St. Augustine is a charming, historic town in Florida. It's considered the oldest city in the United States and is home to gorgeous Spanish colonial buildings and soft Atlantic Ocean beaches. It also features a handful of highly-rated restaurants that serve a mix of cuisines. Whether you are looking for casual or fine dining, there is a restaurant to fit your tastes and budget.
Authentic Spanish and Cuban cuisine served in a beautifully decorated two-story Spanish-style atrium sets the stage for memorable lunches and romantic dinners. Try the Cuban sandwiches, the century-old family paella recipe, the fresh catch from the Gulf of Mexico, or the signature 1905 salad, which is tossed with crisp iceberg lettuce, Swiss cheese, Florida tomatoes, olives, julienne of baked ham, grated Romano cheese, and homemade garlic dressing. Bonus: The Columbia's St. Augustine location is within walking distance of several historic landmarks.
Located within the Casa Monica Resort, Costa Brava is one of the most elegant options around. The dining area is exquisitely decorated with lavish antiques, exotic silks, and hand-painted 24-karat gold ceilings. Meanwhile, the seasonally-inspired Mediterranean menu is heavy on steak and seafood, including favorites such as the sea bass with Osborne sherry, capote capers, olives, artichokes, oregano, and potatoes.
Enjoy views of Matanzas Bay and the Bridge of Lions from the second-floor patio of the waterfront A1A Ale Works. The restaurant has two bars and a seaside brewery, which makes seasonal beers to match with its American menu. For an appetizer, order the beer cheese soup (red ale blended with aged cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, caramelized onions and roasted barley), and for a main, get the blackened seared ahi tuna or the jambalaya.
Yes, the food here may be served out of a truck, but it's a great healthy alternative to other traditional fast food. The hidden gem can be found along the waterfront, with a covered patio and picnic tables where locals eat salads, wraps, and smoothies. Daily specials include the grilled shrimp island bowl and the nacho tempeh wrap (romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage, black beans, corn, cilantro, Mung-bean sprouts, avocado, organic tempeh, and vegan cheese dressing.
This popular restaurant draws upon a lot of different influences to come up with their "urban" cuisine. The casual eatery is known for its friendliness and good food, so you'll often find it crowded... but worth the wait. The gypsy chicken is the must-order, and it comes with red cabbage, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and a mushroom sauce. The hummus platter is also a great choice to split with friends.
Hurricane Patty's may not have the best curb appeal, but it is one of the best destinations for fresh seafood. This no-frills joint on Oyster Bay can get packed at sunset, when locals flood the back deck during happy hour. Get there early to put in an order of the creamy crab dip and clam chowder.
If you're visiting from out of town, stay at the 19th-century Old City House Inn and eat on-site at its cozy restaurant. The kitchen dishes out a little bit of everything, from pork osso bucco to escargot. The herb-and-garlic marinated New Zealand rack of lamb with mashed potatoes and a sherry port reduction is a top pick.
On the outside, O'Steen's doesn't look like much. But if you ask the locals, everyone will rave about the restaurant's fried shrimp and tasty sides like the squash casserole. Just make sure to bring cash (credit cards aren't accepted) and prepare for a bit of a wait.
Sometimes nothing satisfies the stomach quite like a slice of pizza. If you're looking for a quick bite (especially after a night out), this casual New York-style pizza place is a winner. Get the garlic knots and the meat lover's pie with pepperoni, sausage, bacon, meatballs, and cheese.