Best Breakfast on the Central Coast

Maybe your destination is the Big Sur or Carmel, or maybe you’re just passing through on your way to the Bay Area or So Cal, but one thing is for sure — here, you can not only eat well, but take in some of the most impressive views in the entire state. The Central Coast is replete with options for every craving. Are you into hearty breakfasts and international flavors? Santa Cruz is teeming with them. Or are you more of a bread and pastry person? Well, you can find top-of-the-line baked goods sprinkled throughout the region. Here is our selection of the best breakfasts on the Central Coast.

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Photo: @bigsurbakery

Big Sur Bakery

A carb-paradise nestled amongst towering redwoods, there’s no place better to take in the beauty of the Santa Lucia mountain range than from the patio at Big Sur Bakery. A double-digit price tag for a loaf of sourdough seems dubious, but believe us, the quality here is unquestionable. Whether it’s a wood-fired pizza, croissant — the ham and cheese is flaky and flawless — or one of the seasonal strudels, this is morning fuel you won’t forget. Bakery opens daily at 9am, breakfast and lunch are served every day from 12pm to 5pm.

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Photo: @cafebrasil

Cafe Brasil

Over at this venerable Brazilian spot, you can have breakfast, brunch and lunch all day. Some of the most popular items include the hearty beef a cavalo — two eggs over easy on top of steak that’s laid over a slice of baguette topped with tomato and melted mozzarella cheese — and the feijoada completa, a bowl of black bean stew simmered with various sausages that’s served with a side plate with rice, farofa (a traditional Brazilian side dish made with toasted yuca flour or cassava flour), orange slices and sautéed greens. Utilize the Yelp waitlist as there’s usually a line. Hours are 8am to 3pm daily.

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Photo: @livelikefoodie

Moonside Bakery & Cafe

Much like eggs shouldn’t be relegated to breakfast, pizza shouldn’t be excluded from it, and the folks here have gone big with this concept. While the menu features European-style staples like danishes, tarts, cakes and pies, you’ll also find an assortment of breakfast pizzas calling your name. The pizzas are prepared in a hardwood-fired pizza oven with freshly made pizza dough and are available after 9am. The mushroom comes with spinach and caramelized onions and should be honored with a trophy. Hours are 7am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday, 8am to 3pm Monday through Wednesday and Sunday. Closed Tuesday.

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Photo: @oldmontereycafe

Old Monterey Cafe

Many places celebrate freshness, and here you won’t find dishes languishing under heat lamps. Locals and tourists rave about the huevos rancheros, which come with authentic steamed tortillas and equally fantastic salsa. Other favorites include eggs Benedict, which are known for their on-point hollandaise, and the cinnamon French toast. Service is consistent and friendly, to boot. Hours are 6:45am to 2:30pm daily.

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Photo: @treatsbyminx

The Press

Bagels lovers need not look further, you’ll find the motherload tucked away in a tiny town next to Half Moon Bay — El Granada. Just the right amount of crispy and chewy, guests can’t get enough of the salmon and lox bagels here, which are topped with capers and onions. Veggie scrambles are another hit as well as the vast assortment of scones near the checkout which include cinnamon raisin, lemon rosemary, lavender blackberry and blueberry. Hours are 4am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday, 5am to 4pm on Saturday, 5am to 3pm on Sunday, and 4am to 3pm on Monday.

Who’s writing these?

Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite

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