The Best of
From great restaurants to local service providers - we curated a list to help celebrate local businesses who help make St. Johns an amazing place to live, work & play!
Here it is for 2021!
Here it is for 2021!
BEST OF 2021: Part 1
Let's face it - what do most people do for fun.... yes that's right - we eat.... Here are our favorites!
If you have a hankering for something sweet, these local bakeries have got you covered. In addition to over-the-top custom cakes, Creme De La Cocoa (near San Marco neighborhood in St. Augustine) serves a counter case full of delicious desserts ranging from cookies to brownies, to fruit tarts with new surprises constantly popping up. Publix is another favorite when it comes to birthday and other occasion sheet cakes. They are the bomb and won’t break the bank!
Best Bar Food
Bar food makes a dish sound primitive, but that’s not necessarily the case. If you’re in search of good grub to go with your drinks, this is the perfect category for you. It’s no surprise that Fionn MacCool’s is one of our favorite’s, with outstanding burgers, and unique Irish pub fare that brings you back to Ireland. At Taps, you’ll find the casual fare includes several kinds of burgers and other easy bites to nosh on while you drink some fine ale.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t skimp. Cafe Genovese is a local’s favorite offering traditional breakfast foods to satisfy your appetite. Metro Diner holds the best breakfast title from multiple places for its combination of breakfast staples and specials.
Best Burger Classic
This is a category we love! If you’re looking for the best no-frills burger, order up a classic from the new in town, Culvers and add the cheese fries - its amazing! Fionn MacCool’s burgers are legendary and Taps also turns out classic patties that are cooked to perfection.
Best Casual Dining
When you want good food without the fuss, these are the restaurants to check out! Urban back 40 in Fruit Cove has a chill atmosphere, great food and nice drinks. Fionn MacCool’s on Route 1 offers a welcoming, laid back vibe and the best comfort food, like mac and cheese, burgers, specialty sandwiches.
Best Cajun Restaurant
Cajun cuisine originated in New Orleans but that hasn’t stopped it from migrating to SJC. For the best Cajun try Harry’s in St. Augustine! Don't miss the shrimp and grits either.
If you need to serve a party full of people delicious food, a caterer is often the best choice. Enlightened Catering, which offers everything from big pasta dishes and signature meat and seafood fare for every occasion. For a casual affair, Moe’s Fajita bar or taco bar is delicious and budget friendly.
When a place has good food, you have to give compliments to the chef. After all, these are the geniuses responsible for your dinner. Chef Michael Lugo at Michael’s Tasting Room will wow you from the starters to the main course. If it's seriously delicious seafood you crave, Chef Greg Cooper at The Reef delivers complex flavors. Don’t miss the zarzuela (Catelonian seafood stew) and the award winning shrimp and grits! New in town but already wowing locals with his unique approach using live fire and 8-foot oak-buring grill is Ember and Iron owner, Chef Michael Cooney.
Best Chinese Restaurant
For the best local Chinese food try a variety of the Szechuan and Hunan cuisine at Yummy Asian Bistro on CR210 W. It is awesome!
Best Charcuterie Board
The cool thing about a charcuterie board is that each one is different from the next. And they aren’t all created equal. Praised for its selection of fresh locally sourced cheeses and tapas La Floridian. Also, Coastal Wine Market in Nocatee never fails to wow and pairs their charcuterie boards with a a bottle of wine. New in town and also serving a delicious charcuterie board is Tim’s Wine Market.
Best Farmer’s Market
We love strolling through rows of tents filled with the county’s best offerings from produce to specialty goods, especially on a warm day. Nocatee Farmer’s Market is a favorite. Usually held monthly, every third Saturday, 10-2. In St. Augustine, the Amp Farmer’s Market is the best place to buy fresh fruits and veggies from nearby farmer’s every Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm.
Best Fine Dining
For those special occasions and fun nights out, fine dining at Preserved in St. Augustine is a must. Sit on the wrap around porch on a quiet street in St. Augustine and savor the incredible food and the experience. Michael's Tasting Room is low key yet fancy and the food is unsurpassed locally, with gourmet steaks, seafood dishes and fine wine.
Best Ice Cream
Whit’s Frozen Custard in Mandarin offers awesome freshly churned flavors and other treats - our favorite treat is the rootbeer float. Chilled Flavors over on Route 1 near Palencia offers the best hand dipped treats, including seasonal flavors that change; plus the atmosphere is so fun with old school decor giving it a great vibe.
Best Italian Restaurant
When you’re craving a delicious bowl of pasta, or a signature marinara you know it’s time to order Italian. Al Dente’s is new to St. Johns but have been serving amazing Italian fare for decades up north in Boston. If you are craving some authentic Italian food in an upscale atmosphere they offer a little of everything, try the traditional spaghetti, like-nonni’s lasagna, gnocchi alla sorrentina, or a spicy Calabrese dish.
Best Mexican Restaurant
Los Portales remains one of the most authentic for taste, with fresh ingredients in their famous fajitas, enchiladas, Mexican-style tacos, giant margaritas all at a fabulous price.
Best New Restaurant
Ember and Iron on CR 210 West comes out on top for the best new restaurant. We have already raved about the food prepared on the oak-burning grill and the casual chic atmosphere. Try the sweet tea brined bone in pork chops, roasted oysters, the caesar wedge, and don’t forget the real housewives of St. Johns cocktail!
Best Outdoor/Patio Dining
We’ve always loved grabbing a seat outside when the weather is nice. The Reef on A1A in Vilano is loved for its view overlooking the water.For the intracoastal try Aunt Kate’s. In St. Augustine there are many to choose from but the bayfront seating, live music and great food at OC Whites (with parking) offers the ideal ambiance for a night out in the first city. Up in Northern St. Johns our favorite places al fresco are Coastal Wine Market in Nocatee & Palm Valley Outdoor.
Moondog Pie House in Julington has the best dough and most fun variety of pies. Try the purple moon, the pope of greenwich village, the moondog meateor and more!
When it comes to nigiri, sashimi, and sushi rolls, choosing one place to be “the best” is no easy task. Yummy Asian Bistro on CR210 west offers some of the best along with Thai House and Sushi bar in st. Augustine.
DOS at the north end of St. Augustine offers up fine coffee beans, cold brew, and unique healthy snacks like avocado toast on Ezekiel bread, plus its hip atmosphere is well worth a drive down route 1! Another one to try right here in Fruit Cove is Twisted Compass. Excellent coffee and fun vibe with an open and airy feel- do your homework or meet your friends for a heart to heart.
Best of 2021: Part 2
Mindy’s Massage and Wellness
Natures Child Photography
Allstate ANGIE KING
Best Hair salon
Best of Services
From hair to insurance, you know how difficult it is to find really good services.
Bartram Dental Center
Blue Skies Dental Group
210 Family Chiropractic
Best Eye doctor
Smiles by Glenos & Hadgis Orthodontics
Pets R Family
Animal Medical Clinic
at St. Johns
Massage Green JCP
Here is the scoop on the very best of our amazing community. Hopefully, we offer some places you haven't already discovered.....and a few to put on your LOCAL BUCKET LIST.
Best Place to Have Fun with Kids
Bravoz Entertainment Center
Best Local Attractions
St. George street
Best Beach For Vistas
Best Beach for Wide Open Space
Best Beach for Privacy
Best Beach for Kids
St. Augustine Pier Beach
Best Place to Play Golf
Best Place to Workout
most comprehensive experience
Best for Yoga
Hotspot Power Yoga
Best Concert Venue
The St. Augustine Amphitheater
Best Historical Outing
St Augustine Lighthouse
Best Day Trip