Where to Eat in Northeast Florida

Northeast Florida, also known as First Coast, features restaurants that frame beautiful seaside landscapes spanning the coast of Amelia Island, through Jacksonville on down to St. Augustine. The 70-mile coastline is steeped in remarkable history and tradition. 

Here you will find both coastal and southern influences that are, absolutely, delicious.

Breakfast

Diners

If you love a good diner, you are in luck. Traditional and modern diners are sprinkled, all the way down the coast. Several others are located in the city so you will have no shortage of places to choose from.

Third Street Diner provides something for everyone in a traditional diner aesthetic. Customers rave about their Reuban sandwich plate. For a more modern appeal check out Metro Diner in Jacksonville Beach. The chicken and waffles are straight from heaven.

Entertainment Brunch

Are you looking for a little brunch time entertainment? If so hop over to Jax Beach Brunch Haus>. This restaurant has delicious food and great entertainment. Jazzy’s Restaurant and Lounge is another favorite among patrons. Jazzy’s features live entertainment and mouth-watering southern soul food. The crab cakes and fried pickles are awesome starters.

Classy Cuisine

Taking time for meals is an important part of many national cultures. Taking a break from the fast pace of life is the highlight of a vacation. Have a classy meal where you can enjoy the process of eating, such as taking adequate time to cut, chew, and enjoy your food. Do so in a classy place with beautiful surroundings.

Vernon’s First Coast Kitchen and Bar at the Sawgrass Marriott in Vedra Beach is a resort restaurant that features fresh ingredients that are locally sourced. This destination offers handcrafted cocktails and floor to ceiling views of the signature resort waterfall and lagoon. You can watch the sunrise or set. Also included is a kids’ entertainment corner.

Lunch

After a morning of beach frolicking and sunbathing a good lunch is in order. A great sandwich is a great way to satisfy a raging appetite. Head on over to one of Northeast Florida’s popular sandwich shops for lunch you won’t regret.

Cuban Sandwiches

Hola Cuban Cafe has snacks, pastries, coffee, and classic Cuban sandwiches in a casual dining atmosphere. 

The Croqueta sandwich comes with a choice of chicken, ham, or cheese croquetas and is served on pressed Cuban bread with swiss cheese. Havana Jax offers perfect Paella, robust Ropa, and Delicious Desserts. In addition to all of this, the Empanada is excellent.

Sandwich Variety

If you are in Fernandina Beach and looking for a quick bite, 4th Street Deli may be just the place. This restaurant offers a variety of menu items to suit any palette. The gyro and pasta salad are fan favorites.

First, let’s talk about the bread at Larry’s Giant Subs. It is award-winning and delivered straight from Costanzo’s bakery of Buffalo, New York. With one bite of the Raikes Farms Pastrami and corned Beef Brisket, you will be hooked.

Seafood Tacos and Sandwiches

Who doesn’t love a great seafood taco? Two Dudes in Atlantic Beach, Florida is up to the task of satisfying just about any taco or sandwich craving. Grab a fresh catch basket or a full platter. Two Dudes offers a long list of seafood sandwiches and even a kids fish taco. The soft shell crab BLT is a must for seafood cravings.

TacoLu is another great seafood taco spot. You will not be disappointed with this Mexican seafood palace. The shrimp tacos in this place could be internet famous. With one look at all TacoLu has to offer, your mouth will water.

Delicious Crab

Deviled crab is a Cuban, Spanish, and Italian fusion dish. It is a crab meat croquette and it is delicious. Try the Southern Style Deviled Crab plate or even a Deviled Crab Burger at Amelia Island’s Crab Trap. You won’t regret it.

Juniors Seafood Restaurant has shrimp, seafood, burgers, and steak. However, if you want crabmeat, Their Heckscher Drive crab cakes are made with fresh ingredients in house served with sweet potatoes fries and the restaurant’s signature Paradise Sauce.

Happy Hour

Happy Hour can be a delightful part of the day if you go to the right place. There are endless options for a great Happy Hour experience up and down First Coast and inside the city of Jacksonville. For a real treat try one or more of these.

Cowford Chophouse has stylish dining rooms with arched windows, high ceilings, and a rooftop bar for an all-around elevated experience. Enjoy a rotating seasonal tap of happy hour draft favorites including ales and IPAs. The Cucumber Collins or The Cowford Mule are excellent picks from the list of cocktails. White and red wines are also available by the glass.

Restaurant Orsay has a unique list of cocktails to enjoy including the Beets Me and BRB. The French Pear Martini is a well known favorite. A long list of classic martinis is also available.

Happy Hour at Town Hall Restaurant Jacksonville includes five delicious cocktails, red, white, rose’, and sparkling wine, and a rotating list of local and craft drafts. Town Hall Jax has a lively atmosphere, a great wine list, and excellent service.

The atmosphere at Barrique Kitchen and Wine Bar is great. They offer quality service and an extensive Happy Hour menu including bites like the Pineapple Guacamole or Deviled Eggs with buttermilk fried oyster. Try the Gypsy cocktail or Daquiri of the day.

