On weekends, you’ll need to wait at least an hour to try Penny Cluse Cafe’s amazing brunch. But just do it, as so many locals have done weekend after weekend since Burlington’s undisputed breakfast-and-lunch mecca opened 21 years ago. Despite the popularity, there’s no chaos—Penny Cluse is a well-oiled machine, with speedy and friendly service that ensures coffees are topped off, juice is squeezed fresh, and slices of seasonal coffee cake come out warm from the oven.
The menu is stocked with all the brunch comfort food dishes: pancakes (available in buckwheat, buttermilk, and gingerbread variations); omelets; biscuits and gravy. But there’s enough creativity coming from the kitchen that’s been helmed by chef Maura O’Sullivan for the past 17 years to keep things interesting, like the Across the Pond (a British-style breakfast plate), a couple of tasty takes on Huevos Rancheros, and a Zydeco Breakfast with andouille sausage and corn muffins. Don’t miss ordering one of the daily special baked goods as a starter or dessert. And don’t skip this spot just because it’s too late for breakfast; the lunch menu is equally worthy of your attention.