Pensacola Sunday Brunch in August
My husband, daughter & I will be traveling from Mobile, AL to Panama City Beach in August on a Sunday. Thinking of stopping in Pensacola for brunch. Any recommendations? We are going on a Delta Air Boat Cruise in Mobile, so we won't be dressed up. Needs to be somewhere not formal.
For brunch, I like Crema and Madison's. My family has become big fans of Crema and always tries to replicate their dishes. For more breakfast style foods, the Scenic Hwy 90 Diner is good (though nothing special- although the decor is great). Coffee Cup has wonderful greasy, traditional breakfast, but I don't think they are open on Sundays.
First things first. Because we're a beach town it is always totally ok to dine anywhere, any time in shorts. Even the fanciest restaurants will have diners in casual attire. There are two restaurants that I would make my husband tuck his shirt into his shorts at and they are Jackson's and Versaille.
So, for brunch:
Fish House -pricey, consistently good brunch, upscale atmosphere although shorts and sandals are fine here too. On the water. Not perfect but I think the best in town all 'round. I recommend it for brunch, lunch and dinner. They have good sushi, the lunch fish special is always really good, and the dinner fish special and surf and turf are usually good to very good, though quite expensive. The food is not as consistent as I would like but, that said, I eat there at least twice a week because I love the atmosphere and the fact that it's on the water. Downside is they don't take reservations and it's usually packed. There's a restaurant next door owned by the same people named Atlas and it's also very good, basically the same food, same atmosphere. There is a deck bar overlooking the water with a live band that is a hoppin' spot just about every night.
Zea's-- moderate price very nice atmosphere like Fish House. Consistently excellent food and service it's a small chain restaurant but food is great. My first choice for food but second overall because the Fish House is on the water
Versaille--never had brunch there but dinner is very good, pricey, upscale, boring location very fancy atmosphere at dinner
H20 --pricey, upscale, on the beach inconsistent food and service I don't like it but keep going back because it's on the beach and out of town guests always want to go out there.
Madison's ate sunday brunch there yesterday 7-20-08, TERRIBLE. Restaurant overall is inconsistent. Sometimes the food is great (fried green tomato BLT) sometimes ok and sometimes really really awful, like yesterday's sunday brunch.
Skopelos on the Bay--upscale, pricey, big older after church crowd. A beautiful view on the water. Very very inconsistent service and food but I can say if you get the scamp cervantes it is always very, very good. sometimes a little musty smelling because of it's location on the water with beautiful overhanging live oaks.
The Marketplace--on the beach, casual but breathtaking view at the top floor restaurant. Some brunch food good, some ok but the grits with shrimp, bacon, scallions and cheddar is worth the trip. Stop in at the deli downstairs and get take out and wine for a picnic on the beach.
Coffee Cup--not sure it's open on Sunday, not a Sunday Brunch type place--lunch counter country cooking place. I recommend it for lunch, have the daily special. This is good, plain southern cooking.
Crema-not my idea of a Sunday Brunch place either. Breakfast is fine to very good but it's a bakery with tables--linoleum topped tables--very casual. Boring location.
Scenic Hwy Diner--I've never had a decent meal here. Again, not a Sunday Brunch type place but a shiney prefab diner with mediocre food and bad bad service type of place.
No Sunday brunch but Bonefish Grill, a chain, is another one of my favorite restaurants here in Pensacola for dinner. Consistently very good food and service. Always a long wait, they take call ahead.
Aegean Breeze--very casual, excellent pricing, boring location but really great seafood, steaks and the best grilled lamb chops this side of Morton's Chicago. Located in a shopping center in gulf breeze which is basically part of Pensacola and on the way to the beach. Always a really long wait.
Cactus Flower --california style mexican. Used to be fantastic food, but last few times I was there, just ok. the quality of the food took a turn for the worst. It may be worth a try though. In a strip shopping center, decent atmosphere, usually slow slow service. Good prices. No margaritas, wine and beer only.
Zea's and Bonefish are the only chain restaurants I would recommend in Pensacola.
You really need to go to Joe Patti's seafood for the experience. You won't find another place like it It's a fish market with a gourmet shop and wine shop attached. They used to have the best sushi in town but I'm not sure if they're still doing sushi. You can get GREAT boiled shrimp, gourmet cheese and an italian baguette and a bottle of wine and drive out to the beach for a picnic.
Another fun spot to get take out and wine or for a casual deli type eat in is City Grocery.
Norma's serves a great lunch for a great price. Really good chicken salad. I always get the cup and a half with the chicken salad sand. a cup of whatever cream soup she's serving, a fruit cup and bread pudding all for under $7. Located downtown or at the mall.
For more brunch-y affair my family like's Madison's and Crema. Crema has become the recent favorite, and I've only heard good things about it. For more breakfast style food, the Scenic Hwy 90 Diner is reliable and fun. The Coffee Cup is also wonderful traditional (greasy) breakfast foods (including biscuits and gravy), but I'm not sure it's open on Sundays.