10 Family-Friendly St. Augustine Restaurants that Work for Picky Eaters

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The Columbia is one of many wonderful St. Augustine restaurants.
Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine. Photo credit: Amy Albers

From coffee shops to comfort food, Mediterranean fare to Thai food, food trucks to fine dining, St. Augustine is a foodie traveler’s dream. Traveling with kids who are picky eaters makes it a little more challenging to savor the clam chowders and escargot appetizers, but it doesn’t mean you can’t get some great eats. This list includes 10 recommended family-friendly St. Augustine restaurants and tips on what to order when you get there, even if you have a picky eater.

This post is sponsored by VISIT FLORIDA.

St. Augustine Restaurants

Going out to eat on vacation can be part relaxing, part cultural experience. If you have a picky eater (or two) like I do, it pays to know ahead of time which restaurants will be able to serve your entire family.

I try not to cater to picky eaters too much at home. But on vacation, it’s a different story. A hungry and tired kid is a cranky kid. I prefer to spare all of us from that condition.

As a coastal city in northeast Florida, St. Augustine has plenty of options for indulging in as much fresh seafood as you would like. Maybe your family prefers to immerse themselves in the rich Spanish heritage of St. Augustine or is simply trying to find familiar bites with fresh ingredients while on a Florida family vacation.

Whatever your dining needs, there are plenty of family-friendly St. Augustine restaurants both in the historic district and beyond that will add flavor to your vacation! Here are my tips for the best restaurants and dining experiences for families in the Oldest City in America and how to handle a picky eater there.

SheBuysTravel Tip: If you need some inspiration for traveling with your picky eater, read this post about traveling around the world with a daughter who eats ONLY peanut butter.)

St. Augie’s Pizza

Boy with pasta at St. Augie’s, a budget-friendly St. Augustine restaurant
Picky eaters will be happy with the tasty pasta at St. Augie’s Pizza in St. Augustine, Florida. Photo credit: Amy Albers

113 ½ King St.
St. Augustine
(904) 436-5998
https://staugiespizze.com

Y’all, this one was a gift. The restaurant we had planned on going to had an extremely long wait time. My feelings were summed up as such: long day, need food soon. That was about it.

I remembered seeing a pizza place in our wanderings and thought we’d give it a shot. Don’t let the tiny storefront look fool you – those are the best places.

Pizza by the slice and garlic knots are perfect for dine in or to go! Photo credit: Amy Albers

St. Augie’s Pizza did not disappoint. New York style pizza that you can get by the pie or the slice to let everyone get what they want. There is also a selection of pasta dishes; my picky eater rarely turns down spaghetti as a dinner option.

The teen and I gave our custom pizza slices high marks. You can call ahead for pick up or dine in. And don’t worry about letting kids get dessert – the portion sizes of cheesecake, cannoli and tiramisu are perfect for kids!

Note that this St. Augustine restaurant is closed on Mondays. On-site parking available, though it’s a small lot.

One Twenty Three Burger House

Boy drinking a milkshake at One Twenty Three Burger House, a family friendly St. Augustine restaurant. at will keep kids and adults happy.
Even picky eaters love the milkshakes at One Twenty Three Burger House! Photo credit: Amy Albers

123 King St.
St. Augustine
(904) 687-2790

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Just a couple of doors down from St. Augie’s Pizza, the One Twenty Three Burger House is a great choice for less adventurous eaters. It’s got all you would expect from a “burger house” – in addition to the many burger varieties, it offers wings, sandwiches, salads and pizza. In short, something for everyone, even picky eaters.

The kid’s menu reflects the adult menu, with offerings such as chicken tenders (both grilled and fried are options), cheeseburgers, hot dogs and mac & cheese. Our burgers were fantastic, and both my kids raved about the shakes. On-site parking available.

The burgers at One Twenty Three Burger House will satisfy even the heartiest appetites in the oldest city.
The burgers are available in 1/3  and ½-pound portions at One Twenty Three Burger House in St. Augustine, Florida. Photo credit: Amy Albers

Aunt Kate’s

a child playing on the beach in front of Aunt Kate's, a family friendly St. Augustine restaurant.
Kids can explore and play while waiting for a table at Aunt Kate’s. Photo credit: Amy Albers

612 Euclid Ave.
St. Augustine
(904) 829-1105

Welcome

Aunt Kate’s is in the Vilano Beach area, on the Tolomato River. This seafood restaurant boasts river views and has a sandy area where kids can run around while waiting for a table, or you can walk the pier right next to the restaurant.

The restaurants sells the freshest seafood at reasonable prices in a family-friendly atmosphere. The crab cakes dinner and gator tail appetizer, fried and served with a creamy orange sauce could work for more adventurous eaters, but my kids stuck with the typical kid menu items such as chicken tenders and mac & cheese. Aunt Kate’s also offers a kid-sized portion of BBQ ribs as an option.

SheBuysTravel Tip: You might want to make reservations for this one, especially on a weekend night. On-site parking available.

