Florida's capital has brilliant dining, artisan food producers, local produce and a famous cheesemaker nearby.
Your town probably boasts about its delicious eats, but don’t we all love gourmet treats in other towns? Tallahassee, Florida, offers a fine culinary journey for the foodie traveler.
At Kool Beanz café in downtown Tallahassee, the coffee’s perfect for taking out to the patio. Sunday brunch is a feast of the unusual, including banana rum French toast with plantains and walnuts, and grilled andouille fried grit cake, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
Paisley Café is another fabulous spot. Owner Kiersten Woorell segued from banking to baking, so lucky diners now feast on blueberry biscuits and crispy baguettes. In Kiersten’s peaceful and pretty garden, tuck into hearty smoked gouda hominy grits, apple butter smoked sausage and baked grapefruit with prosecco and Tupelo honey.
After this feast, treat yourself to stylish fashions and unique jewelry at Tallahassee’s chic boutique, Cole Couture.
In the city’s Market District, dine at Mozaik, a festive brasserie with photos of movie stars, colorful tiled fish and sleek Italian lighting. The menu is eclectic: fried green tomato BLT, crispy eggplant gyro, deviled eggs on rye, and mini crab cakes with ponzu mayonnaise.
For a country outing, drive 45 minutes north to Thomasville, Georgia, for a tour of Sweet Grass Dairy and a taste of their Black Swan and Asher Blue cheeses. Spend an afternoon browsing Thomasville’s gift, clothing and antique shops.
So many choices for a fine evening meal in Tallahassee. Avenue Eat+Drink is dedicated to serving farm-to-table dishes, and the presentation is as much a part of the meal as the freshness and flavor. Heirloom tomato gazpacho is served in a crunchy cucumber bowl. Romaine lettuce is grilled and served with shaved manchego crostini. Lamb is flanked by horseradish potatoes.
Liam’s, a friendly bistro with flickering candles and intriguing art, is a pleasant spot with intriguing art and delightful hosts. Enjoy fresh fish, pickled beet salad, wild mushroom soup and bananas Foster.
At Cypress Restaurant, go for a taste with a little dish like Southern Soul Sea Scallops or Gulf Coast Oysters and Biscuits. Or go all-put with a Sugar-Cane Mopped Ribeye. Paired with one of Cypress’s selection of delicious wines, the food deserves every nice word said about it.
The only way to work off culinary decadence like this is to tour Tallahassee’s delightful attractions, like Bradley’s Country Store, Full Moon Farm and Apiary, Monticello Winery or Wakulla Springs State Park.
–By Sharon Spence, photos by Mark Boughton