If the fastest way to the heart is through the stomach, you’re bound to fall in love with St. Augustine. Whether you’re craving contemporary cuisine or a side of history served with your meal, you’ll find the perfect match for any appetite along the streets of this Old City.
Prepare for an active day of sightseeing with your sweetheart by eating a hearty breakfast. My favorite way to start the day in St. Augustine is to savor a signature breakfast item from the bed and breakfast inn I’ve stayed at the night before. On our honeymoon, my husband and I took breakfast every morning on the shady courtyard of the Agustin Inn (29 Cuna St.). With the menu changing daily, we delighted in a different delectable each morning, from Belgian waffles to French toast. For a morning meal check out Mary's Harbor View Café on the bayfront. It’s a great send-off to your stroll in and around downtown. Don't miss St. George Street where you'll find shops and historic stops like the 18th-century Peña-Peck House (143 St. George St.) and the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine (41 St. George St.).
If you find yourself seeking a sweet snack later, stop by the Whetstone Chocolates store (42 St. George St.), where chocolate infused with Florida flavors like orange and lime will tempt you. Behind Whetstone, the Spanish Bakery simmers with the smells of the Spanish colonial period, complementing the architecture and history these old streets are steeped in. Choose from almond, lemon and cinnamon cookies baked by the Salcedo family using recipes from the past. Lunch on picadillo (a chili served over rice), empanadas (meat pies) and the fresh bread that brings the locals back every day. The Columbia Restaurant (98 St. George St.) also celebrates St. Augustine’s Spanish heritage, serving "the original Cuban sandwich" at lunch and for dinner, paella, Spain’s national dish that combines seafood, chicken and pork with rice. Work up your appetite (or walk it off) at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and The Oldest Wooden School House in the USA, both within walking distance of the restaurant and related in heritage.
Be sure to take a trip through St. Augustine’s Gilded Age with the Legacy Tour of Flagler College. Built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler, the former Hotel Ponce de Leon is considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture and was one of the most exclusive resorts of its day. Across the street is another grand hotel built buy Henry Flagler, the Hotel Alcazar. Today the Alcazar is home to the Lightner Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Tiffany glass, natural history and science exhibits, art, architecture, mechanic musical instruments, glass and fashion accessories. Step into what was once the largest indoor swimming pool in the United States and have lunch at Cafe Alcazar. Surrounded by breathtaking architecture, the restaurant serves a variety of salads, sandwiches, seafood dishes and pasta.