Known as the “Historic Coast,” this stretch of Atlantic Florida has a distinctive cooking style all its own. Local seafood, including Mayport shrimp, features on many menus, as do such Southern specialties like gumbo and grits. Spanish-inspired dishes like Minorcan chowder reflect the centuries that Florida was a Spanish colony, and a locavore movement in the region delivers freshly milled rice from the Congaree and Penn rice farm and drinks mixed with spirits brewed by the St. Augustine Distillery. Here are our favorite tables.
This popular casual-dining restaurant is located on the Intracoastal Waterway. Seafood, including steamed oysters and fried Mayport shrimp, stars on its menu.
Cap’s on the Water
4325 Myrtle Street, St. Augustine. Tel. (904) 824-8794
Chef Brian Whittington’s fashionable restaurant set in a beautifully restored 19th-century house in the historic Lincolnville neighborhood of St. Augustine is one of the best on the Historic Coast. Don’t miss the bouillabaisse, or the sweet-potato bread pudding.
102 Bridge Street, St. Augustine. Tel. (904) 679-4940
Dishes like butternut squash and Gouda arancini, grilled Spanish octopus, and local grouper with orzo, sweet corn and sun-dried tomatoes feature on the menu of this easygoing modern American bistro. The wine list is unexpectedly good.
216 11th Avenue South, Jacksonville Beach. Tel. (904) 241-1112
If you want to enjoy your wine, this well-regarded contemporary restaurant is a short ride from the Ponte Vedra resort. Imaginative dishes include duck confit strudel, and casarecce with calamari and ’nduja (soft Calabrian sausage). And the apple bundt cake is terrific.
818 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tel. (904) 543-3797
Specializing in seafood, this friendly, laid-back restaurant is ideal for a lunch of regional dishes such as fried green tomatoes, pimiento cheese, and fried alligator tail with datil pepper aioli.
Palm Valley Fish Camp
299 Roscoe Boulevard North, Ponte Vedra Beach. Tel. (904) 285-3200