Breakfast here is like dropping by your favorite aunt's kitchen for a cozy tête-à-tête. The food is scrumptious and the setting charming in an offhand way. The tea is prepared -- properly! -- in porcelain or glass pots, but with small saucers in lieu of lids long misplaced. Breakfast here is a casual art, made from the freshest ingredients with a light touch. Known as the best pasta emporium in the East Bay (wholesale, retail, and at its lunch cafe), the Phoenix Pastificio quietly opened the cafe for breakfast this past year, building on its growing reputation as a bakery. Enjoy thick slices of perfectly toasted whole-bran toast -- good for you and actually delicious! -- accompanied by small pots of sweet butter and quince jam, or indulge in the hearty sausage scramble with a side order of home fries fragrant with fresh herbs. The clatter of workers making pasta provides a friendly soundtrack to complement the morning light that filters into the storefront. Just a few blocks north of Downtown Berkeley BART, Phoenix Next Door offers early risers a dose of comfort and refinement to start the day.
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