Although I have only been a resident of Atlantic Beach since March 2021, I am not new to the Beaches area. As a “townie” since my move from New York to Jacksonville, I’ve made the commute to Ponte Vedra Beach and the beaches community since 1991 and have fallen in love over three decades with the white sandy beaches and the beach life! Most mornings you can find me reveling in awe at the glorious sunrises we get to experience at the beach while I sometimes obnoxiously capture the images not just in my head but on my phone too. If you’re a resident of the beach, you know exactly what I mean. There’s nothing like starting your day at the beach and appreciating that we get to live where others come to vacation. My Sunday morning start today was no different.
On the weekend, the “girl gang” and I meet at one of the Beaches areas at some ungodly hour to walk three miles down First Street. After girl chat of varied topics we head to breakfast at a local hotspot that changes every week. Today’s hotspot may just be my new favorite. Let me introduce you to Tulua Bistro in Jacksonville Beach.
Tulua Bistro is located in South Jax Beach at 798 3rd Street South in the Pinch-A-Penny shopping center and serves breakfast and brunch from 8AM – 3PM, Thursday thru Tuesday. Formerly occupied by both Bacon in the Sun and The Secret Garden Cafe, this new gem to grace the beaches community I suspect Tulua’s will be here for, well, for forever! The quaint bistro doors opened at today at 8AM and within 30 minutes was full in the main dining area allowing staff to open the extended dining area before 9AM so more patrons could feast in the goodness coming from the kitchen.
Tulua Bistro menu ranges from Charcuterie Breakfast Boards of the chef’s selection or build your own variety available in three different sizes. The two I watched pass my table looked nothing short of amazing. I had that immediate feeling of regret of not ordering one for our table so I will be sure to trust the chef’s selection and order next time! The menu also includes varieties of benedicts, platters, bagels, burritos, bowls, crepes, belgian waffles, starters, greens, hand helds, chicken and waffles and fried french toast … yes, fried french toast! The menu also features Avocada Toast and an Acai Bowl for our vegetarian friends.
What else did I see pass my table that I was strongly eyeballing for future visits? Glad you asked!
- The Reese’s Dream Crepes is a crepes filled with whipped cream peanut butter, Nutella, bananas and finished with a dusting of powder sugar.
- Not Your Basic B**ch! Hash brown patties topped with avocado mash, pico de gallo served over medium eggs, crumbled bacon and feta.
- Shrimp and Grits. Blackened shrimp, green onion, tomatoes, bacon, truffle cream sauce and cheddar cheese atop grips. Yes please!
Although I’m not a vegetarian, I indulged in the Acai Bowl. This is not your average acai bowl, nor is it placed in an actual bowl! It’s acai sorbet with fresh pineapple, grapes and strawberry atop fresh crunch granola topped with honey drizzle and placed picture perfectly in a large margarita glass. It was so delicious that I was sad when my glass was empty! My girlfriend’s delighted in their meals as well of Canadian Bacon Veggie Egg Omelette and Breakfast Burrito!
The food is not the only thing that earned Tulua Bistro my five star review. The service was second to none. Our party of three was first in the door at the 8AM opening this Sunday morning and pleasantly greeted, seated and immediately brought our coffee. Let’s talk about the coffee for a second. I’m not a coffee snob by any means and am usually accustomed to adding a large dose of sugar free flavored creamer as I like my coffee to not actually taste like coffee. In an effort to cut down on the creamer, I’ve been drinking black coffee these past few weeks. Not my favorite but I’m trudging through and working on acquiring the taste for it. One sip of Tulua’s and I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee, even black, was delightful and I enjoyed my three cups. Don’t judge, they were small cups! Turns out, according to our server, Tulua has their coffee locally sourced by Awake Coffee and offer it for sale to brew at home too.
Our server Dave was an incredible joy! He was so accommodating to menu substitutions and truly a picture of professional perfection. He gave us some background on the restaurant, let us know another location would be opening soon in Springfield (get ready to fall in love Springfield!) and even gave one of my girlfriends (who shall remain nameless because she would otherwise kill me) some education on who RuPaul is … after gasping and yelling at her to get out of his restaurant in jest! Quite honestly, there wasn’t a need that was not met and the playful yet professional service was beyond exceptional.
The atmosphere of Tulua is quite different than its predecessors. Decorated with a very comfy feeling entry style seating with home decor items for sale, you immediately feel welcomed to this community’s new addition. Freshly painted white walls don painted motivational murals with quotes from the likes of RuPaul, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. focusing on loving others and loving yourself as constant reminders that we are a community.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit Tulua Bistro, grab your friends, family, pals or buddies and sashay your way over to experience this new sweet spot in Jacksonville Beach. Tulua Bistro is open Thursday – Tuesday from 8AM – 3PM serving breakfast and brunch and closed on Wednesday. You will NOT be disappointed! Side note: I was curious what the meaning of the name Tulua is and learned that it means optimistic, inspiring, outgoing and expressive, cheerful, positive and charming — perfect for this sweet bistro!
Jenn Heller is the Operations Manager for The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, with over 18 years experience in Real Estate. She is an Atlantic Beach resident via Long Island, NY since 1991, a crafter, chalk painter and an avid fitness enthusiast.