Blogger Tawna set out to find Bend's best grab-and-go breakfasts. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Blogger Tawna set out to find Bend’s best grab-and-go breakfasts. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Though we like to wax poetic about how laidback everyone is in Bend, the truth is that we’re almost always going somewhere. Perhaps we’re en route to Mt. Bachelor for a day of skiing, or maybe we’re headed to Drake Park for a morning stroll.

There’s a huge call for grab-and-go breakfasts that are delicious, nutritious, and above all, portable. I’m not suggesting you grab a gloopy breakfast sandwich and hop behind the wheel of a car, veering dangerously into the bike lane when the sausage patty hits your crotch. I’ll leave it to you to be responsible about saving the nosh-fest for when you’re either a passenger hand-feeding your driver, or transporting your portable breakfast to a scenic locale to enjoy it.

However you handle it, here are nine great grab-and-go breakfasts you’ll find in Bend.

 

Rockin’ Daves

The full name of this popular Bend eatery is Rockin’ Daves Bagel Bistro and Catering (say that five times fast!) so as you can probably guess, bagels are a staple here (though they also offer terrific sit-down breakfasts and Bloody Marys when you have more time to spare).

The Clogger bagel sandwich from Rockin' Daves.
The Clogger bagel sandwich from Rockin’ Daves.

My stepkids are partial to simple offerings like a plain bagel and with seasonal berry cream cheese, while I’m fond of more substantial options like a bagel breakfast sandwich. The Clogger is my personal fave, with bacon, tomato, avocado, red onion, and cream cheese on your choice of bagel. While I love adding an egg for a small upcharge, this does make the whole thing bigger (read: messier and harder to shove in your pie hole) so keep that in mind if you’ll be eating in a car.

If bagel sandwiches aren’t your thing, they also offer a terrific build-your-own breakfast burrito option. Each comes with egg, cheese, hash browns, and your choice of one meat and one veggie (meats include bacon, ham, sausage, and pork belly, while veggies include onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and jalapeño). These bad boys are BIG, so I usually choose the small instead of the large. If you’re taking your breakfast burrito to a park or hiking trail, ask for extra salsa and slather it on generously with each bite. Yum!

 

Jackson’s Corner

This popular Bend eatery has Eastside and Westside locations, and Jackson’s Corner is ideal for a lazy Sunday breakfast sprawled at one of their huge farm tables taking your time over a plate of biscuits and gravy or cardamom & sea salt French toast.

Tasty bacon breakfast biscuit from Jackson's Corner.
Tasty bacon breakfast biscuit from Jackson’s Corner.

But if you’re itching to hit the road, you can still sample their fare. Try the biscuit sandwich, made with Hills bacon, Tillamook cheddar, and organic scrambled egg on a house-made biscuit. I like asking them to add a few seasonal, grilled veggies for added crunch and nutrition.

This tasty sandwich actually looks messier than it is. The box they give you for takeout makes a perfect catch-all for dropped crumbs, and I’ll admit I enjoy the tactile pleasure of eating the side of home fries with my fingers (though my husband—refined gentleman that he is—opts to eat them with a fork in an unmoving car).

One of the things I love about Jackson’s Corner is their commitment to fresh, locally-produced ingredients. If that’s important to you as well, you’ll enjoy a little peace-of-mind with that side of home fries!

 

Mother’s Café

I planned my most recent stop at Mother’s Café to coincide with my drive to the annual Yogis Unite yoga festival held each September in Bend. This was no accident. The instant you walk through the door, you feel centered, balanced, and oh-so-very-healthy.

Yummy, fruity, healthy Chia Pudding from Mother's.
Yummy, fruity, healthy Chia Pudding from Mother’s.

But you get even healthier when you start ordering from the menu. Their cold-pressed juices and smoothies make a supremely portable breakfast option, with tons of variety to choose from. I’m partial to the Tropical Fuji, made with orange juice, pineapple, banana, mango, coconut, mango sorbet.

I’ll admit I have a tough time feeling filled up by a meal I can’t chew, so there are plenty of chewable options here as well. Their breakfast sandwiches are a bit messy to eat in a car, but they’re a terrific choice for that brunch picnic. The Mother’s Cristo features ham, egg, Havarti, and marionberry jam on an English muffin, or try the Baden-Baden with avocado, egg, tomato, spinach, Swiss, and chimichurri on an English muffin.

