped with Greek yogurt and drizzled with honey and pecans

The pictuesque entrance to Iz Cafe, their counter and Iz Good Stuff's all-natural granola

The pictuesque entrance to Iz Cafe, their counter and Iz Good Stuff’s all-natural granola

Breakfast taco at Iz Cafe

Breakfast taco at Iz Cafe

Iz Cafe's homemade goods

Fresh baked breads, Bundt cakes, cheese crisps, homemade pickles and coffee by Iz Good Stuff, alongside other healthy selections and crackers perfect for pairing with Iz Cafe‘s pimiento cheese and chicken salad

Alabama Biscuit Co.

4133 White Oak Drive, Cahaba Heights • (205) 578-2553

Alabama Biscuit Co. takes a Southern classic — the calorie-laden, pillowy buttermilk biscuit — and not only elevates it with creative culinary twists, but also makes it guilt-free with their whole grain, organic ingredients. The Alabama Biscuit Co. biscuit is made with sprouted spelt flour, which is easier to digest, but one look at their mouthwatering menu of biscuit creations would make you forget your digestive concerns. The fried bologna biscuit with oven crisped mortadella, house whole-grain mustard and house-pickled veggies is out-of-this world, and the goat cheese, pecan and honey biscuit with roasted pecans, Belle Chèvre goat cheese and local honey drizzle is a perennial fave. The modern-industrial decor of this charming little biscuit house comes a close second to the food. With reclaimed wood paneling and tables, concrete countertops, cool framed, local prints and fantastic lights and chairs in their signature red, it’s a breakfast spot that will make you want to come back for more!

Best Breakfast Dish:

The creative daily specials, including the bis-cake with seasonal fruit, as well as the ham, egg and cheese or sausage, egg and cheese biscuit with smoked ham or Thompson Farms pork, local farm egg and grass-fed cheddar

Oft-overlooked yet fantastic dish:

“There really isn’t one. Everything on our small menu is consistently ordered,” says owner Jonathan Burch. “We like to keep it that way.”

The phenomenal croque madame at Alabama Biscuit Co.

The phenomenal croque madame at Alabama Biscuit Co.

The striking warm-industrial interiors at Alabama Biscuit Co.

The striking, warm-industrial interiors at Alabama Biscuit Co.

Alabama Biscuit Company offers gift boxes of their biscuit mix, local honey, almond and pecan butter, mugs and more.

Alabama Biscuit Co. offers gift boxes of their biscuit mix, local honey, almond and pecan butter, mugs and more.

So get your breakfast on in style at one of the fabulous Birmingham breakfast places!

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