The quiet town of Homosassa, Florida, situated on the Gulf Coast of Florida near the south end of what is called “The Big Bend” is home to many amazing sites and sounds that transport you back to a much simpler time and place in history. Among these places, nestled in Little Pockets all Around Homosassa, you’ll find some REALLY good eating spots. There are places where the locals and tourists alike will visit, and then there are places that are much more popular with tourists. Let me tell you about the tasty side of Homosassa.
The Tasty Side of Homosassa
The Breakfast Station
Our first stop takes us to The Breakfast Station. Located at 7781 S. Suncoast Boulevard in Homosassa, this train themed breakfast and lunch spot is one you surely cannot miss. Now, this place is NOT unique to Homosassa. They have locations elsewhere in Florida. However, it is a restaurant that has made it’s way into a small chain of locations across Florida. From as far north as Tallahassee, all the way south and east to Melbourne, this quaint little breakfast spot has really made a name for itself. The owners, Cash and Cathy Smith got their start in the restaurant business and met at a Perkins in Bayonet Point, Florida. They opened the first Breakfast Station in New Port Richey in May of 1995 where they’ve been serving up classic, home-style breakfast dishes for nearly 3 decades. From omelets to oatmeal, waffles to everything in between, these guys have perfected the down home breakfast.
We tried their March Special, which was a Corned Beef Skillet, their “Junction” which was fried chicken breast on top of a griddled biscuit, topped with sausage gravy. We shared their famous Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes, too. You definitely won’t leave here hungry. It’s a great way to start your day, to fuel up for an adventure that surely awaits you in Homosassa.
The Freezer, located at 5590 S Boulevard Drive in Homosassa is absolutely one of the neatest, tucked away little gems in Homosassa. The locals of Homosassa come here just as much as the tourists. There are ZERO frills. They only take cash, so remember to hit the ATM before coming here. They keep it really simple here. You order your food/drinks at the bar and wait for your name to be called. From there, you’re on your own. Stone crab was in season when we got here, so naturally… it had to happen. They give you a little wooden mallet. You can hear the chorus of diners around this outside “dive” thwacking their stone crab claws, followed by the collective “mmmm” sounds after they dipped those babies in butter and enjoyed every bit of effort it took to get the meat out. Even if it meant whacking your fingers in the process, it was well worth it for the sweet, short-lived in season stone crab. The price was super reasonable, too! For $25/lb, you got about 6-7 stone crab claws. We also got the peel and eat shrimp, which is a major favorite of this local joint. All of the food comes out to you in styrofoam to-go containers and when you crack open the shrimp, the old bay cajun scented steam hits your senses like a wooden mallet to your fingers.. Being right there on the dock, at a bar stool, sipping an ice cold beer and peeling your shrimp, listening to local musicians… nothing says “Florida” more than this. If you’re nearby Homosassa… STOP HERE AND EAT. You will not be sorry. In fact, if you’re anything like us, you’ll be planning your next trip here before you even leave.
Florida Cracker Kitchen
Located at the Florida Cracker Resort, The Florida Cracker Kitchen is newly renovated. Owned and Operated by brothers Blair and Ethan Hensley, natives of Brooksville, Florida, this place is truly steeped in Southern hospitality at its core. Situated on property at the Florida Cracker Resort, this is one of those places that is unique to Homosassa, but does have other locations in Florida as well. This is the original location and is super tourist friendly. The food here is unbelievably delicious. MAke sure when you stop here, you don’t forget to try their homemade cinnamon rolls. They’re huge. They’re delicious and they cannot be missed. We also shared their Shrimp and Grits which was a total surprise. The grits were in the form of a crispy, cheesy fried triangle and was an amazing juxtaposition to the shrimp that were in a creole tomato sauce. This dish was among the best Shrimp and Grits I’ve had. It wasn’t your traditional heavy grits and overcooked shrimp. The shrimp were tender, the grits were cheesy and delicious, and the tomato sauce was savory and spiced just right. It really hits the spot. To be honest, finishing that off with the homemade cinnamon roll was the best decision we’ve ever made.
