Discover Local Flavor with Restaurant Tasting Tours

Find the best places to eat in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach

July 12, 2022
couple dining on patio

Coming to St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach? One of the most-asked questions from visitors to Florida’s Historic Coast is “Where should I eat?”

Restaurant recommendations from locals will help you plan your foodie adventure while you’re here. One of the best ways to discover great restaurants that are local favorites, and sometimes off the beaten path, is with one of the great food tours.

The Tasting Tours, St. Augustine City Walks Food & Wine Tours, and St. Augustine Experiences each offers a unique tour that that reflect the history, culture and flavors that makes St. Augustine a top culinary destination. From fine dining establishments and small bistros to chocolatiers, breweries and wine shops, these tours include stops at locations that introduce participants to the culinary culture of St. Augustine.

Eating like a local means visiting restaurants with food that mirrors the culture of the early inhabitants of Florida’s Historic Coast. The foods served by the Spanish, Greek, Minorcan, Cuban and French are still found on menus around St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach.

From the Sea

Seafood is also a local must! The shrimping industry in St. Augustine has a fascinating history. Shrimping and shrimp boat building have been an important part of the culture of St. Augustine for more than a century. By the late 1940s, shrimping ranked as the fourth-largest industry in St. Johns County.

Shrimp was mostly an ethnic food prior to the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s, so it was not well-known enough to be served in other parts of the country. But after World War II, soldiers who had traveled around the country had encountered shrimp and other seafood they’d never seen back home. This created a demand for shrimp that spread from Southern port towns to areas throughout the country.

Florida’s Historic Coast is still known for its shrimp today – fried, broiled, boiled and stuffed. No visit is complete without a plate of shrimp accompanied by Minorcan Clam Chowder, a local chowder made from the spicy little Datil pepper, which only grows in this region of the state.

No doubt, your vacation in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach will be a flavorful one.