Restaurants in St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine, the oldest European-founded city in the country, is big enough to vaunt a bill of fare for every taste, but it’s got two dishes that are required eating: Minorcan clam chowder and fried shrimp. The chowder’s punch comes from datil peppers that arrived in the late 18th century in the hands of Minorcans who came to work the indigo fields and finally settled in St. Augustine. Like their botanical relative, the habanero, datil peppers blossom slowly on your tongue, so even if Minorcan chowder looks like Manhattan clam chowder, it hits like a great pepper wave that swells with fruity citrus zest. St. Augustine restaurants of every type offer this chowder in varying degrees of potency. As for the city’s shrimp, the northeast Florida coast is famous for its white shrimp (which turn normal pink when cooked), and several restaurants in town make the most of the catch. Foremost among them is O’Steen’s, where the shrimp are butterflied to resemble the lines inside the circle of a peace symbol. Sheathed in a crunchy veil, their flesh packs snap and nutty luxury. Dipped in datil pepper-charged sauce, they are a regional flavor sensation to remember.

St. Augustine’s Most Famous Dishes

A single fried shrimp with crisp crust so thin you can see through it.

Fried Shrimp

A bowl of thick, creamy chowder, loaded with clams and sprinkled with green onion

Clam Chowder

Dark, syrup-sweet pecan pie is further sweetened by a crowd of chocolate chips (and, not seen, bourbon).

Pecan Pie

Gooseberry (and other berry) tart

Fruit

St. Augustine’s Best Restaurants

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