The Cultural Cuisine of Florida’s Historic Coast
You don’t have to travel internationally to enjoy cuisine from many different cultures. Just come to the one place where they all seemed to come together in one big melting pot.
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Since its auspicious beginnings with the First Mass and Thanksgiving meal, the culinary scene on Florida’s Historic Coast is the stuff of legends. And when the Atlantic Ocean is your front yard and vast farmlands are your back yard, you get to enjoy the freshest, local-caught seafood and farm-to-fork produce anywhere. Here are a few places you might want to explore.
Harry's Seafood Bar & Grill
Harry's Seafood Bar & Grill is a classic on everyone’s must-do list, especially when you can sit outside in the courtyard under twinkling lights and listen to some live music as you enjoy seafood, steaks, pasta, and authentic New Orleans dishes. Don’t miss the New Orleans-style shrimp and pasta chicken Louisianne as you sip on a hand-crafted Hurricane.
Meehan's Irish Pub & Seafood House
This local favorite on the waterfront in downtown St. Augustine, Meehan's Irish Pub & Seafood House, is famous for its Fish and Chips, Shepherd’s Pie, and fresh Oysters. The view from the balcony is just as fascinating as it overlooks the bayfront, the iconic Castillo, and the Bridge of Lions. Try the Backyard at Meehan's where an Island Cafe and Tropical Bar await you and your furry friend.
Gaufre's & Goods
As you make your way to Aviles Street, stopping at clothing stores and art galleries, take a break at Gaufre’s & Goods on Charlotte Street. Here you can nosh on authentic Polish food, perogies, and waffles made fresh daily.
People come from all around to dine at Columbia. Family-owned for more than 115 years, the Columbia Restaurant has earned acclaim for old-world charm and award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine and wine. Classics from Paella and Cuban sandwiches to black bean soup and the 1905 salad are a perfect accompaniment to their famous Sangria. Enjoy century-old family recipes in Mediterranean-style dining rooms decorated with hundreds of hand-painted tiles.
Terra & Acqua
The tastes of Tuscany come to life with northern Italian cuisine in this modern restaurant. Try the grilled octopus and lobster ravioli or choose from an array of Italian-style seafood, pasta made fresh daily, and thin-crust pizza that’s simply delicious. Terra & Acqua is truly inspired by the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and the freshest of locally-farmed ingredients.
From another part of the world, the unique flavors and cuisine of Peru are evident with every dish at Llama. The selection of different ceviche is inspired by whatever is fresh and available from local sources. And every dish, whether surf or turf, is beautifully and artfully presented. This dining experience will be a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.
Spanish Bakery & Cafe
In an authentic setting and nestled under the Historic Cedar Tree, the Spanish Bakery & Cafe serves empanadas, picadillos, pilau, and salads that are made fresh daily by on-site chefs. Seasonal specials are based on old Florida recipes. Home-made soups and gazpacho complement freshly baked bread to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. It’s just a short walk from the City Gate, but you’ll feel like you stepped back in time as you dine at the outdoor picnic tables in the courtyard.
Mulligan's Pub is Ponte Vedra Beach's newest Gastropub, offering culinary excellence in a traditional pub environment. Fresh ingredients, daily specials, and local seafood just scratch the surface. Craft cocktails? Yes. Brews? Yes. Steaks, burgers, wings, and small plates? Yes, yes, yes, and of course. Come hungry; they have exactly what you’re craving.
De Leon Latin Cocina
One of St. Augustine’s best-kept secrets, De Leon Latin Cocina is located inside the Ponce St. Augustine Hotel on US 1. Serving Latin, Colombian, Spanish, and South American dishes, De Leon is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is as authentic Latin American and South American cuisine as you can get. Classics ranging from arepas and tostones to ropa vieja and plantains. Portions are generous but way too good to stop eating.
Smokin D's BBQ
It takes six to 15 hours to make authentic fresh smoked BBQ, and that’s how it’s made every single day at Smokin’ D’s. When they sell out, they close. So, get there early. Enjoy smoked meats by-the-pound, sandwiches, and classic comfort sides in a rustic, family-friendly setting or to take out.
St. Augustine Fish Camp
St. Augustine Fish Camp, the newest addition to the St. Augustine food scene, is located on the San Sebastian River and offers an amazing view, both inside and outside. But, try to focus on the food. It’s the freshest you’ll find with dishes ranging from fish tacos to oyster po’ boys and grilled salmon BLTs. It’s everything you want in coastal cuisine with a coastal ambiance to boot.
Valley Smoke BBQ
Valley Smoke BBQ welcomes guests to its decks and dining rooms overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. You’ll soon discover the view outside is as stunning as the menu: slow-smoked BBQ, southern-inspired seafood, chicken and venison selections with USDA Prime Steaks cooked over a wood-fired grill. Of course, you might be distracted by the wall of Bourbons and Scotches in the Bourbon Library--nothing wrong with that. Mixologists are happy to fix you a craft cocktail or pour you a craft beer, and the sommeliers are sure to recommend a perfect glass from one of over 150 bottles of wines.
Experience an energetic fusion of classic and modern at the relaxed, refined atmosphere of Restaurant Medure. Known for its fresh hand-cut and homemade pasta and locally-sourced produce, Medure is sure to please the most discriminating palate. Selections range from escargot and French-style foie gras to dover scallops and slow-braised ribs. This is truly an epicure’s delight.