Wake up wake up, it's time for the latest entry in the 2022 edition of the annual Tastemaker Awards, CultureMap's culinary celebration shining a light on the top talent in Fort Worth's restaurant and bar communities.
Part of that celebration includes an editorial series in which we profile nominees for Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and a bracket-style competition for Best New Restaurant. Check out our page with all the nominees, all of which have been voted on by a panel of judges consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts.
It'll culminate in a party on May 10 at 4 Eleven, at 411 S. Main St., emceed by comedian CJ Starr, where attendees get to dine on bites from nominated restaurants and find out who the winners are in all the categories. (Tickets are on sale here.)
The category we're here to toast is our wild card, which this year is Best Breakfast. In recent years, Fort Worth has enjoyed a big breakfast boom, with lots of new places dedicated to breakfast and brunch, and big crowds to fill the seats.
Here are the 10 nominees for 2022 Best Breakfast:
Ol' South Pancake House
Before breakfast was a trend, Ol' South was serving it 24 hours a day, at the ready with strong coffee for the morning crowd and just as welcoming late at night for post-party nosh. Founded in 1962, it's been an institution, thanks to its lengthy menu, super-cheap prices, accessible location off I-30, and proximity to TCU for that built-in college crowd. German pancakes are their signature plus home-cooking dishes such as biscuits and CFS.
Snooze an A.M. Eatery
Denver-based chain likes to say it turns breakfast into a party, and it's definitely been a game-changer since it entered the DFW market in 2016, with super-creative dishes like pineapple upside-down pancakes and breakfast pot pie, and its wholehearted embrace of day drinking (responsibly, of course). The FW Snooze opened in 2018 on West 7th Street, unique in that it was the first location with two stories, not unique in that there's always a line to get in.
Seven Mile Cafe
Small, wholesome breakfast chain was founded in Denton in 2011, but loves Tarrant County, too, especially the north side with outposts in Keller and Far North Fort Worth, where it opened a location in 2019. They're known for fantastic breakfasts, with numerous benedicts and 10 kinds of pancakes, including a pancake sampler, with three different flavors: buttermilk, blueberry, and red velvet. They also serve lunch and offer numerous vegan options.
Breakfast and lunch restaurant is owned by two Fort Worth police officers: E.K. Halim and Jimmy Pollozani, who comes from a family that has owned restaurants. Their menu includes eggs, omelets, French toast, Belgian waffles, pancakes, crepes, sandwiches, salads, paninis, and burgers made from black Angus beef, and their portions are generous, a sure crowd-pleaser. They've become a neighborhood hub, hosting local candidates running for office and honoring military veterans.
Hot Box Biscuit Club
Originally a popular pop-up, Hot Box opened in 2019 in the happening South Main area, where they serve breakfast and lunch. Buttermilk biscuits and biscuit sandwiches are the thing, in combos such as fried chicken with sausage gravy, along with Southern classics such as pimento cheese hush puppies and deviled eggs, and a full bar. They're a returning Tastemaker Awards nominee, winning the award for Best New Restaurant in 2020.
The Biscuit Bar
Local chain cleverly focused on biscuits was founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife Jake & Janie Burkett, who do a fast-casual yet high-quality take on scratch biscuits with a wide range of toppings. There are five DFW locations including the Stockyards which opened in 2019. Menu items include biscuit & egg, Buffalo blue chicken biscuit, charcuterie biscuit, and the Monte Cristo, as well as an assortment of tots, salads, and brunch cocktails like mimosas.
The Beacon Cafe
Formerly located at Hicks Airfield, this sweet family-owned spot (not related to Beacon Cafe on Beach) has three great B's: breakfast, brunch, and burgers, made with TLC by irrepressible chef Christie Murrell. Their weekend brunch starts early and boasts omelet and pancake stations featuring pineapple upside-down pancakes, cinnamon rolls, and French toast bread pudding, plus fun specials such as peanut-butter-and-jelly crepes. They have one other thing that people love: low prices.
Our Brunch Spot
They may say brunch in the name but this neighborhood favorite in Keller serves breakfast and lunch as well, with a massive menu, featuring eggs, sandwiches, burgers, and more. They have skillets, migas, biscuits & gravy, avocado toast, crepes, waffles, 10 kinds of omelets, and 10 kinds of pancakes including raspberry, pecan, and s'mores. Lunch extends from sandwiches to wraps, chicken fried steak, burgers, and patty melts.
Dixie House Cafe
Fort Worth is blessed to have three locations of this venerable home-cooking chain — Hulen Street, Lancaster, and Hurst — serving on-the-money renditions of classics such as chicken-fried steak, pot roast, smothered pot roast, chicken pot pie, and fragrant yeast rolls. Breakfasts are bountiful with bacon & egg combos, fat breakfast tacos, and puffy omelets with crispy fried shredded potatoes that cover the plate. Oh, and the pies — lemon meringue, coconut cream, plus cobbler, plus cheesecake, plus poke cake — all amazing.
Florida-based chain open for breakfast and lunch is a go-getter, with a big expansion across DFW in the past few years including eight in Tarrant County. Their menu ranges from traditional favorites, such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, and salads, to unique specialty items like the Chickichanga and fruit crepes. They keep things fresh by cycling in new menu items regularly, and also offer complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi.