The culinary world of St. Augustine is unlike any other. Because of our unique societal demographic, we can support many, many local restaurants and they don’t all have to serve standard, unimaginative food to survive. Instead, St. Augustine boasts cafes, bistros, restaurants, and eateries with food from all over the world, created in an authentic manner by those who share their heritage. Those restaurants inspired this piece. We invite you to celebrate and consume all in one the cultures of the world – provided by the residents of this fair city.
Peru: Llama Restaurant
Chef Marcel’s Ceviche is more than just a stunning dish. The structure of the plate represents the city of Lima as it rests on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the south Pacific Ocean. It’s a traditional blend of fresh Corvina marinated with lime juice, cilantro, and Limo Peppers served with Peruvian giant corn and glazed sweet potatoes.
415 Anastasia Boulevard
With Indian food this authentic, the spice is neverending. The Chicken Tikka Masala, cubed chicken in a mild sweet sauce, served on top of a tangy, citrusy rice could satisfy any craving, but don’t let it fill you up completely. Save room for the buttery naan and Tandoori Chicken, marinated in yoghurt and a blend of spices.
2180 US 1 South
Cuba: La Herencia
One bite of the Picadillo and you’ll think you were in Havana with Hemingway. The shredded beef is perfectly flavored with red and green peppers and onions. The white rice, black beans, and fried plantains are just the cherry on top. And it wouldn’t be complete without a cup of Cuban coffee.
4 Aviles Street
Mexico: La Cocina Mexican Restaurant
Even with the brightly colored walls and artistic homage to Frida Kahlo, the decor plays second fiddle to the powerful flavor of the menu. Add in some flaming fajitas – perfectly grilled peppers, shrimp, beef, and veggies – and you won’t take your eyes off of your plate.
3290 US 1 South
Vietnam: Saigon Pho Bistro
Trust us, Pho is no ordinary noodle soup. This Vietnamese favorite is a hearty, filling dish of authentic rice noodles, beef, savory herbs, and onion in a beef broth. All the flavors intermingle and give each ingredient a unique taste.
1935 A1A South
Japan: Fusion Point Sushi
Though the restaurant combines the dishes and flavors of multiple Pan Asian countries (Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Korea), the culinary delight that really makes them shine is sushi. A huge selection will make it hard to narrow down your tastes, but any combination of tuna, hamachi, salmon, even tempura-fried shrimp is sure to please.
237 San Marco Avenue
Thailand: Libby’s Thai Bistro
Though we’d travel halfway across the world for a Red Snapper like this one, thanks to Libby’s chefs, we don’t have to. The whole fish is cooked to perfection in a tangy Thai chili sauce with just a little bit of heat and garnished with sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli. Top it off for lime for an unexpected zest.
525 State Road 16, Suite 103
Ireland: Dan Murphy’s Irish Pub
As far as concerns comfort food, there is little in this world that can compete with a traditional Irish breakfast. This glorious display of eggs (any way you like them), rashers topped with caramelized onions, black and white pudding, fried tomatoes, bacon, and even chips is a unparalleled culinary delight and worthy of St. Paddy himself. Wake up to the plate first thing in the morning or have it send you to sleep at night.
4320 A1A South
England: King’s Head British Pub
Cozy yourself into an antique armchair or grab a seat by the fireplace and prepare yourself. Because you’ve never seen prawns like these. The truly jumbo shrimp are expertly battered to crunchy, golden deliciousness and need no extra panache. Their palatable simplicity does wonders on its own. But if you are going to add something, pair them with the British favorite – Old Speckled Hen Ale.
6460 US 1 North
France: Le Petit Pleasures
There is a reason that France is known for its culinary delights. The French are the masters of flavor and technique and it is clear that Stephanie and Phillipe are carrying on the legacy. The pastry of the Quiche Florentine is flaky and crisp and the filling is bubbley and melty. Don’t skip out on the decadent pastries for dessert and make sure to top off your meal with a glass of wine.
125 A1A Beach Boulevard
Italy: La Strada Italian Restaurant
Perhaps when you think of traditional Italian food, fish doesn’t come to mind. Most of us might think of pastas and pizza before Sea Bass, but Chef Mark knows his stuff. The sea bass is served on a bed of fresh sauteed vegetables and drizzled with a light, but flavorful traditional white wine sauce. Benissimo!
4075 A1A South
Greece: Athena Restaurant
The bold, tangy flavors of the restaurant’s signature dish, the Gyro Greek Combo, will have you in no doubt that Greece was the birthplace of Western culture. Delicious souvlaki is served with soft pita bread, Greek salad, and the ever-essential tzatzaki. It’s a combo we can’t wait to dig into!
14 Cathedral Place
Poland: Gaufre’s and Goods
Who knew that pierogies could be so versatile? The traditional Polish dumplings make a delectable entree – stuffed with potato and cheese, sauerkraut and mushroom, or spinach and meat – or save room for dessert and try them with blueberries and powdered sugar. Either way, an authentic beet soup is a must-have.
9 Aviles Street
Tanzania: African Love Kitchen
Chef Ibrahim Mahem has located an untapped market – the people love Tanzanian food on the go. Chef Ibrahim operates out of his food truck and travels the area giving people a taste of traditional African dishes. The most popular are easily the Sambusas, a crispy, savory pastry filled with veggies or meat. For a little extra heat and a lot of extra flavor, the chef offers a few authentic sauces.
Old City Farmers Market
Kenya: Growers Alliance
Having grown up on coffee farms in Kenya, owners Martin Kabaki and Purity Gikunju clearly know good coffee when they taste it. The little shop (formally just a food truck) offers delicious roasts from four different countries known for the quality of their coffee beans – Kenya, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. The fair trade product works, as well, to bring good business to the independent farmers of these nations.
322 Anastasia Boulevard
Australia: The Kookaburra
Have you ever tried an Aussie pie? These fluffy, flakey pastries are filled to the brim with a variety of fillings like veggies, minced meat, even egg and cheese for brekkie. Fresh and piping hot from the oven, they’re an any-time-of-the-day treat from our friends down under.
Visit www.kookaburrashop.com for all 3 locations
Photography by Ed Taylor