It’s easy to make a passable breakfast. It’s difficult to make an outstanding one.
That’s the first thing we learned when we set out to compile the definitive list of the best places to have breakfast in Sarasota-Manatee. We ever-famished editors ate everywhere we could, from gas stations with a reputation for global specialties to Gulf-front cafes with designer entrées. And we ate everything. Pancakes, waffles, flapjacks. Omelets, frittatas, crêpes. Sausage, bacon, gravy. We’d roll into work after 10, either over-caffeinated or sleepy from way too much fat and sugar. And frankly, we never want to even glimpse Hollandaise again.
So what makes breakfast great? Strong coffee. Crispy hash browns. Real maple syrup. Just-made biscuits dotted with golden flecks of butter. Crackling bacon. Eggs of impeccable freshness. Those are the essentials. But other details help. Servers who know you by name. A shady patio—or a funky retro vibe. A quick turnaround. And in a field in which comfortable culinary classics dominate, creativity stands out in a major way. Little adjustments, like adding sweet potatoes to pancakes or vanilla beans to syrup, make a big difference.
Pour yourself another cup of coffee and read on.