From the beaches to the riverbanks Jacksonville has the most important meal of the day covered. Traditional family favorites and reinvented classics remind diners that great taste never goes out of style and old dogs can learn new tricks.
If you awake at the beaches head to local haunts like Beach Diner in Ponte Vedra and Ellen’s Kitchen in Jacksonville Beach, where early bird specials serve those rising at the break of dawn and daily specials keep things fresh. Newcomer The Loving Cup Hash House proves classic taste can be reinvented with flavorful combinations of the freshest ingredients and the best cup of specialty coffee you’ll get at a local breakfast spot.
As you head in town find one of the popular locations of Metro Diner or Maple Street Biscuit Company. The Metro’s generous portions ensures even the biggest appetites are satiated, meanwhile Maple Street creates new biscuit masterpieces out of southern inspired sandwiches and tasty pastries.
Coffee shop aficionados should head to Lillie’s Coffee Bar in Neptune Beach and Cool Moose Cafe where they know how to serve up a good strong cup of fresh brew; and where the local culture is celebrated with family friendly service, great conversation, and delicious food.
Start your day off right on the First Coast and treat yourself at one of these local favorites. You are sure to find Southern hospitality and fresh fare that will delight your tastebuds.
Fifth generation family owned bakery Cinotti's is one of those go-to neighborhood bakeries whose commitment to old fashioned values, and hard work never go out of style. Rising early to whip up tasty treats for it's loyal fans, Cinotti's is a true Jacksonville gem. Guest favorites include the Maple Bacon Donut, the Red Velvet Donut, and the limited edition Pumpkin Donut. Cinotti's delicious morning time offerings aren't limited by pastries though. Fresh baked hot rolls,croissants, and bread combine with bacon, eggs, and cheese to create savory breakfast sandwiches. Other traditional a.m menu options include Oatmeal, Fruit Bowls, and French Toast. Visit Cinotti's for morning sweet treats at a legendary Jacksonville destination that's been serving the community for generations. ((904) 246-1728)
The Fox Restaurant
Tucked away in the historic neighborhood of Avondale, The Fox Restaurant is known for dishing out classic favorites with incredible service. As you walk in the door you are met with wall to wall conversation topics. Memorabilia from throughout the years lines the walls giving you a memory jog of times gone by including many childhood novelties. Traditional breakfast options like Biscuits and Gravy, Waffles, and Pancake plates square up against a creative combination of Omelette options and of course classic Breakfast plates. The Fox Restaurant carries on the tradition of the American Diner with tasty fare, staff that treats you like family, and a salute to American pop culture. (904-387-2669)
Ellen's Kitchen is a locally owned staple serving up classic home cooked dishes in a timely manner with friendly service. This mom and pop operation has been serving guests for almost 60 years now. Ellen's may not be fancy, but they have been impressing diners with the laid back feel and focus on hearty portions and great flavor for generations now. In a world that's ever changing and increasingly fast paced, it's nice to find an iconic destination that has been dishing out consistently great food for decade upon decade. Daily specials keep things fresh along with classic staples such as their breakfast platters, pancakes, and omelettes. ((904) 246-1572)
Lillie's Coffee Bar
Neighborhood hang out Lillie's Coffee Bar in Neptune Beach, is more than a coffee shop. It's a place where local artists gain exposure, families come to relax, and girlfriends catch up on the latest news. Fresh local roasts fill your mug, and colorful artwork throughout the shop create a cozy atmosphere that's as much coastal as it is eclectic. Tasty nibbles grace the menu in the form of muffins, danishes, bagels and fruit cups alongside hot breakfast sandwiches. Go for a walk on the beach or a run through the charming neighborhoods that flank Lillie's then enjoy a warm cup of local roast and some delicious treats that will make your morning bright. ((904) 249-2922)
Beach Diner Ponte Vedra Beach
Local regulars haunt Beach Diner in Ponte Vedra 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch! You would think this local diner would run out of fresh ideas, but not Beach Diner. Serving fresh made from scratch fare daily is the secret behind this breakfast destination's cult following. Classic morning comfort food like Buttermilk Pancakes and Belgian Waffles don the menu along with mouthwatering Omelettes, and Breakfast Sandwiches. Guests can also try the taste sensations of Beach Diner's House Favorites like Eggs on the Bayou, and the Patriotic Parfait in addition to "Bubba's Specials" such as the classically Southern Fish-N-Grits. ((904) 273-6545)
