A growing concept in downtown Akron: Breakfast and brunch. There have always been great options for light breakfasts, but now, more and more restaurants are jumping on the bandwagon to provide all the French toast, wafflewiches, breakfast tacos, egg sandwiches, and morning cocktails your heart could possibly desire. Read on to make the most of your weekend, or fuel up with something yummy on a weekday morning.
1. Jilly's Music Room
You love Jilly’s for their musical acts and gluten-free menu. Now picture their gluten-free menu, but make it brunch. They’ve got a formidable slate of offerings that’ll make your mouth water just reading it, most of which are unique culinary twists on your classic breakfast favorites. Try their blueberry brie wafflewich, their huevos enchiladas lasagna, or one of their sweet or savory sweet potato toast options. Not feeling adventurous this weekend? No worries—you can order those classic breakfast favorites, like simple eggs, bacon, hash browns, and gluten-free waffles, too. Whatever you choose, pair it with a Jilly’s Signature Bloody Mary, Irish coffee, or the brunch standard: a mimosa. Brunch at Jilly’s happens Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 3 pm.
Calling all vegans and non-vegans alike: NOMZ’s menu is brimming with light breakfast options including sandwiches made with Just Egg, a plant-based alternative to eggs that boasts the egg-like texture and flavor we all know and love. They’ve got breakfast every weekday except Monday and serve it until 3 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, try their weekly pancake special or farmer breakfast. Enjoy your breakfast with a beverage from their extensive coffee and bar menu—perhaps a cereal milk latte, turmeric smoothie, or good ol’ cup of drip coffee. After, be sure to walk through Northside Marketplace for a little local retail therapy.
3. The Daily Pressed
The Daily Pressed may be fairly new to the downtown Akron food scene, but they’re already on their way to becoming a breakfast and lunch staple. They’ve got a handful of breakfast sandwiches and wraps filled with eggs, various breakfast meats, cheeses, greens, and sauces. They also have a couple decadent brioche French toast options, all in addition to a delightful selection of pastries like Danishes, beignets, and muffins. Order The Daily, their house latte, to go with your breakfast. It boasts bold flavors of lavender, chocolate, and vanilla, and it comes with creamy nutmeg-sprinkled foam on top.
4. Akronym Brewing
Akronym Brewing is a lovely choice for your weekend brunch. You’ll have to visit for yourself to get a sense of the weekly specials in their entirety, but allow us to start by recommending their brunch sandwich (it’s loaded with bacon), French toast (it’s covered in deliciously ripe berries and streusel), and avocado tomato eggs benedict. Akronym serves up their brunch on Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm.
5. The 1: Food & Spirits
The restaurant inside the BLU-Tique hotel is officially open for breakfast seven days a week. While their menu is relatively lean, it covers all the breakfast bases, from a continental assortment to biscuits and gravy, omelets, a Belgian waffle with strawberries on top, and the classic eggs/meat/potatoes/toast spread. All breakfast items include fresh, hot coffee from Akron Coffee Roasters.
6. Chameleon Café
If Chameleon Café’s coffee doesn’t wake you up, the shop’s colorful décor certainly will. It’s a delightful space to enjoy a filling breakfast sandwich, bagel, fruit smoothie, or breakfast power bowl that consists of a double egg patty, cheddar cheese, green onions, Szechuan chili crisps, and whipped cream cheese on a bed of kale and quinoa. Don’t forget to order one of their standard or specialty coffee beverages to go with it. Their specialty beverages rotate seasonally.
7. Sweet Mary's Bakery
When you simply must have a pastry for breakfast—but like, a big, filling, completely scratch-made, melt in your mouth pastry—you need Sweet Mary’s. To keep your morning sugar intake at a reasonable level, treat yourself to one of their freshly baked bagels with a housemade cream cheese spread, buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, a savory stuffed croissant of meat or vegetarian variety, or a generous slice of quiche. We won’t judge you for eating cake for breakfast, though. Or cinnamon rolls, crullers, or scones. Have at it! Sweet Mary’s is open Thursday through Sunday.
8. Akron Coffee Roasters
Akron Coffee Roasters keeps their food menu as refined as their beverage menu, with ingredients that are high quality and sure to hit the spot without making you feel overly full or sluggish. What we’re saying is: Akron Coffee Roasters is the place to go when you want toast for breakfast. They have three varieties of toast: toast with avocado, arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper; cinnamon sugar toast; and classic butter toast—all on nice, thick slices of bread. They also have a paleo granola mix of nuts, seeds, and dried coconut, cranberries, and cherries. It’s sweetened with honey and cinnamon and comes with a side of your choice of milk. Simple, nourishing, tasty.
9. Urbean Café
Located in the Robert K. Pfaff Transit Center, Urbean Café is more than just a café; it’s also a workforce development program. They employ formerly incarcerated citizens who might otherwise have trouble getting back on their feet, and they serve up a robust menu for all three meals, all at prices that can’t be beat. If you visit for breakfast, you can look forward to options like biscuits and sausage gravy, French toast with a side of breakfast meat, a few different breakfast sandwiches, bagels, toast, hash browns, and oatmeal.
10. The Tea Lady
Now open in her new location at 35 S. Main St., The Tea Lady is ready to welcome guests to morning tea time Wednesday through Monday. This delightful experience gets you two tea sandwiches or quiche, a scone course, delightful sweets, unlimited infused hot tea of your choosing, and fruit- or herb-infused water.
11. Stray Dog Café
Stray Dog Café is here to make Akron more Akrony. You know them for their hot dogs, but did you know they also have a few grab-and-go breakfast options? They also have three downtown locations, which means wherever you are downtown, it’s easy to find one of their breakfast sandwiches, burritos, quesadillas, or breakfast power bowls. Visit them at the library, in Bounce Innovation Hub, or at Café 388.
12. Street Treats Grill
You don’t have to work in the courthouse or be visiting on official business to enjoy Street Treats Grill’s offerings. Everybody is welcome. Keep it simple with a toasted bagel with your choice of topping or an egg and cheese sandwich, or opt for an open-face omelet with cheese and veggies. Breakfast meat is available on the sandwiches and in the omelets for a small upcharge. After you eat, take a stroll through the building to see the Curated Courthouse exhibitions.