Florida is best known for its amusement parks, orange crops, winter veggies, the Kennedy Space Center, and scenic beaches, but another quiet scene silently thrives.
Hidden in plain sight behind the extravagant resorts and beautiful warm weather is the zesty food in Florida; a culinary movement shaped by its rich diversity of people. With 1 in every 5 Floridians being an immigrant, residents bring with them a melting pot of culture, history, and arguably the best food this country has to offer.
With 3 out of 4 of the United States’ top 4 foodie cities being in Florida, it should come as no surprise that location has much to do with it. With the Gulf of Mexico on one end and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, foodies are traveling from all over the world to get a taste of Florida’s seafood and Mediterranean scene.
These cities include:
- Orlando – ranked number 1
- Miami – ranked number 3
- Tampa – ranked number 4
Here are some of Florida’s most well-known restaurants, their locations, and more!
Bagatelle, Miami Beach
Located in South Beach on the corner of 21st and Collins Avenue, Bagatelle offers French Mediterranean-style food and can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. It has a seasonal menu and a gorgeously constructed interior and outer space. On the walls are an assortment of bold graffiti art and classic decor’.
If you’re on the lookout for fine-dining in a luxurious space, this is the restaurant to be.
The Floridian, St. Augustine
With a menu described by its locals as authentic and regional, The Floridian uses fresh ingredients, Southern comfort entrees, and lighter, healthier dishes that are easy on the stomach. It’s most well-known for its seasonable meats, veggies, breads and cheeses, and seafood.
Vegetarians will also be happy to know there is a hefty assortment of options available for them, too.
The Columbian, Ybor City
Being an all-American icon, The Columbian has roots dating back to 1905. It’s Florida’s oldest restaurant and the world’s oldest Spanish restaurant, too. It has a high rating and excellent reviews and arguably has the best food in town.
Get your hands on the Columbian’s Alicante Snapper and Filet Mignon while being entertained by their nightly flamenco dance performances.
There’s even a gift store within that offers hand-rolled Cuban cigars, sangria mix, and more!
Conch Republic Seafood Company, Key West
Sitting on a historical dock in the Key West district, the Conch Republic Seafood Company features aquariums filled with an ecosystem of offshore invertebrates. The menu features fried conch fritters, peel-and-eat shrimp, and a bar with a rich selection of drinks.
With live music playing on most nights, this restaurant is the place to be if you’re looking for an easygoing atmosphere complemented by zesty seafood dining.
Up-the-Creek Raw Bar, Apalachicola
Did you know that 90 percent of Florida’s oysters come from Apalachicola? This means if you’re looking for oysters and are concerned about your next restaurant venture being in short supply, have no fear! Make your way to Up-the-Creek Bar and get your fill. This is an oyster haven!
Up-the-Creek Bar also features vegetarian food and other seafood cuisines, offering more variety for your palette.
The Food in Florida Is a Cultural Melting Pot of Fine Dining
Whether it be their French Mediterranean seafood dining or their Cuban sandwiches, there are few places in the world as richly-packed with culturally-influenced cuisine as Florida’s coastal cities.
Do yourself a favor and book a trip to 1 or 2 or even 3 of these magnificent locations. Give the food in Florida a go and your tastebuds will surely thank you for it!