Catch-27

Children's quesadillas at Catch-27, a family-friendly St. Augustine restaurant.
The kid’s menu at Catch-27 includes quesadillas and fresh chips. Photo credit: Amy Albers

40 Charlotte St.
St. Augustine
(904) 217-3542
https://www.catchtwentyseven.com

Catch-27 is tucked away within the historic district of St. Augustine, down a relatively quiet side street. The dining room atmosphere is cozy and the wait staff friendly.

While the kid’s menu isn’t posted online, the restaurant does have one. It’s minimal but serviceable: quesadillas, chicken sandwich, grilled cheese and butter noodles, to which chicken or shrimp can be added.

My teenager and I opted for the Mexican flare and ordered the grilled chicken tacos. The portion was so large that I couldn’t finish mine, but he had no problem polishing his off. (Oh, to be 19!)

Parking is available in nearby public lots.

The tacos at Catch-27 are served up with your choice of meat and dressing, in generous portions.
Grilled Chicken Tacos at Catch-27. Photo credit: Amy Albers

Columbia Restaurant

The Spanish and Cuban flavors of the Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine Florida
The filet mignon from the adult menu is a good portion size for older kids. Photo credit: Amy Albers

98 St. George St.
St. Augustine
(904) 824-3341
https://www.columbiarestaurant.com/

The Columbia chain of restaurants has been in business since 1905. This location on St. George Street is in the heart of the St. Augustine’s historic district. The menu is a colorful and flavor-soaked mix of Cuban and Spanish tapas dishes.

My oldest son devoured his red snapper and my ropa vieja was delicious. (According to the menu, “the name means ‘old clothes’ because the choice beef is shredded, sautéed and simmered with onions, green peppers and tomatoes.” It’s served with platanos and white rice.)

I was worried this eatery might be too exotic for my picky 12-year-old. There wasn’t a kid’s menu listed online but it’s available at the restaurant. It includes a Cuban sandwich, mac & cheese, chicken fingers and steak. Each kid’s meal comes with a drink and the option of fries or fruit.

My son reviewed the kid’s menu, but at 12, he is self-conscious about ordering from it. Considering this, I suggested he try the filet mignon from the adult menu. It was one of the few items that didn’t have some kind of sauce or garnish on it. My heart was happy when he polished off the whole thing! Score one for trying something new.

The atmosphere appears a bit formal (no sleeveless shirts for men, although casual attire is fine) but the wait staff was warm and accommodating.

This is a great option in the historic district. Parking is available for free in the Spanish Street lot behind the restaurant while dining. If you plan to park there and then sight-see after, you will most likely need to pay a parking fee.

The menu at Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine is a flavorful mix of Spanish and Cuban cuisine.
The ropa vieja at Columbia Restaurant is a delicious blend of shredded beef, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Photo credit: Amy Albers

St. Augustine Sailing Brunch

Families can have their fill of food and fun during the brunch sail with St. Augustine Sailing.
A sample of the generous brunch spread from St. Augustine Sailing. Photo credit: Amy Albers

3076 Harbor Dr.
St. Augustine
(904) 829-0648

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Yes, this one is a splurge. And you might wonder why I’m listing it under family-friendly dining. Y’all, this was a stand-out experience for my kids. Many families book charters to go sailing while they are in St. Augustine – combine it with a fantastic dining experience and you are the family hero!

The brunch sails have a maximum of 6 attendees, so if you have less than that, know that you might be sailing with others. Co-owner Rose Ann Points creates the meal and it is amazing.

Our brunch menu included quiche, tons of fresh fruit and all kinds of homemade breakfast breads and muffins. The menu is subject to change, so check beforehand if you have concerns.

They noticed my picky eater was not touching the quiche and were kind enough to ask his suggestions of items that might be more pleasing to kids. Drinks included orange juice and cranberry juice, coffee, and tea. The adults have the option of mimosas.

When you get onboard, you are given a safety talk and told where you can find lifejackets (kids of a certain age are required to wear them.) If there is rain but no thunder, don’t abandon your plans – there is a covering to the outside table, and you always have the option to eat inside the galley.

An important note for families – there are two bathrooms on board the boat, so no worries about emergencies. After eating, you are free to roam the deck and enjoy the St. Augustine views. My youngest even got the chance to steer the boat for a bit! The experience is three hours, which was just right for me and mine.

There is on-site parking at the docks.

When SheBuysTravel Terri Marshall took her 11-year-old grandson, Benjamin to St. Augustine, his one request for meals was seafood. Over three nights, they tried three different seafood restaurants. The Conch House Marina Resort, St Augustine Seafood Company and Saltfish. Here’s her thoughts on each restaurant.

Conch House Marina Resort

Owned and operated by the Ponce family for over 70 years, the Conch House Marina Resort’s restaurant offers four options for dining rooms: The Captain’s Lounge, The Topside Bar, The Everglades Dining Patio and The Outdoor Deck. For kids, nothing beats The Outdoor Deck. And ideally that means dining in one of the Crow’s Nest tables. Sitting above the water, our table gave us a view of the water below where Roseate spoonbills fished for crabs at low tide.

