Best Breakfast & Brunch Restaurants
Afternoon – Located on NW 10th Avenue in the Grove Street neighborhood (closed on Wednesdays), this newest breakfast/brunch place is not too expensive but really good for either breakfast or brunch. From an egg & cheddar sando to corn & potatoes, from Shakshuka to poached eggs and many other options. The owners consider themselves as a New American brunch establishment serving traditional southern ingredients combined with international and American ingredients.
Metro Diner– 34th Street. With multiple locations in many states, Metro Diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner but we are recommending for breakfast/lunch. Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri.
43rd Street Deli and Breakfast House– 2 locations, Williston and NW 25th place. Open for 35 years, this is more of your traditional deli restaurants.
Civilization- Near Downtown – Known for its organic and locally sourced menu with Vegan options. Cash only restaurant serving lunch Tues- Fri, Dinner Tues- Saturday and brunch on Saturday and Sundays beginning at 10 a.m. Closed on Mondays.
Flying Biscuit -NW 16th Boulevard. Known for its Southern-inspired comfort food ingredients. Definitely, do not miss their grits and biscuits. Open for lunch and dinner too.
Peach Valley Cafe– 34th, Archer area. Open for breakfast and lunch. They tend to get long lines on the weekends but serve free coffee and water for those waiting. Traditional breakfast comfort food with a southern flare. Don’t let the peach in their name confuse you and try their apple fritters.
Bagels Unlimited– 34 Street. Serving fresh bagels baked daily.
Harvest Thyme– Downtown. A small cafe serving sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and breakfast bites. Good vegan options and locally sourced food.
The Bagel Bakery – In the Millhopper Shopping Center on 16th Blvd. In addition to their bagels, they serve muffins, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches. Coffee is sourced from Guatemala.
Bagels and Noodles– Midtown.Classic breakfast fare with a mix of American and Asian flair. An unlikely marriage of foods but a staple when visiting.
Bay Islands Coffee Company – Archer. Every time I visit Gainesville, before I pick up my daughter, the request to drive through Bay Island is given. This coffee stand serves up bagels, muffins and more but is known for their coffee ice cubes in many flavors. Drive through (or walk up)
Maple Street Biscuit Company-Archer Road and Tioga Town Center. A casual cafe serving biscuit sandwiches and southern sides. Breakfast and lunch (dinner on weekends) This being the south, you will want to naturally try their biscuits.
Keke’s Breakfast Cafe – Located in Butler Plaza North. Breakfast menu items are handmade, using the best ingredients available, with fresh fruits and vegetables delivered daily, fresh bread and dairy products. Waffles, Eggs, Pancakes, French toast, omelets and more.
Root and Pecker – 5408 NW 8th Ave. Open 7 am – 3 pm daily. Local farm ingredients, healthy fair. Their menu uses no preservatives, pesticides, antibiotics or GMO’s. Serving breakfast and lunch.
Brunch (places that don’t do breakfast)
Oak– Downtown. An acronym for Original American Kitchen, for its Southern comfort food including shrimp & grits, country fried steak, and country gravy biscuits. The brunch menu also includes eggs, burgers, steak, waffles, and salad.
Emilianos– Downtown – Latin fusion flavors plus fresh mojitos and martinis. Think rancheros, benedict Cubano, chorizo breakfast burrito and more. Open for lunch and dinner too.
Swamp– Midtown. Located across the street from the football stadium (thus the name), this is considered a game day spot for casual American eats and alcohol. No trip to The Swamp should be without an order of gator bites – crispy marinated gator tail bits, with a mango chili puree. The brunch menu also includes specialty waffle selections, shrimp & grits, french toast, and eggs benedict prepared in several ways.
The Top– Downtown – There is typically a minimum 45-minute wait on weekends to get into this hip spot known for its vegetarian and vegan options and modern take on American food. A must try when you head to Gainesville. For brunch,
Vine Sourdough Bakery – Downtown – fresh, organic handmade bread, pastries, coffee, and pasta. They also partner with other area businesses and farms to provide their sourdough bread
Paramount Grill– Downtown. This is one of the more upscale restaurants in the area. Reservations definitely recommended. Homemade offerings that are perfect for foodies
Leonardo’s 706– Mid-ish. The original Leonardo’s was an institution at UF since 1973. The original location was purchased by the University of Florida but fear not, you can still get their infamous pizza at their new location and much more Italian offerings at Leonardo’s 706.
Boca Fiesta – Downtown. Serving brunch from 11 – 4 pm, this Mexican establishment’s brunch features breakfast fare with a Mexican flair and a bloody mary bar and mimosas.
Many of the breakfast and dinner establishments serve lunch but for a lunch, the only place, check out:
Daves New York Deli– only matzoh ball soup in Gainesville. Located in Tioga Town Center which is a bit of a drive from campus. Known for its authentic NY Pastrami and Corned Beef.
Sababa– Downtown. order at the counter, best falafel, and Israeli cuisine
Big Island Bowls – Located on NW 8th Avenue, they serve up smoothies, acai bowls, poke bowls and Buddha bowls.