I consider the three main ingredients for an exceptional restaurant to be amazing food, excellent service, and a minimal wait for your meal. Few places deliver all three impeccably, but I have found one that does. The Chocolate Gallery Cafe, located in Warren, MI, is one of the best breakfast restaurants in the metro Detroit area. Nestled between a dance studio and a gas station, the Chocolate Gallery Cafe is easily called a hidden gem. I happened to attend that dance studio, which is what originally put this lovely restaurant on my radar.
The Chocolate Gallery Cafe offers a variety of breakfast and lunch fare. As the name suggests, they have many sweet and indulgent options, but they also do an amazing job with breakfast classics. The Cafe is open from 8 am to 2 pm on Thursday through Sunday, so you usually see the same staff working, with some additional faces out and about during their peak times. The space itself is fairly small, but the natural lighting and mirrored wall on one side make the room feel more open. Red and white checkered tablecloths adorn the dozen or so tables throughout the room, giving it a vintage, homespun feel.
As soon as you walk in the doors you can feel the warmth of the staff. You will most likely be greeted by Peggy, the Cafe’s delightful waitress, who can bring sunshine to even the cloudiest of days. A patron posting on Facebook likened her to a fairy godmother, and that description is spot on. She has such passion for the restaurant, always has every special memorized, and if you visit more than once she will remember you. Peggy will genuinely make you feel like family. I have become a fairly regular visitor, and she always asks me about how my work is going (I came in wearing my uniform once and she never forgot where I worked) and if I have any exciting plans coming up.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the Chocolate Gallery Cafe finds so many different ways to start your day off right. The Cafe’s eggs Benedict is one of the best around and they have created some unique ingredient combinations for their omelettes that are delightful. I highly recommend the Boursin cheese omelette. If you have a particular combination in mind, they are more than happy to build the custom omelette of your dreams. It reaches back to their customer service - if they can help you, they will - and with everything made from scratch, customizing is easier.
There is a wide variety of bread options for your toast (sourdough and pumpernickel are on the menu!) and you can even choose between regular, hazelnut, or decaf coffee. If you are interested in the sweeter side of the menu, you can’t go wrong with their chocolate berry stuffed French toast or their chocolate chip pancakes. No matter what your tastes, you can find a delicious meal here.
The restaurant is small, and there is only one waitress, which makes how quickly your meal is delivered even more remarkable. Even on days where we had to wait to be seated because it was busy, the speed of service was noteworthy and better than most chain restaurants. Your coffee will never be empty since the server makes sure to give you face time regularly. The Cafe recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, so it’s safe to say the chefs have learned a thing or two about quality and speed in their years of experience. It even lives in the categories of “quick bite” and “fast service” on Google Maps. All in all, the speed matches the excellent standards the service and food create.
Dining at the Chocolate Gallery Cafe is not just eating, it’s an experience, and one that you will want to repeat many times if you’re a local. They are at the top of my list of best breakfast venues. Due to the size of the restaurant, I recommend this location primarily for parties of four or fewer, though I have seen parties of eight fit comfortably during non-peak times. The service is unmatched, and you will feel at ease in this rustic, cozy corner of the world that seems to remain in a simpler time. Whether you are dining alone or with friends, you can expect a memorable meal.
Have you dined at the Chocolate Gallery Cafe before? Let us know if you try it and what your favorite dish is!