Five Brunch Spots to Try in Gainesville

Posted on 26. Jun, 2012 by in Eats, Gainesville, Weekend

It’s brunch-time – where do you go and what do you eat? We made a list of some places we’ve visited in Gainesville. Our two-part brunch series highlights dishes at restaurants all over the city; so no matter where your apartment is in Gainesville, you can work one of these restaurants into your weekend honey-do lists.

We’ll be doing a separate list for Orlando soon – so sit tight.

1. The Flying Biscuit Cafe

Where it’s located: 150 Northwest 16th Boulevard (352) 373-9500

When to go: The earlier the better for this brunch spot. Reservations are encouraged as the wait time is usually colossal.

What to get: The Egg-stravaganza – it has something sweet and something salty to suit both palettes. Along with two eggs you get whole wheat french toast with a raspberry cream sauce and their trademark creamy dreamy grits (which are one of the most amazing side items ever created).

Why it’s great: The staff is friendly, the decor is colorful and quaint, and the food is delectable. If you’re not in the mood for a giant breakfast like the Eggstravaganza, its always good to go for the classic Flying Biscuit Breakfast.  P.S. Be sure to have the apple butter with your sugar sprinkled biscuit.

Most Delectable Side Item: The Creamy Dreamy Grits

2. Peach Valley Cafe

Where it’s located: 3275 Southwest 34th Street (352) 376-1834

What to get: The Chicken Curry Salad Wrap is exactly like the chicken salad your mom used to make but with an Indian flare. The chicken filling is mixed with with grapes, walnuts and coconut flakes then stuffed into a sun-dried tomato tortilla (not seen here).

When to go: During the later side of your brunch hours. The lunch menu is pretty tasty, but breakfast is served all day. A breakfast favorite is the gigantic plate of French Toast (seen above).

Why it’s great: The diner-style setting is chill and comforting while their menu feature simple ingredients and preparation. No muss and fuss – just good quality dining at a great price.

Light Item: The Summer Salad with Peach-Ginger Dressing: tangerines, strawberries and nuts are served on a bed of dark greens with dressing on the side (chicken optional). Be sure to try it if you don’t want to get full.

3. Swamp Restaurant

Where it’s located: 1642 W. University Avenue (352) 377-9267

What to get: The Shrimp and Grits. This isn’t your everyday Shrimp and Grits; instead of a creamy bowl of grits, the Swamp chooses to present spicy jumbo shrimp and andouille sausage upon a fried grit cake. The meal is dense but worth it, and as you can only get it once a week you might as well splurge.

When to go: Sundays are brunch days at the Swamp. It’s a nice place to forgo crowds and lines as you won’t have to wait long for a table.

Drink Special: The Swamp offers a very good Mango Mimosa. There are other flavors including pomegranate and the original that you can try, but the Mango flavored one is pretty popular.

4. The Gelato Company

Where it’s located: 11 Southeast 1st Avenue (352) 373-3153

What to get: Crepes! They have all types. Some with Nutella, some are glazed, some with marshmallow filling. My personal favorite? The Donatella Crepe -it’s filled with Nutella, strawberries and bananas and is so amazing! If you’re feeling on the adventurous side try the S’mores Crepe.

When to go: The Gelato Company recently started creating their breakfast items – offered all day everyday – try their brunch anytime.

Why we like it:  It’s a tiny hole in the wall with nice cafe dishes and even better gelato. It’s accessible all the time whether you’re going for brunch or leaving downtown after a late night.

Get something sweet: If you don’t get a crepe always remember to get gelato – the Cake Batter and Watermelon are my personal favorites. If you need something salty to get started try a Panini and Potato Soup with Chicken salad as a meal option.

5. Harvest Thyme Cafe

Where’s it located: 2 West University Avenue (352) 384-9497

What to get: The Garden Burger – a meatless burger topped with sprouts and cheddar cheese, served with pasta salad. It’s a great option for carnivores and vegetarians alike. Or try the Main Street Salad (now called Main Street Delight). It’s a scoop of their Nutty Chicken Salad over a bowl of fresh fruit.

When to go: Sundays are when they have the best specials, besides the Garden Burger, which is great for those who prefer the lunch side of brunch, they also offer good breakfast sandwiches and sides.

Why we like it: It’s a great option for vegetarians with a quiet ambience. If you need to enjoy some quiet time or study, be sure to buy your Sunday coffee here as you won’t be bothered.

Don’t forget to try: The Tomato Basil soup – it’s just plain good.

Next week, we’ll give you five more options.
Have a favorite or a suggestion? Tell us in the comments below.

Main Street Salad (Harvest Thyme) and French Toast (Peach Valley Cafe) photos by – Melanie Ling

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