There’s nothing quite like enjoying a great meal after spending the day warming under the sun. Soaking up the rays with your feed in the sand or floating in the pool, or even running around one of the amusement parks in Florida. Meals never taste better than when you’ve worked up an appetite and with all of the fun things to do in the Sunshine State, you’ll be ready to enjoy some excellent food to end the perfect day. Check out these 10 must-visit restaurants and their most popular dishes.
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10 Joe’s Stone Crab
Starting out in the early 1900s as a small Miami Beach lunch counter, this family-run business was the first of its kind. When they first opened, they were the only restaurant on the beach, serving mainly fish like mackerel, snapper, and pompano. At the time Stone Crab wasn’t even something the locals knew they could eat. Through a fortuitous set of circumstances, Joe figured out they could be boiled and that was the start of magic. The must-eat dish on the menu is obviously the Stone Crabs, but you won’t be disappointed no matter what you order.
9 Palme d’Or
Another Miami staple is the Palme d’Or restaurant located inside the Biltmore Hotel. This restaurant serves contemporary French fine dining and half of the experience with this location is the setting. Diners will eat meals created with a farm to table approach all while beneath fresco painted ceilings. The Palme d’Or has received multiple awards and recognition, including a semifinalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Award. Be sure to try the jumbo sea scallops and don’t skip the dessert at this meal.
8 The Floridian
The Floridian is a restaurant in St. Augustine that focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and melds southern comfort with healthier fare to create unique dishes that absolutely hit the spot. The menu changes with the seasons so that they can bring the best food to the table. The Floridian has a causal dining atmosphere making it the perfect spot to stop in for a bite after a long day at the beach. They also offer a variety of gluten-free menu options. Try the Tacos de Otono, which can be prepared for vegan or vegetarian diners as well.
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There is a lot of interesting history surrounding this next entry on our list. Columbia is not only still run by the same family that opened the restaurant in 1905, but it is also Florida’s oldest restaurant. There are multiple locations around Florida, but the original is in Tampa’s Ybor City. Dining is casual, but men must wear shirts with sleeves. Be sure to get a reservation and check out the flamenco dance show with your dinner. Don’t miss out on their Cuban sandwich. They still use the original 1915 recipe and it’s not one you want to miss.
6 Blue Heaven
If you’re in Key West do yourself a favor and stop by Blue Heaven for a meal. After you spend the day checking out the architecture of and maybe Hemingway's home and museum, head down the road to Blue Heaven. This laid-back restaurant has outdoor dining where chickens roam among the diners. Don’t leave before you have a piece of their renown key lime pie.
5 Bern’s Steakhouse
If a delicious steak sounds like your perfect meal then Bern’s Steakhouse should certainly be on your list of restaurants to eat at when in Florida. Bern’s steps it up to the next level by cutting their prime steaks to order. They also serve vegetables from Bern’s farm when they are in season. Guests can get a tour of the wine cellar and the kitchen for an extra behind the scenes treat, but of course, the real treat is their famous dessert room. When you visit Bern’s there’s a large choice of options on their menu, but you’ll never go wrong with one of their steaks.
4 Satchel’s Pizza
The next stop on our food tour of Florida is Satchel’s Pizza in Gainesville. It’s debatable whether the pizza or the décor is the best part of this dining experience. You can eat in a plane, a van, or even a greenhouse. There’s often live music playing as well as a playground for the kids to run around and work out some energy. While you’re there be sure to try the pizza and the homemade soda to wash it down.
3 The Old Spanish Sugar Mill
This unique spot is charming for a few reasons. Originally a mill that was created to crush sugar cane using water from the spring beside it. When the Old Spanish Sugar Mill was scheduled to be destroyed Peter Schwarze decided to lease the mill and bring it back to its former glory, with a twist. He created the restaurant and now visitors sit at tables with griddles in the middle so they can make their own pancakes. Diners are brought pitchers of batter and can order a variety of extras like chocolate chips, bananas, blueberries, to add to their cakes. It’s a fun experience that shouldn’t be missed, along with the pancakes.
2 Frenchy’s Cafe
Frenchy’s Café has multiple locations, but the original is on Clearwater beach. They are famous for their grouper sandwich, although there is no shortage of other fantastic seafood options on the menu as well. With multiple locations, there's sure to be a menu that fits with your appetite. If you’re not full when you walk away, that’s all on you. Don’t pass on the grouper sandwich.
The last spot on our list goes to Versailles Cuban Restaurant in Miami. This world-famous restaurant has been around since 1971, offering up authentic and delicious Cuban cuisine. You can take the whole family here for a reasonably priced meal and with an expansive menu, you’ll find something for everyone. Try the Versailles Especial for the perfect lunch and you'll be planning your next trip before you leave.