Rise and Dine: Breakfast! Breakfast! Read All About It!
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I would argue it is also one of the best. I don't think I have ever met anyone who doesn't like breakfast food. You can stay on the savory side with eggs in a hundred variations or you can legitimately eat what is basically dessert as a meal, with things like pancakes, waffles and crepes.
Here in Indianapolis, we are also blessed with Smoking Goose – purveyors of wonderful meats who give us some of the best bacon and sausage I've tasted. You'll find their products at restaurants around the state. Central Indiana certainly has a plethora of wonderful breakfast options spanning all spectrums of the breakfast possibilities.
I love eggs in just about every form – and if it's eggs you want, you certainly won't have any trouble finding a great meal. For my favorite egg sandwich, start with any of the variations of Café Patachou's broken yolk sandwiches. The thick buttery bread and perfectly runny eggs are great on their own, but my personal favorite is the one that also includes avocado and Indiana bacon.
Other great options downtown are the breakfast sandwiches from Circle City Soups at the City Market, which are served on delicious homemade Circle City Sweets croissants. You can get the American version with eggs, cheddar and bacon, or the French version with eggs, gruyere and Smoking Goose City Ham.
If Eggs Benedict are more up your alley, Ruth's Café offers versions beyond the traditional poached egg with Canadian bacon and English muffin. They have several varieties including one over crab cakes and one over Norwegian potato cakes. Also, Northside Kitchenette offers a great Benedict that slightly varies from the traditional by using crispy bacon pieces on the muffin and slightly spicy garlic Hollandaise over a perfectly poached egg.
One of the best breakfast burritos (they call it a "wrap") in town is the one at Taste Café. As big as your head, it's filled with the most miraculously fluffy scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, ham, roasted tomatoes, greens and roasted red pepper vinaigrette. It's the vinaigrette that makes this so special – and the kind of touch that makes all of Taste's food so fantastic.
Or how about a breakfast pizza? You have to travel south to get this one at FARM Bloomington, but it's worth it. It's a thin handmade crust topped with spinach, bacon, gouda and two poached eggs – completely craveable.
A lot of places claim to offer the best biscuits and gravy in Indy, and there are a lot of great options, but my favorite is probably the one at SoBro Café. You get two biscuits that are covered in peppery, spicy sausage gravy – it's slightly thinner gravy than most, and just carries the flavors of the sausage and seasonings wonderfully.
Craving a straight up, greasy spoon kind of bacon and eggs meal (the kind you want after a late night out)? For this, my favorite spot is Keystone Deli. The prices are right, you get a ton of food and they cook the eggs exactly how you order them. You can choose home fries or hash browns and they'll cook them extra crispy if you want (and you do).
If you like a freshmade corned beef hash, Good Morning Mama's makes their own corned beef and tops the mix of potatoes and meat with two expertly prepared eggs.
At the opposite end of that spectrum, my favorite "sophisticated breakfast" place is Eggshell Bistro in Carmel. They serve sublime items like truffled egg brioche and pancetta bruschetta with roasted asparagus, red onion marmalade and a perfectly seasoned and poached egg. That La Quercia pancetta literally melts in your mouth. The portions are restrained and the tastes are perfectly balanced. This is not the place for a big cowboy breakfast.
On the sweet side, you can get your fill of delicious pancakes at the aptly named Hotcakes Emporium. So fluff y and sweet, they don't even need the powdered sugar that is sprinkled on top. Or, if you like a little color with your flapjacks, how about the red velvet pancakes at Hoaglin to Go? They're rich and decadent with chocolate chips inside and cream cheese icing on top. On Colts game days, they often will make you a blue pancake as well.
Or how about crème brulee French toast? At Zest!, you can get this over-the-top version of the classic breakfast dish made with egg bread, a bunch of cream and a crisp top. When you eat this, you feel more like you are eating cake for breakfast – a really moist cake with a good kick of vanilla. And while you're there, make sure you get a side of the creamy, cheesy, cowboy potatoes with a wonderful sour cream flavor.
Other little hidden gems are the fresh fried doughnuts they serve in the never-ending breadbasket at the Las Vegas–themed Best Bet in Noblesville. They are coated in cinnamon sugar and are only served during the week, so plan accordingly.
These are only a few of the wonderful breakfast morsels available around Indiana – really, there are endless possibilities. Check the websites or addresses below to find exact locations for all the places mentioned above.