Our first trip to St. Augustine was a blast! I was so surprised to see just how large downtown is, especially being so close to the beach. But because it is the oldest city in America, it makes sense. One of my favorite parts of vacation is getting to explore different restaurants, and at the beach it’s all about seafood! We ate so well-rounded while we were in St. Augustine – though sadly I didn’t get to have breakfast (or coffee) once while we were there!
The Floridian was by far my favorite restaurant of the entire trip and also had one of the best appetizers I’ve ever eaten ever. At first, I was a little disappointed because this restaurant came highly recommended and I had thought it was a traditional beach seafood restaurant! It turns out it’s a very trendy, very cool, high quality dining establishment.
The Biscuit and Belly was amazing. Our server said some people order it as their entire meal, and now I know why. I never wanted it to end! The biscuit was so amazing, the pork belly was just right and the spreadable cheese was such a great addition.
I ordered Shrimp & Grits with the most delicious purple grits (and I don’t even like grits) and Andy ordered the Tacos de Verano with amazing papas bravos. Everything we had at the table looked amazing and tasted great! Definitely make a reservation though, as we arrived without one at 5pm on the dot and got the last table available in the bar.
The Reef Restaurant
The Reef is located right on the beach, overlooking the ocean. It also happened to be directly across the street from the house we stayed in, so we were able to jump on the golf cart and get to dinner quick.
The shrimp was fresh and perfectly battered, while the french fries were delicious, golden fried and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Now that I think about it. We also ordered a crab cake which was also very tasty! If you’re staying in Vilano Beach, I highly recommend dinner or even lunch at The Reef! Definitely sit on their new patio overlooking the beach too.
We ate at Columbia for lunch before our friend’s headed home. It was such a gorgeous restaurant! Located right in the heart of downtown St. Augustine, it’s huge and has both outdoor and indoor seating. It reminded me of Miami – which I’m headed to in a month! – and had beautiful Spanish decor inside and out. Everyone got their own loaf of bread, which I loved, and I ordered the Eggplant Riojana, which is basically an Eggplant Parmigiana without the noodles. It was so good! Don’t skip the Cuban coffee either.
Pizza on the first night of a beach trip is becoming a new tradition! Since we got in later than we expected, we had an awkward amount of time for the first night. So we explored a little bit on the golf cart, stopped at Publix and picked up pizza from Puccini’s (right next to Publix) on the way back to the house. Vilano Beach doesn’t have a lot of food options, so I highly recommend Puccini’s Pizzeria for a laidback or late-night dinner!
Coming soon is a post on all of the best Ice Cream places in St. Augustine, plus all of the best sights to see and places to explore! If you have recommendations, leave them in the comments below for our next trip!