St. Augustine is best known for being the oldest city that has been continuously occupied in the United States, but it is also growing in reputation as a foodie destination. Walking through the cobblestoned streets of the historic district in downtown St. Augustine, you will find everything from craft cocktail bars to outdoor tiki bars with live music, cafes serving escargot to seafood restaurants dishing out a blend of southern comfort food and creole cuisine.
With 500 years of history at its back, from early explorers to pirates to industrial-age robber barons, this coastal city in Northeast Florida is truly unique with so many things to do and it makes a good stop on a Florida road trip. At the same time, the somewhat kitschy section of Old St. Augustine might remind you of the streets of Key West or even New Orleans.
Yet when you venture into the neighborhoods like Lincolnville, it may feel more like strolling through Savannah or Charleston. (Check out some of the historic hotels in the area.)
Whether you come to St. Augustine for its Spanish-colonial style architecture, checkered history, easy access to beautiful beaches, or a sip at the Fountain of Youth, you always need to eat. So take your pick from a few of our favorite downtown St. Augustine restaurants on your next trip (plus a few nearby if you have a car to explore.)
We ate at a lot of restaurants in St. Augustine’s historic district, but see what else we got up to on our St. Augustine girls’ weekend too! (Hint: there are also plenty of museums in St. Augustine to explore.)
Best Downtown St. Augustine Restaurants for Lunch or Dinner
In St. Augustine, you will find strong Greek and Mediterranean influences. With long and deep connections to Minorca, you will also find the datil pepper featured in many dishes. Here are a few favorite places to eat in downtown St. Augustine.
My favorite discovery on a recent girls’ trip to St. Augustine was Catch 27. Located in the heart of downtown just minutes from Castillo San Marcos, Catch 27 focuses on fresh-catch seafood and local ingredients with a southern and Creole flair. You can eat inside in the small dining room or enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the heated patio.
The deviled egg BLT appetizer with southern fried oysters and house-made tomato-bacon jam is not to be missed! You can’t go wrong with the fish of the day but if you aren’t a fish lover, the fried chicken sandwich is highly recommended.
Catch 27 is located at 40 Charlotte Street, St. Augustine, FL. Reservations are available on Resy.
Old City House
If you are looking for an upscale dining experience in the historic district, Old City House offers creative cuisine featuring fresh seafood, pasta, beef, lamb, and pork. Located in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, the Old City House offers a selection of world cuisine using the finest ingredients.
While not on the standard menu, I had a delicious entree of salmon with a crab-stuffing crust — and I’m not even usually a fan of salmon.
Old City House & Inn is located at 115 Cordova Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Reservations are available on OpenTable.
River & Fort
One of the newest restaurants in St. Augustine’s historic district is River & Fort, which opened in early 2022. Located on the Corner of Charlotte St. and Avenida Menendez, River & Fort overlooks the Castillo de San Marcos and Matanzas Bay.
This large space features several balconies, two rooftops, and a courtyard. The third-story rooftop features scenic views of the Treasury, Bridge of Lions, the bay, and Castillo de San Marcos. For year-round outdoor dining, the courtyard will feature heaters, a fountain, lots of seating, and a cabana.
River & Fort focuses on fresh seafood, including local shrimp and fish, along with imported cold water crustaceans, making it a perfect pick for seafood lovers or a great spot to grab a cocktail at sunset. You will also find southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and fried pickle hushpuppies. Be sure to save room for dessert and try the guava pop tart or the Key Lime creme brûlée.
River & Fort is located at 12 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL 32084.
For a truly unique dining experience or a special occasion, make a lunch reservation at Cafe Alcazar, located in the Lightner Museum, with side entrances for non-museum diners. This elegant eatery is situated in what was originally an indoor swimming pool when the museum was the Alcazar Hotel, one of Henry Flagler’s many properties in town during the Gilded Age.
Cafe Alcazar has an eclectic menu featuring local and organic ingredients — serving up everything from homemade hummus to Greek-style escargot.
Cafe Alcazar is located at 25 Granada St, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 904-825-9948.
Taberna del Caballo
Taberna del Caballo is a great spot for lunch on the shaded patio courtyard. Located in the Colonial Quarter in Old Town, Taberna del Caballo is an 18th-century-style Spanish-inspired tavern offering a menu inspired by Spanish and Latin influences.
If you like spice, you will enjoy the cochinita pibil pork tacos. But if you can only pick one thing, the Taberna dirty rice bowl is amazing and I’d highly recommend it!
Taberna del Caballo is located at 37 St George St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Another of downtown St. Augustine’s new restaurants, Casa Reina (or “Queen’s House”) features a fusion of Mexican, Latin American, and Florida coastal cuisine. From a prime location in historic downtown St. Augustine, Casa Reina offers amazing views of the St. Augustine Plaza, Matanzas Bay, and the Bridge of Lions from the rooftop and porches.
The menu features plenty of traditional favorites like authentic street tacos and enchiladas, alongside a selection of unique signature dishes, such as our Short Rib Chiles Rellenos and Tequila Lime Grouper. This has quickly become a St. Augustine hotspot for great food, refreshing beverages, and stunning views.
Casa Reina is located at 1 Anderson Circle, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Athena serves up classic Greek dishes in a casual setting. This family-run restaurant is located just off the central square in downtown St. Augustine and is perfect for family travelers or those seeking a delicious but affordable meal.
Even kids will enjoy the flaming presentation of the Saganaki cheese and the Greek salad with gyro meat is delicious.
