The Columbia Restaurant
Dining & Food Events in St. Augustine
Food lovers will enjoy the diverse cuisine of Florida's Historic Coast
Fresh seafood, year-round farm-fresh produce, spicy favorites featuring the area’s signature datil peppers, tasty Spanish tapas and the very best in New World cuisine are just a few of the culinary delights enjoyed by visitors to St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra.
The area’s temperate weather means you can dine waterside and outdoors all year long. The culinary culture here is a melting pot of flavors reflecting the influences of hundreds of years of Spanish, Irish, Greek, Italian, Brazilian, Cuban, French, Minorcan and British cultures that have settled on Florida’s Historic Coast. Even today, chefs come from around the world to open their own restaurants or create inspiring dishes from the kitchens of our world-class resorts.
Flavors of the Seasons
Foodies can find special events in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra year 'round. In October, savor a prix fixe (fixed price) dining experience at more than 20 restaurants showcasing heritage-inspired dishes during Flavors of Florida’s Historic Coast. Celebrate Spanish culture and cuisine during the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival, both events take place in October.
November brings about a delicious dispute: The Annual Great Chowder Debate held the first Sunday in November. Chowder chefs compete in four categories – Minorcan conch, New England and Minorcan clam, and seafood while supporting a good cause. Sample the recipes and judge for yourself at Conch House Marina Resort.
Don a mask and formal wear for the Noche de Gala (Night of the Ball.) This a celebration of St. Augustine’s founder, Don Pedro Menendez de Avila. This event held in Feburary, features a cocktail reception, dinner and dancing.
Spring Brings Seafood and Barbecue
Visit the annual Lions Club Seafood Festival, typically held the first weekend in March at Francis Field, and see why the club claims “We’re havin’ fun now.” Taste some award-winning seafood (prepared Cajun, Asian, Mediterranean, Floribbean and other styles), then check out the arts and crafts exhibits and listen to live music. If you’re all about barbecue, then Rhythm and Ribs Festival is for you. The annual springtime event, held in April, at Francis Field has held the honor of “St. Augustine’s Best Festival” for nine years in a row.
Savor a Melting Pot of Cuisine
Having trouble choosing among the many dining options in the area? Sample them all. The Taste of St. Augustine, typically the last weekend in April, at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre gives diners a chance to taste the cuisine of more than 20 restaurants. The Taste of the Beach each May, at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Park showcases beach restaurants. At both events, local eateries vie for “Best of” honors.
Dine among nature and relish the sounds of a roseate spoonbill or a gator during Dine on the Wild Side, in May, at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Diners will experience an unforgettable meal and exclusive use of the park while supporting the Humane Association of Wildlife Care and Education (HAWKE), an organization that rehabilitates injured and orphaned wild birds, mammals and reptiles.