Florida certainly has Southern cuisine influences, and Amelia Island has some utterly exquisite dining that showcases it.
Classic Southern comfort foods with a modern twist are a staple here on the island, providing a unique southern dining experience for both first-time and repeat visitors will enjoy.
Below are four Amelia Island restaurants you need to check out for some of the best southern cooking outside of Louisiana.
Fried Green Tomatoes at 29 South
Location: 29 S. 3rd St., Fernandina Beach, FL
This chic neighborhood bistro has a ton of flavor, and the character to match it. 29 South is a popular destination for a casual southern fare, including fried green tomatoes, butter Kaiser roll smoked beef burgers, veggie wraps, and chickpea falafel burgers.
29 South largely uses ingredients straight out of the garden on the property. This garden-to-table approach has made 29 South a prime example of the latest restaurant trend.
Dinner is 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Weekend brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For reservations, call 29 South at (904) 277-7919.
Southern Brunch from Lulu’s at the Thompson House
Location: 11 S. 7th St., Fernandina Beach, FL
Lulu’s sits in a lovely coach house with an Old Florida feel. Surrounded by delicate décor in the center of historic Fernandina Beach, you’ll find a delectable menu of southern favorites.
Some of the brunch options include the Orleans – English muffin, crab cake, and poached eggs topped with Hollandaise sauce – and traditional New Orleans-style French toast.
For lunch, try one of their savory sandwiches, such as the Maryland-style crab cake and the grilled Portabella mushroom – a Lulu’s favorite. All sandwiches are served with a side of Creole-style potato salad.
Lulu’s manages to infuse their menu with a mix of southern and northern flavors while maintaining high-quality food and service. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch. Call Lulu’s at (904) 432-8394 for reservations.
Potato Cheese Soup at Barbara Jean’s Restaurant
Location: 960030 Gateway Blvd., Fernandina Beach, FL
Few restaurants are as quintessentially southern as Barbara Jean’s – in both name and origin.
This family-owned restaurant was first launched in in Georgia and later in Florida, bringing their mix of seafood and southern cuisine to a new audience.
Known for their potato cheese soup, the restaurant’s owners create the menu themselves. In fact, virtually everything is made from scratch based on the extensive experience of Barbara Jean.
The restaurant is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For further details, contact the front counter at (904) 277-3700.
BBQ at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen Barbeque
Location: 510 S. 8th St., Fernandina Beach, FL
Gilbert’s has both a cozy atmosphere and a renowned chef – a perfect recipe for a great southern restaurant that serves mouth-watering barbeque.
One of the best Amelia Island restaurants for barbequed meat, Gilbert’s is a real treat. The go-to cut is “Just the Birds,” jerk chicken drums and smoked pulled turkey drums on Texas toast, topped with Alabama barbeque sauce.
Alligator ribs, smoked barbeque pork, and The Ultimate Sampler, a platter serving two to three, are just a few of the other menu items.
Accompany your meals with a mason jar cocktail – be sure to try the Underground Red, a sangria with hints of ginger, basil, and blackberries.
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