Athena Restaurant is located at 14 Cathedral Pl, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Ice Plant Bar
Co-located at the St. Augustine Distillery, the Ice Plant Bar is one of St. Augustine’s most popular restaurants and everyone I know recommends a meal or at least drinks here. This vintage bar serves up farm-to-table cuisine and craft cocktails.
Cocktails are concocted with house-pressed juices, a wide assortment of bitters, and specially developed syrups, resulting in stunning cocktails. They even use three different kinds of ice, a nod to the building’s original use as an Ice Plant, with a 300 lb block of ice and custom cubes.
If you can’t get a table, you can always take a free tour (with tastings) at the St. Augustine Distillery next door.
Ice Plant Bar is located at 110 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
St. Augustine Fish Camp
Located on the San Sebastian River near the St. Augustine Distillery, the St. Augustine Fish Camp offers waterfront outdoor dining and the interior is as fresh and inviting as the catch of the day. Featuring southern seafood like a low country boil and shrimp and grits, St. Augustine Fish Camp offers the freshest fish straight off the boat.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, this is also a great spot to watch the sunset.
St. Augustine Fish Camp is located at 142 Riberia St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Located by the City Gate on St. Augustine’s popular pedestrian-only St. George Street, this eatery provides European-influenced American Cuisine. From Wednesday through Sunday, the Sainte-George is the place to go for brunch with classic breakfast plates and luncheon choices.
Dinner service brings fine dining with a great selection of steaks and seafood accompanied by fresh local veggies and a fantastic wine selection and specially created craft cocktails. Everything is cooked and baked from scratch, including all the bread and sauces, for a truly local dining experience.
Sainte-George Restaurant is located at 1 St. George Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Reservations are available through OpenTable.
Where to Eat Near Downtown St. Augustine
If you have a car and you are willing to drive to lunch or dinner, here are some suggestions for restaurants near downtown St. Augustine.
If you are heading to the beach, you may want to plan to stop for lunch or dinner at Aunt Kate’s on the Tolomoto River. You can eat inside or enjoy outdoor dining while the kids romp on the small beach or watch the pelicans trying to steal fish from the docks.
You may want to go for one of the Menorcan dishes (or pick up a bottle of their homemade datil pepper sauce) or enjoy the delicious fried green tomatoes with Key Lime sauce — what a perfect blend of Southern comfort cuisine with Florida flavors! The award-winning fish tacos and soft shell crab sandwiches are also good choices.
Aunt Kate’s is located at 612 Euclid Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Just across the Vilano Beach Bridge from downtown St. Augustine, Kingfish Grill serves up the freshest fish and local seafood around. The outdoor patio is a fun setting and the fire pits are a perfect spot for a pre-or post-dinner cocktail.
The Oysters Vilano are decadent and the sushi is incredibly fresh and tasty. All of the fish that we tried were so incredibly fresh and flavorful. I ate more fish in St. Augustine than I typically do in a month at home!
The Kingfish Grill is located at 252 Yacht Club Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Where to go for Snacks in St. Augustine
When your sweet tooth starts begging for a mid-afternoon treat, here is where to stop in St. Augustine.
This ice cream shop originated on the Jersey shore and has migrated its mellow sweetness down to St. Augustine. Offering gourmet ice cream sandwiches with a layer of pie filling, there are options for every sweet tooth. I didn’t try them all, but the salted caramel apple with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel, and apple pie filling, with cinnamon shortcake cookies, is delish!! I’m not sure how they manage to keep the cookies crisp but not crumbly.
Peace Pie is located at 8 Aviles St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops
For those craving something cold but non-dairy, pop over to Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops. The flavors range from champagne mango to pineapple ginger or strawberry basil. I need to stay longer in St. Augustine just to try them all!
Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops is located at 48 Charlotte St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Whetstone Chocolates Store and Tasting Tours
Whetstone is a family-run chocolatier offering a store downtown and at the factory. One-hour factory tours are offered daily and include a four-tiered tasting to distinguish between the characteristics of dark, milk, and white chocolate, and cocoa nibs.
Whetstone is located at 139 King St, St. Augustine, FL 32084 and 42 St George St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Where to go for Drinks in St. Augustine
Prohibition is a retro, gastropub paying homage to the days of Prohibition and the Gilded Age. There is a large selection of craft beers and handcrafted cocktails poured by aptly-bearded hipster bartenders. Go in the evenings to enjoy live music. If you choose pub grub, beware that the German-style pretzels are humongous.
Prohibition Kitchen is located at 119 St George St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Casa de Vino 57
Casa de Vino 57 is a cute wine shop/wine bar with an outdoor patio and bar, often featuring live music. They serve up a mean charcuterie board and pour vintage and small-batch wines.
Casa de Vino 57 is located at 57 Treasury St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Odd Birds Bar
Odd Birds is a pop-up bar serving craft cocktails and odd bites. Featuring a fun outdoor patio, Odd Birds brings in guest bartenders regularly and utilizes a wide variety of spirits from all over the world.
Odd Birds Bar is located at 33 Charlotte St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
The Tasting Tours
If you really want to learn about the food scene in downtown St. Augustine, sign up for a food and drinks tour with The Tasting Tours. You know I love a great food tour, and the tour in St. Augustine showcased a wide variety of cuisines as well as PLENTY of wine!
Before we headed down to St. Augustine, I asked for recommendations on Facebook and Instagram and some other places that popped to the top include: