Answers from Our Experts (1)
Each morning, cooks all over the River City rise before the sun to make sure Jaxsons start the morning with a fresh, hot meal. Stop by one of these breakfast spots before taking on the day; even if you aren’t a local, you’ll be treated like one.
Tried-and-true breakfast favorites like Belgian waffles, omelets and pancakes start flying out of the kitchen of Metro Diner at 7 a.m. daily. However, regulars know that the key to a truly memorable morning is Yo Hala on the Square, Metro’s version of stuffed French toast. This sweet option combines Challah bread, bananas, cream cheese, and blueberry strawberry compote for a standout taste that earned Guy Fieri’s approval on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The original San Marco location has served countless guests since it opened in 1992. Newer locations in Mandarin and Jacksonville Beach only add to its reputation.
The self-serve coffee station at Cool Moose Café & Bistro is popular among early risers who live and work in Riverside — and hungry patrons with a few minutes to spare equally favor the menu. Classic standbys like muffins and pancakes are offered alongside originals like the smoked salmon and Swiss omelet with dill, or crab cake eggs Benedict with house-made Hollandaise sauce. Lingering over a bottomless coffee mug at a sidewalk bistro table is an ideal way to start the day.
Sleek and trendy Uptown Market draws a mixed bag of diners to its sun-filled dining room. Businessmen in fresh-pressed suits can often be seen taking meetings over plates of omelets and frittatas, while families with small children enjoy home fries and buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy at the next table. If a hot cup of coffee or tea doesn’t wake you up, try taking a seat near the open kitchen—watching the cooks in action has been known to energize a drowsy diner or two.
The scent of fresh-baked biscuits and fried chicken greets diners at Maple Street Biscuit Company, a Jacksonville original that earned a quick fan base after opening in late 2012. Biscuit sandwich options like The Reinhold (biscuit, fried chicken, dill pickles, house-made honey mustard) and The Squawking Goat (biscuit, fried chicken, fried goat cheese medallion, house-made pepper jelly) blur the line between breakfast and lunch fare. Take a seat at the communal table if you’re dining solo. It’s a great spot for people-watching, especially since orders are called by diners’ answers to a question of the week (such as, “What was your favorite childhood television show?” or “What’s your favorite band?”) instead of names or table numbers.