Located in the heart of old downtown Campbell, Stacks cheerfully serves up such a delish, reasonably priced breakfast that you’ll easily understand why the small, four-strong chain has been winning Best-Breakfast awards throughout the Bay Area for over a decade.
Enduring the long wait inside for seating is pleasant torture as aromatic dishes float by. Crispy, golden, old-fashioned Belgian waffles, piled high with whipped cream, and topped with fresh fruit or sprinkled with rich and decadent, ground Ghirardelli chocolate, arrive at a nearby table. Mounds of thick, cinnamon-vanilla French toast with ramekins of warm apple, raspberry, or strawberry compote on the side are then delivered to their neighbors.
But pancakes are what gives Stacks its moniker, and the restaurant serves up a healthy variety of steaming, syrup-soaking specialties: blueberry, banana, raisin-walnut, and wheat germ. Can’t decide? Order up the Lumberjacks to get a generous portion of everything but the proverbial kitchen sink in a full stack of luscious pancakes.
In addition to the traditional dishes you’d expect from a breakfast restaurant, Stacks dishes up homemade sweet crepes, hot and filling skillet platters, and fresh fruit breakfast smoothies. Of course, you can order from a large selection of meaty half-pound burgers, grilled sandwiches, and gourmet salads, too.
If you’re looking for a fast, in-and-out bite to eat, the worst time to visit Stacks is on Sunday morning; the wait can take up to an hour, and finding a nearby place to park the car can be impossible. But if you are not in a hurry, the best time to visit Stacks and also get the flavor of the little town is on the same Sunday morning — a popular, local farmers’ market manifests weekly a block away from the restaurant. Put your name down on the waiting list when you first arrive, sample some complimentary coffee, then shop to your heart’s content at the market. Stacks has a little-known policy: if they call your party while you are out perusing the town, you will not lose your place in line. Even if you come back two hours later, your party will be seated when next available!
Stacks blends the elegance of mildly over-the-top Parisian-style decor (complete with faux street lamps and an over-abundance of silk flowers) with the earthy practicality and functionality of a ’50s diner. Seating is roomy and comfortable — except at the counter, where leg-room is insufficient. Service, thanks to the friendly waitstaff, is responsive and accommodating. After all, Stacks’ motto is “If we can, we will!”