18 Essential Breakfast Diners To Try In Tucson

Last modified on January 11th, 2016 at 9:47 am

Signage at Frank's (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

They typically don’t serve dinner.

For a foodie, every meal is the most important meal of the day. However, we’ve all had mornings when nothing sounds more satisfying than a giant, greasy spoon breakfast.

For some, it’s buttery pancakes bigger than the plate, while for others it’s classic omelets and home fries. Either way, there should be bacon, sausage links, and a stack of toast involved.

If you believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, check out these 18 breakfast diners. Just be sure to pace yourself.

Baja Cafe

7002 East Broadway Blvd.
Oreo Pancakes at Baja Cafe

Oreo Pancakes at Baja Cafe (Credit: Baja Cafe)

If you’re looking for an out of the box diner experience, Baja Cafe will surely satisfy your cravings. You may face difficulty deciding between the classic buttermilk pancake flavors, fruity french toast options, and the wide range of benedicts.

Menu highlights include:

  • Stuffed Mixed Berry Pie French Toast – Two Pieces of house-made cinnamon bread, stuffed with a cinnamon mascarpone cheese and grilled in French toast batter. Topped with mixed berries, cinnamon streusel, and vanilla bean glaze.
  • The Coyote – Toasted English muffin topped with hatch green chilies, jalapeño bacon (yes, that’s right), 2 poached eggs, and house-made chipotle hollandaise sauce.
  • The Wildcat Papusa – Locally-made habanero smoked chicken sausage and cheese stuffed in a papusa and flat grilled. Topped with caramelized onions, bell peppers, poached eggs, tomatillo sauce, Pico de Gallo and queso fresco.

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10118″]
If you can resist temptation and opt for a healthy option, Baja Cafe has you covered with menu items like the Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes and Habanero Chicken Sausage Breakfast Tacos.

For more information, visit bajacafetucson.com.

Biscuits Country Cafe 

7026 East Broadway Blvd.
Blueberry Pancakes at Biscuits Country Cafe

Blueberry Pancakes at Biscuits Country Cafe (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

If you’re feeling patriotic and want to celebrate America with classic breakfast food, Biscuits may be your spot. Their slogan, “At Biscuits, no one leaves hungry”, also serves as a portion-size warning.

Menu highlights include:

  • Sedona Scramble – Ham, sausage, onions, green peppers and cheddar cheese
  • Cow Poke Omelet –  Onions and cheddar cheese topped with homemade chili with beans
  • Southern Belle – Open-faced biscuits topped with chicken fried steak, scrambled egg, swiss cheese and home fries smothered in gravy

For more information, visit biscuitscountrycafe.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bobo’s Restaurant

2938 East Grant Rd.
Bobos Restaurant

Facade at Bobo’s Restaurant on Grant  (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Famous for their giant griddle pancakes with crispy, caramelized edges, Bobo’s is a favorite for Tucson locals, snowbirds, and hungover students. Despite mounting popularity, Bobo’s has maintained diner-dive prices along with a line out the door every morning to prove it. Menu highlights include:

  • Banana Pancake
  • Apple Cinnamon Pancake
  • Chicken Fried Steak – Served with eggs, toast, and home fries

For more information, visit bobostucson.com

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10335″ info_text=”ADVERTISEMENT” info_text_position=”above” font_color=”#757575″ font_size=”10″ padding=”14″]

Bread & Butter Cafe

4231 East 22nd St. • 9431 East 22nd St.
Eggs, Bacon, Toast and Hasbrowns at Bread and Butter Cafe

Eggs, Bacon, Toast and Hashbrowns at Bread and Butter Cafe (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

The Bread & Butter Cafe prides itself on three things: being family-owned, providing top-notch customer service, and homemade pies. They’ve been upholding these standards since 1992. Each day, you’ll find 10 to 15 flavors of freshly baked pies, with additional options available if you order 24 hours in advance. And yes, the pies really are that good. Not pictured above – a slice of Coconut Cream. Menu highlights include:

  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  • Chorizo Breakfast Burrito
  • Prickly Pear Meringue Pie

For more information, visit breadandbuttercafetucson.com.

Brawleys

7848 East Wrightstown Rd.
Brawley's

Facade at Brawleys Restaurant (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

With a Create-Your-Own-Breakfast special that includes four items for only $4.95, Brawleys is sure to fit your budget. If you’re an early-riser, the diner will also fit your schedule, opening at 5am every day.

  • Brawley’s Benedict – Ham, English muffin, two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce
  • Hot Apple Cakes
  • Diced Green Chili and Swiss Cheese Omelet

For more information, visit brawleysrestaurant.com.

Gus Balon’s 

6027 East 22nd St.
Gus Balon's

Signage at Gus Balon’s (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

A Tucson staple since the ’60s, this family-owned spot offers more than your standard breakfast food. If you’re in the mood for freshly baked bread, home-made pies and huge cinnamon rolls, smothered in icing and made from scratch, get yourself to Gus Balon’s. Menu highlights include:

  • Homemade (Giant) Cinnamon Roll
  • French Toast
  • Ham Steak

Note: Gus Balon’s is closed July 9 – August 6 for Summer vacation. For more information, visit Gus Balon’s on Facebook.

