The Best Breakfasts Ever Seen On Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives

It's hard to imagine a time when you could turn on Food Network and not catch a glimpse of Guy Fieri on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Considering Triple-D's three titular types of establishments, you'd expect Fieri to be a big fan of old fashioned diner breakfasts. Ands he's seen chowing down on breakfast burritos and country fried steak again and again on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." However, in an interview with Insider, the celebrity chef reveals he's not really into breakfast at all.

What's more, Fieri hates eggs, though he'll whip up some grits or homemade granola during those rare moments he's craving a morning meal. Even though Fieri isn't a breakfast fan, he's eaten some of the most ridiculous breakfast plates we've ever seen on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." If you don't share Fieri's dislike of pancakes and eggs, then you'll enjoy perusing some of the best breakfasts we've ever seen on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." They're so good that they might inspire you to take a Fieri-esque road trip of your own. 

The Jose

Al's Breakfast in Minneapolis exemplifies the ethos of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." It's inconspicuous and hasn't changed in decades, but it's also won a James Beard Award. Al's is old school, making everything short-order style, like they have been for 60 years (via Food Network). Fieri visited the diner to try out The Jose, a breakfast plate named after one of Al's loyal customers. 

The Jose is a messy breakfast plate with a base of hash browns. On top are two poached eggs, salsa, and cheddar cheese. It's crispy, greasy, and exactly what your stomach is calling for after a late night out. The best way to eat a Jose seems to be by piling chunks of it on a piece of toast and not worrying about how big of a mess you make in the process. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day — no matter how messy you get eating it. 

Biscuit and gravy breakfast burrito

Full Belly Deli in Reno, Nevada combined two fan-favorite brunch orders into one with its biscuits and gravy burrito. Its starts with homemade sausage gravy made with breakfast sausage and chorizo. The gravy is the show-stopper, thanks to its insane flavor. Full Belly Deli also makes homemade flaky biscuits to chop up and throw inside the burrito, along with hash browns, cheddar, and a fried egg before wrapping everything up in a tortilla to make one monstrous burrito. 

"Oh, so it's for the whole family, I see," Fieri joked when he saw the size of the massive entree (via Food Network). This is definitely the dish to order if you've worked up a massive appetite or plan on splitting it with someone else at your table. Still, the blend of flavors inside make it worth getting a full belly afterwards, as the restaurant's name suggests.

French toast puffs

French toast is a dish you expect to find on every breakfast menu, but Pingala Cafe in Burlington, Vermont put its own spin on the classic with French toast puffs. These are bite-sized balls of baked French toast served alongside ginger butter and a maple berry compote. The kicker? It's totally vegan — yes, even that to-die-for "butter."

The process of making the puffs is similar to making bread pudding. The bread is soaked with a mixture of bananas, oat milk, toasted coconut, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a few other tasty ingredients. Those are all mixed together and the resulting batter is scooped out and baked in the oven. Fieri seemed a little skeptical of the dish before he tried it, but was pleasantly surprised with the explosion of flavors contained in just one bite. "This isn't any French toast; this is a Christmas cookie," Fieri joked (via Food Network).

Guy Fieri-shaped pancake

Mustache Bill's in Barnegat Light, New Jersey appears to be a typical local diner with reliable food. Yet its menu has a few stand-outs that keep things different, like its legendary chipped beef or a "Cyclops" pancake with a fried egg cooked in the middle. That last is perfect for when you don't know if you want a savory or sweet breakfast. But this old school diner earned a spot on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" for its spot-on recreation of Guy Fieri's signature graffiti portrait as a pancake. 

"Scary, very scary," Fieri remarked after staring at the pancake version of himself. Somehow, a single pancake was able to capture Fieri's signature spiky hair, sunglasses, and goatee. What's more, it looked like the chef whipped it up on the spot (via Food Network). And not only was it a spitting image of Fieri, but it was made out of a buttery and delicious pancake. 

Confused Cousin Chicken sandwich

A waffle-centric restaurant sounds fun, but the story behind Waffles and Whatnot in Anchorage, Alaska is even more inspiring. The owner began making waffles to help two family members get through cancer treatment. He found that he could hide a lot of healthy ingredients in waffles to help their healing. Popular as these waffles are now, they aren't anywhere close to the frozen ones you pop in a toaster. 

