34 Essential Tucson Breakfast Diners

Whether you're hungover or hungry, breakfast diners hold a special place in our hearts

Last modified on June 12th, 2018 at 10:40 am

While breakfast diners aren’t typically known for their remarkable pendant lighting or attention to detail, you can usually count on the server to make sure your coffee stays refilled and your pancakes, eggs, and bacon arrive piping hot.

Below is our list of essential Tucson breakfast diners. For nicer breakfast joints, read 22 Upscale Breakfast & Brunch Picks in Tucson and Feasts, Views & Mimosas: 6 Fancy Sunday Brunch Buffets.

Ajo Cafe

3132 E. Ajo Way
Ajo Cafe Facade (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Ajo Cafe Facade (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Though the exterior is inconspicuous, service is surprisingly quick and efficient. Definitely a classic Tucson breakfast diner.

For more information, visit Ajo Cafe on Facebook.

Alice’s Restaurant

5416 E. Pima St.
Alice's Restaurant (Credit: Alice's)

Alice’s Restaurant (Credit: Alice’s)

Alice’s proudly features homestyle cuisine with dishes such as a Hot Turkey Platter and Liver & Onions.

For more information, visit Alice’s on Facebook.

Baja Cafe

7002 E. Broadway Blvd. • 2970 N. Campbell Ave. • 3930 W. Ina Rd., Ste 322
Tiramisu Pancake special at Baja Cafe Marana (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Tiramisu Pancake special at Baja Cafe Marana (Credit: Jackie Tran)

While Baja Cafe can nail the classics, they’ve gained a cult following with their experimental, bold creations such as the Roadrunner 3.0 with two grilled jalapeño popper tamale cakes, New Mexican red chile sauce, sautéed fire roasted green chilies, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, sweet onions, two poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, avocado tomatillo arbol chile sauce, and chimichurri.

For more information, visit bajacafetucson.com.

Bisbee Breakfast Club

4131 W. Ina Rd. • 410 N. Wilmot Rd. Ste 110 • 4811 E. Sunrise Dr. Ste 165 • 2936 E. Broadway Blvd.
The Big Kahuna at Bisbee Breakfast Club (Credit: Bisbee Breakfast Club)

The Big Kahuna at Bisbee Breakfast Club (Credit: Bisbee Breakfast Club)

Now with four locations in Tucson, Bisbee Breakfast Club features mostly breakfast classics with a handful of Mexican-inspired creations.

For more information, visit bisbeebreakfastclub.com.

Biscuits Country Cafe 

7026 E. Broadway Blvd.
Blueberry Pancakes at Biscuits Country Cafe

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

Biscuits Country Cafe is as patriotic as can be with red, white, and blue everywhere. They also offer a loyalty program.

For more information, visit biscuitscountrycafe.com.

Bobo’s Restaurant

2938 E. Grant Rd.

A local favorite, Bobo’s serves up decadent banana pancakes worth coming back for.

For more information, visit bobostucson.com

Brawley’s Restaurant

7848 E. Wrightstown Rd.
Brawley's

Facade at Brawleys Restaurant (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Brawley’s has served up breakfast for over 30 years. Though they’ve relocated, they’re still every bit as cozy and rustic.

For more information, visit brawleysrestaurantaz.com.

Bread & Butter Cafe

4231 E. 22nd St. • 9431 E. 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)

Bacon Cakes =  pancakes with chopped bacon mixed in the batter. They also offer a massive selection of homemade pies.

For more information, visit breadandbuttercafetucson.com.

Breakfast Stop Family Restaurant

6135 E. 22nd St.

Even though Breakfast Stop is one of the newest restaurants on this list, they’ve already earned a devout following for their green corn tamales and corned beef hash. By the way, they also serve dinner.

Keep up with Breakfast Stop Family Restaurant on Facebook.

Cappy’s Breakfast Cafe

917 W. Prince Rd.

The chicken fried steak is too big to finish. But it’s too good to share. Get it anyways.

Keep up with Cappy’s Breakfast Cafe on Facebook.

