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THE AMELIA ISLAND INSIDER

Amelia Island restaurants we love

Want to know where the locals eat in Amelia Island? Then you’re in the right place. Whet your appetite and enjoy your breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack, or dinner from these local spots, based on our own experiences and recommendations from past guests!

Looking for more local thoughts? Try our list of events worth traveling for, guide to beaches, or be sure to grab your perfect vacation rental while you’re here!

Coffee

  • Amelia Island Coffee: This local, downtown coffee shop opens at 7 AM and has a well-established reputation as a local favorite. Plenty of high-quality coffee drinks for anyone, but also a variety of other options – from beverages to ice cream (hey, you’re on vacation, right?!) – that make it a worthwhile morning or early-afternoon stop.

Other options: 7 Brew Coffee and Starbucks are both located near the Island Walk Shopping Center in the center of the island, near plenty of shopping. And some of the breakfast spots, below, will have good coffee options to pair with your meal.

Breakfast/Brunch

  • Ms. Carolyn’s: A staple, with a good variety of breakfast fare from pancakes and omelettes to breakfast wraps and tacos. It can be quite busy as it’s frequented by many on the island. They also serve lunch.
  • Aloha Bagel & Bakery: A bagel shop close to downtown, you get large bagels and plenty of cream cheese … or toppings … or whatever you want. The portion sizes are generous, so you’ll feel good about the value – especially with a full stomach!
  • Sunrise Cafe: Located in the Omni Resort, you’re going for the views (and island food tastes so much better when enjoying the view). Reservations are required so you can get through the gate, but their buffet (“The Morning Table”) has a nice spread that’ll make sure you’re full.
  • Beach Diner: A popular spot, with a variety of breakfast sandwiches – but we love the “Eggs on the Bayou” which has bacon, crab meat, and Hollandaise sauce. Plenty of kid-friendly options, too!

Other options: Garden Street Bistro has lovely waffle options that are sure to please.

Lunch

  • T-Rays Burger Station: Get a burger however you like, and thank us later. Their fish sandwiches are tasty, too.
  • Cafe Karibo: A very enjoyable mix of fresh salads that are just a bit different, buttoned-up sandwiches, appetizers (like Thai spring rolls or Crabby Con Queso) and homemade desserts. Also has a stocked bar and varied dinner menu – there’s a reason they continue to be well-rated anywhere you look.
  • Brett’s Waterway Cafe: Some of the best views from downtown while you’re eating delicious seafood? Yes, please! When the weather’s nice, dining outside is the way to go – while the menu is primarily American-style, a few of the Cajun-style dishes just taste better when you’re feeling the wind and watching the boats come and go.
  • España Restaurant & Tapas: This is where travelers go when they want something local … but different. Offering Spanish and Portuguese flavors in a method perfect for sharing and tasting many different dishes, it consistently rates as a vacationer’s favorite. Be sure to try the paella.

Other good options: For pizza, try Arte Pizza. Casual seafood? Salt Life Food Shack and The Salty Pelican are popular choices. And Sliders is a fun spot right on the beach.

Dinner

  • Wicked Bao: A popular spot with steamed buns, rice bowls, ramen, other Asian comfort foods. Try a signature sake sangria to start and the manga mochi to finish!
  • Burlingame Restaurant: Great for a happy hour or fine dining that has some of the better outdoor seating options when the weather allows. Has a pared-down menu for food so be sure to visit their website before going to ensure it’s to your taste – and the extensive wine list surely will be.
  • David’s Restaurant & Lounge: Upscale dining in the heart of downtown focused on seafood, steaks, and wine options – their caviar menu is impressive. The wine selection is excellent and this rates as a favorite for a date night. Try the Beef Carpaccio appetizer and take it from there!
  • Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro: Another fine dining option but with a bit more laid-back/casual atmosphere and focus on surf-and-turf. A solid wine and cocktail list to accompany, as well.

Other good options: There’s plenty to choose from! Salt is highly-rated and located in the Ritz-Carlton. Lagniappe’s pulled pork spring rolls are a favorite opening dish, as are the oyster selections as Pogo’s Kitchen.

Bars

  • Bar Zin Bistro & Wine Bar: They kept growing throughout the 2010s but in 2021 decided to focus on a more intimate experience. If you’re hungry while there, the New Zealand lamb lollipop is delightfully different.
  • The Decantary: A great place to unwind. The atmosphere is very different (in a good way) as you’re surrounded by hundreds of different bottles – but with plenty of open seating.
  • The Patio at 5th and Ash: If you’re looking for live music, an outdoor environment filled with laughter and happy conversations, and a good mix of cocktails and wines, this is for you.
  • PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden: A great stop for those who love craft beer, with a very relaxed atmosphere and open most of the day.

Other good options: Disco Witch Brewing and Marlin & Barrel Distillery are local favorites that are well worth stopping by and tasting or simply relaxing. Lots of local favorites from these two!

And of course, if you’d love a place to stay …

…we recommend you give us a try for your luxury vacation rental in Amelia Island!

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