20 Best Restaurants in Amelia Island, FL

This article was written by local contributor James Selwyn & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Amelia Island, FL
CHARLES MORRA / shutterstock.com

Amelia Island is a beautiful oasis nestled just off the coast of Northeast Florida.

This enchanting barrier island has not only stolen my heart with its pristine beaches, historic charm, and lush nature preserves, but it has also captured my taste buds.

As someone who's had the pleasure of calling this paradise home, I've made it my mission to explore and savor the vast culinary landscape Amelia Island has to offer.

From mouthwatering seafood to delectable Southern comfort food and innovative fusion cuisine, there's something for every palate.

So, join me as I take you on a gastronomic adventure through my personal list of the best 20 restaurants in Amelia Island, Florida.

Trust me; you'll be in for a treat!

Twisted Table

Food at Twisted Table

One weekend morning, I decided to try out a new breakfast spot in town called Twisted Table.

I was pleasantly surprised by the fast and friendly service.

I ordered the meat lovers quiche, which came with a side of toasted potatoes and a small salad.

I also enjoyed a delicious cappuccino while I waited for my meal.

The food was not only tasty but also reasonably priced.

I noticed that they offer breakfast cocktails too, which is a nice option for those looking to spice up their morning.

The ambiance of the café was quaint and inviting, with a homey atmosphere that made me feel comfortable and relaxed.

As I enjoyed my meal, I couldn't help but overhear other customers raving about their dishes.

The meat lovers' quiche and stuffed French toast seemed to be a big hit, and I made a mental note to try them out next time.

Another customer mentioned how much they enjoyed the pimiento cheese and crackers, which I will definitely add to my list of things to try.

On top of the great food and atmosphere, the service at Twisted Table was impeccable.

Wicked Bao

Buns at Wicked Bao

Wicked Bao is a trendy eatery that provides a delightful Asian comfort food experience, with dishes such as pork ramen, Taiwanese buns, and kimchi fried rice.

The moment you walk in, you're greeted by a friendly cashier who helps you review the chalkboard menu, place your order, and find a table.

As someone who doesn't eat beef but loves kimchi, I appreciate how they're always willing to customize my kimchi fried rice without beef.

The food is absolutely delicious, and the service is exceptional.

The ambiance in the historical building adds to the overall experience, and the location in downtown Fernandina Beach is just perfect.

I can't stress enough how much I enjoy the food at Wicked Bao.

I recommend trying their noodle bowls and rice bowls; and don't forget to pair your meal with a refreshing cocktail or Vietnamese coffee.

Overtime Bar & Grill

Sandwich at Overtime Bar & Grill

I remember the first time I visited Overtime Bar & Grill, located in a nondescript location on 8th St.

The bar is small, and there's an 8-table dining area next to the bar with multiple TVs on any wall.

It's definitely a place where I could see myself enjoying a fabulous football Sunday!

One thing that always stands out to me is their menu.

They offer the best whole chicken wings in town, and their ice-cold beer is perfect for washing down the delicious food.

My buddies and I decided to order the Thai jalapeno poppers as a starter, which were served with a Thai spiced chili glaze and a creamy dipping sauce.

They were properly crispy and not greasy at all.

For the main course, we shared buffalo wings with house-made blue cheese dressing.

The wings were big, meaty, juicy, and super crispy – absolutely delicious!

I also had the chance to try their fried grouper sandwich, which was served on a toasted brioche bun with lemon/dill tartar sauce.

The fish was super fresh, crispy, greaseless, and HUGE – a real home run.

To top it all off, the service was fantastic throughout the evening.

Hola Cuban Cafe

Cuban sandwich at Hola Cuban Cafe

As a fan of Cuban cuisine, I always make it a point to visit Hola Cuban Cafe whenever I get the chance.

The cafe offers a variety of authentic Cuban sandwiches, coffee, and pastries at great prices, and their delivery option makes it even more convenient for those days when I just want to enjoy their delicious food at home.

One of my favorite things about Hola Cuban Cafe is their Cuban sandwich, which I can confidently say is one of the best I've ever had.

The authenticity of the sandwich never fails to impress me, and the Café con Leché is just perfect!

