#18 of 49 Cape San Blas Restaurants

Sand Dollar Cafe

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Sand Dollar Cafe - Southern Comfort Food Made From Scratch
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Sand Dollar Cafe specializes in food that feels good -- Southern comfort food. With dishes made from scratch using fresh, local ingredients, this is one place that feeds the body and nourishes the soul. Come here when you’re feeling down or when you’re feeling great, for the meals are always good.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

The Sand Dollar Cafe serves Southern comfort food that feeds the body and nourishes the soul. With hearty dishes that always taste good, you’ll never leave here feeling hungry or feeling down.

The breakfasts at the Sand Dollar Cafe are just like what a Southern grandmother would serve. They’re big and full of flavor, even if they aren’t so great for the arteries. Assemble-your-own options include selections like Applewood Smoked Bacon, Homemade Sausage, Cheese Grits and the Omelet of the Day. If you do need to watch your waistline, there is a sampling of yogurt, fruit and housemade granola.

Lunch selections continue to feature wholesome dishes made from real ingredients, such as mashed potatoes that have actual buttermilk and collard greens simmered in a ham hock. Other options the restaurant has offered include rich entrees that you might see at a Southern feast, with the Classic Meatloaf (served with tomato chutney), Shrimp and Grits (served with spicy tomato cream sauce and cheddar grits) and 4 Cheese Mac & Cheese (served with bacon) being particularly popular. 

The actual lunch menu changes daily based on what’s available, so every visit might contain a new surprise to try. No matter what’s listed on the day you come, it’s certainly going to be enticing because everything here is good.

As is true with all comfort food cooking, the secret to these dishes isn’t so much in their creativity as it lies in the cafe’s commitment to using quality supplies. No shortcuts are taken in sourcing ingredients, and everything used is fresh and local if possible. Additionally, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something “fat free” or “low sugar” in the kitchen. “Diet” isn’t a big part of the cooks’ vocabulary.

Beverage options include coffee, tea, juice, soda, water, beer and wine. There’s no proper kids’ menu, but everyone is welcome to order from the menu a la carte. Children can just choose a small entree of what they’d like for $5. Individual sides cost even less at $3 each.

Of course, the service here is top-notch. Buffet-style serving ensures everyone gets what they want quickly, and the staff are always personable and helpful. You’d expect nothing less of a Southern eatery.

There’s a reason Southern comfort food is a staple throughout the country, and this is some of the best in the area. When you need your belly filled and your soul touched, come here for a pick-me-up.

A few of our menu favorites at Sand Dollar Cafe include:

Chef’s Home Made Crab Cakes
Assembled with fresh ingredients from both land and sea, the Chef’s Home Made Crab Cakes are full of flavor and perfectly textured. Served with Cajun Remoulade, they even have a little kick for Southern food.

Shrimp and Grits
Another Southern seafood staple, these Shrimp and Grits stand up to even the highest expectations. The shrimp are expertly cooked, and the grits are loaded with cheddar cheese. A spicy tomato cream sauce finishes off the dish, adding flavor to every bite.

Biscuit and Sausage Milk Gravy
If you’re here for breakfast, don’t leave without having a Biscuit and Gravy. One will come with a Breakfast Plate, or you can order the staple on its own. The ones made here are as good as you’ll find anywhere (just don’t tell your grandmother).

Collards and Cabbage with Ham Hocks
Collard greens and cabbage sometimes have a rough reputation, but they’re delicious when expertly prepared with a ham hock. The Collards and Cabbage with Ham Hocks get simmered a long time so the ham’s flavor infuses every bite and makes the greens tender.

Insider Tip:
This is one place you can bring a furry, four-legged friend. Dog bowls in the outside patio let Fido have a drink while you eat your meal. Maybe even get your best friend a biscuit with some of that gravy?