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  • It's a full house for breakfast at Snooze — and...

    Mark Leffingwell / Colorado Daily

    It's a full house for breakfast at Snooze — and that's pretty typical.

  • At Moe's Broadway Bagel, they know how to stack those...

    Zak Wood / Colorado Daily file photo

    At Moe's Broadway Bagel, they know how to stack those bagels high.

  • Manger Daniel Sproul, left, and his wife Kelly Roche-Sproul share...

    Jeremy Papasso / Colorado Daily

    Manger Daniel Sproul, left, and his wife Kelly Roche-Sproul share hot tea at the Buff Restaurant's new location, near 16th Street and Canyon Boulevard in Boulder.



They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so no matter if you’re shoving it in your face as fast as you can before class or struggling to keep your head up at the table long enough to order you meal after a night of heavy, recreational, er, board-game play, picking the right breakfast spot can make or break (ha!) a day.

So go ahead, drink some water and take a few Advil — nothing cures that nasty hangover (booze- or study-induced) like breakfast.

You can find all of your favorite breakfast foods in Boulder — burritos, omelets, skillets, pancakes and French toast. These restaurants will fill you up and send you on your way, good as new.

And you don’t have to slam a fifth of whisky (holler if you love Kentucky Deluxe!) the night before to stop by — these places open early for the driven and studious Buffs, and don’t close until the mid-afternoon for those rolling out of bed late.

The Buff

2600 Canyon Blvd.


Open weekdays 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; weekends 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

A must-visit in Boulder, the Buff is the type of restaurant for which the words “local institution” exist.

The Buff opened in 1995 and has been serving students — both the gym-short clad, hungover kind and the clean-cut go-getters — ever since. It recently moved from its longtime location near the northwest corner of Canyon Boulevard and 28th Street down the street a ways, but the feel and quality food of this family-run establishment are all but unchanged.

Popular menu items include The California, a classic omelet complete with avocado, bacon, Swiss and tomatoes, and the bacon, tomato and potato-laden Heartland skillet. But when President Obama himself paid the Buff a visit a while on the campaign trail in 2012, the POTUS went with the Ole — a skillet loaded with chorizo, green chilies and jalapenos. (Did a stop at the Buff give Obama a bump with voters? Will it help improve your test scores and focus in class? We say yes to both, but legally speaking, no.)

To keep the party cruising from last night, order some 99-cent Bloody Marys or mimosas; the Bloody Mary mix is homemade. (Only if this is an age-appropriate option, of course.)

Be warned: Come prepared to wait, especially on the weekends. The secret — if it was ever a secret — has been out on this gem for a long time and wait times routinely exceed half and hour.

Village Coffee Shop

1605 Folsom St.


Weekdays 5:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday 5:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

In a town full of marathon runners, cyclists and people doing special diets, the Village brings the grease to Boulder’s breakfast scene.

If you’re looking for a little fresh arugula to sprinkle on top of your poached eggs and polenta, this ain’t your spot. In fact, they sell T-shirts that say, “The Village Coffee Shop, 892 square feet of reality surrounded by Boulder.” We get it, Village.

The Village has everything you crave for a no-frills breakfast — eggs, hash browns, biscuits, pancakes, French toast, etc. And it’s cheap. All but one item on the Village’s breakfast menu comes in under $8. Can you dig it, broke college kids?

Moe’s Broadway Bagels

Three locations in Boulder:

3267 28th St.


3075 Arapahoe Ave.


2650 Broadway St.


All open 5:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily

Like shmearing bagels? Try Moe’s.

Moe’s has 22 varieties of bagels and 14 different kinds of cream cheese — that’s 308 combinations. A dozen bagels will cost you about $12, a great way to share a cheap breakfast with friends. Try the blueberry bagel with maple walnut cream cheese for a sweet breakfast treat.

If you want to branch out from the classic bagel and cream cheese, go for a breakfast sandwich or breakfast burrito; prices range from $4-$7.

Tip: It’s worth getting the breakfast bagel with bacon, just to see how much of the essential-to-all-life-on-Earth breakfast meat they give you. It’s obscene, and delightful.


2124 14th St.


Weekdays 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Named after the owner’s mother, Lucile’s has a feel makes the place feel comfy and homey — partly because it’s literally a small house.

The NOLA-inspired menu at this Creole café gives you some unique choices for breakfast, like the Eggs New Orleans (fried eggplant slices with Creole sauce, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce), shrimp and grits and New Orleans praline waffle, which comes topped with pecans, fruit and whipped cream, drenched in praline syrup.

The potatoes here are can’t miss, and don’t forget to use the homemade ketchup. Same goes for the homemade jam on your mighty, massive, breakfast biscuit.

If you don’t want to eat too much — or go all Bourbon Street on the adult beverage menu — an order of beignets may be in order. These delicious fried fritters are a New Orleans tradition best enjoyed steaming hot.

Dot’s Diner

Two Boulder locations:

1333 Broadway


7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily

2716 28th St.


Weekdays 7 a.m.-2 p.m., weekends 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Dot’s Diner has claimed to dish out Boulder’s best breakfast for more than three decades. And many Boulderites (Boulderarians?) have been known to agree, thus the Dot’s motto, “Where the folks get their yolks.”

Don’t be fooled by the hole-in-the-wall appearance of Dot’s location on the Hill — it’s a favorite for CU students, located in prime walking territory for campus dwellers and Hill trolls alike.

Try Dot’s dense breakfast burrito loaded with eggs, potatoes, veggies, sausage and bacon and smothered in green chili. Dot’s also has spectacular — and sizable — buttermilk biscuits, and huevos rancheros that are a must-try.

Walnut Cafe

Two Boulder locations:

3073 Walnut St.


673 S Broadway St.


7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily at both locations

The Walnut Cafe also claims to have had the best breakfast in Boulder for more than 30 years — breakfast is competitive in Boulder! The Walnut Cafe has a menu to back up its claim, including a wide variety of omelets, the cafe’s specialty.

If you want to be conscious of the dreaded Freshman 15, the Walnut has a nice selection of vegetarian and vegan options that will fill you up. But if you’re interested in living a little and letting the chips fall where they may, why not try a homemade sweet roll, served with gooey icing. Queue the uncontrollable drooling.

A must-try here is the blueberry cornbread, which you can order straight up or have it cooked into your pancakes for an awesome experience. Also, the banana walnut waffles and French toast are highly recommended.

Snooze A.M. Eatery

1617 Pearl St.


7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily

A relative newcomer on Boulder’s breakfast scene, Snooze has only been around since late 2011. But the long lines that form on Saturday and Sunday mornings show the unique spot is already moving to challenge other restaurants on their best-breakfast claims.

Founded in part on the idea that breakfast is undervalued when it comes to innovation and experimentation in the food world, Snooze offers some unique twists on standard breakfast dishes. The Bella! Bella! Benny, for instance, says to hell with English muffins, instead serving up poached eggs on toasted chibatta bread, with prosciutto, Taleggio cheese and drizzled with cream-cheese hollandaise sauce, balsamic glaze and arugula.

The pancakes varieties are plentiful and unique enough to make your head spin, with options including sweet potato flapjacks, blueberry Danish cakes with sweet cream and almond streusel and the not-to-be-missed pineapple upside down cakes topped with cinnamon butter.

Why are you still reading? Go to sleep now and you can wake up even earlier for breakfast.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or

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