Claire’s Cafe & Art Gallery

16140 N. Oracle Rd.
Cheese Blintzes at Claire's (Credit: Claire's Cafe & Art Gallery)

Cheese Blintzes at Claire’s (Credit: Claire’s Cafe & Art Gallery)

Enjoy breakfast until 3 p.m. with local art for sale hanging on all the walls.

For more information, visit clairescafe.net.

Crying Onion Cafe

3684 W. Orange Grove Rd., Ste 156
Crying Onion Cafe Facade (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Crying Onion Cafe Facade (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

Onion’s the name, but home fries are their game — crispy and seasoned well.

For more information, visit theoniontucson.com.

The Egg Connection

3114 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
Egg Connection (Credit: Tim S. on Yelp)

Egg Connection (Credit: Tim S. on Yelp)

The Egg Connection will hook you up with huge portions and hand-formed burgers.

For more information, visit theeggconnection.com.

Good Day Cafe

5683 E. Speedway Blvd.
Bacon Omelette at Good Day Cafe (Credit: John Paul P. on Yelp)

Bacon Omelette at Good Day Cafe (Credit: John Paul P. on Yelp)

Good Day Cafe nails all the hallmarks of a true breakfast diner, plus they have an annual NFL playoffs-themed burger bracket.

For more information, visit Good Day Cafe on Facebook.

Gus Balon’s 

6027 E. 22nd St.
Gus Balon's

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

While they offer the classics such as cinnamon rolls, they also manage to update their Facebook page twice daily with the breakfast and lunch specials.

For more information, visit Gus Balon’s on Facebook.

Frank’s Restaurant / Francisco’s de la Noche

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

Signage at Frank’s (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

This neighborhood diner by day becomes a Mexican food joint at night with gargantuan burros.

For more information, visit franksrestaurant.com.

Happy Rooster Cafe

1114 S. Sarnoff Dr.
Breakfast at Happy Rooster (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

Breakfast at Happy Rooster (Credit: Adam Lehrman)

As greasy spoon as it gets. The sourdough toast is the toast to choose. The seasonal pancakes such as Pumpkin Pancakes or Eggnog Pancakes are also worth a trip.

For more information, visit Happy Rooster Cafe on Facebook.

The Hungry Fox

4637 E. Broadway Blvd.
The Hungry Fox

The Hungry Fox (Credit: Theresa Delaney)

With double-yolks and homemade white toast, the simplest dishes become exceptional.

Keep up with the Hungry Fox on Facebook.

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)

Even though Jerry Bob’s has multiple locations around town, they’re actually local.

For more information, visit jerrybobsaz.com.

Jethro’s Cafe

8735 E. Broadway Blvd.
One-Egg Mornin Vittle at Jethro’s (Credit: Jackie Tran)

One-Egg Mornin Vittle at Jethro’s (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Jethro’s signature Hill Billy Pancakes feature shredded potatoes, ham, onion, sand green peppers.

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

Joe’s Pancake House

2532 S. Kolb Rd.
(Photo courtesy of Joe's Pancake House on Facebook)

(Photo courtesy of Joe’s Pancake House on Facebook)

Over at “J-HOP,” pancakes come aplenty and service is fabulously friendly.

For more information, visit Joe’s Pancake House on Facebook.

KG’s Westside Cafe

1951 W. Grant Rd.
KG's Westside Cafe

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

Come for the early bird special or daily breakfast specials. Also, keep in mind that if KG’s is your neighborhood diner, Dragoon is your neighborhood brewery.

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

Laverna’s Coffee Shop

220 S. Plumer Ave.
Early Bird Special at Laverna's Coffee Shop (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Early Bird Special at Laverna’s Coffee Shop (Credit: Jackie Tran)

… and if Laverna’s is your neighborhood diner, Iron John’s is your neighborhood brewery. Don’t miss out on the banana pecan pancakes.

For more information, visit Laverna’s Coffee Shop on Facebook.