We started with an appetizer of conch fritters. Benjamin took advantage of the local shrimp for his main course served with French fries, coleslaw and a southern style hush puppy. I opted for shrimp tacos with cabbage, corn salsa and chipotle mayo with a side of black beans. Everything was incredibly fresh and delicious, and the views topped off the experience.

St. Augustine Seafood Company

Located at 33 George Street in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic district, St. Augustine Seafood focuses on supporting local fishermen and fish markets, sourcing quality shrimp, fish and oysters direct from the boats when possible. They also support the maritime research efforts of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum by contributing $1 from every Lighthouse Lemonade sold. That alone made me want to dine there!

Benjamin in his quest for nonending shrimp dinners predictably ordered fried shrimp and gave it a hearty thumbs up. We also tried the Half & Half chowder – a mix of Minorcan conch chowder and traditional New England Clam Chowder. The creamy New England clam chowder provided the perfect balance to the slightly spicy flavors of Minorcan conch chowder. I highly recommend it!

Salt Life Food Shack

Tween boy with a crab boil at a St. Augustine Florida restaurant.
Grandson Benjamin digs into his crab boil with enthusiasm! Photo credit: Terri Marshall

Developed with a commitment to provide a community driven restaurant, Salt Life Food Shack reflects a “Salty” way of life! It’s all about flip flops instead of loafers – and who doesn’t like that option? Benjamin and I dined at Salt Life Food Shack our final night of the trip and it was absolutely a grand finale! Slightly obsessed with crab legs, Benjamin ordered the Beach Boil. This steamy dish is chock full of shrimp, snow crab legs, corn, potatoes, sausage and onions served in a seasoned boil. Watching him chow down on this delightful dish was akin to watching the reaction to someone who just won the lottery!

I opted for a lighter meal with salted edamame as an appetizer and the Crab & Avocado Roll with lump crab salad rolled with cream cheese, cucumber and avocado rolled in crispy panko. We both agreed this is a place we’ll return to next time we visit St. Augustine.

St. Augustine Restaurants Recommended by Locals

Sadly, three days is not enough time to sample all this city has to offer. While I wasn’t able to experience the following St. Augustine restaurants, I’m passing them on as choices that were recommended to me by locals.

St. Augustine Fish Camp

299 Roscoe Blvd. N
Ponte Vedra Beach
(904) 285-3200

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The St. Augustine Fish Camp promises local seafood and the menu has a definite “foodie” vibe for most entrees. Fried Gator Tail with Cowgill’s Datil Pepper Aioli, anyone? It definitely wouldn’t have worked for my boys. (Honestly, I had no idea alligator was such a popular dining option!)

The kid’s menu consists of fried shrimp, fried fish, grilled cheese and chicken tenders. All of these are served with fries and a drink. And there’s vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Beaches at Vilano

254 Vilano Road
Vilano Beach
(904) 829-0589
https://www.beachesatvilano.com/

Beaches is, as you would expect, on the water with plenty of outdoor seating. The menu is a traditional mix of salads, burgers and fresh seafood entrees at reasonable prices. Several of the entrees have a Caribbean flair — jerk chicken is a must-try — and there’s a vegetarian-friendly a veggie-stuffed wrap drizzled with blueberry pomegranate dressing and wrapped in a spinach tortilla.

Desserts include the Florida classic, key lime pie, and fried cheesecake, which is described as “silky smooth cheesecake wrapped in thin layers of pastry, lightly fried and rolled in cinnamon sugar.” Yum. It’s served with vanilla ice cream and seasonal fruit.

The kid’s menu offers the standard cheeseburger, chicken tenders, mac & cheese, and fried shrimp. Live music is played on the weekends.

Cap’s on the Water

4325 Myrtle St.
St. Augustine
(904) 824-8794

Another Vilano Beach restaurant that promises the freshest local seafood, Cap’s is on Anastasia Island with plenty of outdoor seating. Cap’s offers dinner every night and is only open for lunch on the weekend.

The menu looks satisfying for the grown up tastes with plenty of seafood, pasta, and meat options. Depending on the season, the fresh catch could b  mahi, flounder, grouper, trigger or Chilean sea bass. The menu says it sources yellowfin tuna from Costa Rica, salmon from Chile and scallops from Massachusetts. There are pasta options and a filet mignon from the non-fish-eaters in your group.

The kid’s menu has a great assortment of choices: fried shrimp or fish, chicken tenders, hamburger sliders, pasta, and pizza.

There is on-site parking.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Cap’s doesn’t take reservations and the restaurant generally won’t take parties larger than 6. If your family is bigger than that, you may want to call ahead and see if an exception can be made.

Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille

46 Avenida Menendez
St. Augustine
(904) 824-7765

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This local Florida chain restaurant serves up seafood with a Cajun flair. The bayfront gastropub offers classics such as fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, red beans and rice and jambalaya.

The kid’s menu includes the standards — burgers and chicken tenders — with some unexpected finds such as fresh fish served with veggies and corn dogs.

There is onsite parking.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Don’t feel like going out? Have DoorDash bring food to your hotel or vacation rental.

One response


  1. We love going to Columbia House!!!

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