The Sun Sets on Breakfast


Photo by Rebecca Reif.

(Above) On top of the prized breakfast at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, there are many other activities offered at De Leon Springs State Park including boat tours, swimming in the spring, scuba diving, and hiking through the trails. Before the restaurant or state park was established, sugar cane was crushed using the iconic mill. Later on, Peter and Majorie Shwarze saw the value of this mill, and decided to open up this successful and admired location.

Rebecca Reif, Editor-in-Chief

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill, located at 601 Ponce Deleon Boulevard in the picturesque De Leon Springs State Park, is a treasured encounter and restaurant to both Florida families and visitors. For 61 years, this hands-on dining experience has enchanted an old sugar mill that would have otherwise been demolished. The setting at this state park makes for the perfect adventure: starting with a breakfast filled with make-your-own pancakes, swimming in the natural spring, and ending off with a boat ride, all while learning about the history of this old Florida landmark. As popular as The Old Spanish Mill Grill and Griddle House is, on September 12, it will be temporarily closing until the reopening by new ownership. This spot has meaning to many generations that have viewed The Old Spanish Sugar Mill as a family tradition, and they have flocked to experience it one last time. 

(Above) The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House has a classic breakfast menu, consisting of pancakes, French toast, eggs, sausage patties, ham, bacon, and toast. However, the pancakes are what the restaurant is most known for. For dietary needs, The Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House has gluten free, vegan pancakes, and vegetarian sausage. Besides the breakfast items, salads, burgers, and sandwiches are also offered. All photos by Rebecca Reif. (Photo by Rebecca Reif).
(Above) The make-your-own characteristic of The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House is what makes this spot so memorable for many families and friends. The kids typically make the pancakes, while the parents and other family members take pictures to look back on in the future. Each person making pancakes starts by paying $7.50, and there are several options for add-ons at an additional charge. There is also a variety of drinks, such as coffee, different types of juice and milk, smoothies, and hot chocolate. (Rebecca Reif)
(Right) As the last few weeks of The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle
House come about, the lines are groundbreakingly long. During the weekend, by 9:00 A.M., the restaurant has hit its daily seating capacity. Their typical hours of 8:00 A.M. to 3:00P.M. on weekends, and opening an hour later on the weekdays, stays in place. (Rebecca Reif)
(Left) At The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, the pancakes are all you can eat, as well as make-your-own. For the base of the pancake, a customer can either choose their unbleached white flour batter, or The Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House’s unique mixture of five fresh stone-ground flours. To add some extra flavor, apple slices, banana slices, blueberries, applesauce, pecans, peanut butter, and chocolate chips
are all topping choices. To cover the finished pancake, raw honey, unsulphured molasses, butter, and syrup are
sitting on every table. (Rebecca Reif)