The stand-out sandwich that Fieri tried at Waffles and Whatnot was the Confused Cousin Chicken sandwich. Crispy fried chicken, garlic mac and cheese, bacon, more fried cheese, and barbecue sauce were all nestled between two waffles. Fieri figured that the sandwich weighed a whopping two pounds on the plate, which is as impressive as it is intimidating (via Food Network). It looks like the ultimate chicken and waffles breakfast sandwich with an inspiring story to accompany it. 

Governator Special

We didn't make a spelling error when titling this breakfast item — the Governator Special is a dish at Patrick's Roadhouse in Santa Monica, California that is named in honor of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the only man who hold the titles of both the Terminator and the former Governor of California. The dish is based on a staple meal that Schwarzenegger's mom used to make him as a kid in Austria. So, Patrick's put it on the menu for him to enjoy, give that he used to come into the restaurant every day to eat breakfast (via Food Network).

It's basically an everything but a kitchen sink type of plate, with vegetables, sausage, bacon, ham, potatoes, and more mixed into scrambled eggs and served hot. The Governator Special is far from the most visibly appealing dish, but it sure is a hearty breakfast plate with quite a memorable backstory, too.

Sausage and gravy kolaches

Kolaches are a Czech pastry that are stuffed or topped with different fillings. They might just be the center of the universe at Hruska's Kolaches in Salt Lake City, Utah. Hruska's entire menu is dedicated to this blank canvas, with an impressive list of both savory and sweet varieties to entice even the biggest skeptic. 

During Fieri's visit, he chowed down on the restaurant's famous sausage and gravy kolache (via Food Network). It's one of the heartiest options on the menu, filled with homemade peppery sausage gravy that might be the ultimate way to eat breakfast on the go. The sausage and gravy kolache deserves its shout-out because there's nothing else like it. Unless you decide to visit Salt Lake City, odds are you won't be able to try out a sausage and gravy kolache elsewhere, unless you're brave enough to attempt to make one at home. 

Jalapeño hotcakes

Delta Diner in Wisconsin takes the word "hotcakes" to a whole new level with its jalapeño pancakes. You have to trek to the middle of nowhere to find this classic diner, which serves some of the best food you can find in the Wisconsin wilderness. 

It's worth it, though. Delta Diner specializes in a style of Norwegian pancakes that are thinner than American ones, but still satisfyingly fluffy. Each stack of pancakes is topped with powdered sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice — yes, even the spicy ones. The jalapeño hotcakes are a sweet and spicy combo that is just so weird that it works. The uncommon menu item has garnered a lot of unexpected fans. Fieri even admitted on the Food Network that the jalapeño hotcakes from Delta Diner are in the top three pancakes he's ever had on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." 

Pancake roll

It's hard to imagine that people can still come up with creative ways to serve pancakes, but Pete's Breakfast House in Ventura, California proves us wrong with its pancake roll. The dish is a rolled-up pancake filled with fruit, yogurt, and homemade granola. The pancake base itself starts out a little different, with a splash of Sprite in the batter to help make it fluffy (via Food Network). 

Chefs then fry up a massive pancake and fill it with vanilla yogurt and the freshest berries they can buy. It's rolled up, topped with more fruit, yogurt, and granola, and then served to a hopefully hungry customer who is waiting to start their day off in the best way possible. The pancake is a tasty base, but Fieri literally could not keep his hands out of that delicious house-made granola, which should definitely be noticed in the final dish.


A cachapa is the Venezuelan version of a pancake made out of corn and which resembles a crepe, though it is usually packed with more fillings than what you may find in a French-style crepe. Pica Pica in San Francisco serves up the heartiest Venezuelan dishes, from cachapas to arepas, that make for a filling and flavorful breakfast. When Fieri made his way to Pica Pica, the chef made a vegetarian version of a cachapa filled with tofu that is marinaded overnight. 

Once the sweet corn crepe base was fried, the chef tossed in a mix of ingredients that included black beans, garlic aioli, tofu, plantains, and avocado (via Food Network). There are so many different flavors going on inside the cachapa that it's easy to forget that it's all plant-based. Pica Pica has plenty of options for carnivores, but the version featured on Triple-D stands on its own.