The people working there, from the sweet ladies at the counter to the folks putting things together in the kitchen, are always friendly and consistent in delivering a great experience.

The cafe itself is very clean and inviting, and the charming patio outside is an added bonus.

It's always a pleasure to sit there and listen to live music from across the street while enjoying a delicious meal.

On my last visit, I tried their guava and cheese pastry, and it was simply divine.

The flaky pastry combined with the delicious guava and cheese filling made it an unforgettable treat.

Aside from the fantastic food, I also appreciate Hola Cuban Cafe's efforts in providing a comfortable environment for their customers, with fans and umbrellas to keep us cool in the heat.

It's no wonder that I always look forward to my next visit to this amazing Cuban cafe, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves authentic Cuban food.

The Patio at 5th and Ash

Grouper at The Patio at 5th and Ash

Last weekend, I decided to treat myself to a relaxing evening at The Patio at 5th and Ash, a charming restaurant in Fernandina Beach.

I had been hearing great things about this spot from friends and was excited to experience it for myself.

Upon arriving, I immediately fell in love with the ambiance.

The inside of the restaurant seamlessly blended with the outdoor patio, offering a unique and delightful setting.

I was greeted warmly by the host, who personalized the experience by addressing me by my name throughout the evening.

I decided to sit at the bar, where I enjoyed their everyday happy hour from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

The happy hour wines were half-price, and the bartender, Scotty, provided a generous pour.

I appreciated the attentive service and friendly atmosphere.

For dinner, I ordered the Blackened Grouper with steamed vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes - a delicious dish that exceeded my expectations.

The menu featured a creative mix of seafood, salads, and other options, ensuring there was something for everyone.

One of the highlights of my evening was discovering that The Patio at 5th and Ash is dog-friendly.


Steak at Salt

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of dining at Salt, a high-end restaurant located in the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Amelia Island.

From the moment I walked in, I was captivated by the contemporary coastal setting and the promise of brilliantly-flavored food crafted from simple elements of the earth and sea.

I couldn't resist trying their popular octopus appetizer, which was deliciously prepared and incredibly tender.

My dining companion raved about the crudo, and we ended up ordering a second serving because it was just that good.

For our entrees, we enjoyed the succulent Dover sole, lobster, beef tenderloin, and waygu, all of which were cooked to perfection and tailored to our dietary restrictions.

The food truly lived up to Salt's reputation for upscale dining and elegant flavors.

The meal was complemented by their extensive selection of over 300 wines, which made it easy to find the perfect pairing for each dish.

One of the highlights of our evening was the chance to sample different salts from around the world, which were served with freshly baked bread.

It was a unique and delightful touch that added to the overall dining experience.

And, of course, we couldn't leave without indulging in dessert.

The vegan chocolate cake was simply divine.

The Happy Tomato Courtyard Café & BBQ

West coast veggie at The Happy Tomato Courtyard Café & BBQ

I had the pleasure of dining at The Happy Tomato Courtyard Café & BBQ recently, and I can't wait to go back.

The cozy, homey atmosphere and the lovely patio make this place a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy a delicious meal in a pleasant environment.

I decided to try the West Coast Veggie with a side of pasta salad, which was 100% vegan and absolutely delicious.

The freshness of the ingredients was evident in every bite.

My partner decided to try their BBQ, which they claim to be the best on the island.

He opted for the pulled pork, which he thoroughly enjoyed, especially with the spicy sauce that he found to be just the right amount of heat.

I got a taste of it, and I must admit, it was quite impressive.

We also tried the shrimp salad croissant with potato salad and the tuna salad on a croissant with pasta salad.

Both dishes were delightful and paired perfectly with their fantastic sweet tea.

They also offer a nice variety of bottled and canned beers to choose from.

While we dined, we appreciated the charm of the adorable patio area.

There were various tables set up in the garden, and most of them were shaded, providing a cool and comfortable atmosphere for a Florida summer lunch.

Burlingame Restaurant

Octopus at Burlingame Restaurant

One evening, I decided to try out Burlingame, an intimate and sophisticated eatery located on Amelia Island.

