Before a busy day exploring all the historical sites, museums, entertainment, art and architecture Trenton has to offer, you’re going to need to fuel up. Grab an incredibly satisfying—and occasionally healthy—breakfast at one of these out-of-this-world eateries, and you’ll have the energy to explore all day.
Restaurant, Soul Food, North American, Barbeque, $$$
With a casual, laid-back vibe where the focus is just on really good food, Thomasena’s offers the perfect blend of soul food and down-home American classics. Some food is served from a steam table, cafeteria-style, and some is made fresh-to-order in the kitchen. There’s always a selection of West Indian-inspired entrees, plus a couple of specials and a wide array of sides. They also serve one of the best breakfasts in town.
You won’t get anything fancy at the Sunrise Luncheonette. What you will get is food that’s just plain good. The little cafe serves up quick, American-style breakfasts. Everything’s delicious, and with large portions and fantastically low prices, you’re definitely getting plenty of bang for your buck. The diner menu features classic breakfast and lunch standards, though their eggs—cooked any style—are a standout, and the coffee is downright delicious.
Ila Mae’s is all about soul. Each meal is made fresh-to-order, and comes with an authentic dose of Southern-style charm. You can’t go wrong with grits, fried chicken or shrimp, and a rice or classic mac & cheese side. For breakfast, you’ll be blown away by the French Toast sandwich; a short stack with two eggs and beef or turkey sausage inside. Sweet maple syrup and spicy sausage are a match made in heaven, and the price is downright unbeatable.
It’s easy to forget you’re in Downtown Trenton when you sit down to a meal at Studio B Bakery & Bistro. The New Orleans-inspired menu will transport you straight to Mardi Gras with Monsieur and Madame Croque’d sandwiches, coffee and chicory, a delectable Orleans scramble, and fresh, warm, heavenly beignets. You’ll want breakfast to last forever.
Open for breakfast and brunch, CAFE Seventy Two is one of the Trenton area’s hidden gems. The cafe is tiny and seating is limited, so get there early or expect a wait. It’s also BYOB, so come with champagne if you’d like a mimosa. The menu is creative, with something for everyone. Try the crispy funnel cake fries, or, if you’re looking for something more classic, you can’t go wrong with chicken and waffles.
If what you’re looking for is a quick, easy, all-American breakfast, look no further than Cafe Chorba. Tucked into the corner of a shopping center, the cafe’s a little tough to spot if you’re on foot, so keep your eyes peeled. The menu, which covers breakfast and dinner, is basic, classic diner fare. You can’t go wrong with french toast, but their eggs and sandwiches are great too. Everything’s made to order, so enjoy a cappuccino while you wait!
Crepes at Under the Moon Cafe | Under the Moon Cafe
Under the Moon Cafe’s unique menu will appeal to adventurous eaters, with its Basque-inspired tapas dishes and its creative spin on classic American breakfast and brunch fare. Order a round of tapas—try the corn brûlée, chicken teriyaki spring rolls, beef empanadas, stuffed shrimp, or boneless short rib tostadas—or stick to a classic breakfast with a little Latin flair. Whether you’re popping in alone or with a crowd, you’ll get fantastic service and an even better meal.
If you’re looking for something vegan, organic, gluten-free, or just loaded with vegetables and flavor, look no further than Properly Fueled. The vast menu caters to every meal plan and diet, and most of it is absolutely to die for. Try a salad with unbelievably good green goddess dressing, a juice or smoothie, or just keep it sweet with a luscious (but somehow vegan and gluten-free!) brownie. No matter what you eat, Properly Fueled will have the perfect plate for you.
Lucy’s Cafe is nothing fancy, but it sure does get the job done when you’re jonesing for breakfast. Order a classic breakfast sandwich, with a freshly fried egg, sausage and melty American cheese, served on a big, fluffy kaiser roll. Enjoy the strong coffee, and munch on your side of crispy homefries. This is how breakfast is meant to be.
Stop by Cafe 128 for breakfast and whatever you do, don’t skip the baked goods, including fresh muffins and bagels, and what might just be the best biscotti anywhere. The coffee’s hot and fresh, and everything on the long and creative menu is made to order. If it’s getting to be more like brunch time, the seared tuna steak sandwich is a no-brainer.