Best of 2020: Corvallis early morning eats

Wisecracks Cafe, located in downtown Corvallis, offers classic breakfast dishes as well as a restaurant specials. While the owners have remained the same, the restaurant has undergone rebranding and taken on this new name within the last year. 

William Ross, News Contributor

First place: New Morning Bakery

New Morning Bakery in downtown Corvallis is a spot where residents can stop and enjoy breakfast before heading out for the day. The bakery was also voted as the best early morning eats location in town. With a vast assortment of baked goods and made-to-order breakfast, New Morning Bakery has food ready early, the moment the doors open.

The bakery has been around since the late 1970s, but since 2012, new ownership has taken it over. Husband and wife duo Tristan and Keara James are responsible for New Morning Bakery now.

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It took very little time for the two of them to put their own spin on the old bakery model. In 2013, New Morning Bakery started to offer customers made-to-order breakfast.  

“There seemed to be a lot of demand for it in town. People kept asking, and there weren’t a lot of places that would do a cook-to-order breakfast,” Tristan said.

Breakfast is served until 1 p.m., every day at New Morning Bakery. Breakfast includes classics such as french toast, eggs and pancakes. Items are made to order and will be hot by the time it comes out to customers. 

New Morning Bakery has been a staple for many Corvallis residents for years now. Hazel Stratton has been regularly going to the bakery for around 20 years.  

Stratton said New Morning Bakery is a comfortable place to go. After going there a while, people will start to notice the same faces. It’s really a terrific place that brings the community together, according to Stratton.

Folks who aren’t in the Corvallis area can still enjoy the goods New Morning Bakery has to offer. Through their website, people from across the nation can purchase mail orders of some of the best baked goods the shop has to offer.

“I have people in Texas that are ordering english muffins, often it’s people that use to live here who have moved away and still want some stuff we make,” Tristan said. 

The bakery also has a vast catering network, in which they will deliver to events all around Oregon. Erin Anderson, an employee for New Morning Bakery, deals with all catering and delivery. 

When not out running deliveries or getting orders prepared, she helps around the bakery. 

“We’re like tight family,” Anderson said. “I love everyone here.” 

Not only do the James owners treat their employees like family, they also treat their customers like it too, according to Stratton. 

“Sometimes Keara, one of the co-owners, she will come over and sit down with our family. She’ll have a beverage or snack” Stratton said. 

Working in the food business means things rapidly change at New Morning Bakery. Seasonal items are always coming and going in the shop. 

According to Tristan, New Morning Bakery keeps its core menu the same throughout the year. From late October to December is when seasonal items come and go due to all of  the different holidays. 

With another holiday in the near future, Tristan has already started to prepare.

“We make what are called Valentines Day gateaux, they’re like heart shape, really rich chocolate cakes. It’s probably just the right amount for two people,” James said. 

New Morning Bakery has been a part of Corvallis for generations now. Making the restaurant have a loyal customer base. 

“We make everything we do from scratch,” Tristan said. “We employed quite a few people locally, that’s our thoughts on what makes good food. People making it right here in town instead of just buying stuff heating it up and sending it out the door.”  

New Morning Bakery is Located at 219 SW 2nd St, Corvallis, OR 97333 they are open daily, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Second place: WiseCracks Cafe 

A modern take on the American diner with a twist on classic breakfast food. This is what WiseCracks Cafe offers to the residents of Corvallis who walk through its doors.

WiseCracks technically opened in 2007 by Brooke and Brandon Dale, husband and wife duo. Brandon, being the head chef at the time, came up with the whole menu. While Brooke, whose background is in graphic design made the concepts of the restaurant. 

With the couple working together, they were able to make WiseCracks, a breakfast staple of Corvallis. WiseCracks features traditional American breakfast with having a fair amount of its own unique dishes. 

“Our hobo hash is our most popular and most common, it’s liked by everybody. We have an excellent eggs, “Benny,” and an excellent country fried steak,” Brooke said.  

Residents may know WiseCracks Cafe by its previous name Broken Yolk. The restaurant decided to rebrand itself last year. The Dales are still the long-time owners of the restaurant’s location.    

“We’re the same place, we’re the same people, we’re the same fun, friendly vibe atmosphere. Nothing has changed but our name, we just want the community to know that they can still come here and feel at home,” Brooke said.

WiseCracks Cafe can be found at 119 SW 3rd St, Corvallis, OR 97333. 

Third place: Elmers 

Living in the northwest comes with classic staples for morning dining. One of those locations is Elmer’s, the chain of locally-owned restaurants. 

While Elmer’s serves lunch and dinner items, most know the restaurant  for its breakfast, as it is provided all day. Elmer’s serves traditional American breakfast food and also has a list of seasonal items they add to the menu each year. 

Elmer’s joined the Corvallis community back on March 15, 2004. Owners and spouses, Luis Perez and Patty Perez, were the ones that put the work in bringing Elmer’s to the town.

“My wife was very instrumental in getting the place started. She has really helped make the place what it is today,” Perez said. 

According to Perez, Elmer’s has thrived as a top breakfast spot in Corvallis, thanks to its large customer base made up of Corvallis locals and university students. People coming to Corvallis from out of town also make up a decent amount of Elmers’ customers. 

Elmer’s in Corvallis has remained successful beyond the work of Perez. Elmers’ employees and management have brought friendly services and hard work to make the experience of the restaurant great, according to Perez.

Whether it’s the ranch-style breakfast or getting unique german pancakes, Elmer’s will make its orders fresh and aims to keep anyone’s breakfast needs satisfied. 

Elmer’s can be found at 1115 NW 9th St, Corvallis, OR 97330 and opens at its regular daily time of 6 a.m.