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4th January 2013

Top St. Augustine Restaurants Off the Beaten Path

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posted in Travel Tips, Florida, US East Coast, Getaways, Vacation, weekend getaway, holiday, Winter Getaway, Atlantic Coast |

By: Paul Negron

The top St. Augustine Restaurants may not be the most well known. When you’re ready to do a little exploring beyond Grande Villas at World Golf Village, let mealtime be your excuse for adventure. You’ll enjoy finding some of St. Augustine’s hidden gems, where you and your group can enjoy a great view, fresh seafood, or other unexpected treats.

Locals love the laid-back atmosphere at Hurricane Patty’s; don’t expect to be in a hurry. Sited on a peninsula with a marina view, Hurricane Patty’s is only reached by venturing down a dirt road. Set your GPS for Snickers pie and grab a table as early as 11:00 a.m. Lunch and dinner are both options, and Patty’s has live entertainment every night of the week.

You’ll be reminded you’re in seafood country, with shrimp tacos, Lowcountry boil, grouper sandwiches, shrimp po-boys, clam chowder and oyster stew on the menu. But plenty of other options exist, including Hurricane Patty’s “bodacious burgers.” Sides are decidedly southern: try the collard greens if it’s been a while.

Lunch specials start at $5.99; even a large group won’t break the bank. And you can end a satisfying meal with Florida’s famous key lime pie. Happy hour runs from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. so this is a fun place to party, too. Cold ales, anyone?

For over 30 years, locals and visitors have poured into Salt Water Cowboys for seafood and barbecue. Perched above a salt marsh on the IntraCoastal Waterway, this Olde-Florida-style waterfront eatery invites patrons to relax in every way.

Tin ceilings, wooden floors, and willow twig furniture says “sit a spell” in a setting that is reminiscent of old fish camps. And seafood is definitely on many a mind, but this addictive eatery also invites you to try alligator tail, frog legs, smoked fish dip and crawfish.

If barbecue is your thing, you’re in luck. Salt Water Cowboys has had its ‘cue featured on The Food Channel, so strap on a big napkin and order some ribs or chicken. Steaks will also satisfy the cowboys in your crowd.

Craving some comfort food? Find your way to Flavors Eatery on King St. Hit this fun spot on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night and you’ll get live music as a bonus. Flavors serves up favorites from pitas, wraps and “subwiches,” to quesadillas, nachos and a twist on an old favorite: Thai pizza. Flavors has also created a BLT pizza, and the tasty spinach, artichoke and chicken version, as well as more traditional pies.

Quesadillas are served on honey wheat or tomato basil tortillas, and the Neato Burrito will be hard for kids to resist. Our favorite? The baked fries, which can come loaded with your choice of cheese, red onions or just ketchup. Shakes and smoothies round out the menu, meaning when you return to your condo, you won’t be the slightest bit hungry.

Our last out-of-the-way meal experience is in a class all its own. A pleasant drive along AIA toward Ponte Vedra brings you to Cap’s on the Water. This waterfront restaurant and raw bar offers “new coastal cuisine” and offers patrons three environments in which to enjoy it: a casual porch, a popular raw bar, and an intimate indoor dining area called The Inside. Cap’s riveting seafood menu and tantalizing wine list brings patrons back again and again. Salads with Stilton cheese, tapas, local Mayport shrimp, sea bass reggiano, filet mignon, and more await. Have fun pairing glasses of wine or cold beer with king crab legs.

Having received Wine Spectator’s prestigious Award of Excellence three years in a row, Cap’s is a romantic place to enjoy a bottle of wine and guaranteed ambience. The Inside doesn’t allow children, so tranquility is assured for your special evening. The wine list is arranged by grape variety, and most categories include a “Best Value” selection. Your waiter will be happy to help you choose while you peruse appetizers like baked goat cheese and eggplant stack, and chicken satay.

Cap’s raw bar looks like a beach shack and has a full bar and small kitchen all its own. Here you can enjoy traditional favorites like steamed, baked or raw oysters, and peel-n-eat shrimp. Locals also like the gumbo; you will, too.

Whether you seek out one of these, or discover your own favorite restaurants in St. Augustine, we know you’ll enjoy mealtime.

About the Author:

Paul is a writer and contributor for Bluegreen’s Travel Guide website, Colorful Places

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