Dinner

Waterside

Often, images of the beach are the first things that come to mind when thinking of the word vacation. Having a waterside meal is one of the golden dining experiences in any beach location and Northeast Florida is no exception. 

First Coast beaches offer some of the most spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean. Take in the views with a delicious meal on your next visit to the area.

Brett’s Waterway Cafe features a broad selection of Southern American Cuisine choices that are, perfectly, delicious. Watch breathtaking sunsets over the ocean while enjoying local fresh seafood such as grilled salmon, fried shrimp, or the catch of the day. The oyster Po’boys and shrimp and grits are delicious.

Sliders Seaside Grill offers amazing ocean views. This is due to the seafood restaurant’s prime location situated right on the beach. Choose from a great selection of surf and turf options including a seafood platter and locally caught shrimp. Try the lobster mack n’ cheese.

Salty Pelican Bar & Grill offers beautiful views of the water on Fernandina Beach’s east side. The prime location for gazing is the upstairs outdoor patio. Select from a large menu of local and traditional American pub choices.

Enjoy splendid views of the Atlantic on the spacious back patio of Sandy Bottoms Beach Bar and Grill. Menu items consist of nicely prepared American seafood and a wide range of beer, wine, and cocktails. The grouper sandwich and prime rib sandwich are great choices.

Cultural Fare

Very few dishes are truly American. Florida dishes include rich seafood delicacies, Latin influences, and Southern comfort food. The long history and fusion of so many cooking cultures contribute to the food you’ll find in the area. This is especially true of St. Augustine

Mossfire Grill is an LGBTQ friendly restaurant that delivers exceptionally delicious Southwestern-influenced American food. Try the chicken empanadas or barbeque-shrimp tacos.

Lagniappe is one of the coastal area’s best restaurants. It has a chic and comfortable atmosphere, excellent service, and great food. The dinner special is comprised of lobster tail, a filet, and delicious duck. The wine and cocktail selection is wonderful.

Black Sheep Restaurant is located in the historic 5-Points district in Riverside. The restaurant focuses on handcrafted food made from fresh local ingredients and gracious service. The short ribs and oysters are delicious. There is also a full bar with signature cocktails, a great wine list, and craft beers.

Romantic

A romantic getaway isn’t complete without the perfect romantic dining experience. First Coast is full of romantic hotels and hidden gems like bed and breakfasts. 

There is also no shortage of romantic places to still away with that special someone for an intimate meal for two. No matter your taste, you are sure to find the perfect spot.

Cucina South is a romantic Italian restaurant that offers a well-executed dining experience. The generous portion sizes and a friendly atmosphere are hard to beat. Dishes such as the angel hair pasta and shrimp scampi offer the authentic flavors of Italy.

Pink Salt Restaurant and Wine Bar offers locally sourced and flavorful food. The chef uses only the freshest ingredients to provide the perfect balance of flavor. This is what keeps fans coming in again and again. The Pink Salt Pineapple Shrimp Bowl or Curry Shrimp are musts on the list of dishes to try, however, the menu is packed full of amazing island dishes. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

Black Sheep Restaurant offers a romantic atmosphere and delicious locally sourced food. Among the starters are Jon Boat Mussels, Fried Olives, and Korean BBQ Ribs. Georgia Shrimp and Grits entree served with crispy andouille sausage, tomato gravy, and the pickled trinity is amazing.

Dessert

There are legitimate reasons to partake in dessert, especially when you are on vacation. Most people’s day to day diet plan goes out the window when they’re on vacation. A tasty dessert can make the experience all the more enjoyable. Share an after-dinner dessert from one of the featured restaurants or pop into one of these dessert shops for a lovely treat.

When in Jacksonville, Frosted by Darla bakes delicious brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, and cakes. Enjoy fabulous fillings, unique flavors, delicious frostings, and beautiful decorations. Order a cake or get it by the slice. Sprinkle cake pop and cupcake flavors are available to satisfy the sweet tooth of everyone in the family.

Luli’s Cupcakes in St Augustine is famous for delicious and decorative cupcakes. They offer a creative assortment of delightfully decorated cupcakes that are perfect for a sweet treat. If you are planning a destination wedding or reception in the area, Luli’s Cupcakes can help you give guests a treat they’ll never forget.

Visit for the Fun and Hang Around for the Delicious Food

Regardless of what brings you to the Northeast Florida Coast, you won’t want to leave. The people are friendly and welcoming, the sights are beautiful, and the food is amazing. What more could you ask for?

Hopefully, our list gives you a good starting point for choosing where to eat in and around the areas. Be sure to explore. There is an overabundance of marvelous eats to enjoy. Want to find more gems in Florida? Check out our Visit section to find out more.

Written by Colleen Romero

Colleen Romero has been a creative content writer for over five years in a variety of industries. She is a bi-sexual woman who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband, two boys, and her dog Luna. She loves to explore Florida and discover more about all the wonderful opportunities this paradise has to offer.


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