Fast-Casual Restaurants for Florida Explorers on the Go

St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra dining options offer a variety of quality food.

January 6, 2021
Two tacos from Osprey Tacos

It’s no secret that exploring every culinary nook and cranny is at the top of many travelers’ lists when planning a vacation in Florida. In St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra, you’ll find plenty to add to that list! From farm-to-table dining in St. Augustine’s historic downtown to fresh seafood fare at the beaches, there’s a bit of something to please everyone’s palate when visiting St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach and The Beaches. Between relaxing days spent on the Atlantic coastline, a round of golf at one of Ponte Vedra’s championship courses, adventures aboard a pirate ship and taking in a concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, sometimes a quick bite is in order to get you back to exploring. Here on the Florida’s Historic Coast, there are dozens of fast-casual restaurant options.

Pizza & Mexican Fare & More

Characterized by offering counter service (rather than sit-down, table service) with freshly prepared with high-quality ingredients, fast-casual fare is thriving among those on the go. In downtown St. Augustine, pizza is aplenty including by-the-slice options at Pizza Time and Pizzalley’s Chianti Room – both on St. George Street. Pizza Time, which was named the second-best pizza place in the country by TripAdvisor, offers New York-style pie with nearly every topping imaginable. Nearby Pizzalley’s time-tested, from-scratch recipes will have your mouth watering before the slice hits the plate. Also, check out Borrillo’s Pizzeria and Beer & Wine Garden on San Marco Avenue. If tacos are more your thing, Florida’s Historic Coast has dozens of fast-casual, Mexican-influenced grub from which to choose. A relative newcomer to the scene, Osprey Tacos on Anastasia Boulevard is a laid-back taqueria located on A1A with made-to-order tacos and taco bowls. Order up a Saint Augustine taco with fresh fried shrimp, pickled onion, cabbage and house-made Datil and pink sauce. There’s also A1A Burrito Works on A1A at the beach, Mojo’s Tacos on Anastasia Boulevard, Burrito Works Taco Shop on St. George Street, and Nalu’s Tropical Take Out just outside the entrance to Anastasia State Park. Touted as “St. Augustine’s first food truck,” Nalu’s was established in 2002 and brings Hawaiian fusion fare to residents and visitors alike.

Seafood, Spanish & Caribbean Flavors

Just a stone’s throw from both the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway (not to mention dozens of rivers, bays and marsh ecosystems), St. Augustine is known for its fresh seafood nearly as much as its long and colorful history. St. Augustine Seafood Company on St. George Street offers the best of both worlds, a sit-down restaurant with full bar and an accompanying fast-casual restaurant for those looking for quick and delicious bite before their next adventure. Focused on fresh and sustainable seafood (they even list the name of the boat that caught that day’s ingredients on their menu board), St. Augustine Seafood Company features raw oysters served on the half shell, chowders and wild-caught fried shrimp baskets. A melting pot of Spanish, English, French and Minorcan influences, dining here can oftentimes feel like you’ve journeyed back in time to an ancient European city. Check out Spanish Bakery & Café, also on St. George Street. Nestled under a historic cedar tree, the bakery has been a favorite spot for breakfast and lunch for more than 37 years. Order up a delectable empanada, Picadillo, sausage roll, house-made soup, signature sandwich or pastry along with beer, wine or fresh coffee. The Spanish Bakery is perfect for a mid-day treat that’s sure to fuel your busy take-it-all-in itinerary. You’ll want to take a break from the heat with a homemade gelato or sorbet at Café del Hidalgo. And check out the menu for quick delicacies such as coffee and crepes or a panini with a cold brew. New to the scene on St. George is Boat Drinks, offering a nautical, tropical ambiance to complement a savory Caribbean menu filled with fresh local seafood dishes and craft cocktails.

On the Road & Pub Fare

Of course, you won’t always be right in the center of all the action. If you find yourself out and about and on the road, you’re still in luck. Hand rolling pretzels since 1995 using their proprietary recipe, The Pretzel Lady is the perfect spot to enjoy all kinds of pretzels, all hand-rolled daily, such as the classic "Nathan's" Pretzel Dogs and "Sam Adams" Pretzel Brats, baked golden brown and served with a choice of mustards, cheese sauces and toppings. Stop in for a cold soda and sit outside as you make plans to take some pretzels back home with you. Located off SR 207 and US 1, it’s worth the trip.

If you like food trucks, we’ve got those too. There’s Marina Munch, a waterside food truck park at the English Landing Marina, offering a rotation of the area’s most loved food trucks daily. Relax and take in the view at this family and pet-friendly venue. Or if you’re on the way to the beach, the Village Garden Food Truck Park is where it’s at. We mean great selections of culinary options from Hawaiian poke bowls to French pastries, BBQ and Mexican tacos. Not to mention a playful, fun atmosphere with shaded outdoor seating and cornhole games.

Of course, this is the South, so be prepared for some authentic and amazing barbecue choices. Smokin’D’s BBQ will not sell yesterday’s meat. That means it’s prepared fresh every single day until it’s sold out—and it does. So come early and come hungry if you love your brisket, chicken and ribs smoked and all kinds of sides to go with it. Dine outside or take it to go, you can’t miss this local favorite. If you happen to be at the Fountain of Youth, how about some barbecue to go with that spring water? Smoked Southern BBQ is conveniently located just outside the park and is ready to satisfy your appetite with meats and produce sourced from local farmers to create delicious classics such as pulled pork, beef brisket and chicken wings. This is not a bad way to enjoy some outdoor dining while you watch the peacocks prance about.

Located at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa and a tribute to the Golf Hall of Fame architects, Alice and Pete’s Pub believes it’s ok to play with your food. That is, you can buy one or a bucket of balls to take a shot at the Floating Hole-in-One Challenge at the replica TPC Sawgrass Island Green. Play a game of pool or just relax and watch your favorite sports on the indoor and outdoor TV screens as you feast on some peel & eat shrimp, classic wings or loaded nachos. Mulligan’s Pub is one of the latest gastropubs in Ponte Vedra offering culinary excellence in a comfortable pub atmosphere. An extensive full menu includes everything from breakfast bowls to small plates to wraps and desserts. Any time of day, you’ll find something to satisfy your appetite.

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St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches
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