1:30 a.m. Thursday: Best Place for Breakfast After Midnight 


With its friendly staff and warm late-nite diner ambiance, Pring's is the perfect place to go after a show or a movie marathon, especially now that the Merritt Restaurant & Bakery in Oakland, another popular night-owl hangout, has ceased to be a round-the-clock operation. Pring's cooks up the usual diner food: burgers, fried chicken, pie, and ice cream treats. Best of all, they serve breakfast any time, including tasty three-egg omelets arranged on plates roughly the size of sofa cushions. In keeping with the restaurant's vague '50s theme -- oldies on the stereo, some Marilyn Monroe posters on the wall, but thankfully no black-and-white checked linoleum or miserable waitrons decked out in poodle skirts -- Pring's offers 20 percent discounts for people who drive up in a Cruiser. The restaurant and the attached bakery are open from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

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