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Rise and Shine – Breakfast in Seaside

Great Southern Cafe’s famous Grits A Ya Ya are topped with a sweet potato haystac.

Warmer temperatures, salty sun-kissed faces and water so clear it looks like shimmering crystals — these are the things that beckon visitors of all ages to push their desks aside for spring break in Seaside.

But once on vacation, breakfast, the first meal of the day, often gets overlooked for those in a hurry to hit the sand. Do you wolf down a quick bowl of cereal? Pop a couple of pastries into the toaster? Or do you sit down for a hot meal of eggs and bacon?

Doctors and nutrition experts generally agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you think about it, it just makes sense. After a long night of sleeping, your fuel tank is on empty. Like a car won’t run without gas, your body won’t function properly without food.

A well-balanced breakfast that gives your body the nutrients it needs is the smart choice on any given morning, especially when spending time with family and friends enjoying a day at the beach or biking around town.

Raw & Juicy, located on Airstream Row, is a favorite of mine for those on the go, especially if you’re seeking gluten-free or vegetarian options. “We make everything by hand,” owner Jenifer Kuntz says. “And the Costa Rican Bowl is great for those needing to get back to the sand. It’s filled with brown rice, black beans, salsa, avocado and a squeeze of lime. It is so nourishing and satisfying.”

If a larger meal is on your radar, the Great Southern Café is the family friendly eatery that is certain to satisfy. Seating is available inside, but my family enjoys the side porch, especially on a beautiful day. While the smoked gouda Grits A Ya Ya topped with spicy shrimp is a top go-to that will stick to your ribs, I’m all about the Veggie Frittata packed with zucchini, yellow squash and peppers that won’t weigh you down if heading out in the Gulf of Mexico for a swim.

Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant is one of my top picks for breakfast in Seaside, even more so, the rooftop deck where open air dining allows for expansive water views. Many of the ingredients prepared are sourced from local farmers at the Seaside Farmers Market, and the bread from Black Bear Bread Company in Grayton Beach. Sit back, take a deep breath, and savor the sweet potato pancakes served with whipped butter and maple syrup, or my favorite housemade gravlax served with capers, cream cheese, scallions and a New York-style bagel made with love a stone’s throw away.

Caroline Pugh, a local nutrition expert who grew up living along Seaside’s water’s edge says, “Whatever your breakfast choice, just make sure to drink lots of H20 to stay hydrated. Nothing will ruin a vacation more than a day spent in the emergency room. One of the first warning signs to take note of is thirst. So, drink up, eat up, and enjoy.”

Susan Benton is a food and travel writer with published articles, recipes, and photography in many local, regional and national publications. Her website is 30AEATS.com where she writes about the secrets of Gulf Coast cuisine.

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