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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

Fresh seafood, BBQ, and Southern staples pepper the menus across at the best restaurants in St. Augustine

Megan duBois
Written by
Megan duBois
Contributor
Sara Ventiera
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Considering their historic location—inside the nation’s oldest city—the best restaurants in St. Augustine have plenty of crowds to feed. After all, a trip to this historic destination is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Florida, and after checking off must-see sites (like the Castillo de San Marcos, or the nation’s oldest schoolhouse) you’ll be treated to a wealth of flavor beyond the touristy joints that only serve fried seafood baskets.

Scattered around the city’s downtown and all the way to its beaches and inlets, you’ll find a growing list of farm-to-table restaurants, gastropubs inside historic buildings, and even a few taco dives that are worthy of any Food Channel host. Hoping to taste a truly local flavor? Keep an eye out for dishes made with datil pepper, a spicy ingredient grown right in St. Augustine that peppers menus across the city.

After a long day of exploring the best things to do in this legendary city, be sure to stop by one of the best restaurants in St. Augustine to relax and refuel.

RECOMMENDED: the best restaurants in Florida

Best restaurants in St Augustine

Located right in the heart of historic downtown, locals and tourists can’t seem to get enough of Columbia Restaurant. The popular joint serves hungry diners a mix of Spanish and Cuban cuisine in dishes like like black bean soup, Cuban sandwiches, and an original 1905 salad that’s made the exact same way it has been since the restaurant’s opening. If you’re here with a group, split a pitcher of the famous sangria—it can be made with red, white, or sparkling wine. 

One of the best spots in St. Augustine for a drink and a meal is Ice Plant Bar. Like the name suggests, the bar is actually located inside a historic ice plant, and the building itself 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.
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One of St. Augustine’s most notable fine dining restaurants, Llama Restaurant serves up Peruvian cuisine with dramatic presentations—needless to say, it’s the perfect spot for date night. Traditional anticucho beef hearts marinated in panca pepper and chargrilled have become a thing of local lure. And the ceviche lima made with white corvina fish is nothing short if a work of art. The appetizers and entrees are all impeccably prepared, the place is praised for its visually stunning decor and its caramel-heavy desserts.

Right in 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.
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For a taste of true Florida cuisine, The Floridian offers a cool 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.

Variety is the spice of life, right? At Meehan’s Irish Pub, you’ll find two restaurants inside one location. At the main restaurant, traditional Irish fare—like fish and chips, or corned beef and cabbage—takes center stage. 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 choose to dine, the atmosphere is as relaxed as the Irish beer is cold. 

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There’s nothing like a delicious, local taco shop that’s 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.

This quaint restaurant, located in St Augustine’s historic district, offers local ingredients prepared with 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 the 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.


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Raintree Restuarant has been open in St Augustine since 1981, but the historic home that the restaurant is located inside 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 rolls around and it’s time for brunch, 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 so you can enjoy the warm Florida sunshine and watch the boats and fishermen as they drift past the inlet.

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Gas Full Service is a hotspot for sandwiches and burgers. The restaurant makes all of its buns and bread in-house and forms every burger patty by hand. Spice-seekers will love the jalapeño popper burger, a half-pound burger stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and fresh jalapeños before it’s battered, fried, and piled high with traditional toppings.

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 a 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.
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