Best B&B Breakfast Tournament: 2012

One of the greatest benefits of staying at a B&B is the included breakfast, and innkeepers are pros at whipping up a delicious morning feast. This March, we held the first ever Breakfast Recipe Challenge--our very own version of March Madness. Nearly 100 recipes were submitted by innkeepers around the world. They were narrowed down to 16 finalists by BedandBreakfast.com employees, with the help of guest judges Danielle Contray from Budget Travel and Helen Anders from The Austin-American Statesman.

Every day, two inns went head-to-head in a match-up on our Facebook page. Our Facebook fans voted on their favorite, and the recipe with the most votes moved on to the next round. Here are the 16 finalists, with the winning recipe at the top.


Winning recipe:
Bittersweet Chocolate Waffles with Mint Buttercream and Strawberry Sauce

from The Lyttleton Inn in Littleton, MA

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This unusual twist on the traditional waffle emerged from the challenge as the victor! Our voters loved this combination of chocolate with mint and strawberries. Who said breakfast has to be boring? Most of the traveler reviews for the inn rave about their delicious breakfasts.

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Runner-Up Recipe:
Pumpkin Pancakes with Carmelized Pecans, Whipped Cream, & Ginger Syrup

from Gracehill Bed and Breakfast in Townsend, TN


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This recipe came in second place, and it's a delightful twist on another American classic. Breakfast here is a three-course candlelight elegant affair. The innkeepers use different menus, china, crystal, and flower arrangements every day. You can enjoy breakfast on the main veranda, the formal dining room, the morning room, or the back garden patio area next to a waterfall.

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Blueberry Granola Breakfast Bake

from Lord Camden Inn in Camden, ME


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This dish made it into The Foodie Four. This Maine inn serves a delicious buffet each morning. Dishes here include make-your-own Belgian waffles with Maine maple syrup, their famous homemade granola, fresh-baked pastries, and much more. From May through October, their peak season, they add on even more breakfast options such as eggs, ham, and bacon.

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Lobster Frittata

from The Mill House Inn in East Hampton, NY


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This dish also made it into The Foodie Four. The Mill House Inn says they serve the best breakfast in the Hamptons, and the excellent guest reviews make that hard to argue with. Guests here get to choose from a full a la carte menu with dozens of egg dishes, oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, and more.

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Apple, Brie and Rosemary Stuffed French Toast

from Forty Putney Road B&B in Brattleboro, VT


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Forty Putney is a bed and breakfast run by a fun young couple who love beer so much that they have an on-site pub. They serve over 30 local craft beers and offer craft beer tastings every Saturday night. Each morning, guests dine on a full two-course gourmet breakfast. According to the innkeepers, “This recipe uniquely combines the savory and sweet flavor combination we all crave. What makes this recipe so much fun is that it contains BEER!”

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Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Soufflé with a Thyme Cream

from Hartstone Inn & Hideaway in Camden, ME


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This inn is known for its delicious cuisine, so it’s no surprise that its entry made it into the finals. Hartstone Inn & Hideaway serves a sumptuous multi-course breakfast presented on the sunny dining room porch. You can add on a dinner from the inn’s award-winning restaurant, and even take a cooking class or be chef for a day.

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Farm Fresh Herb & Cheese Soufflé

from Captain Schoonmakers in High Falls, NY


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Guests staying at this inn enjoy a gourmet breakfast using the inn’s own farm fresh eggs, which is how they normally make this tasty recipe. Other breakfast dishes commonly made here are homemade cinnamon buns and crispy bacon. The inn’s guest reviews rave about their homemade breakfasts.

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Duck Confit Hash & Egg

from Casa Laguna Inn & Spa in Laguna Beach, CA


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Due to its extraordinary breakfasts, such as this creative dish, Casa Laguna Inn has become a destination for foodies. Guests get to choose from a breakfast menu of at least six entrees every day. The inn’s head chef is heading to Spain this summer, and her upcoming summer and fall menus will likely reflect some Spanish influence.

