Around Town: Breakfast eats

Morning food for any time of the day

Breakfast is not just for breakfast anymore. The brilliant roster of pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, omelets and coffee put breakfast at the top of the food chain. More and more places serve breakfast all day and honestly, why wouldn’t you? There’s not a more wholesome way to spend time with loved ones than over French toast and hash browns. Here’s a quick rundown of the best places to pick up some morning munchies in Buffalo.

Amy’s Place

3234 Main St, Buffalo

Open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., every day

A low-key diner located across the street from South Campus, Amy’s Place is a Buffalo breakfast staple. The seats and booths are always filled with a mix of students, professors and locals; Amy’s Place is a go-to for many.

While the food is fantastic, classic diner grub, the atmosphere of Amy’s makes it a place to come back to with everyone you know. The walls are lined with varying pieces of artwork and a sign behind the counter warns “beware of attack waitress.” The ceiling is lined with space invaders and a hidden David Bowie photo. There’s a rainbow shag rug on the wall with R2-D2 on it.

The Lebanese-American eatery offers a wide variety of Middle Eastern cuisine as well as a huge choice of vegan options. If Amy’s Place isn’t for you, then you’re not for me.

J.J’s Cafe - House of Breakfast

265 Kenmore Ave, Buffalo

Open 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday

J.J’s Cafe rightfully earns the title “House of Breakfast.” This unassuming juggernaut of a diner has some of the lowest prices anywhere in the city and breakfast sausages that make you forget about your life’s problems.

J.J’s is a bit of a trip from University Heights, but as seasonal depression kicks in, sometimes you need a pick me up.

The service is among the best in Buffalo; my server – who I suspect to be J.J himself – had an endless supply of borderline cheesy but overwhelmingly endearing antics. He brought out my friend’s breakfast sandwich with no actual ingredients on it besides the bread. After she opened up the sandwich and looked confused, he gleefully jumped back saying, “Ha! It’s a joke!”

J.J’s knows how to have fun.

Lake Effect Diner

3165 Main St, Buffalo

Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day

While not as cheap as the other breakfast options in Buffalo, Lake Effect boasts the most authentic, old-fashioned diner aesthetic around. The restaurant is a ’50s retro diner with rounded metal walls; a classic dining car set-up.

Another staple for UB students and locals alike, Lake Effect has your breakfast essentials: omelets, pancakes, waffles and an endless supply of coffee. The Blizzard Breakfast – a meal consisting of three eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, toast and a pancake – is a proper challenge for any would-be breakfast champion.

The diner sources much of its food from local Western New York farms and was even featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Lake Effect Diner is Buffalo’s own little slice of Flavortown.

Ashker’s on Elmwood

1002 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo

Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday

If diners aren’t your thing – which is all right I guess – then Ashker’s offers a full breakfast menu in a cafe setting, probably the next best thing to diners. OK, but really, what do you have against diners? They’re cozy, cheap, fast, friendly and are found pretty much everywhere. They’re one of the few American traditions that is actually wholesome. But no, I guess that’s not good enough for you.

Ashker’s on Elmwood, as the name implies, is located in the heart of the Elmwood Village. While Ashker’s is known for its huge variety of juices and healthy vegan options, the menu features a hearty breakfast section, including some of the best breakfast sandwiches this world has ever seen and pancakes that are good enough to write home about.

Ashker’s also has a few picnic tables outside so you can enjoy your meal along Elmwood Avenue and maybe bump into a few dogs as you enjoy your waffles. I don’t know what love is, but it’s probably something like dogs and waffles.

Dan McKeon is the copy chief and can be reached at