My kids and my husband love to go out to breakfast in Erie on a weekend morning. I can't say I often tell them no.
After all, what’s not to love about breakfast? No matter what kind of breakfast you’re in the mood for -- the sweet or the savory -- you can find it in Erie, Pa.
Plus … breakfast has bacon!
And don’t even get me started on Bloody Marys!
Hungry for breakfast in Erie yet?
I am! So I've rounded up my family's choices for the top five breakfast spots in Erie. Pa., along with the reasons my family loves them. I've listed them in alphabetical order:
Calamari's Squid Row
1317 State St., Erie; 814-459-4276
Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
What we love: Calamari's Squid Row holds a special place in my family's heart because it's where my husband and I went on our first date years ago. We sat in the third booth from the door. Back then, one of the things we had in common is that we both thought we didn't like Bloody Marys. Boy, how times have changed! Nowadays we love this drink (and we both typically order it virgin if you can believe that!), and Calamari's $10 Ultimate Bloody Mary comes fully loaded as a meal unto itself with bacon, shrimp, an antipasto skewer, pickled veggies, and celery. You'll want to ask for a plate to hold it all. Oh yeah: the kids! They get the french toast, which comes with fresh fruit and bacon and one order is big enough for them to split.
26 N. Park Row, Erie; 814-580-9725
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day
What we love: Dave’s Diner, located right in the heart of downtown Erie, is a retro diner complete with classic black and white tiled floor, contemporary lighting and red-topped bar stools. It’s a great brunch spot. Feeling salty? They offer all-you-can-drink mimosas, along with “boozy” shakes like the Bacon Bourbon (made with vanilla ice cream, bacon and bourbon). My son loves their root beer float, which I'll occasionally let him order before noon. The menu features traditional breakfasts, along with melts, build your own burgers, and Erie signature items like Greek fries and Greek dogs.
Lavery Brewing Company
128 W. 12th St., Erie; 814-454-0405
Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays
What we love: A brewery? For breakfast? With the kids? Take our word for it! If you've never been to Lavery Brewing Company for a weekend brunch you're missing out! Try the avocado toast, topped with smoked salmon, pickled jalapeno and herbs. Or there's the breakfast pizza, with roasted tomato sauce, mozzarella, pulled pork and a sunny egg. Beer for breakfast? Sure! The beermosa — any Lavery beer topped with OJ -- makes it OK. The kids, meanwhile — or anyone with a sweet tooth — needs to try the outrageous bacon s’mores doughnut, a house made doughnut topped with marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate covered bacon and sea salt.I showed my daughter a picture of it and she swooned.
2620 West 8th Street, Millcreek; 814-450-0074
Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday - Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the first Sunday of the month
What we love: Fresh pressed juices, made to order smoothies, and fresh farm frittatas? What's not to love? The Juice Jar, located in the Colony Plaza, is a great spot to meet a friend for an hour or sit down with the family for a weekend breakfast that will leave you all energized and ready to take on the day. Kids will love the PB&J Smoothie bowl, which comes with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, banana, honey, peanut butter and coconut milk. (Shhh. Don't tell them how healthy it is!). On the first Sunday of every month they offer a special brunch, the menu items not decided until the week of -- so come in for a what's sure to be a happy surprise!
2516 State St., Erie; 814-455-3543
Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
What we love: This brightly-painted small, funky all-American diner, just across from Collegiate Academy, has a retro feel. Zodiac Dinor is open for breakfast and lunch daily. I love the Spinach & Feta omelet because they use freshly steamed spinach and lots of my favorite feta. Add tomatoes? It's perfect. My kids typically split the Banana Bread French Toast Platter, two slices of home-baked banana bread battered and grilled then served with powdered sugar and whipped cream. It comes with eggs and meat, making it plenty big enough to fill up their tummies! We don't typically have to wait for a seat here, but if there happens to be, the kids can belly up at the bar out front and order hot chocolate to keep them happy while they wait.
Hungry yet? Me too. Time for breakfast!