De Leon Springs: Make Your Own Pancakes in this Florida State Park

Cooking My Own Blueberry Pancakes
Cooking My Own Blueberry Pancakes

If you don’t like how the pancakes turn out at The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House in De Leon Springs State Park, there’s no one to blame but you. That’s because you’re the chef.

Being a solo diner, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to get a seat and have the same experience as other diners. No worries,  The Old Spanish Sugar Mill has it figured out. I ended up sitting at a table for two that was adjacent to another table for two, which was occupied by a young couple. Other tables seat larger parties. I felt extremely comfortable dining alone.

Batter Pitchers at Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House
Batter Pitchers at Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House

Reservations aren’t accepted and I imagine during the prime spring season, it’s a lengthy wait. I arrived around 10:35 a.m. on a Saturday and was told it would be an hour to an hour and fifteen minute wait. Names are called over the loud speaker and after about 40 minutes my table was ready.

For $4.95, I enjoyed a feast of all you can eat pancakes (four) cooked on the griddle at my table. The server brought two pitchers of batter, one was traditional Early American batter with unbleached white flour and the other was made of five fresh stone-ground flours. Toppings are a choice of maple syrup, raw honey and unsulphured molasses. For an additional $1.85, I added blueberries and other options include banana slices, chocolate chips and peanut butter, among other fillings. I also added a side of sausage patties. My total bill including gratuity was under $11.

Honey, Molasses and Mayple Syrup
Honey, Molasses and Mayple Syrup

The fresh stone-ground batter is the restaurant’s specialty and was more liquified than the Early American batter meaning I couldn’t make a perfect round pancake, it was more like an amoeba. The Early American batter behaved much better. Four pancakes were enough for me and don’t think I put a dent in the batter. If by chance you run out of batter, the server will gladly provide more. Service was cheery and prompt and an 18 percent gratuity is calculated into the bill.

Not a pancake kind of person? Order eggs and fry or scramble them at your table, too, which is what my neighbors did.

The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House is located less than an hour west of Daytona Beach near DeLand, Fla., in DeLeon Springs State Park. The park has a lovely natural spring for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving along with a narrated boat tour and kayak rentals. The park entrance fee is currently $6 per car but if traveling solo, it’s only $4.

Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House
Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House

Arrive early because this place jams all day. If you need to wait, no worries. Take a dip in the springs just make sure someone is keeping an ear open for your party to be called. This is definitely a must-do kinda place.

The restaurant is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving until 4 p.m. It’s closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House
Inside the DeLeon Springs State Park
601 Ponce DeLeon Blvd.
Tel: (386) 985-5644



Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

2 thoughts on “De Leon Springs: Make Your Own Pancakes in this Florida State Park

  1. My son brought me there on feb 16th for my birthday, it was very mice and I will go there again.

Comments are closed.

Hurricane Ian Memorial Wall, Ft. Myers, Fla., Oct. 16, 2022
Featured Florida Fun Life Lessons Travel Resources

Traveling to Developing Countries Prepared me for Post-Hurricane Living

More than two months ago, Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida and I’m finding my new normal. I’ve realized how much traveling to developing nations prepared me for post-hurricane living. Here’s how.

Continue Reading
Cocktail expert Diana Pittet leading a Context Conversation via a Zoom call.
Cool Stuff Others are Doing Culinary Travel Featured

James Bond Got it Wrong. Martinis Should be Stirred, Not Shaken and Other Fun Info I Learned During a Context Conversation.

Join a Context Conversation to travel the world from the comfort of home. I recently tuned into a cocktail seminar, and it was a fascinating hour full of compelling history and beverage-making tips.

Continue Reading
Experience Punta Gorda Combo Special Pass - Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, Peace River Wildlife Center, Military Heritage Museum - now through Sept. 30, 2022.
Budget Travel Featured Florida Fun

Experience Punta Gorda, Florida, with Special Combo Offer through Sept. 30, 2022

New special combo pass called “Experience Punta Gorda,” is $25 and grants one-time admission to the Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, Peace River Wildlife Center and Military Heritage Museum between now and Sept. 30, 2022.

Continue Reading