On the morning of the yoga festival, I decided to branch out with something new. “Have you tried our Chia Pudding?” asked the friendly attendant. I had not, and I’ll be honest—it sounded a little weird. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Chia pudding is made with chia seeds, hemp milk, kale, lemon, mango, bee pollen and ginger, topped with apple, almonds, fresh berries and coconut. It’s a glorious mix of textures and flavors with the perfect amount of crunch and zing. Definitely don’t attempt to eat this one while driving, but do take it with you to that perfect picnic table where you’ll wield your plastic spoon and feel very zen about your life.

Like many other cafes in this roundup, these guys have both Eastside and Westside locations, so you can hit them whether you’re heading to Mt. Bachelor or out to the Oregon Badlands Wilderness.

 

Los Jalapeños

You know how sometimes you order a breakfast burrito and you end up with all the egg on one side and the meat on the other? Or the ratio of filling to tortilla is skewed so heavily to the tortilla that you feel like you’re chewing a piece of cardboard rubbed with egg?

One of the tastiest, heartiest, freshest breakfast burritos you'll ever eat can be found at Los Jalapenos.
One of the tastiest, heartiest, freshest breakfast burritos you’ll ever eat can be found at Los Jalapenos.

That’s sooooo not the case at Los Jalapeños. This hidden little mid-town eatery isn’t something you’d find unless you went looking for it, but I urge you to stop whatever you’re doing now and go looking.

These guys are the masters of the perfect breakfast burrito, which they’ll grill up hot while you wait, chattering happily in Spanish the whole time. They have tons of options to pick from, ranging from the Chorizo Burrito (Mexican sausage, hash browns, two eggs, and cheese) to the Machacha Burrito (shredded beef, bell pepper, hash browns, two eggs, and cheese) and more. I loved the sound of their veggie burrito (two eggs, bell pepper, onions, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, cheese, and hash browns) but wanted to add ham. No problem! They charged a little bit more, then cooked the whole thing up fresh while I waited.

The tortilla was light and fresh and heavenly, and the fillings were scrumptious and well proportioned. They gave me little to-go cups of green and red salsa, which I doused over each bite I took while working at my standup desk.

 

Strictly Organic

As a devout tea drinker, I didn’t think to put Strictly Organic on my list of grab-and-go breakfast options at first. But when I asked the girl making my breakfast at Mother’s for her favorite grab-and-go spot that isn’t Mother’s, Strictly Organic was her suggestion. I’m glad I heeded it!

Tasty, healthy breakfast wrap from Strictly Organic.
Tasty, healthy breakfast wrap from Strictly Organic.

For starters, Strictly Organic offers waaaaaaaaaay more than just coffee. I was taken aback by their selection of grab-and-go breakfast items, including pastries, muffins, breakfast wraps, breakfast sandwiches, and quiche. As you might expect from a spot with this name, these guys specialize in fresh, locally-produced, organic goods.

The wide selection makes it a perfect spot to take a family looking to eat on the run.  My stepkids opted to pick something out of the pastry case, which offered a wide array of cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones, and bagels.

My husband chose the daily breakfast special, which was turkey bacon, egg, and Swiss with spinach, onion, mayo, and roasted red pepper on his choice of bread. I went for the veggie breakfast wrap with avocado, tomato, and onion, plus I added turkey bacon because—well, I could. Everything here screamed “fresh!” and I liked the added bonus of being able to choose between white, wheat, or a gluten-free rice wrap.

Keep in mind this spot is super-popular with locals, so if speed is crucial in your grab-and-go quest, you might want to pick someplace else on a busy Saturday or Sunday. But if you have a little extra time to wait, it’s definitely worth it!

 

Big O Bagel

Yet another option with handy Eastside and Westside locations, Big O Bagels is one of my family’s most regular stops when we want a super-fast, super-predictable breakfast on our way out of town for a hike.

Big O Bagels kids
Cedar and Violet enjoy their tasty treat from Big O Bagels (while Bindi the dog looks on).

The kids are suckers for their chocolate chip bagels smeared with butter or (if they’re feeling adventurous) cream cheese.

