Berkeley restaurants

Where to find an early breakfast in Berkeley

I am a big breakfast lover: I always feel recharged and ready for the day after a good breakfast. In fact, when I go to bed at night, I’ve already planned what I’m going to have for breakfast the next day.

As you can imagine, this craze for my morning meals means that I don’t like weekend canteen brunches. Like, hello? How exactly do you expect me to wait until 10 am for my first meal?

After trying and failing to acclimate to brunch culture, I realized I had to find alternatives for those mornings when my hunger was just spiraling out of control. Here’s a list of places in Berkeley for the next time you wake up early and are filled with a raging hunger.


Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

My favorite order: toast loaded with almond butter

I don’t think I need to introduce this place – we all know the massive portions, deliciously fresh salads and stuffed sandwiches. But what many people sometimes overlook is its very diverse breakfast selection. Almond Butter Toast – my personal favorite – is anything but your regular Almond Butter Toast. It’s filled with banana, honey, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and other goodies. It also offers a variety of other toasts, as well as burritos and pastries. A breakfast fanatic, I can be picky, but this place ticks all my boxes!

Brewed alarm clock

Hours: Weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

My Favorite Order: Hummus Toast

This place is perfect for your next study day. Although it’s more of a cafe, there’s a good selection of breakfast staples, like bagels and pastries. The setting is perfect for working and you are definitely paying for the ambiance. If you live on the south side of campus, it can definitely be a bit of a walk. Despite this, I like to spend my Sunday mornings walking around the peaceful and quiet campus.

Romeo’s cafe

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

My favourite: Avocado toast, with poached egg

I don’t know how, but I didn’t know this place existed until the very end of my first semester, even though it’s literally a five-minute walk from my dorm. Tucked away on Telegraph Avenue, Romeo’s offers a wide range of coffees for those of you who are fans of very extravagant sugary drinks. Personally, I stick to my usual latte and often spend a few hours in the morning enjoying the lounge-style seating and quality lighting.

Blue bottled coffee

Hours: Weekdays 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.weekends from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

My favorite: Almond butter and toast with jam

I like to think of Blue Bottle as my emergency breakfast for those days when I’m too hungry to even wait until 8am. It’s happened before: I woke up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday. Yes, I know I’m weird. On those mornings, I wait until daylight before I start my walk across campus and to Blue Bottle. When I arrive around 7:30 I usually find myself the only person under 40, but that doesn’t bother me at all.

The Sunny Side Cafe

Hours: Weekdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., wweekends from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

My favourite: Ham and mushroom omelet

This location is just off campus and is perfect if you plan on going to the library or a class right after. This is a lovely little restaurant with very good food and fairly quick service if you go during less busy hours.

Baker and communes

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

My favourite: Poached eggs and roast potatoes

I’ve been here several times on a Sunday morning – either with friends or on my own – when looking for a nice breakfast. The meals are definitely Instagram worthy, the coffee is high quality, and the place always has tons of families coming in and out. This is the farthest from campus on my list, and you’ll have to take the bus to get there. Nonetheless, this is the place to go if you’re looking to indulge yourself. Make sure you don’t leave without trying the famous breakfast potatoes.

In short, if you’re not a fan of weekend brunches, and you’re more of a fan of early breakfasts: don’t panic. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for people like us!

Contact Salma Sarkis at [email protected].