Your mom told you not to skip breakfast … and for good reason. It gives you energy, fuels your mind and body, and—oh yeah—it’s delicious. Chefs across the southside are playing with ingredients, mixing traditions and generally perfecting the art of the morning meal. Here, we’ve tracked down some of the hottest contenders for the most important meal of the day. By Caroline Mosey | Photography by Josh Marshall

Indigo Duck » By now, we’re all familiar with the tongue-wagging, Southern-style cuisine this Franklin food mecca dishes up. “Weekend brunch is my favorite here,” confesses owner Karen Hewett. “One of our best sellers is our Eggs Sweetgrass,” she says. “It comes with two poached eggs, fried green tomatoes and thick-cut bacon on an English muffin.” The whole creation is topped with rich hollandaise sauce and beloved by weekend regulars. 39 E. Court St., Franklin, (317) 560-5805, 

Yia Yia’s House of Pancakes » Formerly Sophia’s Pancake House, flapjacks still reign supreme at this Greenwood breakfast hotspot. Sure, you can order an omelet if that’s your thing, but why would you when there’s Belgian waffles to indulge in? If you’ve got a sweet tooth in the morning, this is the place to bring it. Yia Yia’s manager, Rebecca Witherell, describes the best-selling breakfast item from the bottom up. “Our Belgian waffle is topped with strawberries, bananas, pecans and a scoop of vanilla ice cream,” she says. “Then we drizzle it with chocolate.” 1694 W. Main St., Greenwood, (317) 888-6800

Patriot Grill » The 10th restaurant venture for owner Bob Mark, Patriot Grill’s menu proves that practice really does make perfect. “I really think this is the best food we’ve done,” he shares. So what’s the breakfast dish everyone craves? “I’d say one of our skillets,” says Mark. “We cook in cast iron. It’s the real thing here.” The Patriot’s Skillet boasts sautéed onions, peppers and potatoes topped with cheddar cheese, bacon or sausage, served sizzling hot with two local eggs and toast. 1265 N. Madison Ave., Greenwood, (317) 851-8252,

Milktooth » This soon-to-be Fountain Square “fine diner” is the brainchild of Jonathan Brooks, who spent time in the kitchen at Indianapolis’ acclaimed eatery, Recess. The brunch spot he is creating with his wife, Ashley, features updated, innovative twists on traditional favorites. Case in point: a breakfast staple like potato hash. “We make it with diced potatoes, pastrami and beets, then top it with creamy horseradish and mustard seeds,” says Brooks. “It’s served with two over-easy eggs. We call it our Red Flannel Hash, because that’s exactly how the dish looks.” Brooks reports the restaurant is slated to open mid-July. 540 Virginia Ave., Indianapolis, (317) 292-2280