The Dollar-Wise Gourmet: Bargain Breakfasts: Five Under $5

Posted on August 18, 2009

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and potentially the cheapest, if you know where the bargains are. Here are five great deals under $5.

Cinnamon roll with walnuts from Spinners
Cinnamon roll with walnuts from Spinners Photo by Gabriel Teague

The place: Crepeville 1730 L St., Sacramento
The meal: Basic crêpe with cheddar and onions; house potatoes
Taste test: Satisfying and nicely prepared, with a perfectly turned-out crêpe and yummy herb-seasoned red breakfast potatoes
The damage: $4.75
And one more thing: Add a touch of Tabasco to lift this crêpe from simple to sensational. (It’s free.)

The place: Ikea 700 Ikea Court, West Sacramento
The meal: The “regular” breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, French toast sticks
Taste test: Thumbs-up on the fluffy eggs and nicely browned cubed potatoes; thumbs-down on the scrawny bacon and slightly chewy French toast sticks
The damage: $1.99 (There’s also a 99-cent breakfast plate)
And one more thing: Carb fans may want to try the Swedish pancakes for $1.99. But you might linger for your lingonberries: Lines can be long. (It’s a cafeteria.)

The place: Spinners 545 Downtown Plaza, Sacramento
The meal: Cinnamon roll with walnuts
Taste test: Decadent and delicious: warm, fresh, cinnamony, buttery, not too sugary and huge
The damage: $3.25
And one more thing: It’s worth the trip—and the calories. But it’s takeout only, so you’ll have to eat your treat elsewhere. (On one of the Plaza’s outdoor benches, perhaps?)

The place: Tower Cafe 1518 Broadway, Sacramento
The meal: New Mexico Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes
Taste test: Cornmeal adds a delightful twist to these two plate-sized pancakes, prettily dotted with blueberries and served with whipped butter and syrup
The damage: $4.95 (half order)
And one more thing: Tower’s lush tropical ambiance makes it a particularly sweet spot for a steal.

The place: Uptown Cafe 1121 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento
The meal: Uptown Slam: two eggs, two strips of bacon, one link sausage and two pancakes, garnished with fruit
Taste test: Excellent all around, from the crisp, ungreasy bacon to the plump sausage and fluffy buttermilk pancakes
The damage: $4.99
And one more thing: This place is as loaded with personality as it is with good deals, from the colorful décor to even more colorful waitresses. (Mine called me “hon.”)

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