The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 5 Breakfasts

For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2011 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.

5. Goode Co. Taqueria

You've heard of Mexican breakfast; it's a Houston standard. This is Texican breakfast, a brilliant mashup of Texan favorites and Mexican classics, all finished off with a signature pecan waffle. Here, you can get venison sausage with your migas, or quail with your huevos motuleños. And you can even get a pretty peppy bloody mary to wash it all down. And with weather perking up, the mostly outdoor taqueria has never looked better.

4. Flora & Muse

Flora & Muse is where I go when I want to pretend that I'm a fancy lady who doesn't spill things in her hair or drop four knives in the course of one meal, and that's for two reasons: The excellent breakfast food is served on elegant trays with equally elegant French press coffee service and beautiful glasses of bloody marys, and because Flora & Muse -- like me -- is not really fancy at all, deep in its cozy heart. It's like the grown-up version of a tea party here, which is endlessly charming. And whether you choose the lovely, plant-twined patio or one of the quirky dining rooms, you'll be charmed here over breakfast too.

3. Fountain View Cafe

As I've mentioned before, if awards were based solely on how often I eat there, Fountain View would be at the top of the pack. There are simply no other pancakes in Houston that come close to the lacy, vanilla-perfumed, plate-sized pan-crêpes that are served at this Galleria-area favorite from open to close. Eggs are cooked perfectly to order, and are particularly great atop a mound of hashbrowns -- crispy on the outside, soft on the inside -- and spiked with Cholula sauce. Add a mug of diner coffee and a fresh Sunday paper, and Fountain View's patio on a sleepy weekend morning is where I hope I end up when I die.

2. La Guadalupana

The migas at La Guadalupana landed near the top of our recent list of 100 Favorite Dishes, and the cafe de olla (cinnamon coffee) and tartly sweet jamaica can't be beat. But those aren't the only things that make La Guadalupana (or, as we've now started calling it, Iguana Lupana) special: Chef and owner Trancito Diaz is always on hand to make sure his diners are having a wonderful first meal of the day on the sunny patio, or slipping extra, freshly-baked ojarascas or fat marranitos into their bags of pastries upon checkout. What's Spanish for lagniappe?

1. Tel-Wink Grill

Tel-Wink won top honors this year, being named Best of Houston® winner for Best Breakfast Restaurant. John Kiely said it best in his recent post about the always-packed Gulfgate mainstay:

A sign out front used to read "Best Breakfast in Texas," and had they merely added the word "Cheap", it wouldn't have been a boast. Where else can you get two eggs, to your exact specifications, thick bacon at the nexus of chewy and crisp, a mound of Helen Corbitt-worthy hash browns, and two fist-size biscuits for $4.75?

Even CBS News and Mo Rocca made Tel-Wink their breakfast spot of choice when doing a national feature on the battle between breakfast and lunch, concluding: "At the Telwink Grill in Houston, Texas, it's breakfast all day, seven days a week. What the menu lacks in fancy European hot beverages, it makes up for abundantly. Deep inside breakfast country, the law of the land is clear. Asking for your eggs to get poached is not enough to get you shot. Eggs Benedict will get you shot."

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