Downtown Fernandina Historic District RestaurantsLuca’s On Centre –614 Centre Street. Serving seafood (including raw bar), Italian, French and Mediterranean selections. Luca’s is the new venture of local restauranteur, Luca Misciasci, owner of popular Ciao Bistro of Centre Street. (Note: Luca’s has revived a local favorite, the “Bento Box,” a popular item served by the former Bonito Grill). The Bento Box offers “Tempura Fish, Black Bean Cake, Ginger Salad and Gyoza.” See complete menu at Luca’s On Center website.
Sabbia, “Mediterranean Street Food” — 11 North 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach. The new venture of the Tizzano family (owners of popular Arte Pizza downtown on the same street a block away). Sabbia’s menu includes pita and dips, Gyros, Souvlaki, Greek Salad, Keftedes (Greek meatballs), shrimp and crab fritters, “My Big Fat Greek Mac n Cheese,” Paninis and more.
Burlingame Restaurant — 20 S. 5th Street, Fernandina Beach. A newcomer to Fernandina’s fine dining scene is Burlingame, with “seasonally inspired menu, top quality ingredients and native products of the southern coastal region.” Chef Chad Livingston was formerly with “Salt,” the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton’s fine dining restaurant, and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. The summer menu features seafood, duck, steak, pork and pasta entrees. See Burlingame Restaurant website for more information.The Amelia Tavern Restaurant and Brewpub — 318 Centre Street, Fernandina (at corner of South 4th). The Tavern features an impressive setting with industrial/loft feel, high ceilings, sky lights and three unique glass garage-type doors that roll up opening the front of the Tavern to the Centre Street sidewalk. There’s a huge bar and big TV screens to watch sports. See more photos and info at The Amelia Tavern website.
The Picnic Basket, 503-A Centre Street. With its cheerful yellow facade and blue striped awning, it’s hard to miss this colorful addition to Centre Street. Just one of the to-go picnics is “A Day At The Beach,” with three cheeses, two charcuterie meats, black olive hummus, pickled veges, pasta salad, crostinis and housemade cookies. Daily fresh baked goods include muffins and scones. Catering service also available. See full menu and more info at The Picnic Basket website.
The Patio Place 416 Ash Street, Fernandina Beach. Bistro, Coffee/Wine Bar, Creperie, “a fresh service, casual, gathering place with unique food offerings.” Featuring sweet and savory crepes, salads, soups, homemade hummus, fresh seasonal fare. Enjoy outdoor patio and live entertainment some evenings. See photos, menu and more at The Patio Place website.
Lechonera el Coqui, 232 North 2nd, Street, Fernandina Beach. Slightly off the beaten path, this new restaurant downtown (at former location of Wicked Davey’s Saloon), features Puerto Rican cuisine. See more at Lechonera el Coqui Facebook page. ___________________________Le Clos, 20 S. 2nd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 261-8100. Fine dining French restaurant, Le Clos, serves dishes by candlelight in a charming 1906 cottage. Reservations are recommended well in advance. This is a very popular dining establishment with excellent reputation. Extensive wine list.
Cafe Karibo, 27 North 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 277-5269. Casual atmosphere, long track record downtown, very popular with locals and visitors. Indoor dining plus outdoor courtyard and upper deck. The restaurant welcomed a new addition to its staff in May 2017, Chef Tim Meredith (who formerly helped open The Grill Room, the original fine dining restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in its early days on Amelia Island, working under Chef Matthew Medure). Next door, the adjoining KARIBREW PUB features freshly brewed beer. See more at Cafe Karibo’s website.
Timoti’s Seafood Shak, 21 N 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach (904)310-6550. Serving wild caught seafood prepared fried, grilled or blackened, tacos, PO’Boys, salads and bowls. Small seating area inside and outdoor seating at covered picnic tables plus a neat pirate ship play structure for kids. See more at Timoti’s website.
ARTE PIZZA, located at 109 North 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach. Wood fired oven, thin-crust style pizza is their specialty. Large menu includes pasta, chicken, salads and seafood (including shrimp mac-n-cheese). Eat in or take out, call (904)277-1515. Also visit Arte Pizza’s website.
Pi Infinite Combinations, NY-Style Pizza Joint, 19 S. 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, 904-432-8535. Featuring big NY-style pies (or by the slice). Lovely outdoor courtyard with fountain. Eat in or carry out. Place order, table assigned, self-serve beverage station.SALTY PELICAN, 12 N. Front Street (904)277-3811. A waterfront restaurant with second-floor deck overlooking the Amelia River near foot of Centre Street (along the railroad tracks). The restaurant features 14 big-screen televisions, two bars plus waterfront view (nice spot to take in a sunset). Popular with locals and tourists alike, the Salty Pelican features its signature broiled oysters. See full menu at Salty Pelican website.
LuLu’s at the Thompson House – Tucked away at 11 South 7th Street downtown, don’t miss cozy LuLu’s serving lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch (reservations recommended), 904-432-8394, see LuLu’s menu at their website.
Happy Tomato Courtyard Cafe & BBQ, 7 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, Phone: (904) 321-0707. Menu includes chicken salad, pimento cheese sandwiches and great BBQ (some think it’s the best on island), and is a local favorite. See more info at Happy Tomato Cafe’s website.