Frank’s/Francisco’s

3843 East Pima St.
Signage at Frank's (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Signage at Frank’s (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Once voted best Huevos Rancheros in Tucson, Frank’s is always reliable for a Sonoran spin on your typical diner cuisine. In terms of ambience, the term “greasy spoon” is not totally off the mark, but consider yourself warned. The sign out front does say “Elegant Dining Elsewhere.” Menu highlights include:

  • Huevos Rancheros – Two eggs, salsa, and cheese served over house-made beans on a corn or flour tortilla, served with home fries or hash browns
  • Chorizo – Three eggs scrambled with chorizo and potatoes, served with home fries or hash browns and a flour tortilla.
  • Biscuit Sandwich – Sausage, bacon or ham with two eggs and cheese, served on a biscuit with home fries or hash browns

For more information, visit franksrestaurant.com.

Jerry Bob’s

See link below for full list of locations
Jerry Bob's on Broadway

Facade at Jerry Bob’s on Broadway (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

If you find yourself looking to fill up on a lot of food for a low price, Jerry Bob’s likely has a location close by. And, believe it or not, this is a locally owned and operated business. Menu highlights include:

  • Two Eggs, Hashbrowns and Toast (for $1.99)
  • Waffle with Strawberries and Cream
  • Two Eggs, Tamale, Beans, Tortilla

For more information, visit jerrybobsaz.com.

KG’s Westside Cafe

1951 West Grant Rd.
KG's Westside Cafe

Main Dining Room at KG’s Westside (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Located in a nondescript strip mall on Grant, KG’s is a go-to spot for the many people that work close-by. Menu highlights include:

  • The Eye Opener – French toast, two eggs, two pieces of bacon and two sausage links
  • Chorizo & Eggs Plate – Served with potatoes or beans and a tortilla
  • Country Fried Steak Plate – Two eggs, hashbrowns or pancakes and toast

For more information, visit KG’s Westside Cafe on Yelp.

Jethro’s

8735 East Broadway Blvd.
Jethro's Cafe

Facade at Jethro’s Cafe (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Jethro’s portions could qualify it as a brunch destination, considering your breakfast will likely hold you over well past lunch time. Menu highlights include:

  • Hilly Billy Pancake – Shredded potatoes, ham, onions and green chile. Served with two eggs, toast and bacon or sausage
  • Two Eggs, Boneless Porkchop, Jethro Potatoes and Toast
  • Chicken Fried Chicken

For more information, visit Jethro’s Cafe on Facebook.

Mother Hubbard’s Cafe

14 West Grant Rd.
Mesquite Waffle with Agave Jicama Creme Fraiche at Mother Hubbard's

Mother Hubbard’s Mesquite Waffle with Agave Jicama Creme Fraiche

Since being taken over by new ownership in 2010, Mother Hubbard’s has reinvented their menu to feature Native American-inspired comfort cuisine. The mostly gluten-free menu features plenty of unique breakfast options, perfect to pair with locally-sourced Cafe Aqui coffee. Men’s Health even named Mother Hubbard’s one of the top 12 diners in the U.S. in their 2015 roundup. Menu highlights include:

  • Green Corn Waffle – Served with green chili salsa, eggs and your choice of meat
  • Huevos Elysia – Two eggs on a house-made, gluten-free cheese gordina, served with beans, pico de gallo, chorizo, Hollandaise sauce and cheese
  • Texico – Two versions of Huevos Rancheros, egg on blue corn tortilla with green chile, and egg on yellow corn tortilla with red chile, both topped with beans, salsa and cheese
  • Buckwheat Coconut Pancakes

For more information, visit motherhubbardscafe.com.

Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant

 5451 East Benson Highway
Omar's Hi Way Chef Restaurant

Facade at Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Located inside the Tucson Truck Terminal (the Triple T), Omar’s serves up classic truck stop fare and 24-hour breakfast. Since Chef Omar took over in 1996, it has become an icon for many I-10 truckers and travelers, and was featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel. Menu highlights include:

  • I-10 Belly Buster – 3 eggs any style, 2 strips of bacon, 2 sausage patties, 2 pancakes and grilled ham
  • Omar‘s Favorite – 3 cheese enchiladas, shredded beef, 3 eggs any style and cheddar cheese
  • Deep Dish Hot Apple Pie

For more information, visit omarshiwaychef.com.

