The biggest question I get from friends and family that visit Amelia Island is where should we eat?
That’s a tricky question to answer since it depends on what you are looking for and how many people are in your group etc – kids/no kids/date night etc.
This of course is in no way an all inclusive list since I haven’t had the opportunity to eat everywhere on the island but I’ll share with you my recommendations based on where I have been 🙂 Oh and our place is on the North side of the island so I do not have any listed recommendations for the south side of the island just yet (but I’m hoping to hit Salt sometime in the near future….when I win the lottery that is!$$$$$)
So I’ll start with family friendly eats since most of the folks asking me have kids 🙂
Timoti’s Seafood Shack – Has a pirate ship playset! Think fried seafood/chicken fingers/wraps/tacos/bowls/salads. Order at the counter and communal large pic nic tables outside and good beers. Their Yelp
Pi Infinite – Fancy pizza by the slice with an outdoor patio. I follow them on instagram and they always make me hungry!!!! I loved their PROSCIUTTO & ARUGULA SALAD – reminded me of some of the great food we had traveling through Italy a few summers ago! Nice indoor decor and outdoor patio as well.
Peppers – OK Mexican with a great patio. Just ok overall service and food but can fit a large group and kids can be loud and no one will notice. Even if there is a line you can usually get seated without a terribly long wait. Their Yelp
Pablo’s Mexican Cuisine– Mexican. Better than Peppers (in my personal opinion) but a smaller location with a nice outdoor patio in the back. Usually less busy than Peppers since it’s not on the main street. Try the sangria 🙂 Their Yelp
Cafe Karibo– Their website say eclectic cuisine and affordable gourmet. We have only eaten here once and while it was good, it was a bit pricey for us and nothing wowed us enough to go back though they do have a really nice outdoor patio and a pretty good kids menu. Their Yelp
Fantastic Fudge – Wait – don’t pass this by. They have way more than fudge! The best place for an after dinner treat right on center street. My kids beg to go get ice cream (superman or superhero to be specific) here every visit! Their Yelp
Not downtown but a sanity saver if you have small kids: Slider’s Seaside Grill. It’s all about the outdoor patio and the big play set oh and did I mention it’s on the beach? The kids can play while you sit outside and listen to good music, sip on a yummy drink and eat in somewhat peace! When our kids were younger or when we have friends in town with little kids we always go here. They can accommodate a larger group, they have lots of outdoor seating and they usually always have good outdoor music BUT the food is a bit pricey and just OK…. still….to be able to eat and not have to yell out your kids to stop crawling under the table is priceless! Your best bet is to stick with the fried seafood items. Try the punch 🙂 and take a walk on the beach afterwards. Parking can be tricky so use the free valet if it’s available. Oh and if you are visiting without kids – Swing it at the bar! I mean really swing (not like the other you may be thinking). They have real cute/fun swing chairs at the bar 🙂 with a good beer selection. Their Yelp
Also not downtown but is our personal favorite pizza joint: Moon River Pizza. For me this is the yummiest pie around – think if Mellow Mushroom had a little brother and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect at Moon River 🙂 Their Yelp
Brett’s Waterway Cafe is right there at the marina in downtown and has the best sunset view I’ve seen and I happen to also enjoy their food. They have rocking chairs on their deck that are the perfect location for a relaxing drink as you watch the sunset. They can also accommodate larger groups and allow you to make reservations (this is a life saver with groups and kids). They also treat my kids nice. I know that sounds odd to say but I wasn’t sure if it would be a kid friendly place and it was. Though I can’t say 100% if they had a kids menu – they did have kid friendly food (keep in mind my kids are bigger and not super picky). If your mother is in town – this is a great place to take her 🙂 Their Yelp
The Salty Pelican also has a nice sunset view from their upstairs bar (if you go just for drink sit at this bar). I’m not a huge fan of their food since I’m not a seafood eater and find their menu a bit limiting. It’s still a good place for a view and kid friendly and in downtown. Their Yelp
T-Rays Burger Station is hands down the best burger around and I know they have been written up in a few magazines too. It’s super unique in the fact that it is actually in an old gas station and if you didn’t know to look for it – you would most likely pass it by! This is a must for any burger aficionado. No fancy fru fru burgers here – it’s the good greasy stuff that dreams are made of! Their Yelp
Tasty’s – Ok, now you are just going to think Fernandina has a thing for burger joints in old gas stations but really they are just super crafty about using old spaces! Tasty’s is another family friendly burger joint inside an old gas station. This one is downtown so it’s nice that you can walk around the town afterwards and has lots of picnic table seating outside. Super kid friendly but be prepared for a long line at dinner time. Think specialty burgers, hotdogs, shakes, tater tots…YUM! My husband’s favorite is the old bay crabby fries. Their Yelp
Fernandina has an astounding number of fantastic restaurant options for a great date night. I will update this area as I visit more places since lucky for me….my oldest is now of age to BABYSIT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoot Whoot!
But for now, I will share the places I have been lucky enough to try out.
Most interesting and our favorite has become Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen. My husband craves their hot chicken and I just like the atmosphere and the interesting/changing menu items. This is a place that is unique and quirky and for the adventurous eaters out there 🙂 They have a cute sangria bar as well! I don’t think they serve liquor though – but you should still go anyway! Their Yelp
Joe’s Second Street Bistro – Just YUM! Everything is just so delicious I want it all!!!! Lots of fresh delicious food with lots of variety! Think seafood/steaks/lamb/duck/short ribs/pork – everything that you think should be on a great restaurants menu is! Their Yelp
One of our favorites is Espania. Spanish/Portuguese tapas and paellas. Very quaint place with great sangria and I loved their polenta with marinara (though I don’t see it on the menu just now!!!) Their Yelp
29 South – I love their unique and adventurous menu! I love that they list their local farmers that they work with. I will say that I found their servings a bit small for the price but I had a great meal and just fell in love with their single serve cast iron corn bread! Their Yelp
Amelia Island Tavern – Very modern bar with some tasty food. My husband feels it’s too modern/trendy for the beach but hey…. he can be set in his ways a bit! I haven’t eaten here yet, just drinks but I had to include it since it’s my parent’s favorite spot to visit. They often have live music during the week (according to my parents). Their Yelp
After dinner adult beverages and bars
So the first one I have to mention is David’s. Now Davids looks like a wonderful steak/seafood restaurant but I have only been here for after dinner drinks. What I found so interesting is that they offer a flight of Port . Yes. You heard me right. A flight (tastings) of several wonderful Port’s. I just loved it! I personally had never seen this before. A flight of wine, sure but never a flight of Port. Their Yelp
Sliders (not downtown but great live music and great outdoor patio/bar on the beach). See full review above under family friendly.
Ok – my back hurst from sitting and typing all this out so I have to take a break for now. More to come later and up next….. Things to do with kids on Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach.
Here’s a quick map to give you an idea of the layout of Downtown Fernandina – well seeing as you need a magnifying glass to read these – Here’s an interactive map just zoom in and the restaurants start to pop up on the map.