Best Breakfast Sandwiches


Sandwiches aren’t my lunch of choice; the ratio of filling to bread always seems somehow wrong. But the umami-rich combo of a fried egg, bacon and cheese is hard to beat, and makes for the perfect breakfast. Shoreliners seem to agree as breakfast sandwiches are a THING around here. We scoured the towns for the best of them.

Give Bees a Chance and Plain Jane at The Villager, Chester

The stream of folks in Chester in the early morning hours are no doubt heading to The Villager for their inventive selection of breakfast sandwiches. It’s somewhat of a townie secret, but word is getting out because they have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 concoctions on offer every day. So many, in fact, that bleary-eyed breakfasters (moi) may find it hard to choose. You will NOT go wrong with my two favorites. For an update on the classic, try the Plain Jane on a bialy. I prefer American cheese and bacon with my two eggs, but ham, kielbasa and sausage and all varieties of cheese are also options. It’s the bialy that nails it: not as filling as a bagel with a delightful addition of sautéed onions, brings this basic to an entirely new level.

If you’re in the mood for something slightly healthier, absolutely order the Give Bees a Chance. An open-faced delight of toasted cranberry walnut bread, a smear of peanut butter, a handful of strawberries, blueberries and dried cranberries and a drizzle of honey. An unexpected and perfect sandwich with enough protein and healthy carbs to keep you going til dinner! This spot is a GEM.

Specials posted on facebook daily:

13 Main Street in Chester

(Give Bees a Chance photo above)

Plain Jane on a Bialy


Ashlawn Farm Sausage and Egg Biscuit, Old Saybrook

Well, this is the one that is nigh impossible to resist. I head to Ashlawn Farm Coffee for my usual yogurt/granola parfait and cappuccino, but all too often find myself seduced by this delectable treat. A flaky-yummy-just baked cheddar chive biscuit, with a slab of Walt’s maple sausage, and melted local cheddar cheese, and (for most) a Farmer’s Cow egg. I skip the egg as, frankly, it seems a little over the top. Then I cut the thing in two and try to eat only half. You know how that scenario goes. By the time my cappuccino is gone, so is the sandwich. Breakfast perfection (or lunch if Ashlawn hasn’t sold out).

455 Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook



Bacon, Egg & Cheese at Coffee’s Country Market, Old Lyme

When nothing but the classic bacon, egg, and cheese on a hard roll will do, you should head straight to Coffee’s (or Laysville as it’s known in the neighborhood). Folks line up at the counter daily for this straight-up version. It’s the preferred breakfast in my family – Sunday mornings usually require a run when my daughter is home for the weekend. There’s nothing fancy shmancy about it, just a perfectly fried egg, plentiful bacon, and a slab of American cheese piled on a toasted bun. Beat the line and call ahead, and while you’re there pick up a house-made Fruit-of-the-Forest pie, some fried chicken, and mango-black bean salad and you’ve got dinner, too. It’s a good stop for all manner of take-out (I’m a fan of the roasted turkey dinner) and you’ll find one of the best old-fashioned hardware stores on the Shoreline right next door.

169 Boston Post Road in Old Lyme


Crepes at Java Hut, Guilford

Looking for a lighter version of the classic bacon, egg, and cheese? Try the crepes at Java Hut. This popular breakfast and lunch spot, housed in the Quonset hut just before the Guilford Green has some delightful riffs on the typical sammie. I’m of the mind that everything tastes better folded in a buttery crepe and this is so true of typical breakfast ingredients. You’ll find fancy versions like Florentine (spinach, eggs, tomato, garlic and goat cheese) on the menu, but the basic egg and cheese appealed to me with the addition, of course, of bacon.

The crepe was light and fluffy (scrambled eggs, not fried) and studded with plenty of salty bacon bits throughout. Be forewarned, while not a dough bomb it’s a hefty portion; the platter of crepes and home fries could have easily fed two.  That and an organic cappuccino kept me going til dinner.

20 Church Street in Guilford





Mousie Madam and The Go-To at Madison Cheese Shop, Madison

To make an ordinary breakfast sandwich is human. To make the kind served up daily at the Madison Cheese is divine.

For most the formula is simple: Slap a sunnysider, a slice of swiss, and a slab o’ swine on a toasty Thomas’ and call it a day.  But if you’re the creator of one of the best grilled cheese on the Shoreline, that simply won’t do. You see, owner Fawn Nebinger, not only knows her fromage—she’s been in the biz for more than 10 years—also knows a thing or two about pairing the appropriate “pain” with it. You’ll find a thoughtful menu of nine breakfast sandwiches here at only $7.50 each.

We started with the “Mousie Madam”—Fawn’s version of the ubiquitous French bistro staple: the Croque Madame. The secret blend of cheeses is melted meticulously between seven-grain bread, grilled, of course, then topped with a ready to burst fried egg…or two.

madison cheese

Purists will love the “Go To” which sandwiches Raclette cheese, a fried egg, and bacon between a toasted bialy.

You’ll find vegetarian and eggless options, too. There’s plenty of outdoor seating, and even though it’s my go-to stop for cheese, I had no idea there were a half dozen tables inside as well.

119 Samson Rock Drive in Madison


Egg Sandwich at Olive Oyl’s, Essex

Locals have been religious about taking out sandwiches from Olive Oyl’s since 1991. It’s a standard breakfast and coffee stop, too, and these days it’s super convenient with parking and indoor/outdoor seating. My top pick is a simple but tasty Applewood bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich on a hard roll. While it’s nothing flashy, the view at the end of the street is. No matter the season, I cart this egg sandwich to the dock at the CT River Museum and enjoy it with a cup of Illy coffee while watching the boats bobbing in the river.
6 Main Street in Essex