Arlington is host to tourist landmarks AT&T Stadium and Six Flags, making the city a magnet for franchise restaurants. While visitors may find themselves awash in chains, these 10 spots are essential to visit if you’re hankering for breakfasts cooked by locals in the know. Here is our guide to dining out for breakfast and brunch.
Tom’s occupies an old Denny’s, turning the space from national chain into a distinctly-Texan spot. Maintaining the metallic 50’s diner without any of the gimmicks, Tom’s serves homemade Arlington favorites like breakfast quesadillas and burritos, along with traditional eggs and pancakes. The crown jewel of Tom’s is the chicken-fried steak, prepared with a unique potato chip batter and topped with gravy. For breakfast, enjoy the dish with eggs and hash browns. All day breakfast is even served with drinks. Tom’s doesn’t have a liquor license, but ask your server and you can get a free draft beer or glass of wine – just one of the perks of this local spot.
Cafe, Diner, Restaurant, Wine Bar, Coffee Shop, Wine, $$$
Owner Cynthia Chippendale has turned Potager into Arlington’s favorite farm-to-table restaurant. Potager’s motto is, “ask for only as much as you can eat and pay what you feel it is worth,” meaning no set prices and small dishes prepared with organic, local produce. The daily-changing menu is especially good for brunch, with quiches, soups, salads and fresh-baked breads and pastries all on offer. The communal dining and bohemian vibe only enhance the incredibly fresh and healthy fare. Potager’s is also B.Y.O.B., making for a lively dining experience that feels more like someone’s home than a restaurant.
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Fans of breakfast buffets will be delighted by Division Street Diner’s Sunday brunch. The smaller portions, frequently changed serving trays and expansive options make for a meal that is a pleasant surprise. Carved meats, eggs prepared any way and massive pancakes lead to a choice of Division’s homemade desserts. During the week, this restaurant’s loaded hash browns – potatoes with bacon, ham, or sausage, and topped with melted cheese and eggs – are a local favorite.
This locale is also a former chain, replacing standard donuts with pastries that feel homemade. Oh! Donuts also offers one of the cheaper filling breakfasts in the area; a sausage roll filled with bacon, ham, eggs, and cheese, for less than a dollar, that goes great with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Family-run and friendly, Oh! Donuts also makes fresh doughnut holes and tasty apple fritters. Visitors may miss this spot on the edge of Arlington’s Park Plaza Shopping Center, but Oh! Donuts is well worth a visit.
While during the week Mac’s is one of Arlington’s best steakhouses, on Sunday’s it becomes the city’s most popular spot for bunch. The emphasis on expertly-prepared dishes spreads to an array of eggs Benedict options, including the Point St. George – white lump crab meat and poached eggs covered in hollandaise atop English muffins. Mac’s extensive bar lends itself to the best bloody Marys and mimosas in town, and the warm sweet rolls and fresh fruit bar make the brunch even better. This unique steakhouse also prepares a Texas breakfast specialty –migas – fried corn tortillas topped with eggs, cheese, tomatoes, onions and jalapeños. Brunch enthusiasts will enjoy the upscale treatment and preparation in a comfortable Texan steakhouse.
With an entire page of the menu dedicated just to omelets, Rise & Shine offers Arlington’s most extensive breakfast food. Served all day, the huge portions also make Rise & Shine’s breakfast a diner classic. Their house-made baked goods highlight the menu. Homemade raisin bread is used for some of the best french toast in Dallas Fort Worth, and their house biscuits form the base of the biscuit debris – biscuit scraps covered with sausage gravy, ham, bacon and cheese. For an incredibly filling breakfast, Rise & Shine also serves a gigantic ham, egg and cheese croissant with hash browns. Don’t be fooled by the dated building and unchanged 80’s decor; Rise & Shine is one of Arlington’s best.
Located next to a hardware store, hole-in-the-wall Sabor Latino is home to Arlington’s most authentic Colombian food. Those tired of eggs and pancakes will appreciate the breakfast options at Sabor. Fresh pineapple, passion fruit, and papaya juices make for a light start to the day, along with Colombian coffee. Empanadas, served with a delicious cilantro sauce, and plantains, are also filling options, not to mention easy on the wallet. For the complete Colombian experience, the Bandeja Paisa – beans, rice, arepas (potato pancakes), carne asada salad, chicharron (fried pork), chorizo (sausage), eggs and plantains is a recommended dish. Served with fresh avocado, the dish contains enough food to sustain customers for the rest of the day.
Just down the road from Six Flags, Pioneer Restaurant’s only sign advertises “Just Good Food.” The no-frills spot lives up to this promise, especially with their all-day breakfast menu. Pioneer supplants their reputation as local favorite with the workman’s special served Monday through Friday; two eggs, bacon or sausage, grits or hash browns, and toast or biscuits. The menu also includes extensive options for meat lovers; rib-eye steak, chopped sirloin, ham and pork chops are all served with eggs.
Los Pastores is an Arlington taquería with the city’s best-kept breakfast secret. Authentic Mexican dishes are served alongside American favorites. For a mix-and-match breakfast, enjoy breakfast tacos – made with egg, potato, Mexican sausage or ham, and house-made tortillas – with authentic huevos rancheros and beans. Visitors to Los Pastores need not be intimidating for non-Spanish speakers, as the waitresses speak excellent English. The Mexican omelet – with tomato, jalapeño, onion, bacon, potato and cheese – is well worth the trip, as are more simple meals such as eggs, bacon and beans. The combination restaurant-grocery store makes for unique dining, and is a great spot to pick up house-made tortillas and other goods after breakfast.
Main Street Cafe is the definition of a hidden gem. Its location (not on Main Street, but rather on Cooper Street) and small sign make it easily missed, but its breakfast fare has made it a staple for over 50 years. The chicken-fried chicken Benedict features biscuits with fried chicken, bacon, gravy and three fried eggs. Locals go mad for the breakfast specials, the home fries and the homemade pies. Main Street Cafe features Country Texas fare at its finest.