Pappy’s Diner

1300 West Prince Rd.
Pappy's Diner

Biscuits and Gravy Pappy’s Diner (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

With the slogan “a legendary non-gourmet neighborhood restaurant”, you know you’re in for a treat. Pappy’s portions are legendary as well. Don’t be fooled by the pancakes, in particular. Your “Baby Stack” will come served on a large pizza tray. In the words of owner Peter Lembessis, “We don’t do small.” Menu highlights include:

  • Breakfast Gyros – Pita bread filled with two scrambled eggs, cheeses, cucumber sauce, gyro meat, onions and tomatoes
  • Biscuits and Gravy (Voted Best of Tucson) – A plate of large, buttery biscuits smothered in peppery sausage gravy
  • Sloppy Pappy’s – Scrambled eggs mixed with home fries, your choice of meat, bell peppers, onions, cheeses, and gravy

For more information, visit pappysdiner.com

Poco & Mom’s

1060 South Kolb Rd. • 7000 E. Tanque Verde Rd
Poco & Mom's

Facade at Poco & Mom’s (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Poco & Mom’s has been Tucson’s New Mexican breakfast eatery for over fourteen years. Their red and green chiles are straight from Hatch, New Mexico and incorporated into a good portion of their menu items. If you’re in a hurry but still need your Green Chile Breakfast Burrito fix, there’s always the drive-thru. Menu highlights include:

  • Chorizo or Machaca Breakfast Quesadilla – Scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese in a grilled flour tortilla. Served with homemade refried beans.
  • Santa Fe Breakfast – A lightly fried blue corn tortilla topped with red or green chile sauce, cheddar and jack cheeses, and two eggs. Served with hash browns, and homemade refried beans
  • Chile Relleno Breakfast Burrito – Chile relleno, eggs, cheese, enchilada style with homemade refried beans

For more information, visit pocoandmoms.com.

Robert’s Restaurant

3301 East Grant Rd.
Robert's Restaurant

Facade at Robert’s Restaurant (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Open Mondays through Saturdays at 6am, Robert’s has been serving their “made from scratch” food since 1978. Just like at the Balon family’s other Tucson diner staple, Gus Balon’s, the pies and breads are made every day in-house and the cinnamon rolls are larger than life. Robert’s is owned and operated by Gus and Kay’s grandson, Boyd. Menu highlights include:

  • Homemade (Giant) Cinnamon Roll – Request it cut in half and grilled
  • Homemade Corned Beef Hash with Two Eggs
  • “Country” Breakfast – Two eggs, American fried potatoes with diced bacon, sauteed onions, melted Monterey jack and cheddar cheese, homemade toast and jelly

Note: Robert’s is closed July 9 – August 6 for Summer vacation. For more information, visit robertstucson.com.

Sunny Daze

4980 South Campbell Ave.
Bar seating at Sunny Daze Cafe

Bar seating at Sunny Daze Cafe

Sunny Daze prides itself on bringing “the beach to the desert” with a California-inspired menu of breakfast dishes, burgers and Tex-Mex dishes. Regulars recommend the Huevos Rancheros and Sunny Puffs (deep-fried dough with powdered sugar). Menu highlights include:

  • Flamingo Patty with Eggs – Classic hamburger mixed with diced onions, order with your choice of sides
  • Country Biscuit Bowl – Homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with country gravy or sausage gravy and three scrambled eggs mixed with bacon, onion, tomato, bell pepper and melted cheese
  • Cajun Sausage and Eggs

For more information, visit sunnydazecafe.com.

The Hungry Fox

4637 East Broadway Blvd.

 

The Hungry Fox

The Hungry Fox (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

The Hungry Fox has been serving country-style breakfast food in Tucson for over 50 years. If you notice that your eggs are exceptionally good, it’s because the chefs double the yolks in every order. After you eat your fill of hot skillets, potato pancakes, and cinnamon rolls, check out the gift shop. Menu highlights include:

  • Sonoran Hot Skillet – Chorizo, roasted green chiles, cheeses and hash browns
  • Cowboy Omelette – Covered in homemade chili, cheddar, cheese and onions
  • Country Benedict – Chicken Fried Steak with omelet-style eggs on a biscuit, topped with country gravy and served with hashbrowns

For more information, visit thehungryfox.com.

Theresa is a copywriter, food explorer and pursuer of all things creative. Find her at theresadelaney.com.
  • Michael L Freeman

    Alice’s on Pima and Craycroft is Good so is Crying Onion out West
    Bibsee Breakfast Club on West Ina is my favorite.

  • david

    Excellent article Theresa Delaney! knew the first time i drove past Bobo’s early on weekend morning, line of people at the door, a great indicator!

  • Marie Tantalo

    Don’t forget Theresa’s Mosaic Restaurant on the Northwest corner of Ironwood and Silverbell up on the hill behind McDonalds. Tortilla’s hot off the grill, made right in front of your eyes! Mexican and American breakfasts and great hot Mexican chocolate!

  • S!ick

    Must have Wi-Fi…

  • Julie Birren Silverman

    Claire’s Café and Art Gallery on Oracle in Catalina is our weekly Sunday breakfast spot. http://www.clairescafe.net/

  • Kay McNally

    Laverna’s is the best!!