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Singleton's Seafood Shack

4728 Ocean St., Mayport, FL - (904) 246-4442
Posted By Michael Stern on October 18, 2012 1:58 PM
If ever the Encyclopedia of Roadfood gets written and it needs a perfect example of a Florida seafood shack, Singleton's would fill the bill. It is bigger than most – a sprawling dining room, deck, kitchen and museum annex – but its colorful shackitude is beyond reproach. It is a deliciously déclassé nautical wreck with low ceiling, listing wooden floors, bare wood tables and hard benches. Everything is served in Styrofoam. Utensils are plastic. No-nonsense waitresses reward good customers with such appellations as hon, babe, and dear. And the cuisine is a north coast primer. Yes, there are burgers and barbecue and slaw dogs on the menu, but they are immaterial. What matters is nut-sweet shrimp that fairly burst with flavor, briny oysters sheathed in fragile crust, devil crab that is moist and seasoned with eye-opening panache.

There is a southern accent to most plates of local seafood. Every meal comes with a pair of hushpuppies clad in a red gold crust that surrounds insides that are as moist as cake. The day I dined, the vegetable du jour was collard greens: limp leaves that are vaguely sweet, as earthy tasting as tobacco and yet deliriously healthful. I also had a good bowl of Minorcan clam chowder, a specialty from down St. Augustine way, in which datil peppers provide a nice buzz to soup that is loaded with flavorful clams.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
Collard Greens
Three Item Combo
Clam Chowder
Banana Cream Pie

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Posted By Riverpup on September 16, 2012 10:12 AM
I had a choice between returning for another fine meal to Safe Harbor or following a recommendation to try the sheepshead sandwich at Singleton's. I went to the latter out of friendship. I'll never go back again; it will always be neighboring Safe Harbor.

I'm 65 and have loved and eaten seafood all my life, but Singleton's sandwich was the worst I have ever been served. It was full of black meat, it was fried beyond reasonable, it was small, it was expensive, and it tasted fishy and otherwise bad. We were stopped in the parking lot by another couple who asked which of the two restaurants they should go to; my fast response was Safe Harbor. It will always be Safe Harbor for my family and it will never again be Singleton's.
1 star rating
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Posted By Neil on November 4, 2011 5:24 PM
We're not Florida natives so maybe our opinions aren't spot on but we liked it. Seafood fresh from the boat and not overcooked. Just good fish and shrimp. Simple. Comparing it to the fast food at Captain D's is just a low blow.
3 star rating
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Posted By Rob Kooyman on January 3, 2011 7:55 PM
A purposely rundown looking treasure. The fish is right-off-the-boat fresh. One of the places I truly miss after leaving Jacksonville.
4 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By larry on October 28, 2010 9:55 AM
We ate at Singletons on Saturday afternoon on 5.1.10. We ordered the two choice combo with fried flounder and fried shrimp. All of our food was served in disposable containers. The flounder was very good but the portion size was surprisingly small. The shrimp was tasty but had veins hanging from it. The platter came with hush puppies which were very tasty and moist. The meal also came with two sides. We chose the cole slaw and the french fries. The coleslaw was supposed to be country style but was very watery so there was less than a country style flavor. It came in a small plastic cup so it felt a little skimpy. The french fries were large and visually very appealing, however they were room temperature and tough. The atmosphere was very basic with plywood walls and dust covered decor. The chairs were even mis-matched, but the service was very good. Overall there were several good things about our experience, but there were several disappointments as well. Would I go back?........I might give them a second chance, but I'm not in a real big hurry to do so. We have read all of the reviews on this web site about Singletons and I have to agree with some of the people who recommended that you go down the street to Captain D's. You will get just as much food for the price and eat it in a clean environment. Its hard to feel like you're in a real clean eating establishment when you are greeted by two large dumpsters as you enter the parking lot.
0 star rating
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