Start your day off right at one of Tampa’s delicious breakfast restaurants. Whether you are looking to grab-and-go or wish to linger, there are options for all occasions. After extensive research, 10 Best has gathered together a list of the 10 most mouth-watering options for the most important meal of the day.
Pinky’s Diner gets the nod from locals as the best place to chow down in the mornings with popular favorites such as their frittatas and stuffed Cuban French toast getting top billing. If you don’t have much time, try Alessi’s Bakery that has been feeding hungry Tampa residents for 100 years. Their breakfast sandwiches are made with fresh croissants and their Danish selection is second to none.
More civilized morning dining options are available at the Pelagia Trattoria which has the added bonus of being located in the upscale International Plaza providing easy access to some of the best shopping Tampa has to offer.
If a day of exploring Ybor City is on your itinerary, La Creperia might be the ticket offering freshly made crepes stuffed with almost anything your heart desires. Whatever your tastes, wherever you’re located, and whatever you have planned for your day, there is the perfect breakfast option for you.
Breakfast is a treat at First Watch. A departure from many local breakfast spots, it specializes in providing delicious, but light and healthy meal options. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients and made from scratch baked goods and batters. There are no deep fryers here. This place is known for its varied omelet and waffle selections and their famous First Watch potatoes. Lunch options are also offered and available all day along with breakfast. With 7 area locations, chances are there is one near you. (813-307-9006)
Nicko's Fine Foods
Nicko's Fine Foods is an old-school, greasy spoon diner in the best tradition. Housed in a classic Art Deco railroad car, stepping into Nicko's is like stepping back in time. It's so authentic that it has served as a movie set more than once. The owner, Nick, is around most days and is known to perform a little magic to entertain his customers. A favorite of locals for generations, the food is both good and very reasonably priced. The burgers and sandwiches are highly rated, as are the Greek specialties like the Greek salad and chicken souvlaki. Although they only accept cash, there is an ATM on the premises. Breakfast is served all day. ((813) 234-9301)
Folks in Carrollwood have long-recognized this Southern-based chain for its tasty, home-style breakfast and brunch eats, and justly so. Unpretentious and always friendly, Brunchie's (formerly J. Christopher's) is the type of place locals treasure and travelers long for – a casual place where diners are made to feel like neighbors and the food never fails to hit its mark. Signature numbers include waffles made using Carbon's Golden Malted Flour, Huevos Avocados, Crème Brulee French Toast, and Just Bubba, an order of biscuits smothered in old-fashioned country gravy. Salads and sandwiches are available for folks with appetites for something other than breakfast. (813-908-7023)
Pelagia's is located in the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at International Plaza Mall and is the perfect spot to fortify yourself for a long day of shopping. This beautifully decorated trattoria reflects a contemporary Milanese style and the service is impeccable. There is a spacious outdoor patio for dining al fresco. Mediterranean-influenced Italian dishes include lobster ravioli, pan-seared sea scallops with Key lime emulsion, spinach-potato gnocchi and sautéed Blue Nose bass. Although not well known in Tampa as a breakfast spot, they offer one of the most extensive breakfast menus in town as expertly prepared as their lunch and dinner options. (813-313-3235)
La Creperia Cafe
The French art of crepe making is alive and well in Tampa's historic district, Ybor City. Locals and visitors alike flock to this authentic European-style bistro to enjoy sweet and savory breakfast versions of this classic French dish. As patrons look on in awe, the Chef pours, twirls and flips the crepes that are made using fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection. The savory breakfast offerings are filled with combinations of eggs, cheese, breakfast meats, and veggies while the sweet options are filled with fruit, jams, Ricotta, and syrups. The perfect spot to nourish yourself before a day of exploring the neighborhood. ((813) 248-9700)
Alessi Bakery & Deli
Since 1912 the Alessi's have been providing Tampa residents with quality baked goods. Today, the business has evolved from a horse and wagon to a full service bakery, deli, restaurant, catering and wholesale operation. It's a great spot for breakfast where you can taste the difference those one hundred years of practice makes. From fresh baked croissants filled with fluffy eggs and cheese to oooey-gooey cinnamon buns, Alessi's is the perfect spot for a grab-and-go breakfast. While the name of the game is cannolis and other traditional bakery items at Alessi, you may be surprised at just how broad their offerings are. There is even a small marketplace where you can pick up hard to find Italian groceries (813-879-4544)
Datz is one of Tampa's most popular restaurants. At one time or another, almost everyone has visited this trendy gastropub and market. The interior is warm and inviting with a funky, industrial vibe and no one stands on ceremony here - flip-flops and shorts are welcome. The food is as comforting as the environment lifting America's favorite dishes to a whole new level. Looks for twists on the traditional such as their chicken and waffles served with jalapeno-maple syrup or their famous meatloaf stuffed with mac 'n cheese. They are known for their large portions, so bring an appetite. If you have room after lunch, wander next door to their new sister-restaurant, Dough, for some sweet treats and coffee. Brunch is served on weekends from 8:30am - 3:00pm (813-831-7000)
Part of the Ciccio and Tony's family of restaurants, Daily Eats is a modern, contemporary diner with a twist of 'greasy spoon.' The menu features an impressive list of creative breakfast options that add an interesting spin to familiar favorites. Examples include the staff fav "Jackie" consisting of a grilled cheese on thick white bread, with 2 fried eggs and ham or "The Hong Kong," smoked salmon & scallions two-egg scramble served on a toasted bagel w/ scallion cream cheese, tomatoes, and onion. They are perhaps best known for their Breakfast Bowls. As they sound, they are big bowls loaded with breakfast goodies. You're going to have a hard time choosing as there are eight different versions to choose from. (813-868-3335)
If old fashioned comfort grub is what you need to get the day started, give this casual little joint in south Tampa a try. The Brunchery stays true to its name by delivering time-tested classics like steak and eggs, Belgian waffles, omelets, crepes, eggs benedict and French toast. In addition to the morning eats, the kitchen also assembles some rather outstanding sandwiches. The helpings are hearty and the ingredients are fresh. Consistently good, this is the type of place that doesn't rate highly in terms of style but really racks up the points when it comes to service and food. (813-831-4694)
It's an old adage that if there's a line outside, the place has to be good. Nowhere is that more correct than at Pinky's, a small,cozy diner in South Tampa known for their laid-back style and amazing menu. Frittatas dominate, with six fresh varieties or the ability to make your own. They are also known for their stuffed Cuban French Toast featuring homemade berry cream cheese sandwiched between slices of Cuban bread, a Tampa favorite. Or try the oatmeal pancakes, which makes this breakfast staple even more hearty. If you do have to wait, take advantage of their handy self-serve coffee bar. (813-831-9339)
About Skye Rodgers
Skye has lived in Tampa for over 16 years and spends much of her time exploring the region and discovering its hidden treasures. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no cold, no snow climate and enjoys basking on the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and navigating the waters of Tampa Bay.
When not out exploring Tampa, Skye is a freelance writer and public relations professional. She currently provides public relations counsel on a freelance basis to non-profits, social enterprises and small business.
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