Eating breakfast at a restaurant is one of life’s best low-cost, high-value indulgences. That’s because chefs—unlike mere mortals—have the time and the help to do all those great dishes that the rest of us read about in cooking and lifestyle magazines: the custom omelets; the fresh, fragrant pastries; the glamorous pancakes; the perfect golden biscuits. So we went to the kitchenmeisters at some of our favorite restaurants and asked them to share their trade secrets. The result is four different breakfasts: healthful, homey, gourmet, and Mexican. Of course, we know you won’t be doing these at seven o’clock on a Monday morning. But they’re perfect when you’re fixing breakfast or brunch for friends (or just one special friend). And there’s no need to confess that you don’t cook like this every day.

Healthful Breakfast
Fruit-and-Nut Granola
Scrambled Egg Whites With Shiitake Mushrooms and Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Fruit With Mint-Yogurt Dressing

Homey Breakfast
Gingerbread Pancakes
Buttermilk Biscuits
Cottage Potatoes
Egg in a Hole

Mexican Breakfast
Cinnamon-Pumpkin Empanadas
Potato Pancakes With Sour Cream-Chipotle Sauce
Chilaquiles With Queso Fresco

Gourmet Breakfast
Orange-Glazed Muffin
Smoked-Salmon Omelet with Capers
Chocolate-Chunk Pancakes