Savoring the Best Calamari on Amelia Island: 7 Must-Try Spots

September 13, 2023
Amelia Island teal glyph
Amelia Island logo Amelia Island logo
If you've ever explored the Mediterranean regions, you've likely come across variations of fried calamari. This delectable side dish or appetizer involves coating squid in a batter and frying it to a crispy golden hue. After finding its way to the US in the late 1970's, fried calamari quickly became a staple appetizer found in many restaurants across the country. 

Whether you prefer it spicy, sweet, battered, grilled, or served with a unique twist, these seven restaurants on Amelia Island offer a special take on their calamari appetizer. Be sure to give them a try the next time you're visiting and savor the flavors of the sea.
  1. The Boat House

    Located in downtown Fernandina Beach, The Boat House is a popular dining establishment that boasts a diverse and flavorful menu. The fried calamari is a true treat for the taste buds served with sweet chili, awesome sauce, and fried jalapenos! It's a flavor explosion that will leave you craving more. Sit inside or outside. Nightly entertainment. 
  2. The Down Under

    The DOWN UNDER is an iconic southern seafood restaurant located down under the Shave Bridge. With mouthwatering entrees and epic views of the intracoastal waterway, it's a staple dining spot for visitors and locals alike. Their fried calamari features tender tubes and tentacles served with a sweet Thai chili sauce for a zingy match made in seafood heaven. Are you hungry yet? 
  3. Salty Pelican

    For those looking for a tiny bit of spice, Salty Pelican serves their fried calamari with tangy banana peppers for a unique twist on this classic dish. Dunk them in the sweet and spicy chili sauce for a delightful blend of flavors that will leave your taste buds tingling. Dine in the main dining room or climb upstairs for an amazing view of the Amelia River. 
  4. Brett’s Waterway Café

    Imagine watching the sun dip below the horizon, sipping on your favorite adult beverage, and indulging in expertly prepared fresh-caught seafood. Brett’s Waterway Café offers this idyllic experience along with crispy fried calamari rings to start. This is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the island's culinary delights at the end of the day.
  5. Salt Life Food Shack

    Salt Life Food Shack offers calamari rings simply fried and served with their signature shack sauce. The combination of the crispy calamari and the tangy shack sauce is sure to please even the pickiest of palates. Wet your whistle with a frosty cold beverage and be sure to sit on the rooftop deck where the ocean views are nothing short of spectacular. Photo credit: Salt Life Food Shack
  6. Bar Zin Bistro 

    BAR ZIN BISTRO is a relaxed, upbeat indoor/outdoor American Bistro with an abundance of really good wines. Pair a citrusy Chardonnay or Pinot Noir with their calamari that can be flash-fried or grilled. Either option is served with a banana pepper aioli, balsamic glaze, and capers. It's seriously delicious and takes ordinary calamari to the next level. Cheers! Photo credit: Bar Zin
  7. Slider’s Seaside Grill

    SLIDERS SEASIDE GRILL has a little bit of everything for everyone. It's smack on the ocean with an outdoor Tiki Bar for the adults and a playground for the kids. Try a unique twist on calamari with lightly dusted rings, flash-fried to perfection. What sets this dish apart is the house-made Tobasco aioli, which adds a delightful kick to every bite. Photo credit: Slider Seaside Grill

    NOTE: Although we didn't mention them all, many island restaurants offer tasty calamari. Visit all the yummy eateries here and find the ones that suit your appetit best!


You may also be interested in...


Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: A Flavorful Journey

September 6, 2023

Read Post

See All Blog Posts

Located just off the coast of northeast Florida, Amelia Island is easy to reach, but hard to forget. With 13 miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island has long been a beloved destination for visitors and residents alike.