Buzz

The Buzz: Best breakfasts, hands down


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Where can you get the best breakfast in the Fox Cities?

Nearly 150 readers responded to that question and named 41 different restaurants. 

That’s aside from their own kitchens or their mom’s kitchen.

The large number of recommended eateries shows there are a lot of short order cooks who know their way around bacon and eggs. 

Readers loved homey diners and unfussy family eateries. Just one upscale place – SAP – was among the top choices. 

Fox Cities breakfast eaters gave locally owned restaurants the edge by a wide margin. No more than a handful of readers named national chains. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery was the only national to crack the top 15 most popular breakfast spots.

Here are readers’ top five choices, with some of the reasons why they like these places.

WeatherVane Restaurant

186 Main St., Menasha

This breakfast/lunch restaurant owned by Pat DuFrane and his family topped readers’ choices by a wide margin. It has expanded twice in recent years in the heart of downtown Menasha. 

Many readers’ comments about it were followed by exclamation points.

“WeatherVane!” said Brian Duncan, one of its fans. He listed his favorite dishes as stuffed French toast and the thundering steak omelet.

“WeatherVane has excellent food. You get a lot and the price is right,” said Sharon Longworth in an online post. “The owner is so friendly. Best place in the Valley.”

Mohnen’s Family Restaurant

W5669 County KK, Darboy

“Their omelets are the very best and so are their potato pancakes,” said Eileen E. Smith, a reader who eats out seven days a week and knows her breakfasts.

Reader Michael Gostas is another fan.

“The food is great,” Gostas said. “They’re very popular and you should know if you get there at the wrong time, you’ll wait in line.”

SAP Brunch, Brown Bag & Bakery

708 N. Casaloma Drive, Grand Chute

“Everything is delicious from lattes and mimosas to avocado omelets and chicken and waffles. Most of what they offer is locally sourced fresh,” said Kaarin Swan.

“Hands down, the best breakfast in the Valley,” said Cory Feivor.

“Their eggs benedict and coffee choices are phenomenal,” said Ryan Corbett.

Rico’s Family Restaurant

427 S. Washington St., Combined Locks; N3994 Columbia Ave., Freedom

“Absolutely, it is Rico’s,” said Pat Gonnering Banks in singling out her favorite breakfast stop.

Readers were divided by which location they preferred.

A third choice in the works – Rico’s in Kaukauna – will open next week, giving them another place to try. 

Third Street Diner

300 Depere St. at Third, Menasha

Joe Weidert was one of many who recommended the Third Street Diner. 

“The quality of the breakfasts is as consistent as the dawn. Every item on the menu tastes as fresh as a brand new day,” he wrote. “The owner is always sunny side up and the staff is sweeter than pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.”

“Best managed, best service, best food. Oh, the price is right also,” said Wm. Gooding. “We travel from Appleton through all the road construction to get there. It is well worth the trip. By the way, we have three other restaurants within blocks of our home and we still drive to Menasha.”

More

In readers’ picks, the next 10 most popular breakfast restaurants were spread out all over the Fox Cities, from downtowns to the outskirts. 

They were: Schreiner’s Diner, Apple Valley Pancake House, Queen Bee, Little Diner Xpress and Angels Restaurant in Appleton; Oink’s and Bradke’s in Neenah; Still Wally’s Still in Dale; Leo’s Diner in Greenville and Perkins, which has multiple locations in Appleton, Grand Chute and Neenah.

In readers’ own words:

“The best breakfast in town is Little Diner on Richmond Street. No question at all about this,” wrote Karen Elizabeth Park. “Love love love Little Diner.”

Jennifer Edmondson put Apple Valley Pancake House at the top of her list. “The food is excellent – well prepared, clean tasting, not greasy,” she said. “Service is excellent, workers are friendly and the place is bright and clean.”

“Schreiner’s on Oneida is our go-to place,” said Jamie Voster. “They have the absolute best American fries, pancakes and omelets.”  

Deb and Steve Voigt praised the reasonably priced Oink’s Restaurant west of Neenah. 

“Oink’s has the friendliest people and the best blueberry pancakes,” they wrote in a joint email. 

Still Wally’s Still in Dale is Kris DeGroot’s favorite because she said it hits every mark, from quality, portions and cost to customer service and welcoming atmosphere.

“I always feel like I am getting a warm hug when I walk into the place.”

 

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