If there’s one thing Gainesville has no shortage of, it’s restaurants. There are so many breakfast options alone, even a tough critic like Ron Swanson would be impressed. While Gainesville has plenty of places to get the classic bacon-and-eggs combo, there are some hidden gems with unique takes on the conventional morning meal. In no particular order, here are some of the most mouthwatering venues to grab breakfast in the area.
Located at 1511 NW Second St., Civilization is a haven for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike. This locally owned establishment boasts organic and non-traditional choices like “swamp eggs” and vegan sourdough French toast. Civilization, located just west of Main Street, is dine-in only and has brunch available Saturdays and Sundays. To treat yourself Civilization-style, particularly for the 21+ crowd, get the hibiscus ginger mimosa and lemon ricotta beignets.
Located in the 34th Street Plaza at 2132 SW 34th St., Metro Diner is comfort food done right. At least that’s what Guy Fieri said. Yes, Metro Diner was featured on Fieri’s show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” so you know it’s the real deal. While the restaurant has delicious takes on your standard breakfast items, it also has sinful twists on everyday meals. Yo Hala on the Square is challah bread prepared like French toast and then stuffed and topped with a sweet, fruit-filled compote. The restaurant also features generous portions of fried chicken and waffles to satisfy your salty and savory cravings.
Root and Pecker
Located at 5408 NW Eighth Ave., Root and Pecker is easily one of the most underrated restaurants in Gainesville. It uses locally sourced ingredients, and just one visit will have you hooked on the quality of real food. On Sundays only, Root and Pecker offers an assortment of tasty brunch menu items. From sourdough waffles with real maple syrup to homemade biscuits and gravy, all diners can find yummy options here.
Maple Street Biscuit Company
Located in Butler Plaza at 3904 SW Archer Road, Maple Street Biscuit Company is home to decadent Southern comfort food. Get your fix of biscuits served any style: topped with fried chicken, covered in cheese or smothered in jelly. This joint originated in Jacksonville, Florida, and was featured on the Food Network show “Guilty Pleasures.” You don’t have to go past Archer Road to get the Instagram-worthy breakfast you’ve been dreaming about.
Two words: Eggs. Benedict. While Emiliano’s Cafe, located at 7 SE First Ave., has a delicious range of trendy breakfast dishes like stuffed avocado and guava strawberry crepes, the real selling point is the “Bennys.” Emiliano’s offers exciting variations of eggs benedict, with varieties like crab cake benedict, Cuban benedict, seafood benedict and even quinoa benedict. Although Emiliano’s only serves breakfast Saturdays and Sundays (with different menus each day), the restaurant gives you something to look forward to on weekends.