Are you in the mood for some pancakes or some French toast? How about an omelet, or better yet, a breakfast tater tot tower? At MM 82 bayside, head on in to Mangrove Mike’s Café in Islamorada for some of the best breakfast and lunch choices to fill that stomach to jump-start your day.

The down-home-style diner and café fits the niche as a destination for tourists and a place where locals come to enjoy a coffee and a meal with friends or family.

In business for 21 years and two months, Mangrove Mike’s has been voted to have the best breakfast in Islamorada. Along with exceptional breakfast choices, the guest experience is warm, inviting and relaxing. Owner Mike Forster can be seen walking around the diner to welcome guests and engage in conversation. Forster’s been in the restaurant business since his teenage years.

“We’re greeting guests when they enter the door, we’re serving their needs and we’re taking good care of them,” Forster said. “Our friendly servers are letting guests know some of the best places to go and visit in the area. It adds character to the place.”

The menu is full of breakfast options. If you’re searching for that hearty meal to fill the tummy, go for one of the breakfast tater tot towers. Loaded high with tater tots and some eggs, one of the notable tower creations is the Mexican chili, which is served with chili, cheddar cheese, black olives, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos and salsa. Whatever appetite you may have, this dish will crush it in every way possible. There are four other tater tot towers to try out, including Kitcken Sink, bacon and cheese, country gravy and corned beer hash brown.

Mangrove Mike’s also features some of the best signature French toasts. With gourmet breads, sweets and cakes, try one of the breakfast classic must-haves. Berry lovers, try the wild blueberry cake French toast and a combo of berries on top. With a little bit of syrup on top, this breakfast dish is a taste bud satisfier.

The breakfast menu also features omelets and wraps, hot cakes and Belgian waffles, benedicts and specials like the Mangrove Muffin, fried egg with sausage, bacon or ham with cheese and served on a toasted English muffin, or Mangrove Mike’s Special, which comes with two hotcakes, two eggs and two slices of bacon or sausage.

Stop in at lunchtime for soup, a variety of wraps, Mangrove munchies like flatbread pizza or a sandwich, po boys, salads, signature plates or a tater tot tower lunch style.

While Mangrove Mike’s whips up some fine breakfast and lunch meals, one of the secret recipes to its success is the connection and conversation with those at the tables.

“People want to be recognized, noticed and talked to, and we do that every day,” Forster said. “Customers who come in start our as friends. From friends, they turn into family.”

Mangrove Mike’s is open Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit mangrovemikes.com.

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