One of the most common questions we get from home buyers flocking to Greater St. Augustine is – where’s the grub at?! It’s no secret that North Florida is a hot spot for delicious cuisine as we can offer the best of both worlds… the Southern fare that comes with our close proximity to the deep South, and the beautiful seafood plucked right from our coastlines. This makes for a foodie’s paradise but for those that are new to the area, they question where to begin.
We’ll start with a handful of our St. Augustine favorites to well… er… “wet the appetite,” if you will. For those looking for the perfect marriage of Southern cuisine and fresh seafood in North Florida, this is your list.
Cap’s On the Water
4325 Myrtle St, St. Augustine
What it’s Great For: Sunsets, Romantic Dinners, Special Occasions, Waterfront Dining
I’m confident in saying there’s really nothing currently in St. Augustine that can duplicate the experience at Cap’s On the Water in Vilano Beach. You’ll find Cap’s nestled beneath the hanging Spanish moss just steps away from the calm Intracoastal waterway. The majority of the seating is sprawled out on the restaurant’s expansive wooden deck with 180 degree views of the glistening water.
This is far from St. Augustine’s “best kept secret” as you’ll find crowds of families and couples anxiously waiting for a table in the warm evenings of the Summer season. I definitely recommend popping in during the off season – don’t worry, if it’s a bit chilly they have heaters on the deck.
Cap’s definitely isn’t your run of the mill seafood shack. It boasts dishes like horseradish crusted grouper with vanilla rum sauce, honey glazed Salmon with a port cranberry reduction, and pan seared catch over orzo with edamame. Now for you traditionalists, you can still snag a half pound of fried local Mayport shrimp with a side of hush puppies.
The prices here are a little higher than your more casual establishments in the area. Entrees run about $19 – $30; however, you’d probably be willing to pay a little extra for the killer atmosphere here. As mentioned, it does offer up a unique twist on Southern and seafood favorites so you’ll get a unique experience all around.
GAS Full Service Restaurant
9 Anastasia Blvd, St. Augustine
What it’s Great For: Small Groups, Craft Beer, Southern Cuisine, Big Appetites
GAS Full Service Restaurant is definitely not about atmosphere – this place is ALL about the food. True foodies can appreciate the locally sourced ingredients, creative combinations, and local beer selection that GAS can offer. It’s a small place right off the bridge from Historic St. Augustine, on Anastasia Island. Keep a good eye out looking for it because if you blink, you’ll miss it.
The small size of the restaurant means not a lot of seating but it makes for a cozy local diner feel. The menu is fairly extensive, but when you have some killer popular items, it doesn’t even need to be. The staff is friendly and eclectic, and they love to talk about food. As a huge foodie, I could really relate to these folks!
Here you’ll find the traditional Southern fare, like fresh catch and fried green tomatoes, with a few zingers like Reuben egg rolls and a fried jalapeno burger! Wash it all down with one of the many beers from the carefully selected craft beer list. If you want to feel like a real no-frills Southerner and true local foodie, this might just be the place for you.
72 Spanish St, St. Augustine
What it’s Great For: Southern Fare Enthusiasts, Vegans, Casual Dining, Cocktail Lovers
Have I just walked into someone’s house on accident? That’s the feeling I got when I stepped into the Floridian for the first time with their mismatched chairs and mason jars on this side street in Historic St. Augustine. It’s not just the warm, rustic atmosphere that makes you feel that way – the staff will treat you’re just part of the family, a regular, having a conversation over a home cooked meal.
The menu is ever changing but if you’re looking for some Southern favorites, look no further. Here you’ll need to unbutton that top button on your trousers with items like corn bread, chicken and waffles, colossal cheeseburgers and buttermilk pie. Wash it all down with a beet juice and bourbon cocktail or a garden gimlet – yep, you read me right! These folks know cocktails.
If you’ve read other reviews, The Floridian has a bit of a hipster flair… a lifestyle and trend really flooding this area lately. We welcome these hipster chefs with open arms as it often means a keen eye for sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, creative dishes and libations, and a friendly “come as you are” attitude. You’ll never get a nose turned up to you in this place. Pull up a chair – you’re family!
These are just a few of our St. Augustine favorites but stay tuned for many more – the possibilities for North Florida foodies are endless!