Best Family Breakfast Spots

Where to haul the restless brood when they rise

By Zach Dundas and Karen Brooks Edited by Rachel Ritchie Illustrations by Dan Gay February 23, 2012 Published in the March 2012 issue of Portland Monthly

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Image: Kate Madden

Slappy Cakes

4246 SE Belmont St

Fry your own pancakes on a tabletop grill? With kids? Sounds like a lawsuit in the making. The ingenious Slappy Cakes, however, adds a smart dose of Portland cool to the DIY concept, resulting in slam-packed weekend crowds. Think postindustrial ceilings, Stumptown coffee and Foxfire tea, a surprisingly ambitious bar (a Pimm’s cup with house-grown muddled thyme!), and a menu that stretches beyond flapjacks. Just take care not to let your progeny sear themselves. —ZD

Sunshine Tavern

3111 SE Division St

In this puritan age, the word “tavern” may not scream “bring the kids.” Don’t be fooled. Sunshine, the Southeast gastro-bar from Lincoln’s Jenn Louis, is a glorious place to bring the offspring on a Sunday morning. The youth get free-play Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, shuffleboard, and a thoughtful $5 kids’ menu, including granola and scrambled eggs. Elders bask in the half-rustic, half-modernist calm and dig into gorgeous breakfast pizza with two shimmering fried eggs. Everyone will be into the ricotta doughnuts with ginger sugar. —ZD

Daily Café

902 NW 13th Ave

The Daily’s Sunday prix fixe brunch has been a sleeper hit among Portland’s breakfast-obsessed for about a decade. And it goes on, strong. Just $15 gets you an appetizer (go with the fruit and granola—it excuses dietary sins to come) and an entrée (we recently enjoyed the Portuguese baked eggs, spiked with paprika and linguica). And then there’s the recent upgrade: a basket of pastries by transplanted bakery ace Kim Boyce (see p. 46). That array should keep all ages happy in a bright space that can absorb plenty of ruckus. —ZD

Breken Kitchen

1800 NW 16th Ave

Behold the creative class, aged six months to 60-plus. On a typical weekday morning, this pleasant, sun-strewn café in burgeoning industrial Northwest peacefully cohosts middle-aged laptop pilots, kibitzing work meetings, and moms and dads out with the young’uns. The kids revel in the small play area and the Elvis-esque fried PB&J with bananas and biscuity jammers. The more mature and virtuous opt for the house granola with yogurt and fruit, chased by fine Ristretto coffees. —ZD

St. Jack Pâtisserie

2039 SE Clinton St

At Portland’s premier morning hideaway, breakfast means twirling on stools at a friendly counter, downing baguettes with homemade jam, sipping lovely hot chocolate, and pondering sweet treats tucked under giant glass domes. No scrambled eggs, no “eat your oatmeal,” no minimum daily requirements. No wonder kids are smiling. Open daily, this low-key diner-cum-bakery sits right next to St. Jack restaurant. Show your kids how the French make the most of life: just point to whatever looks good. —KB

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