For me, the no-frills nature of their bagel sandwiches (and the fact that their bagels are just a tiny bit smaller and firmer than the ones at Rockin’ Daves) is a huge selling point for an on-the-go breakfast. I don’t have to worry about the whole thing falling apart in my lap while I’m attempting to simultaneously eat, unwrap my husband’s sandwich, and throw napkins to the kids.

I typically choose one of their sundried tomato bagels smeared with red pepper cream cheese, then adorned with egg, bacon, and a few slices of tomato. They also have other meat options like sausage and ham, and they routinely offer unique, seasonal bagel flavors.

 

Sparrow Bakery

Ocean Rolls from Sparrow Bakery....mmmm!
Ocean Rolls from Sparrow Bakery….mmmm!

One of Bend’s most popular breakfast eateries, Sparrow Bakery is legendary for their melt-in-your-mouth ocean rolls. What’s an Ocean Roll? A flaky, buttery pastry a bit like a cinnamon roll, but spiked with cardamom and drizzled with the most mouth-watering glaze you’ll ever taste. I’m not a big fan of sweets for breakfast (or in general) but even I go nuts for Ocean Rolls.

But Sparrow also offers a pretty tasty breakfast sandwich made with poached egg, bakery-smoked bacon, avocado, arugula, and aioli served on a hand-rolled croissant. This one can be a little messy, though my husband occasionally makes it less-so by asking for a bagel instead of the croissant. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this breakfast treat.

 

Emerald City Smoothie

I was driving to work thinking about this blog post and reflecting on the fact that I hadn’t included any breakfast smoothies in the mix. Suddenly, I spotted the brand new Emerald City Smoothies on the north side of Greenwood Avenue. Perfect! A chance to try something new, and a chance to see if I could get over my aversion to non-chewable breakfasts.

At Emerald City Smoothie, you can add granola to your smoothie for a little extra crunch.
At Emerald City Smoothie, you can add granola to your smoothie for a little extra crunch.

As it turns out, I didn’t have to. Not completely, anyway. See, Emerald City Smoothies gives you the option to layer any of their smoothies with granola, which adds the bit of crunch I crave.

I was blown away by the sheer volume of smoothie options here. There are smoothies geared toward weight loss, weight gain, immunity support, energy boosting, and more. Best of all, each smoothie on the menu is labeled with nutritional information to help you make smart choices about protein, fat, and calorie content.

I picked the Marionberry Fuel smoothie, made with marionberry, strawberry, nonfat milk, protein, and energy mix (in case you’re wondering, that’s 380 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein). I also added the granola, and while it was tasty, I recommend asking them to add only half the regular amount (unless you really, really dig granola).

Also, Emerald City has smoothie happy hour from 7-9 am. weekdays when all smoothies are $3.95. You can hit them at their new Eastside spot, or at their longstanding Westside location on Century Drive.

 

Longboard Louie’s

Are you sensing a theme here with all these Bend eateries boasting both an Eastside and Westside location? While I didn’t set out to do that, it’s a tremendous convenience for folks staying in one part of town but spending time in another.

Enjoy a hearty breakfast burrito from Longboard Louies.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast burrito from Longboard Louies.

Longboard Louie’s offers one of my favorite cheap lunches in town, but I seldom go here for breakfast. I decided to rectify that by stopping in to scope out their breakfast burrito selection.

Quite the selection it is! To start with, they offer both small and large breakfast burritos, which is a fab feature for those with family members of varying appetites and hand sizes.

The standard breakfast burrito comes with eggs, hash browns, fresh salsa, sour cream, and pinto beans wrapped in a flour tortilla with your choice of filling (though you can add more than one filling for an extra 50-cents). Fillings include chili relleno, fajita veggies, sausage, chorizo, cheese, bacon, steak, and turkey sausage.

I chose turkey sausage and fajita veggies (which are my favorite addition to the aforementioned cheap lunch). For some reason I wasn’t expecting the beans (even though, duh, it mentions them right there on the menu) and I might have chosen to skip those. Then again, they did make for a more filling meal.

My favorite thing about a visit to Longboard Louie’s is always the salsa bar. You’ve got about a dozen options to choose from, including tomatillo, a bean and corn salsa that always makes me happy, red salsas in varying degrees of spiciness, and a tropical mango and pineapple salsa that might be a little weird on a breakfast burrito, but is delicious on just about anything else.

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