If you’re looking for the perfect way to start your day, Portsmouth has plenty of lovely breakfast restaurants to choose from. Most are small and family-owned but each puts their own spin on the classics.
Cindy’s Country Cafe was established in 2003 and specializes in creating a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy fresh favorites from a country kitchen. The owners have over fifty years of creative cooking experience in a variety of settings and backgrounds, including work as a culinary arts teacher at Johnson and Wales University. If you’re in Portsmouth to get out on the water, Cindy’s loves to provide provisions for the boating community to make your time at sea more enjoyable. I recommend getting their Portuguese omelet, which is made with chourico, onions, peppers, and cheddar. If I’m on the go, I usually grab a Newporter breakfast sandwich, which combines smoked turkey, cheddar, and scrambled egg on a croissant. If you have the opportunity to get some gingerbread pancakes topped with homemade apple cobbler, don’t miss it!
Foodworks Restaurant was opened in April 1982 by the Polselli family. Originally a deli, the business expanded in the late 80s to include a bakery and then became a full-service restaurant in 1994. Breakfast is served daily, and their focus is on providing customers with delicious meals, prepared with real ingredients, and served by friendly staff. I love any place that offers a variety of Benedicts, and they certainly do here – choose from their traditional option or branch out and try the Lobster Benedict or their Lox Benedict, which features smoked salmon, tomato, red onion, and capers. For something sweet, I go for the Cinnamon Bun French Toast
Grazianos 501 Cafe serves breakfast all day, seven days a week, beginning at 6am, and brunch on Sundays, complete with Bloody Marys and mimosas. Known for their friendly staff, locally sourced food, and delicious drinks in a quaint and hospitable environment, including a seasonal patio that overlooks Sakonnet Bay, it’s breakfast at its best. Choose from a menu filled with classic favorites and comfort food. If you’re interested in moving beyond the traditional breakfast meats of ham or bacon, you’re in the right place – their chourico and corned beef hash are made fresh on the premises. Personally, I love the Crow’s Nest, which is a poached egg and corned beef hash over English muffins with Hollandaise sauce, served with home fries. Like many places in town, they do a great job with Portuguese style items, but it’s one of the only places I’ve found that offers Sweet Bread French Toast, so that’s high up on my recommendation list as well.
Anna D’s Cafe and Ice Cream was opened in 2006 and is known for cheerful service, original flavors, and a comfortable atmosphere. A country kitchen that’s conveniently located on East Main Road, it’s a must-visit for anyone on their way to Newport according to the Boston Globe (and also me). I’m crazy about quiche and it’s not always easy to find a place that does it well, but I love it here, with or without the crust! They also offer some really nice vegetarian options as well, including a Breakfast Burrito (stuffed with eggs, potato hash, black beans, peppers, onions, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream) and a Veggie Breakfast Wrap.
Honorable Mention – New England Homemade Donuts is a family-owned donut shop that specializes in handcrafted donuts and pastries made fresh every day. If you’re in a rush (and who isn’t these days?), grab a delicious donut or breakfast sandwich to go and enjoy as you take in the views of the East Bay.