Soft shell crab Benedict

Egg Benedict has gone from a staple brunch dish to a category of breakfast plates all of its own. Instead of the typical ham and poached egg on an English muffin covered in Hollandaise sauce, many breakfast-centric restaurants have gotten creative. Some spots might riff on the classic proteins and add in other ingredients, perhaps inspired by a variety of different cuisines.

Citrus in Virginia Beach created an eggs Benedict that is as much as a visual feast than it is a literal one, thanks to the addition of fried soft-shelled crab beneath the sauce-covered eggs. Chefs at Cirtus deep fry full soft-shelled crabs until golden brown, then top them with poached eggs and homemade hollandaise. They throw in grilled tomatoes and sautéed spinach for good measure, but we and Fieri both know that the tender, fresh crab is the true star (via Food Network). 

Drunken French toast

The Drunken French toast at Nighthawk Breakfast Bar in Venice, California is as wild as it sounds. It's perfect to eat for your recovery after a raucous night out. To make it, chefs take brioche and coat it in Rice Krispies cereal. The French toast also features pear brandy, pear compote, and cardamom-mascarpone mousse for a dish that tastes more like a dessert than it does breakfast — and we mean that in the best way possible. 

As featured on the show, the French toast is crispy and sweet, with bright fruit and warm spices to cut through the sugar and cream. Plus, the mascarpone mousse is the grown-up, fancy version of whipped cream. Food Network was able to get Nighthawk to share a recipe to make this at home, but we think it's definitely worth a trip to the restaurant to taste it how this French toast meant to be made.

Mountainous cinnamon roll

Cinnamon rolls are often a nice breakfast treat whether you make them homemade or pop open a can of the ready-made oven rolls. But Mountain Shadows Restaurant in Colorado Springs takes the humble cinnamon roll to a new level with a monster roll that's as big as the Rocky Mountains themselves. Well, not really, but it certainly is a massive roll that's covered in sticky maple glaze to make the ultimate breakfast pastry. 

You have to get to Mountain Shadows early if you want to snag one of its fresh-baked rolls, as they sell out fast. The roll is buttery, flaky, and sweet, with every element of the classic executed in the best way possible. Food Network also snagged the recipe from Mountain Shadows if you dare to make these at home, but it's much easier to order one from the restaurant to enjoy at a moment's notice. 

Yo Halla stuffed French toast

Yo Halla may sound like a greeting, but at Metro Diner in Jacksonville, Florida, it means a plate of delicious breakfast goodness that you can't find anywhere else. The Yo Halla is made from challah bread French toast. First, the chef takes a mixture of caramelized bananas and cream cheese and spreads it in between two massive slices of the sweet, enriched bread. 

Then, they fry it up and top the whole thing with a homemade blueberry and strawberry compote. The plate is pretty massive, so it's not a dish to order if you're looking for something light. However, it's clear that the combination of flavors make this dish unlike any French toast that you'd find at the average diner. That's absolutely a good thing."That's more French toast than I've eaten in the last 10 years," Fieri said after taking a bite (via Food Network). 

Chicken biscuit

There's nothing like a Southern brunch with biscuits, grits, gravy, and all of the fixings, and Buttermilk Kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia has a menu that perfectly exemplifies everything that experience should be. Fieri headed to the hot spot to check out the diner's drool-inducing menu, and chowed down on what looked like the ultimate chicken biscuit sandwich. 

Sure, Georgia is full of places that serve amazing pieces of fried chicken on flaky biscuits, but no one does it like Buttermilk. First, they brine the chicken breast in sweet tea. The biscuits are, of course, made with buttermilk. The deceptively simple but delicious sandwich also comes with house made pickles, red pepper jelly, and a side of pimento cheese grits that are nothing short of dreamy. Fieri is a bonafide expert at fried chicken and biscuits at this point, so his high praise of Buttermilk is a serious endorsement. 

Pumpkin bread French toast

Some of the breakfast dishes that Fieri gets to chow down on while filming "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" can only be classified as a dream-worthy dessert. A prime example is the pumpkin bread French toast from In A Pickle in Waltham, Massachusetts. In A Pickle's entire menu seems inspired by breakfast foods that an imaginative kid might invent — just take one look at the cookies 'n cream pancake stack and you'll understand what we're talking about. 

