July 29, 2014

May 16, 201410:30 AMAlong the Gulfshore

Gulfshore Life’s editors explore Southwest Florida

Best Breakfasts: Sunburst Cafe

Best Breakfasts: Sunburst Cafe

Friendly faces, good prices and giant muffins. That’s what you’ll get at Sunburst.

Tucked away in the Target plaza on the corner of Pine Ridge and Airport-Pulling roads, the small neighborhood cafe is family-owned and -operated by the Tocio family. It's clear the family loves what they do. The business has just marked its Sweet Sixteen, and I say the grub has gotten only better with time. But, despite the spot-on food, I keep returning to the restaurant for the vibe. You’ll see patrons flood in dressed up from church, come straight after a workout, pop in before the beach, stop by in a suit before work or on their lunch hour. Pups are welcome on the patio. And I guarantee whichever smiling server is behind the counter will remember your face after just one visit.

It’s become the go-to reunion spot for my friends and me over the years, when someone is visiting town or available for a lunch date.

“Wanna do brunch?”

“Yes! Sunburst?”

“Duh.”

The cozy and Costa-Rican-inspired joint is known for its fresh selection of out-of-this-world house-made muffins, always moist, always delicious and never too small. Indulge in the simpler standards of blueberry and chocolate chip, or be a little more adventurous with flavors like pistachio, cookie dough, maple-bacon, Boston cream pie (the Tocios are from Massachusetts, after all) and, my personal favorite, Nutella. Yum.

I once splurged on an apple-cinnamon “muffin top,” a confection studded with soft fruit pieces and surely full of butter. I could have hugged the owner when he asked if I wanted it warmed. Um, yes please. It was heaven on a plate.

But if you’re not striving for the sinful, you really can’t go wrong with anything else on the menu. They have all the breakfast classics, all quickly made to order, from omelets and pancakes to healthy scrambles and bagels and lox. If you’re lucky, they’ll have one of their quiches on rotation. Even their oatmeal is superior—organic, steel-cut, and served with berries or bananas and sides of brown sugar and cream. And now they've got beer, wine and mimosas to add to their repertoire of coveted hot and cold coffees.

And best of all, breakfast is served till close at 3 p.m.

Sunburst Café, 2340 Pine Ridge Road, Naples. 263-3123,  sunburstnaples.com

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