Published: 01/21/2011 by Sandi M.

Not everyone is part of the weekday morning hustle and bustle to get to work. Many of us work hours outside of the conventional 9 to 5 with ample potential to seize the morning. I wondered where all the action was in the morning hours of this seemingly sleepy city. Endless streams of cars pass by and it seems as if every single one of us is heading to work.

In reality, some people out there are enjoying that elusive and relaxing morning excursion at a cafe that many of us think about and see ourselves doing, but we rarely get around to it.   As a newbie to the Burbank area I set out to find the hot places to be on a weekday morning. After a fun exploration of coffee places in Burbank in the AM, I discovered three great, local morning hangouts: Priscilla’s Coffee Tea & Gifts, Porto’s Bakery, and Simply Coffee & Boutique.

1)    Priscilla’s Coffee Tea & Gifts

Priscilla’s Coffee Tea & Gifts was my favorite discovery. It stood out as a gem before I even walked inside. Located near several major Burbank intersections, waves of cars rushed by with nobody out on the sidewalks… except for right outside of Priscilla’s Coffee. More than fifteen people were outside on the patio enjoying this glorious day, including a group of bicycle riders in full gear who bragged to me that they regularly ride here on some mornings.

Inside was surprisingly cozy yet spacious café that was literally buzzing with morninglife. Before I began this journey I had a preconception that most of the people at a coffee shop in the morning would probably be on their laptops, quietly sending resumes and job searching. The nosy side of me walked around to see what everyone was doing and not one person was job searching. There were all kinds of people reading books and newspapers, visiting, checking emails, facebooking via Wi-Fi, and more. This place had a great atmosphere with just the perfect balance between a busy coffee place and relaxing hangout.

2)    Porto’s Bakery

While searching for a different coffee place that I never found, I stumbled upon this crater-in-the-wall place called Porto’s Bakery on Magnolia Boulevard. I’ve driven by it many times, and don’t know how I’ve never noticed it because it’s huge! I saw tons of outside seating with lots of people so I decided to go inside for a looksy.

To my shock there must have been at least 100 people inside… at 10:20 in the morning! I thought, “this is the place to be. This is like the nightclub of coffee places”. There was tons of seating, and tons of people seated, just talking and enjoying the morning. This is definitely part of the Burbank morninglife scene. Aside from coffee drinks, there is an extensive Cuban-inspired breakfast and lunch menu. With something for everyone, it’s a great place to meet up. Based on the vaulted ceilings and wickedly delicate bakery, this place seemed like it would be shockingly expensive, but to my surprise it was shockingly inexpensive. I overheard about and tried their famous meat pie; 78 cents for a puff pastry filled with meat is money well spent. Some patrons informed me of another Porto’s Bakery in Glendale.

3)    Simply Coffee & Boutique

The sheer size of Priscilla’s Coffee Tea & Gifts and Porto’s Bakery gives them that constant loud bustling sound that’s almost soothing and not at all distracting. But a true, local, down home, hole-in-the-wall place is Simply Coffee & Boutique. This coffee house is as intimate and authentic as they come. The barista was French, some of the customers were speaking French, and there were French-themed a la carte items like quiche. There were several tables and some bar-style seating filled with people who seemed to be either checking emails or brainstorming ideas together. If Porto’s Bakery was the nightclub of coffee places, this place is the underground, anti-mainstream nightclub of Burbank’s morninglife.

Porto’s Bakery, Priscilla’s Coffee Tea & Gifts, and Simply Coffee & Boutique have that “it” factor for a happening morning hangout in the Burbank area. Everywhere else I went felt awkwardly slow, as if the staff could overhear the majority of any conversation. And no one likes to be the first or only ones at a party. When you feel like spending a morn’ on the town, give these three hip and local Burbank Cafés a try.

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