8 Top Breakfast Spots Recommended by Locals

Mmm. Breakfast.  My favorite meal of the day (unless you count dessert a meal).  I love all things breakfast: eggs, pancakes, waffles, French toast, hash browns, bacon, crepes.  I’d eat breakfast any meal of the day.  

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I started with Yelp Reviews

There are so many breakfast places to try in the Upper Valley I needed some recommendations of where to start.  I looked at Yelp reviews and got mixed reviews.  Some had amazing experiences, some loved the food but hated the service or the wait.  Some reviews contradicted each other with high praise and negative feedback for the same menu item.  Food is subjective and everyone had a different taste barometer based on their own experience so I thought just going by personal reviews of people from around the country might not be the best gauge for the best local breakfast diner.

Then I turned to the Experts: the Locals

I needed to ask the locals who frequent these places regularly.  Then I’d get the best gauge for consistency, which is really what we’re after…some place I can go again and again for a great meal.  So I asked the 8000+ members of the Upper Valley Facebook Group where they like to go for breakfast and I received over twenty responses within the first hour and seventy within three hours!  In the end I got over 100 responses!  It’s apparently a topic people want to weigh in on.  So with their help, I’ve compiled a list of breakfast places for you to try in order of popularity.

1.       4 Aces

4 Aces diner in West Lebanon, across from Stateline Sports by the bridge into Hartford, received the most local recommendations and the most comment likes.   People called the place amazing and one person raved about the Woodland omelet with mushroom, garlic, spinach, confit, and pancetta.  Personally, I’ll take the Pure Rhapsody pancakes with white chocolate and raspberries or the Cinnamon Roll Cakes with cinnamon and icing. Yum.  I’ve eaten here before and loved it.  Overall people love the food, staff, and service.  Get there early or time it right, it can get quite busy.  Good thing I eat breakfast before 6 am each day…I guess that just shows how amazing they are!  You can see a sample of their breakfast menu here.

2.       Shryl’s Diner

People who recommended Shryl’s diner in West Lebanon did so with gusto with comments like hands down, huge portions, amazing, and the place is awesome.  People also liked how reasonable the prices were.  No real menu to peruse online but one review said it was your traditional breakfast food, so that sounds good to me.  French toast or eggs, bacon, and toast.  Mmm.  Now I’m hungry.  You can find Shryl's on Main St. in West Lebanon on the left side going towards Hanover/Hartford.  It doesn't look like your traditional diner so don't miss it; it looks more like a house with a store front.

3.       The Fort

The locals enjoy the Fort’s food at the truck stop off Exit 18 off I89.  You can find it by taking a right at the light just past the high school onto Heater Road.  Looking at the menu, the cruller French toast sounds great but the Lumberjack sounds good too.  They’re open 24 hours and serve breakfast all day, which is right up my alley.  People commented that sometimes there’s a wait for your food but people liked the prices and the food, so it’s worth it.

4.       Lebanon Diner

People consistently voted for the Lebanon diner for their great food and even more people agreed with the recommendations of others.  You can find it on the mall in Lebanon, at the end on the left past Salt Hill and Three Tomatos and across from Village Pizza.  One person commented on their healthy options as well.   People like that they source local ingredients when possible too.  A couple people mentioned in reviews they had to wait a while for their food.  I’ll bring a good book or order an extra hot chocolate.  Bring on the yumminess!  I couldn’t find a menu only but they do have a fun and friendly active Facebook page.  

 5.       Lou’s

Lou’s in Hanover was recommended for the quality of their food, locally sourced ingredients, and  in-season and creative menu.  People raved about the food and thought the service was good.  There are some unique menu items that sound tasty to me like coconut cream pancakes, and zucchini French toast.  Cool!  You can see their weekly specials on their website.  If you're wondering where on Main St. it is, it's in between the College Supplies store and Four Seasons Real Estate. 

6.       Crossroads

Crossroads Café in White River Junction got a lot of recommendations.  You can check out their Facebook page for reviews and comments.  They're located across from the Comfort Inn on Sykes Mountain Ave.

7.       Hartland Diner

The Hartland Diner may not have received as many separate post recommendations but it certainly received a lot of recommendation likes.    Their webpage is kept updated and fun to browse.  I love the picture of the piglets at Christmas.  You can really tell they take pride in their diner because they post pictures of their food and even do a holiday outing as a staff! You can click on the menu image to see the menu, with item titles I find amusing like ‘Slap your Mama,’ ‘Kevin without the Heart Attack,’ and ‘Your Wife Called All You Can Have Is.’  People commented on the fresh and delicious food and thought it was hands down the best.  Reviews from locals and those passing through seem to agree it’s a must for breakfast. They're between the post office and BG's Market and across from Mascoma Bank.

8.       Skinny Pancake

Looking at the menu is motivation enough to try the Skinny Pancake out.  I feel proud to be a New Englander when I look at the menu like I’m in on secret in the native food culture with items like fried cheese curds and marina sauce or poutine.  They have sweet and savory crepes made with locally sources ingredients when possible.  I hear the atmosphere is great there too with live music and other events to entertain you while you eat.  Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events.   I adore crepes and grew up with them, having French-Canadian roots, so I think this is a definite stop for me in the future. It's in the building across the street from the Nugget Theatre, where the men's clothing store used to be.

Enjoy and tell us which is your new local favorite.

Stay tuned for more breakfast spots like the best place for a breakfast sandwich and new places to try for breakfast.

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