One of the great things about St. Augustine is the food. There are more good restaurants in the St. Augustine area than in all of Jacksonville, despite its having less than 10% of the population of its larger neighbor. The area is world famous for its fried shrimp, and deservedly so. My picks to click for shrimp include O’Steen’s Restaurant, located in an unassuming little cinderblock building a few blocks over the bridge. O’Steen’s is short on atmosphere and long on flavor, but be advised that they don’t take plastic for their tasty platters. Strictly cash on the barrelhead. Also on the Island are Salt Water Cowboy’s, which has atmosphere to spare, Sunset Grille and Barnacle Bill’s on St. Augustine Beach, and South Beach Grill on Crescent Beach.
If you’ve had a gutfull of fried shrimp, there are other, more eclectic, options. My favorite is probably Cap’s on the Water, tucked away in a grove just off of A1A North in Vilano Beach, that offers incredible food and beautiful views of the Intercoastal. Other good bets include A1A Ale Works, a restaurant and microbrewery located on the Bayfront, that offers pretty good craft-brewed beer and seafood with a Caribbean flair; Cortesse’s Bistro, which has excellent continental cuisine; 95 Cordova, a pricey little eatery located within the Casa Monica Hotel; and The Columbia, which offers great Spanish food in an Old World atmosphere. I also like Gypsy Cab Company, which has good food and a tasty brunch on the weekends.