By Jessie Lea Pingle
The first time walking into Ginny & Jane E’s Bakery Cafe is almost overwhelming. Is it an antique store? A cafe? A funky art museum? A bookstore? The answer: yes.
Owned by two sisters, Ginny and Jane, the brightly colored building fit in perfectly with the unique and laid-back beach town of Anna Maria Island, Florida. But it’s when you step inside that it gets interesting.
You don’t know what to look at first. Mattress coils artfully strewn with lights hang from the ceiling, alongside vintage bicycles covered in beads and flowers. Everywhere you look are light fixtures made from wine bottles and jewel-toned glasses.
Once your eyes move from the ceiling, you notice that the room is filled with mismatched tables and chairs. Diners are crammed sunburnt elbow to sunburnt elbow. The room is literally filled with artwork one could only find in Anna Maria, a place known for its funky art scene.
But wait, where’s the food? You realize everyone around you is digging in when the heavenly scent of eggs, bacon, waffles, and pancakes reaches your eager nostrils. You make your way to the back of the line (there’s always a line), and here’s the hardest part of your day: deciding what to eat.
The breakfast menu is extensive, with everything from plain bagels, to eggs and bacon, to gluten-free pancakes, and everything in between. Not in the mood for a big meal? Grab a scone, cinnamon roll or a piece of pie from the bakery. Coffee, smoothies, beer, wine and mimosas are always available, it’s a beach town, after all, and if you’re not in the mood for breakfast, they offer lunch.
The staff is friendly and quite understanding of your disorientation as they helpfully point out how everything works. Once you claim your table, you can fully enjoy the experience of eating at Ginny & Jane E’s. Not only is the food so delicious, you’ll eat every bite—despite knowing you’ll be in a bathing suit soon—there’s no shortage of art and people-watching.
For almost every day of our week-long visit, I went with the Mediterranean Breakfast Wrap and iced coffee. My husband enjoyed pancakes served with homemade maple syrup and iced tea. Meals are generously portioned and reasonably priced, with breakfast costing under $10 and lunch under $15.
While you’re walking off your full and happy belly, browse amongst the books, art, and antiques or shop clothing, postcards, jewelry, all made by local artists and pickers.
I would say you haven’t truly visited Anna Maria Island if you miss Ginny & Jane E’s. To learn more about this combo eatery and shopping spot, visit HERE. ~TPM
About Jessie Lea Pingle—Jessie is a copywriter, blogger, and fiction writer. She realized that her travel life has been more vacationer than a traveler, something she’s changing. Pingle is currently working her way through the Great Escape Publishing Travel Writing Program so her love of writing and travel can finally be together. Jessie dreams of seeing Greece and the deep blue Mediterranean waters in a future travel writing adventure.