Favorite Three: Breakfast Spots

New York Bagel & Coffee Shop.
New York Bagel & Coffee Shop.

Over the past few weeks, some readers have taken offense to certain Top 5 lists, and how they only reflect the opinions of the writer constructing each list. With the help of my fellow food bloggers, we'll now bring you a slightly different take on the Top 5s -- a shorter list, but with more opinions. We call it the Favorite Three. Let's take a look at local breakfast spots.

Christina Uticone

1. New York Bagel & Coffee Shop 2. Urban Harvest Farmers Market (2311 Canal St.), Saturday mornings (Breakfast Tamales from Radical Eats) 3. Buffalo Grille

Christina's Take: I grew up in New York, where the classic diner breakfast is king, even in Upstate, where I'm from. NY Bagel Shop scratches that itch; don't forget to go next door and grab some bagels to go. At the Saturday morning Richmond Farmers' Market I always grab a tamale and a fresh lemonade from Radical Eats, vegan fare that leaves me free to go for a run when I get home. For those hangover mornings, though, only a real pig-out at the Buffalo Speedway Buffalo Grille will do. Have you had their cinnamon coffee? It's amazing, and restorative when paired with their giant pancakes.

Breakfast at Lola.
Breakfast at Lola.

Jason Bargas

1. Waffle House 2. Lola 3. The Breakfast Klub

Jason's Take: I put my Levi's on one leg at a time and like my breakfast to be just as basic. Basic for breakfast means two eggs over-easy, dry wheat toast and grits. Waffle House is clutch every time. Sometimes I'll add an order of hash browns scattered, smothered and covered for dessert. Plus, it's fun to see if I'll get served after playing the Waffle House song on the jukebox.

Geri Maria Harris

1. The Breakfast Klub 2. Empire Café 3. Laredo Taqueria

Geri's Take: Breakfast for me runs the gamut from hearty chicken and waffle platters prepared expertly by the folks at the Breakfast Klub to coffee shops where I can chill out with a nice hot beverage, read the newspaper, and nibble on a piping-hot veggie fritatta. For those days when I'm rushing, nothing beats stopping by Laredo Taqueria and picking up some fluffy scrambled eggs and nopalitos tucked into a hot-off-the-griddle flour tortilla.

Pancakes at Fountainview Cafe
Pancakes at Fountainview Cafe

Katharine Shilcutt

1. Fountainview Cafe 2. Niko Niko's 3. El Rey

Katharine's Take: Fountainview Café has the best pancakes anywhere. These -- along with some cheese enchiladas -- are what I'd want for my last meal before I die. Niko Niko's isn't a typical breakfast choice, but I love the unexpected way that fried eggs, orange-flavored sausage and pita bread combines to make one of the best breakfasts in town. Breakfast tacos are their own food group in Houston, and El Rey makes some of the best in town. I recommend the chorizo with plenty of salsa verde for maximum effect. But what pushes El Rey into the top 3 is its amazing coffee. One of the best lattes in town, right behind Catalina and Greenway.

Kevin Shalin (Me)

1. New York Bagel & Coffee Shop 2. Teotihuacan Mexican Café 3. Casa de Leon

My Take: I think New York Bagel does the best eggs in town. The bagels are obviously great and the side of fried potatoes (extra-crispy) are just spectacular. I love the huevos rancheros at Teotihucan, but then again, everything at this restaurant is great--breakfast, lunch and dinner. Casa de Leon makes a stuffed omelet that will make you quickly forget their crappy parking lot.

The Reaction: No surprise, The Breakfast Klub gets two mentions. This iconic Houston establishment was bound to make it on the list. The Bargas Waffle House selection may baffle a few, but not me. I get it. I'm a picky breakfast eater, and when I find a place that does it to my liking, I go with it. New York Bagel gets two top place votes. Shilcutt's Niko Niko's selection is the most intriguing for me. I wouldn't think to go there for breakfast, and although it's not close to the house, I will now give it a try one morning.

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New York Bagel & Coffee Shop
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