Perkins began as a single humble Ohio pancake house in 1958. More than 50 years––and 440 national locations––later, each Perkins restaurant stays true to its roots by keeping those signature buttermilk pancakes the focal point of a 90-plus-item menu. Cooks layer the popular flapjacks in stacks of two, three, or even five and make the fluffy towers all the more tempting with toppings such as glazed strawberries, whipped cream, or flavored syrups. Breakfast favorites—including hearty omelets and country benedicts—are served all day, meaning kids and adults can order short stacks to accompany their jumbo-shrimp or steak dinner, instead of smuggling them in under a stovepipe hat. Unlike most other chain restaurants, Perkins also features in-store bakeries that churn out the shop's real fruit and cream pies, muffins, and chocolate-chip cookies.
Vin-Chet Pastry Shop, founded in 1946, provides a plethora of high-quality, delicious baked treats to eager icing lovers. The luxurious almond ring, a Danish coffee cake infused with almond paste, iced, and then covered with toasted almonds ($8.95), provides a delicious start to the day or an unconventional token of eternal devotion. Snag a cake (starting at $9.50) to add a sweet touch to special events, or take home a gluten-free pizza ($15.95) for a dinner companion that gives you unconditional love. Customers who savor sweet sensations can delight in a variety of pies, from traditional windowsill apple to blueberry and lemon-meringue.
Like Prometheus stealing fire from the gods to give it to humankind, the founders of Bagel Jay's Bakery and Cafe brought bagels to Western New York in 1976. Since then, owner Bagel Jay has been crafting circular standbys with a menu of freshly baked bagels paired with savory deli meats. Diners dress their hearth-baked bagel with cream-cheese shmears of scallions, vegetable, and cinnamon honey, or construct sandwiches of sliced roasted turkey, hot corned beef, or ham. A steaming cup of Jakee's Java and a breakfast bagel with bacon and cheese help jump-start the morning, and classic tuna salad fortifies muscles after a long day of playing Jenga with railroad ties.