Nothing against a bottomless mimosa brunch, but a good old-fashioned breakfast seems to be the preferred choice for Tampa Bay diners. From Danish pastry baskets to breakfast pies and crab-topped Benedicts, here are six long-running breakfast spots in Tampa Bay.
Full of colorful and kitschy frog decor, the original location in North Redington Beach has been a brunch fixture for beachgoers and St. Petersburg locals since 1982. On busy weekends, there’s a line out the door. Local favorites include the hearty omelets, creative Benedicts and syrupy sweet Belgian waffles.
16909 Gulf Blvd., North Redington Beach; (727) 392-4117
It’s all about the Danish basket at this Clearwater breakfast favorite. Breakfasts, like the Redneck Bennie (topped with country sausage patties and gravy) and the three-egg “outrageous” omelets, all come with individual baskets toppling with buttery pastries (one per person, not per table). Though better known for their egg-centric dishes, this spot also does Jewish deli classics proud: matzo ball soup, Reuben sandwiches and bagels topped with lox and cream cheese.
21220 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater; (727) 799-0402; lennysfood.com
It’s not in the original location (the iconic Bay to Bay Boulevard space closed in early 2018 and is now home to Jeannie Pierola’s Counter Culture), but this long-running spot has been a fixture with Tampa breakfastgoers since 1992. The original owner, Al Pach, died in 2005, but the change of ownership and scenery (now inside the Tahitian Inn on S Dale Mabry Highway) haven’t affected the menu or its staying power: Regulars still come for the country-fried steak, smothered in gravy, the breakfast burger served with home fries and the Bayshore Special — two scrambled eggs on a croissant with bacon, cheese, asparagus and hollandaise sauce.
601 S Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa; (813) 769-5712; pachsplace.com
Cozy up in one of the booths and soak up the beach memorabilia and history at this Pass-a-Grille relic, which opened in 1938 and has remained a morning institution for its simple, no-frills breakfast plates and friendly service. Mimosas are the real steal: They arrive in giant wine glasses, so really it’s more like a mimosa and a half, but who’s counting?
800 Pass-a-Grille Way, Pass-a-Grille Beach; (727) 360-1734
First opened in 1976 in a different location, this restaurant has settled in comfortably in a well-worn spot on 34th Street S. The no-frills atmosphere and greasy spoon charm have made it a favorite with St. Pete early birds who come for the ham hash topped with poached eggs and the breakfast pie, filled with sausage, eggs, cheese, onions and peppers and topped with hollandaise sauce.
2795 34th St. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 866-3217; skywayjacksfl.com
The bustling bakery and cafe on Ulmerton Road in Largo gets packed on weekend mornings, with locals digging into hearty breakfast panini, blueberry scones, bagels and muffins. If it’s your sweet tooth that needs pleasing, look no further than the rows of European pastries, many with contemporary twists, like dulce de leche napoleons, chocolate-draped eclairs and miniature key lime cheesecakes.
9700 Ulmerton Road, Largo; (727) 587-7077; fridascafe.com