Best Eats in Tallahassee

 

Coffee, etc. 

  • Lucky Goat Coffee: Cold Brew. On tap. With three locations to choose from, this local roastery offers a variety of coffee drinks  as well as a small selection of food items provided by Tasty Pastry Bakery.
  • Catalina Cafe: Another great option, with four locations in town to choose from. Catalina offers specialty coffee alongside a breakfast and lunch menu, both of which are available all day. Iced coffee is served with coffee ice cubes, and the beans are roasted in-house.

Breakfast

  • Canopy Road: This is my go-to breakfast spot on most Saturdays, but be warned: get there early or plan to wait in line. There are now three locations in town to choose from; with their newest location on Apalachee Parkway, which features a large outdoor dining section and a complimentary coffee and water station for while you wait.
  • Maple Street Biscuit Company: Their only downfall is that they are closed on Sundays, but otherwise this breakfast spot is slangin’ biscuit sandwiches and classic biscuits and gravy the rest of the week. Do yourself a favor and try the vegetarian gravy, made with shiitake mushrooms. You won’t regret it {warning: it’s a little spicy}. They’ve recently added salads to their repertoire, for those who want something on the lighter side (why?). You can’t leave without trying the hashups: home fries covered with peppers, onions, and cheese. Arrive hungry, you won’t be leaving with any room left in your belly.

#BrunchGame Strong

  • Liberty Bar and Restaurant: Open for Brunch on both Saturday and Sunday,  Liberty has my heart when it comes to my weekend mid-morning meal. Other people must feel the same way, because there’s usually a solid line forming out the door before their first seating at 11am. If you don’t make it for the first round, no worries; you can drown your brunch sorrows with a mimosa, house-made bloody mary (delish), or some other cocktail of choice at the bar while you wait. My go-to is always the breakfast tacos (side of lime creama, please), but it’s hard to go wrong here. In case brunch isn’t really your thing (blasphemy!), they’re serving up lunch during the week (11-2) as well as an evening menu (served until 11pm) to satisfy too.
  • Kool Beanz Cafe: Consistently good brunch. I go here for the Chilaquiles, specifically. The menu may change slightly week to week, but there are usually some mainstays to count on like the creamed spinach and baked eggs, full english breakfast, or the fried green tomato BLT (with a fried egg, duh), to name a few. They don’t serve liquor, but do have mimosas and wine. Expect a similar experience, if you end up here for lunch or dinner where the menu changes almost daily. This restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor (covered) seating, depending on your preference.

Lunchin’

  • Sweet Pea Cafe: I’m not even going to hide the fact that I eat here multiple times a week. There’s not a single thing on their menu I dislike. They also offer daily specials that you’ll drive out of your way to show up for (I know I do). This vegan cafe is locally owned and operated with offerings ranging from sandwiches to fresh baked goods using as many locally sourced ingredients possible. They also serve up brunch on Saturdays and Sundays (did somebody say Tofuevos Rancheros?). My numero uno is the buffalo tofu sandwich. I actually actively crave this. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’ll love what’s coming out of this kitchen.
  • Paisley Cafe: I love this place. I go here on days I don’t mind a splurge, because (fair warning) I’ve never left spending under $20. Everything is made fresh in the open kitchen, where you can sit at the bar and watch whats going on. They also have a small courtyard where you can enjoy soaking up a little vitamin d on sunny days. Every single thing on the menu is good. Don’t leave without trying the lobster bisque, it’s sensational. I also recommend the veggie press (oh hey, sriracha ranch), where the artichoke hearts are roasted alongside peppers with a swipe of pesto and melted cheese (is anyone else’s mouth watering?). They also have a sinful selection of desserts made in-house as well as a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.

Dinner Bell

  • Sage: Expect the menu to change each month, based on availability. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a bad meal here. The escargot is rich and lovely, the tempura fried oysters a perfect mix of flavors, and the deviled eggs a solid opener before settling in to one of the entrees they are hosting that month. They also have a fabulously curated wine list, as well as a small bar menu for those who aren’t in it for the long game. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention that they also have a wonderful Sunday brunch, where I love to sit in the courtyard on days where the weather is cool and calm.
  • Masa: Asian fusion serving up sushi, noodles, and more. I usually end up getting sushi while I’m here, but the Miso Sea Bass is worth an honorable mention. I’m pretty much obsessed with their vegetarian spider roll and if it ever left the menu, I’d probably cry. This is one of our top choices when meeting with friends or celebrating a birthday (they have two semi-private tables), and since their move to a larger location a year or so ago, they now have a full bar and outdoor seating. They also have  lunch service where you can take advantage of some specials.
  • The Southern Public House: There’s something for everyone on this menu. I love coming here for the outdoor dining space and laid back atmosphere. It’s not too far from nearby Cascades Park either, which makes it a prime choice on days when there’s a scheduled event. Enjoy lunch and brunch (Sunday only) options as well. They don’t close their doors throughout the day, so you can show up and stay a while on a nice day and work your way through their lengthy drink menu.

Bar Bites

  • Sidecar Gastrobar: They have a large selection of small plates to choose from with items like Thai Mussels, Crispy Shrimp, or Cioppino, to name a few. You can usually catch live music on the weekends. Be sure to check out their website for a full listing specials Tuesday-Sunday.
  • Bar @ Betton: The sister space of Food Glorious Food, B@B has small plates and happy hour from 4:30-7:30 Tuesday through Saturday. It’s a hard tie between the lavash and the buffalo oysters when it comes to choosing a favorite plate, so I usually end up ordering both to share with friends. Don’t forget to check out the dessert case for a late night treat before heading home. The hardest part will be deciding which one to choose from their lengthy list.

Unexpected Goodness

  • La Tiendita: This place is favorite hidden gem in town. It’s authentic Mexican with a wide menu that will make you do a happy dance. The tacos are simple, the Mexican guacamole is a must, and you can choose from a selection of beers to complement your order. The salsa is full of fire roasted tomatoes and fresh hot peppers; your first one is free, but after that you’re paying for it. They also make a trio of hot sauces in house that are ridiculously good. Like, “I want to smother everything I order in the sauce”, kind of good.
  • El Vireleno: Did someone say papusa? Serving up traditional El Salvadorian food, this restaurant recently relocated to the North Side of town off of Kerry Forest Parkway. You can’t leave without trying one of the many varieties of papusas while you’re here. They are served with this amazing slaw that I’ve tried to replicate many times to no avail. I’ve had a hard time eating anything on their menu that I didn’t love. They also have a friendly staff who will allow you to practice your worn-out spanish with minimal judgement.

Ethnic

  • Mayuri: Set amongst the slew of Indian restaurants in town, this place is my favorite. I have two words for you; Gobi Manchurian. Don’t ask questions, just order it and thank me later. This restaurant is rich in flavor, but can sometimes be slow on service. Don’t go if you’re in a rush. They do offer a solid lunch buffet, but I prefer them for dinner (plus you’ll end up with leftovers for lunch the next day).
  • Bahn Thai: Recently renovated, I get transported back to Thailand whenever I eat here. With a full selection of classic Thai dishes, it’s hard to choose incorrectly. My pick is usually the Pad See-Ew, with a Tom Kha soup.
  • Sakura: The best sushi in town, in my opinion. Their food is delicious, and their presentation always has me excited. Sashimi is served over shaved ice, and the rolls aren’t smothered in rice. Skip the Miso and try the shumai soup. And make sure you ask for the secret special’s menu–which lists any special appetizer or roll that they’ve offered in the past. They also have two private rooms that can be reserved for large parties. *Note: wine, beer, and sake only
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