Monday, April 10, 2017

Cypress Inn Restaurant

From Apalachicola Florida, we headed south via the only highway along the west side of northern Florida that leads down to Tampa/Clearwater.  We were concerned about finding a decent place for lunch early enough in the day so that we wouldn’t compromise our appetite for dinner at our friend’s house in Clearwater. 

While there aren’t a lot of reputable choices along US Hwy. 19 north of Crystal River/Homosassa Springs, we stumbled across a busy local restaurant along the way.  While busy doesn’t always equal “good”, we decided it was worth a try…

You might note that this photo was taken just a bit before 2017!  This photo I 'borrowed' from Facebook was taken in 1936 and it depicts the restaurant where we stopped for lunch…only about 81 years earlier… 

This is the Cypress Inn…with the gas station appendage removed.  They claim to have started serving hungry passerby’s since 1928.  The Cypress Inn was once an actual inn for truckers in the 1920’s.  Depending on whom you talk to, it or part of it supposedly served a house of ill repute despite its very obvious Christian identity today.  There may have also been a funeral parlor here too…

As you could see, the original style of the building is still recognizable on the outside.  It resembles the look of many early roadside inns and restaurants.

The inside is definitely unique!  Note the unusual cypress paneling, even on the ceiling, the cross beams, the mix of tables and chairs and the trophy taxidermy deer mounted on the walls.  This is definitely a casual roadside stop for the weary traveler…

While customers can order off the menu, the big draw is the buffet, either at lunch or dinner.  This is the salad bar with a nice variety of basics for the healthy diner…

Dessert…Yup!  The luncheon options included brownies and red velvet cake.  FYI, I skipped both the salad bar and the dessert despite the fact that both looked good.  I had other goals in mind!

This is the hot food buffet bar.  More about this option below as we share our luncheon plates with you!

Laurie went for a ‘balanced’ meal.  She had a nice hunk of corn bread, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and a ‘real’ hunk of fried chicken.  By ‘real’, I mean it isn’t a chicken ‘nugget’, ‘strip’ or ‘finger’.  It is a real piece of bone-in fried chicken, something that’s getting harder and harder to find.

This was my lunch…well…at least it was my first plate from the buffet!  I grabbed 2 pieces of fried chicken and a hunk of chicken fried steak.  The chicken fried steak was good but the chicken was excellent!  Laurie agreed 100%! 

Well, we both did end up eating dessert but we justified it as it was on the ‘hot’ buffet table with the meat and potatoes.  These glazed warm ‘donut hole’ creations were perfect…melt in your mouth!

So…how much did this luncheon feast cost these weary travelers?

I took a photo of our luncheon buffet guest check… Can you believe it?!  This little feast with that terrific chicken only cost $8.00 each before tax and tip!  Laurie and I are just lucky, at least from a health and weight standpoint, that the Cypress Inn isn’t located near us in East Tennessee…

The Cypress Inn is located at 15568 US Hwy. NW in Cross City Florida.  They offer a seafood buffet on Friday nights.  Phone: 352-498-7211.   They are on Facebook at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for lunch!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Hi Dave, I absolutely love old diners and they are very hard to find! We actually have a few here in the Montreal area, with the 50's diner look, with pretty good food, too. Laurie and I seem to have quite a bit in common, it seems, as I love what she chose to eat! It does look like a delicious and satisfying meal. I love the rustic look to this place, and the food looks quite good. Love all your photos. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. You are my kind of buffet man - go for the meat. If we go back to Cedar Key, we may look it up.

  3. Wow---that was amazing... I love buffets --but always end up eating too much. SO--we try to stay away most of the time.. But---that one looks good...

    We are going to Tampa in May for a wedding ---SO if possible, we may look for this place... IF NOT this trip, maybe another one since G's son lives down that way (Oldsmar).