There are quite a few breakfast and brunch offerings in town, but these are some of my personal favorites. That’s not to say these are the best, and don’t be offended if your favorite spot isn’t on my list, these are just the ones that I visit. I hope you find this useful for the next time you’re looking for a breakfast spot! Join me as we all feast happily on delicious tasties on the weekends in celebration of the week ahead at one of the many offerings Gainesville has to...uh...offer. LET'S GO!
Daybreak - 308 NW 5th Avenue
The newest name on the list and arguably the best, Daybreak opened quietly and is somewhat of a hidden treasure in the quiet Pleasant Street neighborhood. The menu features items like the Breakfast Cristo sandwich, a duck and goat cheese omelet, breakfast fried rice, and a classic Dutch Baby that makes the offerings both unique and insanely delicious. Like Root & Pecker, they source their ingredients from local farms and feature a number of vegan and gluten-free options. But get there early and be prepared to wait as the dining room is small! Not open on Sundays or Mondays.
43rd Street Deli - 4401 NW 25th Place and 3483 SW Williston Road
A beloved greasy spoon that serves no-frills classic breakfast that warms the heart, 43rd Street Deli is another long-time Gainesville staple that features two locations. If you’re feeling a classic egg and meat breakfast, a large scramble, or a big ol’ plate of biscuits and gravy, this is the place to be. It’s not the greatest thing in the world, but it’s always there for you...consistently satisfying, and hardly ever a wait even at its busiest. But any seasoned veteran knows to order off the specials menu, look for the printed one-page insert inside your menu. It’ll never steer you wrong. Breakfast is served seven days a week.
Root & Pecker - 5408 NW 8th Avenue
Root & Pecker has taken on a few forms over the years from being entirely health food focused to adding pizza to the menu to their current form that focuses primarily on breakfast and lunch items. While it has taken them some time to do so, they have found their form with their sourdough breakfast items. Both the sourdough waffles and their wood-fired sourdough bagels are absolute stand-outs on their menu. Locally sourced ingredients, plenty of outdoor seating, and a vegetarian/food allergy friendly menu make this a great spot for everyone. Brunch is available Saturdays and Sundays while breakfast is available during the week. "The Pecker" has a questionable name, but the food is tasty!
Leonardo’s 706 - 706 W University Avenue
A long time Gainesville staple who also has a solid dinner offering, their brunch is great whether you choose to go with their large buffet spread or order off the menu. I’m personally partial to ordering off the menu with items like the Shiitake Mushroom benedict, Challah Bread French Toast, and Tofu Stir Fry. But the buffet is no slouch, and usually features over 40 items that are influenced by cuisine all over the world and features produce locally sourced from Swallow Tail Farms. Watch for the owners who parade around the dining room, greeting guests and passing out fresh baked muffins and homemade latkes. Brunch is served Sundays only.
Civilization - 1511 NW 2nd Street
While I can’t recommend them for dinner, this small eatery just north of downtown has a solid brunch offering that includes plenty of vegan and vegetarian friendly options. An order of lemon ricotta beignets and a carafe of hibiscus ginger mimosas is worthwhile at $20. Both a traditional and vegan french toast are available, a number of frittatas, and amped-up versions of avocado toast and grilled cheese are just some of the items on their menu. Locally sourced ingredients, covered outdoor seating, and a diet restriction friendly menu are enough to make up for their cash-only policy and sometimes long wait.
A Picnic At Depot Park - 200 SE Depot Avenue
Ok, so this last one is a bit of a bonus and isn’t actually a restaurant. But on a nice day, go out and enjoy the local park. If you have children, the water park and playground here are a blast for them. There’s plenty of area to enjoy a picnic with your significant-other, best pals, dog(s), whatever you want. Pick up a bagel or a snack from the Pop-A-Top general store or bring your meal. ENJOY THE LAND PEOPLE! THE LAND!