The moment I walked in, I was impressed by the cozy and chic ambiance, which felt like someone's home.

The restaurant offers patio tables, perfect for enjoying the pleasant weather while dining.

I noticed that Burlingame takes pride in their made-from-scratch, fresh, seasonal dishes and craft cocktails, which made the dining experience all the more enticing.

For starters, I had the charred octopus, which was tender and perfectly cooked with a subtle spicy kick.

The crispy potatoes that accompanied the dish were also delightful.

I couldn't resist trying their East and West Coast oysters, which were fresh and delicious.

For the main course, I opted for the Shrimp and Grits and the Lamb Bolognese - both were simply excellent.

During my visit, I also got a chance to try some other dishes which my dining companions had ordered.

The Snapper Collar was a standout, easily the best-fried fish I've ever tasted.

Another highlight was the buttery rice and beans, which were divine.

The short rib ragout and the pecan pie dessert were also incredibly memorable.

Though the entrees were on the pricier side, the quality of the food and the overall experience made it worth every penny.

España Restaurant & Tapas

Food at España Restaurant & Tapas

Last week, my friends and I decided to have dinner at España Restaurant & Tapas, a cozy spot known for its traditional Spanish fare and outdoor seating.

The ambiance was perfect for a night of catching up and celebrating a birthday.

We started off by sharing a variety of tapas, which allowed us to taste different flavors and dishes.

The Garlic Shrimp was my personal favorite, while my husband couldn't stop raving about the Fried Calamari.

The Chicken Empanadas were also a hit among the group.

Some of our friends had the lamb chops and said they were absolutely delicious.

Since we were already partially full from the tapas, my husband and I decided to share the Beef Tenderloin with Madeira Wine and Mushrooms.

The dish was cooked to perfection - tender, flavorful, and simply amazing.

For dessert, we didn't need to order anything from the menu since one of our friends brought in a birthday cake.

As a family-owned and operated business since 2004, España Restaurant & Tapas focuses on delivering traditional flavors from Portugal and Spain.

Chef Roberto's Portuguese heritage is evident in the dishes, making the dining experience truly authentic.

Atlantic Seafood Bait & Tackle

I'm always on the lookout for the freshest seafood in town, and I couldn't be happier that I found Atlantic Seafood Bait & Tackle.

This place is a hidden gem that I've been going to for years, and it never disappoints.

The seafood is as fresh as it gets, and the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

The store offers a great variety of fish and shellfish, and their shrimps are super fresh.

I remember one time I got 2 lbs of local shrimp, steamed them and tried them with a little butter.

They tasted amazing, like small lobster tails, and for $12/lb, it was a real bargain.

I've also tried their grouper fillets, which were filleted that morning and tasted absolutely divine.

You simply won't find anything fresher away from the source.

In addition to fresh seafood, they also carry some interesting beers, lemon, and fry coating to complete your seafood feast.

Le Clos

Surf and turf at Le Clos

Last week, I finally had the chance to dine at Le Clos - a cozy French cottage-style restaurant situated in the heart of Fernandina Beach.

It had been on my list for quite some time, and I had heard amazing things, especially about their seafood dishes.

As soon as I entered, I was greeted by a warm and welcoming atmosphere, enhanced by the soft glow of candlelight.

The vibe was intimate, perfect for a date night or just a quiet evening with friends.

The menu, though brief, was a testament to authentic French cuisine, with a focus on seafood.

I decided to start with the soup, which was served chilled but could also be warmed up.

It was quite delicious and perfect for the slightly chilly night.

For the main course, I opted for the surf and turf special – a sumptuous combination of steak and scallops.

The portion was generous, and I found the flavors simply divine.

Even though I had heard they didn't offer cocktails, their wine list had a good selection of quality options, and I enjoyed a fantastic glass of Bordeaux with my meal.

One thing that stood out to me was the service.

I also loved the outdoor patio area, a charming spot where you can enjoy your meal surrounded by lush greenery.

Beech Street Grill

Shrimp at Beech Street Grill

Being a local, Beech Street Grill has always been my go-to place for special occasions.

I recently celebrated my husband's birthday there, and, as always, the experience was exceptional.