Millie’s Pancake Haus

6530 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
(Photo courtesy of Millie's Pancake Haus)

(Photo courtesy of Millie’s Pancake Haus)

While Millie’s also offers traditional breakfast dishes in a comfortable environment, you’ll want to try the German dishes and Russian blintzes.

Old Times Kafe

1485 W. Prince Rd.
(Photo courtesy of Old Times Kafe)

(Photo courtesy of Old Times Kafe)

Having opened over 30 years ago, Old Times Kafe provides effortless nostalgia.

For more information, visit oldtimeskafe.com.

Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant

 5451 E. Benson Hwy.
Pancakes at Omar's Hi-Way Chef Restaurant (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Pancakes at Omar’s Hi-Way Chef Restaurant (Credit: Taylor Noel Photography)

Inside the Tucson Truck Terminal (the Triple T), Omar’s is the closest thing Tucson has to the diner from Pulp Fiction. The food is marvelous too.

For more information, visit omarshiwaychef.com.

Pappy’s Diner

1300 W. Prince Rd.

Portions are enormous, even though prices are affordable. Prepare for a food coma after eating one of their stuffed burgers.

For more information, visit pappysdiner.com

Poco & Mom’s

1060 S. Kolb Rd.
Poco & Mom's

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

While their cantina location is nice for margaritas, their original location is the place to go for a diner experience with New Mexico influence.

For more information, visit pocoandmoms.com.

Robert’s Restaurant

3301 E. Grant Rd.

Fresh cinnamon roll cut in half and grilled, delicious!

A post shared by Robert’s Restaurant (@robertsrestaurantaz) on

Now forty years old, Robert’s has developed a loyal neighborhood following with its made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls, bread, and more.

For more information, visit robertstucson.com.

Sahuaro Cafe

12142 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

A post shared by Jared Hathaway ? (@jaredhat) on

Churro French Toast actually tastes more like a churro and not like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, however that works.

For more information, visit sahuarocafe.com.

Sunny Daze

4980 S. Campbell Ave.
Pineapple Raspado at Sunny Daze Cafe (Credit: Gloria Knott)

Pineapple Raspado at Sunny Daze Cafe (Credit: Gloria Knott)

The food is classic diner, but the vibe is has the influence a San Diego fish taco shack. Mark’s Spicy Bacon Cheese Burger is a hidden gem with its fried onion petals. Raspados are also available off the menu.

For more information, visit sunnydazecafe.net.

Sunny Side Up Cafe

15800 N. Oracle Rd.

A post shared by Kevin Dunlap (@kevmack13) on


Another option in the Catalina area, Sunny Side Up Cafe provides more of a no-frills experience.

For more information, visit Sunny Side Up Cafe on Yelp.

Viv’s Cafe

8987 E. Tanque Verde Rd.

While the neighborhood features a few nicer breakfast joints, Viv’s is more of the hole-in-the-wall diner staff knows everybody’s names. The Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich with green chiles and jack cheese is one of their signature items.

Keep up with Viv’s Cafe on Facebook.

Welcome Diner

902 E. Broadway Blvd.
Eggs Benedict at Welcome Diner Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Eggs Benedict at Welcome Diner Tucson (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Welcome Diner is almost too nice to be on this list. Nice plateware and an exceptional cocktail program aren’t typical for a breakfast diner. The space looks like what how you would imagine a diner cleaned up to Hollywood standards. But you can get eggs, hash browns, and a cup of Joe at 8 a.m.

For more information, visit welcomediner.net.

Know of one or two essential Tucson breakfast diners we missed? Let us know!

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.
  • Donald Dockman

    With the Ron Swanson meme to start this story off, I’m surprised you didn’t highlight the item on Bisbee Breakfast Club’s breakfast menu which immortalizes him – The Uncle Ronnie Swanson – 4 eggs and double the meat with a shot of Lagavulin!

  • TiroGrande

    Not to complain, but how about the Crossroads breakfast buffet on weekends? Nothing like a bowl of menudo and 5 chiles rellenos for sunday breakfast. Somebody else can drive home while I lay in the back seat, Ayyye!

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