While putting together this issue, we discovered that as a staff our Saturday “routines” vary a lot. Some of us get up insanely early to be good, healthy people and run. Some of us drink way too much coffee. And some of us roll out of bed late and immediately start watching sports and day drinking (even though no one really wanted to admit this, we know it’s true).
So we decided that instead of trying to weave together our Saturday picks into one list, we’d just share our individual ideas of what an ideal Saturday looks like—strictly local, of course.
First things first—coffee. Easily my number one vice, so, of course, I know all the good stuff around town. Here are some of my go-to’s: honey lattes from The Leisure Club, Keens Beans samples when I’m at the Palafox Market, Mexican coffee from Maximilian Coffee or a big to go cup of Bagelshead Blend (I love the “pay and go” jar when I’m in a rush).
After my caffeine fix, I move on to my favorite Saturday hobby: treasure hunting. Antique malls, thrift stores, flea markets, even the occasional church charity sale—if it’s open for shopping, I’m there. Blue Moon Antique Mall is one of my staples for furniture and unique jewelry. Alyssa’s Antique Depot in Pace is also a must every time I find myself in that neck of the woods. I found a mid-century armchair there once upon a time for less than $100—it was, and still is, one of my all time favorite finds.
I also love any Saturday that leads me to A&E Pharmacy. Walking in is kind of like stepping into a time machine—in the best possible way. I can spend hours just looking at fabric and their amazing wall of trim and ribbons—even though I don’t really sew. I love buying craft supplies, random home and holiday decor items and greeting cards from here.
All of my good Saturday nights involve live music. Vinyl Music Hall, Sluggo’s, The Handlebar and anywhere that Timberhawk is playing is normally where you can find me.
My Saturdays are always spent on the beach. Before soaking up the sun, I love grabbing breakfast at Native Café. Their breakfast food is great, but I have dreams about their Fish Tacos—tacos can be a breakfast food, right?
After breakfast, I spend my Saturday afternoons in the water. Snorkeling, skin diving, surfing—it’s hard to get me out of the water on a sunny Saturday. If the Gulf is calm, I rent paddleboards from Aloha and paddle out to the second sandbar to search for sand dollars and catch a glimpse of a pod of dolphins or a sea turtle. If I am thinking ahead, I love to pack a lunch and have an open water picnic on my paddleboard. After all that paddling, I stop at Paradise Café. I might grab a drink, but I will most definitely run like a fool down their dock and jump into the bay.
Once my beach hair has fully set in, I head downtown to my favorite Saturday night spot: Hub Stacey’s. Their karaoke is the best in town and Crazy George always brings out the best in anyone brave enough to grab a mic—just don’t sing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” After a few drinks, that’s my jam.
I start every Saturday with a run, usually downtown and/or through East Hill. The view of the bay from Bayfront Parkway and seeing the historic architecture of various neighborhoods always reminds me why I love living in Pensacola: it’s beautiful.
After a bagel and coffee at Bagelheads, Palafox Market is the next stop. Fresh veggies, English Muffins, Corruption Salsa, or something sweet from East Hill Honey Company are usually on my list.
While nearby, I’ll occasionally wander around Pensacola Hardware to check out their kitchen gear. If I’m super-inspired to cook after that, I’ll run by Ever’man Natural Foods for any odds and ends I couldn’t get at the market.
Now that the weather is warming up, my afternoon nap will probably move from home to the beach. Late lunches will have to alternate between the new Cactus Flower on the beach Boardwalk and End of the Line Café as part of the seasonal routine, too.
On Saturday nights, I often spend time with friends, and pick up liquid refreshments at Richey’s East or Hopjack’s Filling Station. If we need pizza—I ran earlier, I deserve more snacks—the Athenian at New Yorker Deli or something with cashews from O’Zone usually fits the bill.
Or maybe something from either Passage to India or India Palace, depending where in town I wind up… so much good food to choose from.
Two things are absolute musts for my ideal Saturday—being outside and being downtown. And the two most certainly go hand in hand. Nothing kicks off a Saturday quite like opening the door to my porch the moment I wake to invite the spring breeze inside and soak up the sounds of downtown living.
I really am a terrible human being until I have my coffee. And Bodacious Brew has quickly become one of my favored downtown coffee hubs. Throw some almond milk in that iced coffee, add a bit of agave and BOOM! The sidewalk seating gives Bodacious an especially European feel and makes for a prime spot to sit with a journal, or a friend. I’ll take either or both any given Saturday.
A Saturday isn’t a Saturday without a proper run. During this run I enjoy spotting pelicans flying around down by the Wahoo’s Stadium, and observing the stillness and reflection of the water while running along Bayfront Parkway. Veterans Memorial Park has become my new favorite stop for a breather or circuit training, depending on the day and distance. TIP: It also makes a great picnic locale.
Speaking of food, no Saturday is truly a winner without a Popeye bowl from Sluggo’s for dinner—the perfect balance of rich creamy peanut sauce, leafy spinach and crunchy cabbage over brown rice. Just be sure to save room for an oatmeal cream pie for dessert. Sluggo’s just stepped up their outside dining ambiance with the introduction of new tables and chairs.
One of the only things that could convince me to leave downtown on a Saturday night is situated right over the Bayou Texar bridge. It really doesn’t get more local, or more whacky on a Saturday night than Sir Richards karaoke. You just have to see it to believe it. But no promises you will remember it.
As a mom of a newborn and toddler, my Saturdays are pretty kid-centric.
We are regulars at the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Year passes are a must, as is checking out Zootots—story time plus an animal encounter—every third Saturday of the month. Parent tot swimming classes at the YMCA are also a big hit with our toddler, since he can splash around maniacally without flooding our bathroom, and you don’t even have to be a member to sign up. I’m, of course, an art nerd, and seriously cannot wait until the kiddos are old enough to take some of the Saturday art workshops offered at the PMA, but for now, museum visits will have to do. Awesome side note: they are in the process of adding some local artists’ work to their shop.
It’s rare that we are able to go out to eat now, so we like to shop local for some good stuff to bring home or make. Joe Patti’s is one of our favorites, and not just for the fresh seafood. I buy embarrassingly large amounts of seaweed salad there, and my husband is geeked out that they now sell beignets. Apple Market has got us covered for pretty much everything on our grocery list (Boar’s Head cheese? Yes!), and if we ever want to make something more exotic, we head to Bien Dong Oriental Market. They have an incredible selection of curry and a whole aisle devoted to tapioca.