The historic house, built in 1889, offers a charming and unique atmosphere that perfectly complements any celebration.

We started our meal by sharing a delicious Caesar salad, followed by their popular shrimp and grits with Tasso ham for my husband, and I opted for the lightly blackened Fernandina shrimp with cheese grits and asparagus.

The grits were by far the creamiest and best version we've had on the island.

To wrap up our dinner, the staff generously comped a delectable brownie cheesecake for my husband's birthday.

It was such a delightful touch and the perfect way to end our celebration.

Garden Street Bistro

Hawaiian omelette at Garden Street Bistro

One of my favorite spots for brunch in the area is definitely Garden Street Bistro.

I remember trying the Hawaiian omelet, which was not only huge but also very delicious.

The combination of caramelized onions, chorizo, and pineapple just hit the spot.

And the fact that they serve breakfast all day, from 8 am to 3 pm every day except Tuesday, is a plus for a late riser like me.

Although the decoration inside the bistro is simple and somewhat cold, the friendly and warm service more than makes up for it.

On one visit, I tried their omelet and blueberry pancakes, and the coffee was simply delicious.

The place was packed, yet the service remained efficient and attentive.

Moon River Pizza

Pizza at Moon River Pizza

When I visited Moon River Pizza recently, I was instantly drawn to its funky and colorful atmosphere.

There's no doubt that this pizzeria offers a unique dining experience that sets it apart from others in the area.

As I walked in, I noticed the kitchen was exposed to the dining area, which added a cool feel to the place.

I was impressed with their menu, which included a variety of custom and specialty thin-crust pizzas, as well as wine and beer.

I ordered the Maui Zowee, and was pleasantly surprised by the size and generous amount of toppings on my pizza.

The flavor of the sauce, cheese, and dough was delightful, and the crust was just the perfect balance of crispiness and tenderness.

Moon River Pizza also offers some interesting pizza combos, which seemed perfect for those wanting a smaller meal.

Akari Sushi

Rolls at Akari Sushi

As a sushi lover, I'm always on the lookout for the best sushi spots in town.

One of my all-time favorite places to satisfy my sushi cravings is Akari Sushi.

This restaurant serves up delicious Japanese dishes in a beautiful little location a bit off the beaten path.

The exposed brick atmosphere adds to its charm, and the menu has just the right amount of variety without being overwhelming.

My recent visit to Akari Sushi was yet another delightful experience.

I couldn't help but order their popular Amelia Island roll, which turned out to be some of the best sushi I've had stateside.

The avocado salad was a great addition to my meal, and my mom enjoyed her rice bowl as well.

What sets Akari Sushi apart from other sushi places is not only the quality of their food but also the overall ambiance and service.

I once visited the restaurant on a warm summer evening, and sitting outside was such a pleasure.

The proximity to the beach, combined with the indoor and outdoor seating options, makes it an ideal spot for a relaxing meal.

Joe's 2nd Street Bistro

Crab cakes at Joe's 2nd Street Bistro

As an Amelia Island local, dining at Joe's 2nd Street Bistro feels like a delightful culinary journey right in my backyard.

Each visit tantalizes my taste buds, introducing me to a harmonious fusion of classic and New American cuisines.

The romantic courtyard setting and unmatched service are simply cherries on top.

I vividly recall starting with the crab cakes, gumbo, and wedge salad.

The gumbo, dark and brimming with rich flavors, quickly emerged as the star appetizer.

The saffron broth, a personal favorite, housed perfectly poached sea scallops, showcasing the kitchen's adept hand at seafood preparation.

Continuing this gastronomic tour, the chicken penne astounded me with its robust flavor, while the Filet Oscar, cooked to absolute perfection, was the pièce de résistance of the evening.

The lobster, boasting just the right firmness, along with the jumbo shrimp, was a clear testament to Joe's commitment to quality and freshness.

Joe's 2nd Street Bistro is more than just a restaurant; it's a symphony of delectable flavors and a celebration of well-prepared cuisine.

David's Restaurant & Lounge

Birthday dessert at David's Restaurant & Lounge

I recently celebrated my birthday at David's Restaurant & Lounge on Amelia Island, and the experience was nothing short of amazing.

