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A photo of Ice Plant Bar in St. Augustine with a freestanding bar with stools
Photograph: Ice Plant Bar

The 15 best restaurants in St. Augustine

The nation's oldest city lends itself to an incredible food scene, from seafood and BBQ to Peruvian delights

Ella Doyle
Edited by
Ella Doyle
Written by
Sara Ventiera

Welcome to St Augustine, where the seafood is fresh and the BBQ is smokey. And sure, it’s known for these two stars of its cuisine, which are mighty delicious. But, naturally, the nation’s oldest city lends itself to an incredibly diverse food scene, and there’s a whole load more on offer once you scratch the surface. 

The touristy spots are great, but look beyond them and you’ll find fantastic Peruvian fine dining, sidewalk burrito shacks, bar food and live music and more. St Augustine’s favorite datil pepper shines from many of the city’s dishes, so get ready for a hit of spice. From hidden gems to notorious spots, here are its best restaurants right now. 

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Best restaurants in St Augustine

There are few things on this earth more satisfying than a Cuban sandwich. Oozy cheese. Layers of meat. Something pickled and mustardy tasting. But that’s just one of the delicious offerings at St Augustine, tucked away in historic downtown, which serves up insanely delicious Spanish and Cuban food from black bean soup to their famous 1905 salad. Head there for lunch and get a pitcher of Sangri to go with. That’s an order. 

If you’re looking a splash-out meal in St Augustine, head to Llama Restaurant, a fine dining spot serving up some seriously elevated Peruvian cuisine. Here, you eat with your eyes and your stomach, as the presentation is almost (as well as the venue) as beautiful as the taste of the food itself. Try to ceviche lima with Peruvian giant corn and glazed sweet potatoes, the octopus carpaccio with Alfonso olives aioli and the arroz con mariscos, a creamy risotto with fresh herbs. 


Right in the middle of the historic district of St. Augustine, Prohibition Kitchen is known for its farm-to-table menu and hand-spun milkshakes. The dimly-lit eatery looks to the Prohibition era for visual decor–even the menu looks like an old newspaper. On the weekend, local bands play live music to keep up the old-timey vibes.

There’s nothing like a delicious, local taco shop located just off the beach (although we could do without the line wrapped around the building). Burrito Works Taco Shop is a small stand that serves up tacos and burritos however you like them. The beach-side dive uses local produce and hormone-free meat to ensure everything is full of flavor. Looking for the most popular item? The carne asada-loaded fries and Baja-style fish tacos are two of the stand’s biggest crowd-pleasers.


Real southern BBQ is plentiful in the sunshine state. In St. Augustine, that means going to Brisky's BBQ. As the name suggests, the restaurant is known for its brisket, but you should also try the smoked turkey and pulled pork to get a good taste of everything this joint offers. For starters, the BBQ nachos are always a hit when dining with friends and family; the plate of nachos is piled high with freshly fried chips, queso, chopped brisket, tomatoes, jalapenos, and a final drizzle of sweet BBQ sauce. 

This quaint restaurant, located in St Augustine’s historic district, offers local ingredients prepared with an international flavor. Don’t let the fight for parking stop you from getting into this central hotspot—as one of the most romantic restaurants in Florida, Collage is touted for dishes like lobster ravioli in pesto cream sauce, and sweet-and-savory Corvina crusted in parmesan cheese, pecan, and brown sugar. Don't miss the house-made burrata cheese, either—the hand-stretched mozzarella is stuffed with goat cheese mousse for a tangy, savory bite. 


St. Augustine Fish Camp is making waves—the spacious restaurant has plenty of outdoor seating to take in the shimmering water mere steps away from the patio. The menu leans into the owner's southern roots with dishes like fried gator tail, pimento cheese spread, and low-country boils for two. Don’t leave until you've had dessert—a white chocolate bread pudding is the star of the show. 

For a true taste of Florida cuisine, The Floridian offers a tropical vibe that can put most tiki bars to shame. Local producers and growers are all spotlighted throughout the seasonal menu with items like fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, a spicy fish melt with datil pepper-chipotle mayo, and braised brisket tacos made with pepper jack corn tortillas. Bonus points: most of the menu can be modified to be gluten-free.


Raintree Restaurant has been open in St Augustine since 1981, but the historic home has been a landmark since 1879 (the building is one of the only original Victorian structures in St. Augustine). Even so, the menu is approachable, with items like shrimp and house-made sausage, Kobe beef burgers, and steamed mussels for dinner. When Sunday brunch rolls around, the menu indulges classic items like eggs Benedict and Croque madame.

Nestled along the shore of Salt Run, Conch House Marina Resort has perhaps one of the best Caribbean-influenced restaurants in St. Augustine. Don't leave without trying the jerk chicken egg rolls served with sweet and spicy pineapple and datil pepper dipping sauce. Keen to soak in the view? Sit outside on the deck to enjoy the warm Florida sunshine and watch the boats and fishermen as they drift past the inlet.


One of the best spots in St. Augustine for a drink and a meal is Ice Plant Bar. As the name suggests, the bar is located inside a historic ice plant, and the building dates back to 1927. Meticulous when it comes to presentation, the drinks here are made with three different types of custom cubes crafted from 300-pound blocks of ice. On the food menu, you’ll find Southern staples like pimento cheese (served with guava-datil jelly), fried chicken, and hoecakes.


Variety is the spice of life, right? At Meehan’s Irish Pub, you’ll find two restaurants inside one location. Traditional Irish fare—like fish and chips or corned beef and cabbage—takes center stage in the restaurant. Meanwhile, just upstairs at Johnny’s Oyster Bar, freshly caught seafood (plus a full bar with seating that overlooks the Matanzas River and the Castillo de San Marcos) offers an altogether different vibe. But no matter where you dine, the atmosphere is as relaxed as the Irish beer is cold.

Catch 27 is a fantastic seafood restaurant that serves locally caught fish, shellfish, and seafood to patrons with big appetites. Expect Southern favorites like deviled eggs (with crispy fried oysters on top) and smoked salmon spread as appetizers. Entrees include dishes like fish or shrimp with grits and delicate crab cake sandwiches. Try the famous tiki float, which combines coconut ice cream with Jamaican gold rum and passionfruit for a refreshing adults-only treat.


The 1865 Lincolnville Victorian that houses Preserved Restaurant oozes southern charm with a quaint front porch and tons of original detail. Dining here is a treat for foodies and history buffs—the house was once the home of Thomas Jefferson's great-granddaughter. As for the menu, James Beard nominee chef Brian Whittington (formerly of Jacksonville’s award-winning Restaurant Orsay) serves excellent ingredient-driven low-country cuisine like roasted oysters (with parmesan cheese, bacon, and garlic cream), seared duck (with red beet puree and lentils), and a delightful vanilla bean creme brûlée. 

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