Could Florida be the Breakfast State of the Nation?
I’m just back from Florida and judging from my food experiences there, the Sunshine State could be the breakfast bastion of the nation. Not only does breakfast in Florida satiate the taste buds, but it also indulges the eye (or camera lens, for that matter.) I don’t think I’ve seen such visually ravishing morning-time dishes anywhere else in the US. Judge for yourself with the photos below. Then, read on to learn why I think Florida could be the breakfast state of the nation.
Table of Contents
Breakfast is trending in Florida
First off, Florida is known for its oranges and orange juice. But, really, will you ever forget the Florida Orange Growers jingle, “A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine”?
Who wants to start their breakfast without a glass of cold Florida orange juice? Well, maybe those who prefer a blend of mango, banana, grapefruit or tangerine juice. All of those fruits, by the way, are grown in Florida. On this recent trip to the US tropics, I was surprised to meet Floridians who grew mango trees in their backyards. Bananas growing around the lakes of Orlando also bowled me over.
Most popular breakfast food in Florida
As cooks take breakfast in Florida to the next level, they incorporate local foods and spin traditional southern recipes. You’ll find chicken and waffle concoctions, pimento cheese croissants, takes on biscuits and gravy, key lime pastries, guava turnovers and wild boar sausage for breakfast in Florida. As one Florida friend says, “We are very into bottomless mimosas.” Perhaps those fruity breakfast drinks are the most popular breakfast food in Florida.
BREAKFAST SAUSAGE TRIVIA: Pigs were first brought to the New World by Hernando de Soto via Tampa Bay.
Best breakfast Orlando
Throughout Orlando—the home of Disney World and the Magical Kingdom—I noticed that architecture, landscaping and interior design were next-level visual. Yes, even breakfasts seemed designed to stun the eye like everything else in the Theme Park Capital of the World. I thoroughly enjoyed the eye-popping design at The Glass Knife, where breakfast tasted as magical as it looked.
The good breakfast Orlando style seems to be served in a restaurant full of Instagrammable design and intimate nooks and crannies (see the photo above.) My ‘best breakfast Orlando’ was the Ham & Cheese Croissant made of savory sliced ham and Swiss cheese topped with truffle aioli, onion jam and arugula on a toasted house-made butter croissant. Served with a side of homemade pickles.
Don’t say goodbye, say hello to the next Orlando breakfast
I loved the breakfast experience so much with the friendly servers and fun decor that I’ve already chosen what I’ll order next time. It’s the Cheddar Biscuit Sandwich Plate made of egg soufflé, bacon jam, applewood-smoked bacon, arugula and aged cheddar cheese on a flaky, house-made cheddar biscuit. Like other breakfast in Florida plates, it was served with crushed rosemary potatoes and fresh seasonal fruit at the Glass Knife.
Eggs Benedict major force in the best breakfast Orlando
Eggs Benedict seems to be a staple breakfast in Florida, and comes in all variations. I enjoyed the Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce at Amare, Walt Disney World Swan Reserve hotel. Still, I’d go with the Avocado Toast next time because the English muffin was so challenging to cut at my breakfast in Florida. My dinner the night before was extraordinary and I hope to write about it later. In the meantime, read fellow travel writer Gail Clifford’s overview of our dinner here:
RELATED: Amare at Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
Eggs Bennie is also best breakfast Sarasota
The artistic theme carried on in Sarasota, where I spent two nights at the Art Ovation Hotel. In the heart of Sarasota’s energetic theatre, art gallery and concert district, the artfully-appointed hotel offers equally imaginative food experiences.
Again, breakfast rose to the occasion with an aesthetically pleasing presentation of Eggs Benedict. The Art Ovation version could be named the “best breakfast downtown Sarasota.” Crispy prosciutto di parma, tomato, and arugula served over toasted Wolferman’s English muffin with lemon Hollandaise sauce, grilled asparagus and smashed potato sent my taste buds over the edge. The flavorful Florida breakfast balanced the savory prosciutto and eggs with sweet Sicilian Blood Orange juice.
Best breakfast Sarasota: mango waffles
And speaking of fresh Florida fruit, Toasted Mango Café is famed for its mango-laden waffles and mango mimosas. This casual Mom and Pop is a must-stop for those seeking the best breakfast in Florida and particularly the best breakfast Sarasota.
Indeed, the Sarasota restaurant’s mango version was voted the “Best Waffle in Florida” by Food Network in 2018.
RELATED: Gifts of Good Taste: Exotic Fruit Basket & Deluxe Pantry Box
Breakfast St Petersburg FL
In St Petersburg, the hotel breakfast buffet was so good that I didn’t make it out of the Hyatt Place hotel for a morning meal. However, my friend and colleague, Chris Cutler, who lives in St Pete, recommends Sea Dog Brewing Co. for its egg croissant. There are many places for downtown St Pete breakfast, so let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried a downtown St Pete breakfast.
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Bruncharcuterie is the best breakfast St Augustine style
Across the state from St. Pete on Florida’s Historic Coast, St. Augustine brunch spots are over the top. I loved the concept at Ancient City Brunch Bar, where tasty and Instagrammable breakfast items meet the charcuterie board for “Bruncharcuturie,” where families or galpals sample and share. This breakfast St Augustine Beach spot has crazy brunch boxes and vegan options to go or eat in. Try the Gouda pimento cheese, turkey empanada or brunch burger for your breakfast St Augustine FL style.
RELATED: First Thanksgiving in St Augustine Florida, not Plymouth? Seriously!
Do you have a favorite breakfast in Florida? Please name it in the comments below.
Beg to differ? Do you think your state should be named the breakfast state? Then leave your state name and reasons why in the comments below.
Hi, I’m Stacey
UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel is a travel blog focused on immersive travel that highlights food, wine and the spirituality of place. I also occasionally write about life as a Camino de Santiago pilgrim. I hope you enjoy what I post here. Feel free to leave comments! Read more…
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4 thoughts on “The Best Breakfast in Florida Worth Waking Up For”
Great article! So nice to see the variety available in the Sunshine State. I didn’t make it out of the St Pete hotel for breakfast either … they had a great combination to stay gluten free.
Thanks so much for your comment, Gail! It was great to travel with you in Orlando! My G-F friends should head over to your articles (link in this story) to get your GF tips!
What a fun take on Florida breakfasts! I’m not normally much of a breakfast eater but was happy to experience Toasted Mango Cafe with you in Sarasota. I mixed it up a bit and had the mango pancakes!
Toasted Mango Cafe in Sarasota was so fun with you! “it takes two to Mango!” The Mango pancakes looked good, too!