Opening its doors in Ft. Walton Beach, Flo. in 2005, The Neighborhood Cafe is a family-owned and operated establishment wholly supported by its local community. The vision for the opening of this eatery was and still remains to operate a restaurant that goes beyond merely serving food. Here, the mission is to make everyone feel as if they come in and pull up a chair, just like family.
Neighborhood Cafe specializes in breakfast, lunch, and brunch items as they close before dinner hours. It’s important to note that breakfast is served all day at this establishment. Customers rave about the hash brown casserole and the crisp bacon, so even if it’s not “breakfast” hours, it’s worth trying their breakfast items simply because it is that good! It is also a notable hang-out enjoyed by locals, which means that the food is especially good, and not just a touristy spot but an actual filling, well-liked restaurant. Other guests made note of the friendly service and the generous portions.
The atmosphere is comforting and welcoming and calls to mind a down-home diner environment. The red checkerboard patterned tablecloths and the padded seats ensure that guests are comfortable throughout their meals. It might even make you think you are back in Grandma’s kitchen. There are also booths with additional seating options as well. The menus feature a rooster standing in the forefront of a farm, which further adds to the vibe of a home-cooked meal and a welcoming environment.
While virtually everything on the menu is worth trying, there are some items you must make sure to order when visiting the Neighborhood Cafe:
To get your day at the beach started off right, consider ordering the Sunrise Special, which consists of two eggs, three pieces of bacon, or two sausages paired with one side of toast. Side choices include the aforementioned beloved Hashbrown Casserole, but also includes regular Hashbrowns, Fruit Cup, Home Fries, Grits, or even Chili for an additional charge.
Good Morning Special or Lumberjack Special
For a bit heartier of a meal, consider this option, which comes with two eggs, three pieces of bacon or two sausages, one side, and two pancakes, or ½ order of French Toast. Make it a Lumberjack meal by combining the meats for an extra charge.
No home-cooking restaurant in the South would be worth visiting if they didn’t feature biscuits and gravy. This dish comes with two delicious homemade buttermilk biscuits covered with sausage gravy, with one side and toast.
Hand-Dipped French Toast
Another guest favorite is the Neighborhood Cafe’s French Toast. This dish comes with hand-dipped French Toast with fresh butter and warm syrup. There is also the Strawberry Stuffed French Toast which is French Toast filled with a strawberry cream cheese filling that is then topped with powdered sugar and served with warm syrup on the side.
Secret Homemade Pancakes
Another dish you simply must try is homemade pancakes. Add pecans, strawberries, blueberries, chocolate chips, or whipped cream for an additional charge. You can also opt for a stack of three or whole-wheat pancakes.
You can choose between a dish featuring one egg or two along with one side and then a biscuit or piece of toast. Side choices include Grits, Fruit Cup, Hashbrown Casserole, Hash Browns, Home Fries, or for an additional charge, Chili.
While the breakfast is for sure beloved by locals and visitors alike, the lunch options at the Neighborhood Cafe are also pretty good. They serve fresh salads, sandwiches both cold and hot, chicken fingers and fries, side orders, including onion rings, a kid’s menu, and even some delicious desserts, such as Peach Cobbler, Carrot Cake, and Key Lime Pie.
-There is no Wi-Fi in the Neighborhood Cafe in Ft. Walton. There is a sign that communicates this in a humorous way saying “No, we do not have Wi-Fi, talk to each other.”
-There are gluten-free and vegetarian options at Neighborhood Cafe.
-Breakfast, lunch, and brunch are the featured meals with breakfast being available during all open hours.