From the moment I walked into the stylish, contemporary space, I knew I was in for a treat.

The elegant interior made me feel truly special, and the personalized birthday card was a delightful touch.

I ended up choosing the Short Ribs with truffle mashed potatoes and a red wine reduction sauce, and it was absolutely superb.

The service throughout the evening was impeccable, and it was clear that they genuinely cared about making the dining experience enjoyable.

My wife and I shared a Caesar salad to start, and I appreciated that they divided it in the kitchen for us.

The chef's amuse bouche, a topped cucumber slice, and the intermezzo mango sorbet between courses were lovely additions to the meal.

My wife had their short rib special, which was melt-in-your-mouth tender, while I indulged in the filet mignon.

Finally, to top off the night, a delightful birthday dessert treat was brought to the table, which made the evening even more memorable.

Kitchen 251

Blackened salmon at Kitchen 251

I recently dined at Kitchen 251 with my spouse and friends, and it turned out to be an incredible experience.

The moment we walked in, we could feel the warm and welcoming atmosphere, which was a perfect fit for their menu.

We were pleasantly surprised by the diverse selection of dishes, and after much deliberation, we decided to try a few of their popular offerings.

The blackened salmon salad was an absolute delight, with three large pieces of moist, well-seasoned salmon resting atop a bed of mixed greens with a tangy lemon citrus vinaigrette.

I couldn't help but agree with my friend, who had previously claimed it to be the best lunch of his life.

My spouse ordered the Mahi and shrimp creole, and the dish was cooked to perfection.

The seafood was tender, and the creole sauce had just the right amount of heat.

We couldn't resist trying their homemade key lime pie.

It was the perfect balance of sweet and tart, leaving us wanting more.

The prices were reasonable for the quality and portion sizes of the dishes, making them a great value.

As we dined, we couldn't help but notice the beautiful sunset view, which added a magical touch to our evening.

Salty Pelican Bar & Grill

Tacos at Salty Pelican Bar & Grill

One of my favorite places to eat after exploring Historic Fernandina is the Salty Pelican Bar & Grill.

On a recent weekend, my friend and I decided to grab a seafood lunch there.

When we arrived, the open-air restaurant was packed, with people lining up to get in.

The service at the bar was fast, friendly, and attentive.

We started our meal with the popular beer cheese pretzel and crab dip, which was absolutely delicious.

For our main course, I had the tuna burger while my friend tried the fish tacos.

Both of these dishes were amazing, and we couldn't stop raving about them.

We also shared a daily special of redfish, which was fried to perfection.

Timoti's Seafood Shak

Fried shrimp at Timoti's Seafood Shak

Just the other day, I decided to treat myself to lunch at Timoti's Seafood Shak, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!

As a mostly outdoor venue, it's a great spot for enjoying the beautiful weather while indulging in some delicious seafood.

I got there with a friend, and we decided to split the ordering duties.

One of us lined up to order our food while the other grabbed a spot at one of the communal picnic tables.

We opted for the fried green tomatoes as an appetizer, and for our main course, we shared a fried oyster basket with an added side of 5 shrimp.

The basket came with coleslaw, fries, and hush puppies.

While the tomatoes weren't out-of-this-world amazing, they were quite good.

However, the true stars of the meal were the fried shrimp and oysters.

The shrimp were lightly battered and absolutely delicious, while the oysters had a creamy center and tasted fantastic.

The atmosphere at Timoti's Seafood Shak is casual and friendly.

There's even a playground for the kids to enjoy, which keeps them entertained while you can relax and chat with your neighbors at the table.

I couldn't help but notice the fish one lady next to us was eating, which she raved about.  

I'll definitely try that on my next visit!

Final Thoughts

Amelia Island truly has something for everyone when it comes to dining.

From the high-end experience at Salt to the laid-back atmosphere of Timoti's Seafood Shak, there is a wide range of restaurants to satisfy every craving.

So, next time you're in Amelia Island, be sure to check out some of these amazing restaurants, and don't be afraid to venture off the beaten path; you never know where you'll find your next favorite dish.

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