Fremont Diner, Sonoma, CA (Sunset reader favorite; pictured). Undoubtedly the most important meal of the roadtrip day. You have ground to cover, scenery to see, souvenirs to acquire.
You need those American start-the-day classics—biscuits and gravy, smoked brisket hash—you never quite make at home. Fremont
Diner does all the above. And the patio view into the surrounding Sonoma vineyards? More proof that, on this morning, the
world adores you. $; 2698 Fremont Dr.; 707/938-7370.
Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut, Oxnard, CA. Sea-breezy setting for hearty, locally beloved breakfasts, which explains the long weekend lines. A good place to order a breakfast burrito for the beach, which is only a block away. Must-try: The banana walnut pancakes. $; 117 Los Altos St., 4.7 mi. off State 1; 805/985-9151.
Orange Inn, Laguna Beach, CA. In a high-priced town, a low-cost surfers’ and beachgoers’ delight: strong coffee, homemade blueberry muffins, breakfast burritos, smoothies. $; 703 South Coast Hwy.; 949/494-6085.