Dining & NightlifeFoodies
If you’re a real “foodie”, then your travels are less about all the activities a destination offers and more about planning your next meal. Am I right? It’s all about trying new foods in new places. Whether you’re craving southern fried food in a mom and pop setting or delicious dishes by candlelight, Amelia Island’s diverse food scene will keep your taste buds happy and your mouth watering for more.
Check into a real home away from home for the next three days by reserving a vacation rental on Amelia Island. Whether it’s a beach front condo, home on the golf course, or bungalow in the historic district, that perfect property is awaiting with all the comforts of home and special amenities such as stunning ocean views, tennis courts, marsh front lanai’s and of course your own kitchen to whip up some gourmet meals if the mood strikes you.
The first order of business is lunch at iconic T-Ray’s Burger Station, a locally-owned Fernandina Beach favorite. Located in a former Exxon service station, T-Ray Mullis and his family have been serving up breakfast and lunch to hungry diners for over 20 years. The menu is simplistic, eclectic and oh so good with everything from a fried bologna sandwich to some of the best fried shrimp you’ll eat anywhere. But, it’s their burgers that folks can’t get enough of and USA Today agreed by naming them One of the 51 Best Burger Joints in the US. Popular with locals and tourists alike, T-Ray’s serves good home cookin’ at a great price done the right way.
INSIDER TIP: Get there early!
Get to know Amelia Island a bit better by taking a ride into history with Amelia Island Historic Tours. Learn why we’re known as the ‘Isle of Eight Flags’, what princess we were named for, which pirate hid his treasure here, and what one man set his sights on connecting Florida from east to west by railroad, while also making political history. We’re an island with a storied past…some good and some not so good. The tour guides will keep you on the edge of your seat and clamoring for more facts, legends and stories.
Burlingame Restaurant, located in the heart of downtown Fernandina Beach, is as cool as the restored 1940’s home it sits in. The small, seasonally changing menu created by a talented young local chef, makes sure that folks never get tired of the same ol’ same ol’. It’s relaxed fine dining coupled with an interesting and eclectic selection of wines, craft cocktails and beers.
Here’s what some foodies recently visiting from Charleston had to say: “The food was really amazing. Pork Osso Buco slow cooked via sous vide for 48 hours with mash and NY Strip with mash. Soooo goooood. Would definitely put this on our places to revisit.”
Day two takes you to the southern end of the island and begins with a full belly from the Sunrise Cafe at the Omni Amelia Island Resort. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean while dining on Amelia Island’s most indulgent breakfast. The “Morning Table” buffet will make sure you don’t leave hungry with choices of French toast, cold smoked salmon, eggs any way you want them, pecanwood smoked bacon and much more. Dine on the outdoor terrace or in their spacious dining room.
Since you’ve spent your entire breakfast looking at the ocean and beach, why not head down for a heart-healthy walk or a mind-calming stroll. Either way, you’re sure to unload a few of those breakfast calories to prepare you for your next dining destination. Edged with natural Appalachian quartz sand and framed by sand dunes as high as 40 feet, Amelia Island’s shores have long been a source of beauty. Rest a spell and close your eyes to the rhythmic music of the ocean waves lapping on the shore. It really doesn’t get much better than this. Afterwards, join one of Omni Amelia Island Resort’s chefs for a tour of The Sprouting Project, their culinary team’s answer to local sustainability. Guests will tour the resort’s state-of-the-art aquaponic greenhouse, expansive organic garden, collection of beehives and Barrel Room. Intimate farm-to-table dinners are served once a month.
Pogo’s Kitchen is a place to laugh and eat with friends and family in a cozy casual restaurant with banquet seating, a great bar menu, covered outdoor seating and a private dining room featuring a wall of wine. Simple cocktails and wine selections are set to a menu that celebrates a bayou medley of inventive flavors paying tribute to all places South. Inspired by the cultures and traditions found from Memphis to Havana and beyond, Pogo’s specializes in delicious handmade southern cuisine that’ll have you planning your next visit before you leave.
Later in the afternoon, pick up your favorite beverage and head to the downtown docks for an Adult BYOB River Cruise. Viewing the island by water is highly recommended and Amelia River Cruises makes everything better with a storytelling captain and live local musicians on board. Try to spot the wild horses on Cumberland Island and ride by Fort Clinch State Park for a peak at the Civil War fort from the water. Make sure you take lots of selfies and tag us with #LoveAmelia & #AmeliaIslandMemories.
The AAA Five Diamond, Salt Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, is the crème de la crème in dining experiences. Oozing romance, the view over the water is just a hint of what’s to come. Serving fresh fish, aged steaks and unique culinary creations, this fine dining restaurant uses more than 40 salts from around the world to add depth and flavor to its already wonderful dishes. Meals like these will be etched in your Amelia memory banks.
INSIDER TIP: Consider booking the SALT CHEF’S TABLE EXPERIENCE for breathtaking vistas of ocean and dunes.
Kick off day 3 at Garden Street Bistro where breakfast is served all day, every day. Not only do they specialize in original menu items, but they also have incredible, freshly baked daily, bread, burgers, crab cakes, wraps and mouthwatering specials. Sit inside or outside in the courtyard beneath wisteria vines.
The Amelia Island Culinary Academy has teamed up with a bike rental shop, several of the island’s best restaurants and a local fruit stand to create a rollin’ Food & Bike Tour like no other. Experience nature at it’s best while pedaling along the tree-canopied south-end bike trails where frequent stops are made at some of the tastiest eateries. This 3-hour unique tour offers a relaxed way to discover Amelia Island’s history and food culture… and your taste buds will be oh so happy!
Enjoy your last meal on Amelia Island in luxury and style at David’s Restaurant and Lounge. With a knowledgable staff dedicated to serving award-winning prime steaks and unique seafood, it’s no wonder David’s has been selected for the Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award as well as the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for several years in a row. Get there a little early so you can begin your relaxing dining experience in the comfortable roomy lounge with a full bar and special martini menu.
But wait, there’s more?! After diner, walk a couple blocks over on Centre St. to The Decantery, the island’s premier wine, craft beer and cocktail lounge. In addition to an exceptional and unique wine selection, The Decantery offers delectable homemade desserts and accoutrements. A great finale to your foodie weekend!
These suggestions are just a sneak peek of all Amelia Island has to offer as you plan your Foodie Getaway. Discover more and plan your perfect trip on www.AmeliaIsland.com for a complete list of places to stay, eat and play. We’re looking forward to seeing you back here for years to come.