Hey y’all, I know that this isn’t the normal Friday for Food-Day Friday, but I wanted to go ahead and share this post, so here goes!
Our first night in town, we decided to eat at a spot in the heart of the Tourist District…actually, I guess most of the spots we ate at were there! We ate at the Florida Cracker Café, which had plenty of outdoor seating (pawfect for the pups), and we really enjoyed our meal. I opted for Fried Shrimp, and I thought these were done really well! Ryan had the Shrimp & Sausage Pilau (which looked like jambalaya), and it was really good, too! Overall, this was a good spot to try out if you’re looking for something tasty while you’re in the middle of downtown.
The next morning, I had planned to try out a chain called the Maple Street Biscuit Co., but it ended up being closed on Sundays, so we used Yelp and picked another popular local spot: The Blue Hen Café. Yelp warned us that we might have a long wait, but we got there early enough that we got seated immediately. I ordered the Fried Chicken Biscuits, and Ryan ordered the Southern Omelet (collards, Andouille sausage, and swiss cheese). It was a really yummy little spot, but definitely off the beaten path. It was actually relatively close to our AirBNB, but that was off the beaten path, too. Be sure to see my post on that! (Our 1st Experience with AirBNB)
For supper that night, we had reservations at Columbia, a restaurant that has been around since 1905. My coworker Leah travels a lot and always seems to know some of the best spots. She recommended Columbia to us, and while it was definitely more than we normally spend on a meal, we decided it was a special occasion (my birthday). We started off by trying their mojito and sauvignon blanc sangria… both of them were AH-mazing! For an appetizer, we ordered the restaurant’s famous “1905” salad, made from iceberg lettuce, ham, Swiss & Romano cheese, olives, tomatoes, and their famous garlic dressing which includes a splash of Worcestershire sauce. It was surprisingly tasty, which I guess is why they’re famous for it!
The number of entrees to pick from was almost endless, so Ryan and I decided to order three Tapas: Champiñones Rellenos (baked silver dollar mushrooms stuffed with spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, and cheese—drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice), Cakes de Cangrejo (grilled blue crab cakes drizzled with a passionfruit aioli), and Calamares Fritos Romano (lightly fried Calamari). All of them were so, so delicious! Another great thing about Columbia is that they bring each guest bread—basically half a loaf of the softest, lightest bread you’ve ever tasted!
While we were eating, we couldn’t help but notice the family next to us who ordered dessert, so of course we knew we HAD to try dessert. Go big or go home…or go home big, I guess. I chose the Key Lime Pie and Ryan ordered the Churros. Both of them were delicious, and we left the restaurant sated and with a slight waddle to our walk!
What I loved about Columbia is that all the dishes were different, yet made with familiar ingredients. I ordered and tried dishes that I wouldn’t have two or three years ago (2016 Emma did NOT eat mushrooms). I think it’s a great place if you’re looking for a fancy date night or special occasion meal.
Other spots we checked out were Le Macaron, an adorable macaron and chocolate shop in the Historic District of St. Augustine. I’m a fool for some macarons, and this place certainly did not disappoint!
Just down the street from Le Macaron is Kookaburra, a delightful little coffee spot where I had possibly one of the best iced coffees I’ve ever tasted! I know it had a ton of milk and sugar in it, but it was definitely worth the calories!
My advice for eating in St Augustine (or any city) is to research ahead of time. Some spots are definitely “tourist-traps”, but if you do a little combing, there are some really delicious dining spots.