Morning Glories

Appears in the September 2022 issue.

First Watch, a new breakfast and lunch spot in Naperville (1355 E. Ogden Ave.), is not your grandfather’s kind of diner. There’s not a greasy spoon in sight. No squeaky Naugahyde stools. Nor—get this—is there a single fryer, microwave, or heat lamp in the place. “We operate on the simple belief,” says regional vice president Mike Rybeck, “that fresh is always best.” 

Every day, the kitchen whips up Instagram-worthy juices that are engineered to supercharge your immune system. Morning Meditation, for instance, looks like a tequila sunrise but is actually a mix of crushed oranges, lemons, turmeric, ginger, agave nectar, and beet juice. The shop’s coffee beans are harvested, via a collaboration with the Mujeres en Café (Women in Coffee) organization of female coffee growers in Colombia, to ensure robust flavors and help improve the lives of Latin American women. 

And then there’s the food: a cornucopia of dishes that spice up American classics with overseas ingredients. Think Italian-style hashes dappled with cremini mushrooms, Parmesan, mozzarella, and cage-free eggs. A ham and Gruyère melt. Frittata rustica. Barbacoa quesadilla Benedict. Plus, for those who like a sweet start to their day, blueberry muffin tops smothered in crème anglaise. 

“With all of the world-class dining options in Naperville,” Rybeck says, “we thought there was a need for breakfast spot that proves great food can be healthy, too.”  

Photo courtesy of First Watch