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Jacksonville's Top Breakfast Spots: Iconic Diners, Local Haunts and Inventive Newcomers



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, where early bird specials serve those rising at the break of dawn and daily specials keep things fresh. 

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 Southern Grounds 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.



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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.


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Neptune Beach


 

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.


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Jacksonville Beach Area


 

Located conveniently on A1A in the center Jacksonville Beach, Famous Toastery lives up to it's name with world class breakfast and brunch dining. Whether you are an early riser taking in the sunrise or a late morning brunch seeker, you'll be delighted by Famous Toastery's made from scratch selections. Hand squeezed orange juice, generous servings of Texas sized French Toast, and savory seasonal creations like the Lobster Scramble top the list of reasons to visit. Guests enjoy the comfortable homey environment and laid back atmosphere while they dine in style. Enjoy Bloody Mary's and mimosas along with a tasty lunch menu complete with crave worthy desserts. Gluten free? Famous Toastery has you covered with a full array of gluten free options that will make your tastebuds sing.


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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.


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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.


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This neighborhood gem is nestled inside the charming Beaches Town Center a short walk from the beach. Regulars and visitors alike flock to Southern Grounds & Co for it's direct trade coffee, craft beer, and tasteful selection of wine. This local haunt is beloved for it's casually upscale atmosphere, great live music, and charming outdoor courtyard. Family and pet friendly, Southern Grounds gets what it means to create a sense of place and belonging. If your appetite finds you at Southern Grounds for breakfast dig into the famous grits bowl, a true Southern favorite. Fresh pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and of course piping hot brews will ensure your morning is off to a great start.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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San Marco


 

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.


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Meet 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".

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