If the pandemic has made you pickier about public dining, opting for a quick breakfast spot is a safer bet. Even if you’re not a morning person, a big pile of bacon and eggs will make you smile.

You’ve probably visited one of Pittsburgh’s pancake institutions, such as Bob’s Diner, Pamela’s, Ritter’s, DeLuca’s and the Dor-Stop, or a diner featured in our previous roundup of top-o’-the-morning eateries.

Now venture out to these recommended restaurants that are serving the most important meal (brunch is the bomb, too!) of the day. (We even let you in on the highlights of their expansive menus.)

Photo courtesy of Simone’s.

Simone’s, 665 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon

Shortly after opening in February 2019, Simone’s established itself as Mt. Lebo’s go-to place for a hearty meal. In addition to serving all of the traditional breakfast staples, the owner puts a Greek spin on dishes such as Eggs Benedict: two poached eggs, gyro meat, tomato, onion, and feta cheese — all topped with tzatziki sauce on farm bread with fresh-cut home fries or grits.

Photo courtesy of Lola’s Eatery.

Lola’s Eatery, 3337 Penn Ave., Lower Lawrenceville

Head to Lower Lawrenceville for takeout Mexican- and Filipino-inspired eats. While Lola’s is closed for on-site dining due to Covid, you can still grab a variety of breakfast delights, such as doughnuts, bagels and toast. Feeling a little woozy from last night’s beer? The Hangover Cure breakfast sandwich and hash browns will help.

The Speckled Egg, 501 Grant St., Downtown

When the rooster crows, go to The Speckled Egg to start your day with the Hen’s Hash: two eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, broccolini, red onion and toast. Wash it down with one of the restaurant’s specialty brunch cocktails, from the Bloody Mary and Irish Coffee to the Polish Hill Breakfast: Pabst Blue Ribbon and fresh orange juice.

Photo courtesy of Cafe Raymond.

Café Raymond, 2009 Penn Ave., Strip District

They serve breakfast all day at Café Raymond, so if you want to dive into a stack of their to-die-for Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes drizzled with local maple syrup and whipped cream, so be it.

Gab & Eat, 1073 Washington Ave., Carnegie

It’s OK to talk with your mouth full at Gab & Eat, where the conversations are just as good as the food. Try a dizzying assortment of no-nonsense breakfast deals. Hungry but not in the mood for a gut-busting meal? Order one pancake at a time or even half of a waffle. Chances are you’ll want to eat (and gab) more.

Photo courtesy of Mel’s Petit Cafe.

Mel’s Petit Café, 431 Cochran Road, Mt. Lebanon

Mel’s Petit Café is big on French flavor! There’s a variety of quiches and pies and other baked goods. The menu is also full of crepes that are both sweet (fresh sliced banana and chocolate sauce) or savory (buckwheat galette, smoked salmon, cream cheese and dill). Can’t decide? Just say “oui!” to a little bit of everything.

Totin’s Diner, 10283 Perry Highway, Wexford

The griddle never gets a break at Totin’s, where breakfast is served all day. Folks pack the old-school diner for biscuits, gravy and eggs — and pancakes as big as your plate. There’s also French toast and a variety of breakfast sammies. Overwhelmed by the selection? Keep it simple by ordering the popular Totin’s Combo: two eggs, bacon or sausage with a choice of hash browns, pierogies or potato pancakes, and toast or an English muffin.

Photo courtesy of Bier’s Pub.

Bier’s Pub, 900 Western Ave., North Side

Not only does Bier’s Pub offer a weekend brunch menu with a killer Bloody Mary bar, it also houses the War Streets Brewery. Start your morning with a little hair of the dog in the form of a Sherman Avenue Stout or Resaca Red Ale. You can then feed the beast with the Hangover Helper, a cornbread waffle topped with barbecue pulled pork, cheddar cheese, a dippy egg and bacon fat home fries.

40 North, 40 W. North Ave., North Side

At this new restaurant you can start your meal with a Griddle Carrot Bread and Amish butter or a Toad in the Hole (that’s whole wheat toast, a farm egg and pepper jam). Once you’ve set a nice base in your belly, add Huevos Rancheros with braised lamb, refried black beans, tortilla, ajika, cilantro, garlic yogurt and fried eggs, or the Smoked Trout on a toasted poppyseed bagel with labneh, sumac onion, tomato and arugula.

Photo courtesy of Waffles, INCaffeinated.

Waffles, INCaffeinated, multiple locations 

Order the Breakfast Magic and watch it disappear in a flash. Who could resist a waffle stuffed with crisp bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and green onion that’s then topped with the same ingredients plus a fried egg and a dollop of sour cream? It’s on special every Monday.