It's the most important meal of the day, and from Nashville to New York, we're showing you the freshest and most unique breakfast experiences across America. Here are seven locations that are the uncontested champions of breakfast.
The Machine Shed
Iowa is all about family, farming and agriculture. The Machine Shed is a restaurant dedicated to those ideals, and their menu follows the day of a farmer -- with breakfast served at 5 a.m., supper at 11 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. The owner of The Machine Shed says they abide by a 5-word constitution: "Dedicated to the American Farmer." Order the farmer's benedict, the country skillet or the fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls, and experience the best of farm-fresh cooking -- with none of the chores.
South of the Mason-Dixon Line on Highway 100, you'll find the famous Southern home cookin' of the Loveless Cafe. "Uncle Jesse" Goldstein, the operations manager at Loveless, will tell you that a typical meal must include country ham, biscuits, hash brown casserole and stone-ground grits -- all topped off with the essential gravy. The restaurant started as a few picnic tables set outside the farmhouse of Lon and Annie Loveless. Now the cafe seats 75 and even boasts a 14-room motel. Make sure y'all order the biscuits -- made with love by Carol Fay, The Biscuit Lady, who's been servin' biscuits hot off the griddle for over 28 years.
Whether you call it a flapjack, blintz, crepe, griddle cake or johnnycake, the pancake is a mainstay of the breakfast table -- and there's no better place to enjoy a stack than Nashville's Pancake Pantry. The recipe is simple: honest-to-goodness fresh ingredients, family tradition and love. The menu features over 23 kinds of pancakes, the most popular of which is the sweet potato pancake. The batter is made with real sweet potato flakes, and the cakes are served with a sprinkle of powdered sugar, cinnamon and homemade syrup.
New York, New York
Founded by brothers Christophe, Yves and David Jadot in 1996, Petite Abeille offers a taste of Belgium in New York's Lower East Side. Their Brussels and Liege waffles, named after the cities where they were first made, have become American favorites. The Liege waffle is heavier and sweeter than the more widely recognized Brussels waffle and is served plain. For the Brussels waffle, Petite Abeille offers 7 different kinds of toppings, from the simple strawberry sauce to the sublime "banana split," featuring chocolate sauce, ice cream and bananas.
New York, New York
Murray's Bagels, located in New York City's Greenwich Village, has been a breakfast favorite for almost 15 years. Behind the counter, you'll find 16 varieties of freshly made artisan bagels. All the bagels are hand-rolled and made fresh. The day-old bagels are taken every morning by City Harvest and given to the homeless, proving that a business built on satisfying your stomach can be good for your heart, too. New Yorkers are passionate about their bagels, and in the city that never sleeps, a delicious breakfast that can be eaten on the go will never go out of style.
Santa Cruz, California
Sometimes breakfast is better when you don't think too far outside the box, and no one knows this better than the folks at Cereality -- the original Cereal Bar and Cafe. David Roth and Rick Bacher created Cereality in 2003, where anyone can mix scoops of over 2 dozen kid-tested, mother-approved cereals, all served up in signature Chinese takeout food containers. Relive your childhood Saturday mornings with your favorite sugary cereals or choose from 16 imaginative hot and cold combos like "The Devil Made Me Do It" or the "Banana Brown Betty."
Santa Monica, California
Swingers Diner in Santa Monica is the place to go when you just can't wait till tomorrow to enjoy your breakfast. In 2000, nightclub impresario Sean McPherson created Swingers to tailor to the late-night crowd. The decor is '60s-inspired, the waiters dance to the loud music and you can get delicious breakfast anytime. While Swingers is famous for sobering up its late-night crowd with traditional waffles, pancakes and omelets, the menu also features a healthy protein breakfast and lots of choices for vegans and vegetarians. Located near trendy Malibu, Swingers sees its fair share of celebrities and scenes from the movie "Knocked Up" were filmed here.