If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why does it seem like we’re always rushing through coffeehouse lines or noshing on a granola bar on the way to the office? Plenty of Houston restaurants open their doors before 7 a.m., making it easy to hunker down with a balanced breakfast before starting the ol’ day. Whether it’s a bowl of overnight oats, a three-egg omelet platter, or a child-friendly diner with sky-high pancake stacks you seek, forgo hitting the snooze button and explore Houstonia’s picks of breakfast restaurants that open their doors well before rush hour.
Famously open in the morning and early afternoon only, this popular breakfast hub from Colorado begins slinging imaginative breakfast plates at 6:30 a.m. at its multiple Houston outposts. Find all of the Insta-worthy breakfast plates here, as in Texas-size chocolate chip pancakes and spicy huevos tostadas, plus a number of vegetarian options like the Bravocado Toast and a tofu scramble. But first: coffee. Snooze has a full bar dedicated to wake-me-ups, with hot and cold coffee and teas and espresso drinks. Opening time: 6:30 a.m.
5004 N Shepherd Dr
This nondescript diner bordering Garden Oaks on North Shepherd Drive is a breakfast gem, and it’s open at 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday. You’ll find all of the breakfast staples here, from chicken fried steak and eggs to buttermilk pancake stacks with hot coffee. Go ahead and eat like a champ—Simos is budget-friendly, with plenty of plates under $10. Opening time: 6 a.m. (closed on Sunday)
915 Snover St
This iconic Tex-Mex café has a loyal following for its famed breakfast tacos and plates, available from 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday. It’s not uncommon to see a crowd of people waiting in line where trays of eggs, meat, beans, and more entice. Stick to classics like barbacoa or ham and egg tacos, or get adventurous with nopales, a corn or flour tortilla with a cactus filling. Opening time: 6 a.m. (closed on Sunday)
2417 Westheimer Rd
What began as a drugstore in the late 1930s has since been transformed into the trusty Avalon Diner we know today, with locations peppered around the city. Open at 6:30 a.m. on weekdays, the old-fashioned restaurant is a foolproof place to find tasty breakfast eats like omelets, waffles, homestyle platters with eggs and bacon, wet and dry cereals, and fresh-brewed coffee. The earlier you visit, the better—the crowds pack in as the day goes on. Opening time: 6:30 a.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. weekends
2015 S Shepherd Dr #900
No need to wait to satisfy that vicious bagel craving—busy River Oaks breakfast destination the Hot Bagel Shop is open for business at 6 a.m. weekdays and 6:30 a.m. weekends. The shop offers sweet and savory bagel varieties with house-made cream cheese, smoked salmon and deli sandwiches, meat kolaches, and bagel-wrapped smoked sausages. Caffeinate while you wait: Hot Bagel serves hot coffee and tea, too. Opening time: 6 a.m. weekdays, 6:30 a.m. weekends (closed on Monday)
931 W 19th St
This European-inspired coffeehouse is new to the Shady Acres neighborhood, and it’s conveniently accessible to guests from 6:30 a.m. until midnight on weekdays. Along with the usual suspects, such as iced chai lattes and hot mochas, the café serves freddo cappuccino, a classic Greek drink. The restaurant’s Hellenic influence spans to food, too, with pastry cases stocked with spanakopita and hearty gyro plates made to order. Opening time: 6:30 a.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. weekends