Road Journals Blog—As a natural-born night owl, I would gladly skip mornings entirely — except that would mean missing out on my favorite meal. When it comes to breakfast, these four East Bay spots are guaranteed to get this grump out of bed and smiling in no time. Area code is 510.
Wooden picnic tables and a metal rollup door make this indoor-outdoor space in Oakland's warehouse district the perfect spot for warm summer mornings. Flavorful chilaquiles and chile verde with free range pork spice up the menu, while Bloody Marys served with a bacon swizzle stick are a meal unto themselves. 247 4th St., Oakland, 834-2467, oaklandchopbar.com .
Leave your calorie counter at the door of this cheery corner eatery and dig into their signature "Demon Lover" breakfast: buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles served with cream gravy or Vermont maple syrup . . . or both. Is it tastier than their wildly popular bacon burger? Come for Saturday brunch and find out. 900 Grayson St., Berkeley, 704-9900, 900grayson.com. 
Tucked into a West Berkeley side street, this casual café often hosts live music on its sunny, dog-friendly patio. Berry-topped French toast is a favorite, as is the Harvest Breakfast—two eggs, sausage or bacon, fried apples, and savory zucchini cheese cake. 2265 5th St., Berkeley, 549-9885, tomatecafe.com .
Seasonal, organic, and sustainable are the buzzwords at this downtown Berkeley café known for fluffy lemon-ricotta hotcakes, the vegan-friendly Harajuku Scramble, and the Venus Benedict (add avocado for an extra creamy treat). 2327 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, 540-5950, venusrestaurant.net .
What's your favorite breakfast spot in the East Bay?
This blog post was first published in July 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.