Pastry chefs Anne Parker Johnson and her husband Yann Lusseau opened their first Parker Lusseau Pastries and Cafe in 1996 after years of working in renowned restaurants, patisseries, and hotels around the world. The couple now bakes fresh French pastries daily at their three locations in Monterey County. We asked Johnson to share her favorite breakfast spots in Monterey.
This trendy cafe is cycling-themed and bike-friendly, making it the perfect ride stop for the many local cyclists rolling through town. Johnson suggests the shop's "amazing oat milk moka and yogurt parfait," but Captain & Stoker also serves avocado toast and some pastries from Parker-Lusseau.
Johnson says Acme is the "best local coffee roaster" that also offers seasonal drinks and multiple pastry offerings from local bakers Big Sur Bars, Red’s Donuts, and Sweet Elena’s Bakery. This family-owned Seaside spot is also somewhat of a secret—follow the smell of beans down the alley to find the converted garage.
Located inside a converted historic Victorian home in nearby Pacific Grove, this seasonal American restaurant does all meals well, but especially breakfast—as evinced by its nominations for Best Brunch and Best Breakfast by Monterey County Weekly. Johnson recommends the chorizo and scrambled eggs or the smoked salmon and potato pancakes.
4. Carmel Belle
Johnson says she frequents this sustainable Carmel-based farm-to-table bakery and restaurant regularly. "They have a yummy green eggs and ham with eggs, prosciutto, arugula," she says. "I also love the grafton cheddar melt with sausage and maple syrup."
Johnson has several recommendations when it comes to her own handiwork, from the classic canelés, chocolate éclairs, and kouign-amans to a rum syrup and frangipane in a croissant with sliced almonds. "[The] almond croissant is amazing!" she says. "The apple galette is also sublime—thin puff pastry rolled in sugar, topped with a thin layer of pastry cream, topped with thinly sliced apples."