My vote nearby is for Firebird Café
in Essex. Sweet breakfasts include whole grain french toast with grilled bananas and — get this — croissant french toast. They give you two whole croissants, battered and fried.
The savory dishes are California-influenced. The huevos rancheros are a perfect mix of tangy and creamy. I'm especially partial to anything with the delicious pork carnitas. Every sauce is excellent.
They also happen to have the best hot chocolate I've ever had, made in the cappucino machine with semi-sweet chocolate chips.
If you're willing to go for a 40-minute drive, The Mix
in Jeffersonville and Dutch Pancake Café
in Stowe are musts, too.