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ISO Breakfast Recs downtown or near Thayer Street for this weekend.

ISO Breakfast Recs downtown or near Thayer Street for this weekend.

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  1. Opposite side of the city from where you mentioned but I'll have to suggest them anyway....

    I think Nick's on Broadway has the best breakfast in the city - supposed to move to a new (larger) location, still on Broadway, not sure if that's happened yet. I haven't been in a while.

    A close 2nd would probably be Julian's (also Broadway).

    I haven't been yet, but Caffe dolca Vita on Atwells (by the fountain at DePasquale) has begun serving breakfast (there are Nutella crepes on the menu - mmmmm).

    1 Reply
    1. re: JaneRI

      Thanks Jane. We'll check them out!

    2. Superb bagels, limited seating, zero atmosphere at Bagel Gourmet on Brook St. I believe there is a location on Thayer too.

      Their Mexican menu is surprisingly great too (breakfast burritos, etc.)

      1. Is is proper to recommend a place you have not eaten? Folks I know love Louis' on Brook St (a block from Bagel Gourmet). It looks very funky and friendly and has been there forever.

        3 Replies
        1. re: atheorist

          louie's is a total greasy spoon diner. definitely satisfying. but not superlative. the best part of the experience was louie himself, who would wander around and dispense terse words of wisdom, then shuffle back to a seat in the corner and snooze. he died years ago.

          1. re: rose water

            I'll post only from firsthand experience from now on.

            1. re: atheorist

              well, i've got to say, i'm posting from pretty dated experience. and i did not mean to imply that it's a bad place. i did love louie's back in the day. (and my parents really loved the scathing personality that was louie himself). so please, go, and then post back! i look forward to hearing your impression

        2. STAY AWAY FROM NICK'S ON BROADWAY UNLESS YOU PLAN TO WAIT FOR AN HOUR!!!! Sure the food is good but it's completely cramped in there and the wait is ridiculous.

          As for julian's - if you're into the indie hipster crowd go for it. The food is really good but the clientele gets really annoying...and it's not near thayer.

          Paragon on Thayer has a disappointing brunch - don't bother. Louis'is a dream but can be crowded.

          Rue de l'espoir on the corner of hope and john streets always does a nice brunch - but you should call ahead - at least that morning for a reservation so you don't have to wait too long. I recommend the eggs benedict. To be fair a couple times I've had the occassion of getting my food a bit on the lukewarm side - but very infrequently.

          You could haul your butt down to modern diner way down hope I think (check on that) - that sometimes has a line so get there a half hour before you want to eat.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nkb

            The wait at Nicks is not always ridiculous, but either way the point is moot because I believe that they are finally moving to their new location further down Broadway (just before Tobey St) this week! It promises to be much larger, easier to get into and less cramped. Hopefully the food stays the same.

            Julians is a fine place to have a drink and hang out, but the food is pretty lousy.

            Downtown I would recommend the brunch at Taceria Pacifica, inside of AS220, but it's definitely brunch, not breakfast--they're only open after noon, and brunch is only on saturdays. awesome freerange egg breakfast burritos though!

            1. re: nkb

              Rue de L'Espoir would be my choice, esp. if you'll be carless. Modern Diner is very good too, and if you have a car it's a milk run. Just drive down Hope St into Pawtucket, where it turns into East Ave, the Modern is on your right a few blocks past Shea High School.

              When I was in RI a few months back I hit both and was pleased with both. The Rue has solid food, very good coffee, and is better for lingering and spreading out the paper, the Modern has some great food in a really classic diner that has been featured in Zippy the Pinhead a couple of times.

            2. To the person who said they'll only post firsthand experience - I don't think there's anything wrong w/what you posted, especially since you stated right up front you were just repeating what you were told.

              Now, nkb......food is such a subjective thing that I'd rarely argue the point w/someone who disagreed w/me, but on this point I have to - the food at Julian's is definitely NOT LOUSY. It's very good, at least for breakfast which is the only meal I've ever eaten there. Actually, I've been for lunch...and gotten breakfast food.

              And I agree w/the Rue de L'Espoir rec. Very good brunch.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JaneRI

                Yeah, I'll admit I overstated my dislike of Julian's, but I don't think there's really any reason to have breakfast there with Nick's so close. I used to think differently, and I still go there occasionally, but J's is very uneven and I just don't believe that they care about the quality of food the way their prices indicate they ought to. Breakfast is definitely the best meal to have there, however (in part because the price to quaity ratio is more reasonable).

