Whether you're hungover or hangry, breakfast diners hold a special place in our hearts
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 Feasts, Views & Mimosas: 6 Fancy Sunday Brunch Buffets.
3132 E. Ajo Way
Though the exterior is inconspicuous, service is surprisingly quick and efficient. Come in for the chorizo and eggs and a slice of homemade pie.
For more information, visit Ajo Cafe on Facebook.
5416 E. Pima St.
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.
7002 E. Broadway Blvd. • 2970 N. Campbell Ave. • 3930 W. Ina Rd., Ste 322
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.
Now with four locations in Tucson, Bisbee Breakfast Club features mostly breakfast classics with a handful of Mexican-inspired creations. If you want to spent around $30 for breakfast, order the Uncle Ronnie Swanson for double meat, double eggs, and a shot of Lagavulin single malt Scotch whisky.
For more information, visit bisbeebreakfastclub.com.
Biscuits Country Cafe
7026 E. Broadway Blvd.
Biscuits Country Cafe is as patriotic as can be with red, white, and blue everywhere. They also offer a loyalty program. Check out the Cinnabun French Toast.
For more information, visit biscuitscountrycafe.com.
2938 E. Grant Rd.
A local favorite, Bobo’s serves up decadent banana pancakes worth coming back for. Be warned, lines can get long on weekend mornings.
For more information, visit bobostucson.com.
7848 E. Wrightstown Rd.
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.
For more information, visit breadandbuttercafetucson.com.
Breakfast Stop Family Restaurant
6135 E. 22nd St.
Even though Breakfast Stop has only been around just a few years, they’ve already earned a devout following for their green corn tamales and corned beef hash.
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.
Enjoy breakfast until 3 p.m. with local art for sale hanging on all the walls. Try their Blintzes and Potato Latkes.
For more information, visit clairescafe.net.
Crying Onion Cafe
3684 W. Orange Grove Rd., Ste 156
Onion’s the name, but home fries are their game — seasoned well with crunchy bits.
For more information, visit theoniontucson.com.
The Egg Connection
3114 E. Fort Lowell Rd.
The Egg Connection will hook you up with huge portions and hand-formed burgers.
For more information, visit theeggconnection.com.
6027 E. 22nd St.
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.
This neighborhood diner by day becomes a Mexican food joint at night with gargantuan burros. Find your heaven with the classic French Toast.
For more information, visit franksrestaurant.com.
Happy Rooster Cafe
1114 S. Sarnoff Dr.
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.
With double-yolks and homemade white toast, the simplest dishes become exceptional.
Keep up with the Hungry Fox on Facebook.
See link below for full list of locations
Even though Jerry Bob’s has multiple locations around town, they’re actually local. The location at 2680 E. Valencia Rd. happens to have exceptional Chicken Tortilla Soup.
For more information, visit the Yelp listing of Jerry Bob’s.
Jethro’s Cafe & Tavern
8735 E. Broadway Blvd.
Jethro’s signature Hill Billy Pancakes feature shredded potatoes, ham, onions, and green peppers.
For more information, visit Jethro’s Cafe on Facebook.
Joe’s Pancake House
2532 S. Kolb Rd.
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.
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 Facebook.
Laverna’s Coffee Shop
220 S. Plumer Ave.
… 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
6541 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
While Millie’s also offers traditional breakfast dishes in a comfortable environment, you’ll want to try the German dishes and Russian blintzes.
Keep up with Millie’s Pancake Haus on Facebook.
Old Times Kafe
1485 W. Prince Rd.
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.
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.
3301 E. Grant Rd.
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.
12142 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.
Churro French Toast actually tastes more like a churro and not like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, however that works.
For more information, visit sahuarocafe.com.
Sonoran Brunch Company
1060 S. Kolb Rd.
As you can assume from the name, this restaurant puts a Sonoran twist on brunch staples. They also have a taco drive-thru and plan on launching dinner service soon.
Keep up with Sonoran Brunch Company on Facebook.
4980 S. Campbell Ave.
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.
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 Facebook.
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.
902 E. Broadway Blvd.
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!