But it's that pumpkin bread French toast that stole the show. The homemade pumpkin bread is first fried, French toast style, before it's topped with sweet cream cheese frosting and drizzled with dulce de leche sauce. "That's more sugar than I've had on Triple-D probably ever," Fieri joked (via Food Network). He was especially happy with the savory elements that help cut through that intense sweetness of this decadent dish.

The SCC Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo sandwiches aren't that unique of a menu item for a breakfast spot — unless you're spending the morning at Storm Castle Cafe in Bozeman, Montana. Much of the food at Storm Castle Cafe is genuinely farm-to-table, as it literally comes directly from the owner's family farm, including the insanely delicious ham used in this sandwich. 

The Monte Cristo features fluffy savory French toast that is loaded with Swiss cheese and shaved ham — and they aren't skimpy with the portions. The chef then dunks the sandwich in pancake batter and deep fries it before serving the result with seasonal syrup. Is your mouth watering yet? Fieri called the sandwich a destination dish, especially true given that Montana is quite the trip for many people. That sort of praise alone surely earns this dish a spot as one of the best Triple-D breakfasts of all time (via Food Network). 

Apple pfannekuchen

Apple pfannekuchen was not easy for Fieri to pronounce, but it sure was easy for him to eat the apple pie disguised as breakfast at Magnolia Pancake Haus in San Antonio. To make this, the chef takes sliced apples loaded with cinnamon, brown sugar, and other spices and cooks them in a pan. Then, the chef dumps a light pancake batter onto the mix and gives everything a good stir. Fieri rather accurately dubbed it "apple pancake scramble" (via Food Network). 

Magnolia tops its apple pfannekuchen with house made whipped cream and powdered sugar for good measure, resulting in a luxurious dessert that's disguised as the most important meal of the day. The pfannekuchen is a textural wonderland, coming in gooey and custardy with crispy pieces of caramelized apple and fluffy batter. It's a feast for the senses that far exceeds that of a typical stack of pancakes. 

Tequila almond croissants

A tequila almond croissant may sound like a recipe for a hangover, but it's actually a must-try breakfast pastry from La Panaderia in San Antonio that was the result of a happy accident. Instead of using rum in the traditional almond croissant recipe, one of the owners only had tequila on hand while whipping up a batch. They decided to try out the Mexican spirit instead. The result is a fan-favorite pastry that Fieri and his advanced tastebuds found to be thoroughly impressive (via Food Network). 

The recipe uses tequila syrup, almond paste, and sliced almonds for texture. It must be great, given that this is one of the most popular items at La Panaderia, not to mention one that sells out on a regular basis. Though it's not too different from the traditional almond croissant, the agave-based liquor inside does put a unique spin on this sweet, flaky treat.

Ham and cheese grit tots

Guy Fieri got to chow down on the famous tasso ham and cheese grit tots at The Fancy Biscuit in Richmond, Virginia. To start off the festivities, the restaurant's chefs first make a flavorful grits base. They don't skip any steps, either, even starting with a house made chicken stock base. They then throw in diced tasso ham and extra sharp cheddar cheese before spreading the grits on a baking sheet to allow them to cool. The semi-solid grits are then chopped into cubes, tossed in flour, and deep fried to golden perfection. 

These savory bites are shockingly light for a fried food and are likewise full of flavor. The Fancy Biscuit serves them up with Sriracha aioli if you like a little more heat. Fieri praised the dish's texture and lack of greasiness, making them sound like the ultimate breakfast side of all time (via Food Network). 

Garbage plate

The least appealing aspect of a garbage plate from Franks Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin is its name. Otherwise, it's a wonderfully hearty breakfast that your body craves. It starts with a bunch of eggs, to the tune or three or even five. The chef next adds in hash browns, green peppers, and onions, but the rest is up to you. Garbage plates can be customized by adding different meats, cheeses, and vegetables to really amp up all of the flavors going on. 

Franks adds a few thick slices of house made bread that are perfectly made for sopping up all of those ingredients going on in the garbage plate. Even though it is essentially an everything but the kitchen sink breakfast dish, the chefs at Franks don't skip on technique. They make sure that each element of the garbage plate is cooked to savory perfection (via Food Network).