              2. Hey!

                I wasn't the one that said julian's was bad! - celaric was.

                look again - I said the food was good at julian's! I said the wait at nick's is too long and paragon is disappointing.

                please be more careful when pointing the finger.

                  1. There are a couple of OK breakfast places on the East Side: Loui's and Brickway on Wickenden. Both are walking distance from anywhere on Thayer Street, both serve traditional breakfast fare. Brickway's the choice for country deco loving Brown parents. Loui's wins for vaguely bohemian, ramshackle atmosphere and total grease content.

                    Downtown doesn't have many good breakfast options. The only one that immediately comes to mind is Eddie and Sons Diner on Dorrance street. It has a classic diner quality. Formica countertops, wood paneling, and you will most likely be addressed as "hon." You'll find the specials written in black felt tip marker on white paper plates. From these decorative details you can infer all you need to know about the quality of the food. There's a 2 eggs, homefries, toast special attractively priced at around $2.

                    Brunch at the Taqueria Pacifica is usually something like breakfast burritos and/or huevos rancheros. Ingredients are fresh, food is delicious, but it opens at 12:00 and there are generally only a couple "breakfast" items on the menu, so it's therefore not what you'd consider a breakfast spot. Not open Sunday.

                    It's somewhat out of the way and not really downtown, but OV's Place is one of my favorite places to get breakfast. It's in a part of the city mostly known for its industrial warehouses, natural gas silos, adult bookstores, gentlemen's clubs, and sewage treatment facilities. So it doesn't get a lot of pedestrian traffic. I'd say that it's walking distance from downtown, but Allens Ave is so hostile to pedestrians that you pretty much have to drive. Anyway, OV's Place is a damned good breakfast diner. I truly love diner food, and OV's has the diner food of ideal. You don't get meals so much as icons: perfect representations of sausage links, bacon strips, eggs over hard. Plus the menu is huge and there's some really weird stuff on it. At one time you could order cigarettes with your meal, but I'm not sure if that's still the case.

                    OV's is near a place called the Seaplane that honestly should be on the National Register of Historic Places if it's not already. It's an old diner car, like the Modern Diner, but they never built a restaurant around it so it's a lot more authentic feeling. And if that place has anything, it's authenticity. And a soda fountain with Tab. The only problem is that their hours seem to be erratic and so I feel like I can never count on it being open.

                    Julian's and Nick's are of course the best, most obvious places to go for breakfast in Providence. They're both on the West End, which is both the geographical and spiritual opposite of the East Side. They both have serious chefs. Refined menus. You can see the Julian's menu at juliansprovidence.com. Every member of the Julian's waitstaff has prominent tattoos. Many have full sleeves. You will wait to be seated but it will be worth it.

                    Also on the West End is the Classic Cafe, a model of an efficient, family-run IHOP-type establishment. If you find yourself all the way on the West End for Julian's or Nick's and there are more people outside waiting than there are seated, and you're impatient, I'd say go for the Classic Cafe. Not the same caliber or type of establishment, but it's fast and good.

                    1. Where is Classic Cafe? I've never heard of it but am interested....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JaneRI

                        On Westminster, at the intersection of Westminster and Cranston (right down the block from White Electric, big Citizen's bank at the corner). You can't miss it!

                      2. Thanks! Do they serve lunch? That might be do-able today.

                        1. I believe they're open until 2 or 3 pm, but as I work in Boston, I am not sure.

                          1. Brickway and Amy's on Wickenden are good for full breakfast. Not too far from Thayer.
                            Amy's serves breakfast all day.
                            If you want just "Continental Breakfast" try Seven Stars on Hope, Olga's Cup and Saucer on Point & Richmond, or White Electric on Westminster St.

                            Classic Cafe has a pretty satisfying breakfast menu.... although it's a little farther away from Thayer.

                            1. Oak also has a pretty decent brunch menu, though the service can be lacking sometimes. I still vote for nick's. I used to be a big julian's fan, but unfortunately my last two visits have been subpar (not sure if there will be another). The consistency of the food just isnt what it used to be. Their dinner used to be a nice time though.

                              1. Obviously this isn't really of much use to the original poster, but just for the sake of the thread:

                                My girlfriend and I went to Oak once a little over a year ago for breakfast and were VERY diappointed. Mediocre diner-quality food in a blandly "upscale" (or maybe mid-scale, if such a thing exists) setting, substantial prices for breakfast, and very aloof service. I won't ever go back.

                                I think i wrote a nasty post about it on chowhound shortly thereafter.