By Dylan Bailey
Aloha Bagel and Deli made waves when it opened its doors in Fernandina Beach in 2017. Its delicious food and vibrant storefront brought immediate attention. Michael and Sloan Keats, the original owners, and their two children worked at the restaurant as a family. Michael and Sloan had been in the food business for many years, before opening Aloha Bagel. They ran a bagel and deli shop in Satellite Beach.
The restaurant saw a change of ownership in August 2019. Clarence and Tymira Jones became the proud new owners and opened another location in Yulee, in the lobby of Journey Church. Clarence is a native of New York, while Tymira is a homegrown native of Florida.
Most people I’ve talked to have said they love this restaurant and that their bagels are delicious. So one fateful morning, I moseyed on down to try a bagel and one of their deli sandwiches.
Right off the bat, the storefront makes a bold statement. Vibrant colors and tikis will turn your head as you drive by. Their outdoor seating is pet friendly, too. A couple with their puppy sat outside enjoying the cool breeze.
The inside of the restaurant is just as colorful. Pictures, paintings, and tables that scream ‘beach vibe’ are everywhere. The chalkboards with their menu and specials are behind the counter, drawing your eye instantly.
Bagels, deli sandwiches, salads, and sweet treats make up the menu. You’ll have no trouble finding something that makes your stomach grumble. And when you find something, the amount of customization is astonishing. The sky is the limit.
For my visit, I ordered their famous Eggel Bagel ($10.40) and the Chubby Clubby ($13.65). I love their playful item names. Hawaii Five-O, Elvis Bagel, Pastrami Mommi, etc. Something about ordering an item that rhymes makes me want to dine again for a second time.
The Eggel Bagel comes with a toasted bagel, two eggs, cheese, and a choice of meat. I opted for an everything bagel and bacon. Not only is this filling, but it’s tasty! I can see why there’s been so much buzz around their bagels. It was firm, yet chewy, and had the perfect amount of give with each bite. The eggs, bacon, and cheese mixed with the onion and garlic flavors from the bagel were superb. Absolutely pick this up when you stop by.
Usually, when I order food for these articles, I’ll dole out the food during the day. The Chubby Clubby ended up being my lunch. This is what I customized most. The sandwich comes with turkey, ham, bacon, spring mix, mayo, and a choice of bread. I got it toasted on wheat, with tomato, mustard, oregano, and sweet peppers. I wasn’t sure how all the flavors would mix, but this came out phenomenally. Hearty and delicious!
After visiting the restaurant, I can see why it’s a beloved location. With a unique look, tasty food, and a wonderful atmosphere, dining here is a treat. If you have a favorite order from Aloha Bagel and Deli, I’d love to hear it!
Aloha Bagel and Deli
Address: 432 S. Eighth St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Open: All Week
Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.