Mom and Pop Breakfast Spots

Simple breakfasts from family-run restaurants.
Coffeecream Normmcmuffin

The Norm McMuffin from Coffee and Cream in North Smithfield. Photograph by Angel Tucker.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from a previous version that originally published in April 2022.

Coffee and Cream

900 Victory Highway, North Smithfield, 488-4448,

A one-time staple of breakfast binges and late-night excursions alike, this Blackstone Valley classic reopened in 2020 after a fire destroyed the original location. The new Coffee and Cream offers breakfast and lunch in a homey space that pays tribute to its farmhouse roots. Order a bloody mary with your Norm McMuffin, named for family patriarch Normand Branchaud, who founded the restaurant in 1990.


Bristol Sunset Café

499 Hope St., Bristol, 253-1910,

The Bristol Sunset Café offers the best of both worlds: homestyle breakfast specials in a quaint, historic location steps away from Bristol’s beautiful water views. Order classics like the egg-and-cheese on a bagel or go indulgent with the Funky Monkey — banana bread French toast layered with bananas, Nutella and walnuts. And don’t worry about the wait: while the restaurant fills up quickly on the weekends, guests can place their names on an online waitlist before leaving home.


Bluebird Café

554 Kingstown Rd., Wakefield, 792-8940, Bluebird Cafe Facebook

The Bluebird Café has been a must-visit for locals and beachgoers alike for more than thirty years. The restaurant serves up breakfast with a New Orleans flair, with fried catfish po’ boys making their way to the table alongside corned beef hash and cheese grits. Order a freshly baked corn muffin and check out the flavored coffee selection, which changes daily.


Gentleman Farmer Restaurant

617 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, 371-2683,

The focus is on big portions, and meals here could potentially feed a farmer for a day without the inconvenience of stopping for lunch. From three-egg omelets stuffed with homemade corned beef hash and cheese to the Gentleman Farmer version bursting with ham, onions, peppers, bacon, pepperoni, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage and cheese, one would have to try really hard not to get four food groups in one bite. This diner characterizes some meals by appetite level, naming dishes the Not So Hungry Man, the Hungry Man and the Super Hungry Man, the last of which involves an eight-ounce steak, three pancakes, four eggs, home fries and toast. At the Gentleman Farmer, may you never know what it means to be famished again.



176 Bellevue Ave., Newport, 849-6731,

On tony Bellevue Avenue, you might expect all white tablecloths, fancy china and pinkies up, but casual is the way of life at this darling breakfast nook. Annie’s has been in business for decades serving breakfast all day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. All of the Benedicts are made with housemade hollandaise sauce teamed up with toppings like corned beef hash and even lobster. It’s easy to feel like one of the locals perched on a stool at the counter with a view into the kitchen and a front row seat to the freshest coffee. Fresh-baked apple pie might be your next door neighbor, but pie for breakfast can sub in for a doughnut — just this once.


AJ’s Restaurant

1365 Main St., West Warwick, 828-4160,

It’s all about the neighborhood at AJ’s where mornings are like a high school reunion any day of the week. Open for more than forty years, it’s a place to bump into familiar faces and local celebs over two eggs cooked exactly the way you like them with perfectly crisped bacon and just-buttered toast that’s still warm when you bite into it. AJ’s works hard to get plates to tables fast and hot. The stuffed French toast is an epic portion with three slices of Texas-style bread dipped in egg batter, slathered with cream cheese custard and stacked like a triple-decker with strawberries in the middle and whipped cream on top.


The Cozy Grill

440 Warwick Ave., Warwick, 941-9088,; 473 Tiogue Ave., Coventry, 821-3440,

The Cozy Grill’s service has been on point since it was founded in 1981, from coffee cups that never go below half-full to the warm but never intrusive hospitality. The Warwick spot is known for more than fifteen over-the-top versions of eggs Benedict including one that’s made with a cornbread waffle and steak tips, and another served on a bed of Portuguese French toast with linguica. Sweet tooths go for the bananas foster French toast topped with sliced bananas, drizzled with caramel sauce and dolloped with whipped cream. The Warwick Cozy Grill’s little-known secret is its character pancakes for the kiddos. Request a favorite from Pokemon to Spiderman, and a work of art is created freehand by the cook. It tastes as good as it looks.


Maria’s Breakfast and Lunch

616 Smithfield Ave., Lincoln, 262-9987,

For a classic mom-and-pop breakfast experience, head down Smithfield Avenue in Lincoln to Maria’s Breakfast and Lunch. Portuguese or kielbasa omelets are served with only the crispiest home fries, and pancakes come in flavors like Reese’s, Oreo or chocolate chip. Get there before 9 a.m. for early bird specials and to avoid the crowds.


Brickway on Wickenden

234 Wickenden St., Providence, 751-2477,

It’s tough to get in Brickway on a weekend, so the secret is to slide in on a weekday before 9 a.m. and take advantage of the early bird special: two eggs any style with home fries and toast for $6.95. The simplest of breakfasts is given the expert treatment with sunnyside globes or light and fluffy scrambled eggs paired with shatter-crisp bacon. Don’t miss the weekly specials written on the chalkboard signs in the retro-style spot with artistic murals on the walls. A favorite dish is the lemon blueberry French toast, drizzled with lemon yogurt and sprinkled with fresh blueberries and powdered sugar. Fork’s up: Dessert — we mean breakfast — is the most important meal of the day.


Patriots Diner

65 Founders Dr., Woonsocket, 765-6900,

There is one spot in Rhode Island where you can get breakfast from morning to evening, seven days a week (and even until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday). Woonsocket’s Patriot’s Diner is for all people, not just local football fans, though you might get an extra wink and a nod if you show your super-fandom. The diner is built on hometown hospitality with friendly service (everyone is “hon”) and a classic menu of breakfast favorites, from gigantic omelets and a pile of crispy home fries to pancakes the size of the plate. Omelets — big as a burrito — are served frittata style. Satisfy the kid in you and have breakfast for dinner.


T’s Restaurant

91 Point Judith Rd., Narragansett, 284-3981; 1059 Park Ave., Cranston, 946-5900; 5600 Post Rd., East Greenwich, 398-7877,

T’s is the ultimate mom and pop, started in a Cranston variety store in 1982 by the Tomasellis, who had a dream to open their own place and do something they really loved. T’s now has three family-owned locations in Narragansett, Cranston and East Greenwich and each serves an all-day, everyday menu with both healthy and indulgent options. For decadent, go for the famous scratch-made corned beef hash with eggs, the Belgian waffle with blueberries and strawberries or the sweet and savory maple-egg-dipped stuffed French toast oozing with melted American cheese and smoked bacon. The Lite Living menu will keep your resolution in check with egg white scramblers and omelets packed with veggies, among other options.


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