Your mother always told you to start your day with a healthy and filling breakfast. In South Carolina, that can mean anything from the traditional eggs and bacon to biscuits and coffee to exotic breads and pastries. And of course, if you're anywhere near the Atlantic, nothing goes better with that Southern staple, grits, than fresh-from-the-sea shrimp.
Here's a sampling of some of the most popular places to satisfy your breakfast cravings.
Stax Omega Diner & Bakery 72 Orchard Park Drive (864) 297-6639 A family-owned business since 1988, Stax focuses on "comfort food." Favorites include shrimp and grits, tiramisu pancakes, Rocky Mountain crepes and blueberry granola "crunchcakes." You'll love the coffee, fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies, too.
Mon Amie Morning Cafe 2601 E. Main St. (864) 541-7981 Crepes, anyone? If the answer is a resounding "Yes!" don't miss the wonders of Mon Amie Morning Cafe. Euro-style crepes of every sort are whipped up at your command here and the Café Du Mondé coffee is flowing. Pup-friendly patio dining is offered, too, so have breakfast with your best friend. Bon jour!
The Skillet 435 E. Main St. (864) 342-9978 What's better than an authentic diner breakfast of made-to-order Southern staples cooked in an open-air kitchen? Arrive early at The Skillet as the small space fills quickly each morning.
Ray's Diner 3110 Two Notch Road (803) 661-8175 There's nothing fancy about Ray's Diner - just great omelets, huge fluffy pancakes, endless hot coffee and silky-smooth grits. Oh, and the waitresses call everyone "hon." They serve lunch, too, but go for the breakfast.
Original Pancake House 4840 Forest Drive (803) 782-6742 A staple of southeast Columbia, Original Pancake House has a variety of choices, but pancakes are its thing: apple, buttermilk, buckwheat and even coconut, wheat germ, Hawaiian and potato pancakes.
Cafe Strudel 300 State St. (803) 794-6634 In the heart of West Columbia's riverfront area, Cafe Strudel and espresso bar is renowned for its "hangover hash browns," plus new takes on traditional favorites. Also serves lunch, with beer and wine on hand.
Big Bad Breakfast 456 Meeting St. (843) 459-1800 There's nothing like a big good breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast: avocado toast, house-cured Tabasco brown sugar bacon, crispy southern fried chicken, Anson Mills grits, fried oyster scramble and that amazing Irish coffee. Did we mention the Cathead Chicken Biscuit? Go get you one and thank us later.
Three Little Birds Cafe 65 Windermere Blvd. (843) 225-3065 A genuine locals' place in South Windermere Shopping Center, Three Little Birds Cafe is just a little difficult to find (behind the main section of the shopping center), but worth the effort. You'll enjoy good food at reasonable prices, like the shrimp and grits for $11. Regulars say they're never disappointed.
Page's Okra Grill 302 Coleman Blvd. (843) 881-3333 Warning: Get to this Mount Pleasant restaurant early, or plan on waiting on the outdoor deck. Parking can be difficult, too, so add in a little extra time when you head to Page's Okra Grill. An extensive menu for breakfast - and lunch - with large omelets, pancakes and a delicious shrimp and grits entree make this the place to be when the breakfast monster strikes.
Johnny D's Waffles & Bakery 33301 N. Kings Highway (843) 448-6789 Billing itself as "the best breakfast spot in Myrtle Beach," this restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere with an American diner vibe. Chef Jamie Daskalis (SC Chef Ambassador 2020-2021) offers up specialty waffles (try the red velvet variety) and pancakes, plus fresh-baked breads. There are now multiple Grand Strand locations, so see the website for details.
Corner Perk 1297 May River Road (843) 816-5674 Located in the middle of Old Town Bluffton, Corner Perk is noted for its dark-roast coffees, but they also serve up a great brunch featuring skillets, omelets, French toast, sandwiches and wraps - and to wash it down, mimosas, Moscow mules and coffee, of course. Click here for other locations.