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Pecan & Blackberry Praline French Toast

from The Beaufort Inn in Beaufort, SC


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When you stay at The Beaufort Inn, you get to dine at Southern Graces Bistro, the inn’s own restaurant. The indulgent, full breakfast offers fruits, cereals, breakfast breads and pastries, a hot entrée and breakfast meats, and more. You can add on an optional dinner and experience what they call “upscale contemporary Southern gastronomy.”

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Tater Tot Breakfast Quiche

from Bear Grove Cabins Bed & Breakfast in Mulberry Grove, IL


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This dish may not exactly be what you call fancy, but it's hearty comfort food at its best. The innkeepers give the guests at their cabins a choice of three homemade dishes, and this is one of them. Guests get to choose if it comes with bacon, ham, sausage, or plain. the other dishes they offer are a hash brown casserole and a fruit plate with morning bread (such as zucchini bread or pumpkin bread).

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Baked Egg & Asparagus Gratin

from Chehalem Ridge Inn in Newburg, OR


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We named this inn “Best B&B if You Have a Special Diet” in our 2011-2012 Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards. Here's what the innkeepers say about their recipe: It’s a great dish in spring when the asparagus is fresh and yummy. We love highlighting the farm fresh eggs we get from a local farmer. You can prep it ahead of time, which makes it an easy dish for a brunch. It’s elegant, and everyone can have their eggs as hard as they want. It’s also easy to adapt it to dairy-free or gluten free by using margarine and non-dairy milk or gluten free bread crumbs. We serve it with herbed potatoes. Although I occasionally hear, “vegetables for breakfast?” our guests love it and the hearty, healthy breakfast gives them the energy to go wine tasting.

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Maple Bacon Sticky Buns

from A View With A Room in Puyallup, WA


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This sinful recipe combines sweet with savory. The inn overlooks the Orting Valley, near Seattle and Tacoma. You can eat your breakfast at the oak dining table indoors, or outside on the deck if the weather is pleasant. Breakfast here includes home-baked breads and muffins, granola, fruits, egg dishes, and other goodies such as this recipe. According to the innkeepers, “Morning is our favorite time because it’s when we get to know our guests! The house is not only filled with wonderful aromas of coffee brewing and muffins baking but also conversation, stories and laughter. Sometimes, deer or an entire quail family will stroll by while you’re eating.”

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Bermuda Codfish and Potato Breakfast

from Sunscape Bermuda B&B in Warwick, Bermuda


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One of the best parts of traveling is getting to try new foods. When you stay at an inn abroad, the innkeepers can give you a good taste of local flavor. According to the innkeepers, the dish is “a traditional Bermuda Sunday morning breakfast.” The photo was taken at one of Bermuda's beautiful beaches. The inn is just a five-minute moped ride or 10-minute walk to the beach.

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Baked Eggs with Roasted Red Pepper and Chardonnay Sauce

from The Inn at Tabbs Creek in Port Haywood, VA


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We'll let the innkeepers do the explaining: We are all about fresh, local and organic, and that is how we make this recipe at our inn. The great thing about this dish is that it is so "fancy" yet so simple. If you don't have time for the sauce, no worries, it is just as good without it. The recipe is also quite versatile since they are all individual portions, you can do as few or as little as you like, and then customize each. For our guests that want a taste of the Chesapeake Bay, we add fresh crab to the dish during the summer months. In the picture, we are also featuring our lemon strawberry muffins, home grown tomatoes, and Virginia Bacon.

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Puff Pastry with Poached Egg and Avocado Salsa
from Foster Harris House in Washington, VA


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According to the innkeepers, this is “one of our most popular entrees; this dish awakens the taste buds with sweet, salty, tangy, creamy, flaky goodness.” The inn also serves it with “paradise bacon” coated in either raspberry chipotle sauce or mango chutney. Guests here get to dine on a lavish, leisurely four-course breakfast.

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Kentucky Hot Brown
from A Mountain Valley Home B&B in Estes Park, CO


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This dish can work for breakfast, lunch, or brunch. Never heard of a Hot Brown? Some background from the innkeepers: The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. Many Hot Browns also include ham with the turkey, and either pimentos or tomatoes over the sauce, and imitation Hot Browns sometimes substitute a commercial cheese sauce instead of the Mornay sauce. It was originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers.

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By Emily Starbuck Crone

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