More commonly known for their lunch menu, Olio is one of Jacksonville's best kept breakfast secrets. Visit this downtown loft style spot and enjoy a chic atmosphere right on Bay street serving up fresh pastries, and decadent breakfast dishes. Olio has a style all it's own and dishes out Southern inspired fare with a fresh twist like Biscuits & Gravy, the Breakfast Bowl, and Blueberry Muffin Pancakes which you can pair with a refreshing mimosa. Convenience is key at this busy downtown location so whether you are ordering in or taking it to go you get all the tasty goodness in a timely manner. Craving something unique? Daily specials give your tastebuds further temptation to indulge in all the tasty goodness. ((904) 356-7100)
Cool Moose Cafe
The Cool Moose Cafe is proud to be a locally owned community favorite serving up great food and coffee in the heart of one of Jacksonville's most creative neighborhoods. Drop by for a casual cup of coffee at the unlimited coffee bar and a pastry or sit down with the family for a full meal. Cool Moose Cafe is the kind of place you feel at home at, where you can sit and take your time without the hectic push to clear the table and move along. An extensive coffee and tea selection pair with a fresh menu of affordable options served in ample portions. Taste warm cinnamon rolls, fresh cookies, and creative daily specials that keep the locals coming back to the cozy cafe with a New England touch. (904-381-4242)
Maple Street Biscuit Company
One of the many thing the South does right when it comes to food is good ole fashioned biscuits. Maple St. Biscuit Company has not only mastered the art of the flaky biscuit, they have reinvented what it means to be a biscuit. Forget about the traditional butter, jelly, honey, or gravy, Maple St. takes it up a notch and delivers masterful creations out of the basic biscuit. Take The Squawking Goat for example; a flaky biscuit topped with crispy fried chicken, a fried goat cheese medallion, and house made pepper jelly or The Blues Biscuit; a biscuit topped with pulled pork, house made slaw, and BBQ sauce. These creations cross the line between biscuit dish, and reinvented classic sandwiches. It's southern fare reinvented and by the number of new locations popping up around town, it's a new favorite that's here to stay. ((904) 398-1004)
Showcased on national TV, and known locally as one of the best breakfast places around, Metro Diner gives everything it has and doesn't hold back. Generous portions are dished out on morning favorites like Fried Chicken and Waffles, Cinnamon Raisin French Toast, and Charleston Shrimp & Grits. With six locations in the Jacksonville area it's easy to find a Metro Diner minutes from anywhere you are in Jax. Breakfast and lunch are served all day every day making sure that any time is a great time to crave something tasty at the Metro. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and chow down on one of the best breakfasts in town when you visit one of their popular locations. (904-398-3701)
The Loving Cup Hash House
Looking for a unique local restaurant that serves up fresh fare in a bohemian atmosphere? Local art lines the walls of this new Jax hot spot where generous portions of flavorful creations are served up at a reasonable price. The Loving Cup Hash House welcomes you to join their staff and relax as part of the family in their casual dining area or covered outdoor eating space. Tasty breakfast selections like the Beach Break Wrap, Hash House Hash, and Buttermilk Pancakes are served all day and pack quite the flavorful punch thanks to locally sourced ingredients. The Loving Cup Hash House is one of the only breakfast spots at the beaches serving locally roasted specialty coffees complete with their own house made syrups. For a breakfast locale that delivers consistently great fare while setting trends with innovative creativity visit The Loving Cup Hash House. ((904) 422-0644)
About Amy West
Jacksonville, FL based Amy West is the creator of amywesttravel.com, a travel and lifestyle brand including TV show "Like Love Want Need".
New Zealand, China, Malta, Germany, and Brazil all find pins on Amy’s world map amongst other exotic destinations she's visited.
Amy regularly appears as a guest on several media outlets including WJXT News 4 Jax, Daytime Talk Show "The Chat", NPR Radio show “First Coast Connect”, and Jax Moms Blog. Look for Amy on "Amy West Travel the Blog" where she posts reviews on her exciting adventures.
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