Florida Cracker Monkey Bar
Located directly across from the Florida Cracker Kitchen, onsite at the Florida Cracker resort is this little riverside bar and restaurant that serves dips and stone-fired pizzas. The coolest, most unique thing about this place is that all of the seating is outside, on the water and overlooks Monkey Island. What’s Monkey Island you ask? Well… it’s a small island that houses 5 monkeys that are taken care of by the resort’s owners. They have their own fort and palm trees, ropes to swing on and even a lighthouse to climb! It’s really easy to sit there for hours and watch them play and lounge around on their own private island. The tropical drinks, local beer and stone fired pizzas make it pretty easy to hang out a while. We headed here after breakfast at Florida Cracker Kitchen so we were not hungry but really wanted to try the Blue Crab Dip and it was really tasty. It’s served with crispy pita chips and is topped with green onions and diced tomato. Between that and the “French Toast” drink I had that was featuring a local bourbon had me remembering why I love Florida so much. Sunshine, good food, live music and amazing views of the waterway… it truly doesn’t get more “Florida” than that!
Crump’s Landing is located at 11210 W Halls River Road, this place has got it ALL! We were here pretty early in the morning to catch our airboat ride (Check it Out Here) and the airboat guide was telling us all about this place and how busy it gets. There wasn’t anybody there in the morning, but we came back that night for dinner and WOW. This place was very very busy. There was a live country music band playing and the wait for our table was about an hour. There is a small stretch of “beach” here that you can pull up a chair along the Homosassa River and watch as boats go by while you listen to music and wait for your table. There’s even an option for your to pull up to the restaurant’s dock on your boat and a server will come out and take your order while you stay on your boat! Pretty cool feature of this place if you ask me. They’ve got a strong family tiki bar/restaurant vibe here and there’s something on the menu for everyone. Pretty typical Florida/Beach Bar type food but it was delicious! We started with their version of Bang Bang Shrimp. The server told us that they make their own Bang Bang sauce… we were blown away with how delicious the food was and how fast it was coming out given that this place is massive and it was packed with people. For entrees, I got a grouper sandwich which was so incredibly fresh and hot and delicious. Hannah got the shrimp tacos and they were equally fresh and amazing. This place had all the boxes checked and was a great place to come for entertainment, drinks and dinner. Some of the best entertainment was the people watching (wink wink). Be sure to check this place out and enjoy a margarita or two!
The Old Mill Tavern
The Old Mill Tavern is located right next to the Yulee Sugar Mill Ruins Historic State Park right off of West Yulee Avenue. A pretty typical tavern style menu of chicken wings, burgers, beer and liquor drinks, this is a great place to check out for a good bite to eat after visiting the historic sugar mill from the 1800’s that’s basically in the parking lot. It’s a truly unique piece of Florida history sitting right there! This place hosts Karaoke on Friday and Saturday night’s and is open late for the night owl crowd until 1:30am. Stop on into the Old Mill Tavern after learning all about the Historic Yulee Sugar Mill and cool off with an ice cold beer and some chicken wings.
Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters
This quaint little cottage style coffee shop was located in downtown Historic Crystal River, NOT Homosassa but it’s really pretty close. We actually saw it while we were on the shuttle from Three Sisters Springs visitor center to the manatee park to see manatees and decided we had to go back before we left! We actually have our own little cattle dog named Henry so this place really called to us! We stopped in for a muffin to share (cranberry) and a couple of iced coffees. The place was cute and had great coffee and reasonable prices. There was a shop that you could buy some beans and bring them home, but they also had pre-packaged k-cups which I thought was pretty neat! They also had a small selection of proprietary tea blends that I picked up for a dear friend to try! They had a selection of sandwiches and salads as well that you could order and have brought to your table inside the cafe, but we just opted for a muffin and some coffee. The food looked and smelled delicious, however! If you’re looking for a light afternoon lunch and a quick pick-me-up, put this place on your to-do list.
The Starting Gate
The Starting Gate is located just around the corner from the Historic Yulee Sugar Mill and has been serving up a traditional, authentic breakfast in the historic part of Homosassa and is one of the oldest breakfast spots in Homosassa. They do serve lunch as well and they are only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekly so you have to make sure you plan your trip during a time they are open! This restaurant is housed in an old building that owners Gale and Tracy drove by many times during their visits to Old Homosassa. They decided to check it out one day because they noticed it was listed for sale. Boy, are we sure glad they did! They’re keeping things really simple and really limited with only being open 3 days a week. There is also a cottage nearby that can be rented through VRBO so you can have your own private cottage on the water, within walking distance to this great restaurant. You can launch your canoes and kayaks from this restaurant and also dock them here while you stop for breakfast. Super unique, one-of-a-kind gem right in the historic part of Old Homosassa.
We hope you enjoyed this post and if you do try one of these places, be sure to let us know what your thoughts are! We want you to share your experiences with us! 🙂
Eat, Drink and be Merry!