Food is one of the most important cultural elements of modern society. You can learn a lot about a place’s traditions and society from the food they eat and the restaurants that provide food both to locals and tourists.
Florida is one of the most populated states in the USA. It has a diverse, multicultural population that varies significantly in culinary culture. You can plan a short road trip through the Sunshine State, making some stops along the way to eat at some of the best restaurants in Florida.
Photo courtesy of Café Tu Tu Tango
Café Tu Tu Tango has been bringing food, art, and fun to Orlando’s tourism corridor on International Drive for over 30 years. Guests can enjoy live entertainment and work by resident artists in the restaurant. The walls are packed with local and international paintings and chances are when you visit, there will be an artist painting live.
The tapas-style, small-plate menu offers a diverse selection of shareable dishes. For stoners and food apasionados alike, this type of food is perfect because you get to share and try a wide variety of plates. Art-inspired craft cocktails, signature sangrias, beer, and wine are available on the beverage menu.
Since it opened in 1913, the restaurant has been filling the bellies of hungry customers with its famous stone crabs. This eatery is a staple throughout Miami’s long and colorful history.
Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach is possibly the most famous restaurant in Florida, beloved by both locals and tourists who enjoy seafood. Visit this historic landmark and soak in its historic grandeur. Bask in a seafood dining adventure with Joe’s menu of seafood, steaks, and fried chicken, or indulge in a slice of decadent key lime pie.
Photo courtesy of Komodo
Komodo is located in Miami’s rapidly growing Brickell neighborhood. The three-story restaurant and lounge serve stunning Southeast Asian cuisine with a Miami party vibe. This restaurant is well renowned for its innovative and great-tasting menu that entices body and soul in a culinary journey.
You can take a walk around the restaurant to decide which of the floating, birds-nest-style seats to take. Signature Asian dishes include Peking duck, citrus miso black cod, and perfectly sliced sashimi and nigiri.
The Ravenous Pig is one of Florida’s most talked-about restaurants, and for good reason. For four years in a row, owners and chefs James and Julie Petrakis have been named semi-finalists by the James Beard Foundation.
Most of the dishes on the menu are made with local, seasonal ingredients. Some examples include the house-cured meats on the charcuterie and cheese platter and the decadent mushroom and gruyere beignets.
After your meal, head next door to Ravenous Pig Brewing Co. and enjoy freshly made sweet and spicy caramel corn while sipping a cold beer. What better combination than thoughtful, conscientious food and a delicious draft after a nice joint?
Photo courtesy of Hunt’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant
Hunt’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant in Panama City is regarded as an institution. This is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in Florida. You can indulge in the fresh catch, including grouper sandwiches and grilled crab cakes, as well as their famous three-cheese Cajun baked oysters.
They’ve been serving delicious oyster platters to hungry customers for over a half-century, earning a reputation as one of Florida’s best dining options. This family-run restaurant offers a diverse menu of seafood options.
Ice Plant Bar is a farm-to-table restaurant located in a 1927 ice plant building. When food is made to be aware of the local sources and availability of produce it is far more conscientious and sustainable.
When possible, the restaurant sources seafood from St. Augustine and the surrounding areas, and produce is brought in from local farms to ensure the freshest dishes possible. The bartenders are extremely proud of their craft cocktail menu, which features drinks made with house-pressed juices and specially crafted syrups.
Saint Augustine is a site to behold on its own. The Spanish influence of the old town and the stunning beaches make this place one of the most popular destinations in Florida. Spice connoisseurs will be pleased to learn that many dishes on the menu include datil peppers, a hot pepper native to St. Augustine.
Photo courtesy of Columbia Restaurant
Ybor City is a traditional neighborhood Northeast of Downtown Tampa with rich Cuban and Latino influence and eateries. The Columbia Restaurant has become a Florida institution, with locations throughout the state.
True connoisseurs know that the original location of Columbia Restaurant is in Ybor City, where it was first opened back in 1905. Authentic Cuban sandwiches, black bean soup, and Cuban coffee are available at the restaurant. One of the things you need to try is The Columbia’s signature garlic dressing, served with the 1905 salad which is tossed tableside.
Photo courtesy of Versailles Cuban Restaurant
Since 1971, Versailles, a Cuban diner, has been a culinary icon in Little Havana. This culturally rich eatery is the perfect place to grab a bite of Cuban food. The place has been enticing tourists with its vivacious flavors for quite some time now.
Inside, admire the golden chandeliers and mirrors before diving into the extensive menu of classic Cuban cuisine. Enjoy ham croquetas, Medianoche sandwiches, and heaping portions of rice and black beans. You can also stop by the outdoor takeaway window for your morning guava pastries and cafe Cubano.
Bern’s Steak House is a Tampa landmark known for its extensive wine collection, perfectly aged steaks, and an upstairs dessert room. It has the world’s largest private wine collection of any restaurant and has been in operation since 1956.
This restaurant offers its guests a one-of-a-kind dining experience with locally grown vegetables and 21 caviar options. The opportunity to indulge in its meticulously cooked steaks will entice you, but it is the top-notch service that keeps patrons returning decade after decade.
O’steens, a local and visitor favorite, has a steady line and clientele. This over 50-year-old seafood joint is known for its delicious fried shrimp, Minorcan clam chowder, and side of hush puppies.
With its mouthwatering seafood selections and laid-back, enjoyable atmosphere, O’steens, located on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, has discovered the secret to success. Their menu is fresh and will have you wanting to return for more!