HOLA! Cuban Cafe — 904-321-0163. Unique in Fernandina serving authentic Cuban cuisine (Cuban coffee, pressed sandwiches & more), HOLA is located behind the Palace Saloon (Centre Street & North 2nd). Check out the full menu at HOLA’s website.Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen, 8th Street at corner of Elm. Featuring celebrity chef, Kenny Gilbert, he gained national fame participating in BRAVO’s “Restaurant Wars” Top Chef D.C. competition. Returning to the area in 2015, Gilbert was formerly a chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in its early years back in the 90s. Besides Southern specialties and barbeque, daily international specials based on his travels and career are served (i.e., Italian, Asian, Mediterranean). Visit Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen website for more info, menu.
Espana Restaurant, 22 S. 4th St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 261-7700, http://www.espanadowntown.com Specializing in traditional Spanish and Portuguese dishes. Menu includes varied hot and cold tapas, steaks, fish, paella, and homemade sangria. Indoor dining room, enclosed patio dining or outdoor garden dining.
29 South Restaurant, located at 29 South 3rd Street in Fernandina. (904)277-7919. Chic neighborhood bistro offering fresh ingredients from local sources when possible. (They have a chef’s garden behind the restaurant.) Grilled pizza and sandwiches also available. See the 29 South website for full menu and more details.David’s Restaurant, 802 Ash Street at corner of 8th Street. Opened by the Hoyt House innkeepers, this fine dining restaurant is located half a block from the historic Hoyt House. David’s also offers a beautiful cocktail lounge with live entertainment some evenings and a private dining wine room that can be reserved. Call 904-310-6049 for reservations, visit David’s website www.AmeliaIslandDavids.com.
Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro,14 S. 2nd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 321-2558. Website: http://www.joesbistro.com Fine dining restaurant offers new American cuisine with influences from Italian, French, Creole, Asian and South of the Border cooking along with fresh baked bread, homemade ice cream, sorbets and signatures desserts. Dine in restored 1900’s home or outside by the fountain in New Orleans-inspired courtyard.
Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina, located at 530 Centre Street in Fernandina (904) 277-2011. The cantina offers a cocktail bar with windows overlooking historic Centre Street, plus outdoor patio seating.
Casual Beach Restaurants & Beach BarsSliders Seaside Grill located at 1998 South Fletcher Avenue (at roundabout at Sadler Road), Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 277-6652. An Amelia Island landmark located on oceanfront property, one of only two restaurant/bars on Amelia Island (non-resort property), that are actually right on the beach (the other being Sandy Bottoms). There’s a large covered tiki bar area and outdoor patio with live evening entertainment. Also playground equipment for patrons with kids. For more info, visit Sliders website.
SANDY BOTTOMS CLOSED! NEW RESTAURANT TO OPEN
Old-timer Sandy Bottoms, one of only two beach bar/restaurants on Amelia Island (located in non-resort property) that was right on the beach with an outdoor patio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, has closed. Underway is a total renovation of the space at Main Beach Park. The new restaurant/bar is called the Sandbar & Kitchen, with estimated opening in late spring or early summer 2017.
The Surf, 3199 S. Fletcher Ave., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 261-5711. http://www.thesurfonline.com The Surf Restaurant & Bar provides a casual beach atmosphere located across the street from the ocean. Dine indoors or out on our huge ocean view deck, and enjoy live entertainment.
Fine Dining at Amelia Island’s Luxury ResortsSalt At The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island — AAA Five Diamond award winner multiple years. One of only three Florida restaurants awarded Five Diamonds in 2017. Enjoy a rare fine dining experience at Salt, (valet parking, jackets suggested, reservations recommended). Or visit the new Lobby Lounge Bar featuring a special daily bourbon presentation. Also available at the Lobby Bar, Ritz sushi chefs present the freshest seafood with house specialties including the “Amelia Roll.” Located at 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy., Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Florida. Phone: 904-277-1100. Another dining option is the Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, Coast.
The Verandah, Omni Amelia Island Plantation — Phone: 904-277-5958. Enjoy fine dining at the Verandah on Amelia Island Plantation (near the tennis complex). The Verandah offers resort casual dining featuring lots of seafood, located off First Coast Highway at 142 Racquet Park Drive.
The newest restaurant opening at the Omni Resort property in 2016 is Bob’s Steak and Chop House, located at the Spa & Shops Village off First Coast Highway.
Other Casual Island Restaurants
Townies Pizzeria & Deli (904-277-4755) Fernandina Beach. Offering specialty pizza, wings, salads, sandwiches and more. Townies also delivers around Amelia Island and Yulee (even “late night” deliveries on the weekend).
Moon River Pizza, 925 South 14th Street (near Jasmine St.), a favorite of locals, in small strip plaza. Kid-friendly, great pizza, salads, calzones, serving wine and beer. (904)321-3400.
Loop Pizza Grill. Family-style eatery (order at counter then seat yourself at a table). Burgers, pizza, salads, and great thick shakes. Sadler Road and South 14th Street. (904) 321-0093.
Barbara Jean’s Restaurant ,960030 Gateway Blvd., Amelia Island, FL 32034 (located on the marsh). Phone: (904) 277-3700. A favorite of locals who like home-style cooking, comfort foods like pot roast and meat loaf. Known for their crab cakes and fresh bread basket.
Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse, 1147 Amelia Plaza, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Phone: (904) 277-8782. Kabuki chefs, masters of Ancient Art of Japanese Teppanyaki cookery, will entertain as dinner is prepared at your table. Sushi chefs also serve custom made sushi rolls and platters.