Where are we going for dinner?
This question often sparks a lively family debate, especially while on vacation. Fine dining isn’t always family-friendly; some want dine-in, others want takeout to eat on Fernandina Beach; some wants Italian, others want burgers. Let’s face it: it isn’t always easy to decide.
Fortunately, Amelia Island has lots of places to eat, from casual American diners to Thai, Mediterranean, and anything in between. Seafood fans have even more options – this is an island after all.
A few Amelia Island restaurants stand out among the crowd and have choices that everyone will enjoy. Below are three of the best restaurants for seafood enthusiasts.
Timoti’s Seafood Shack
Location: 21 N. 3rd St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Timoti’s Seafood Shack is a humble shack a block away from Fernandina Beach. The restaurant only serves local, wild-caught fish – no exception. All ingredients on the menu are fresh and, when possible, local.
Choose from a list of seafood baskets, including oyster, shrimp, fish, clam, chicken strips, and the catch of the season. You can also order any of these items as a taco or sandwich. Mix it up with some saucy additions, such as Bam Bam sauce, jalapeño aioli, and black bean mango salsa.
The simple menu and minimalist design has made Timoti’s Seafood Shack a popular joint for young people on Amelia Island.
There are two other Timoti’s locations in northern Florida: one in Jacksonville and another in Ponte Vedra Beach. The Timoti’s in Fernandina Beach is open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Salty Pelican Bar & Grill
Location: 12 N. Front St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
The Salty Pelican Bar and Grill has the kind of location that all restaurant owners envy. Get some of the most gorgeous views of the harbor right from your table.
This sports restaurant has regular live music on weekends, featuring local mainstays like the country-rock Hupp and Ray or the soft acoustic tunes of Sam McDonald.
Enjoy the breezy outdoor patio or pick a seat inside by the television to watch the game. But, of course, it’s the seafood that really brings people in.
Order a shrimp, crab, and cucumber wrap or try the crab cakes. Or go for a surf and turf option like the 10 oz. hand-cut ribeye and fresh Mayport blackened shrimp, served with an herb butter.
The restaurant has other seafood options, such as broiled oysters, peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, and ahi tuna – as far as Amelia Island restaurants go, The Salty Pelican has incredible variety.
At The Salty Pelican, there’s always a menu special around the corner. Weekly Fish and Chip Fridays – discounts on everyone’s favorite pub food – and Taco Tuesdays – $2 tacos – are popular among both locals and visitors.
Finally, The Salty Pelican is locally known for its Bloody Mary bar. Come in for a couple of mid-afternoon drinks to try new twists on this favorite American cocktail.
The Salty Pelican is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
LuLu’s at The Thompson House
Location: 11 S. 7th St., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
LuLu’s has a very different aesthetic than The Salty Pelican and Timoti’s. The restaurant opts for a cozy, casual, down-home style, and is one of the most historic places to eat on the island.
The menu is inspired by New Orleans and Charleston seafood dishes. Here, you get the freshest vegetables to accompany the finest daily catches. And don’t forget the fried sides, horseradish, and butter. Try the Shrimp Remoulade or fried oysters with a creamy horseradish sauce.
Lulu’s has a delightful outdoor patio set in a rustic, classic coach house. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch. LuLu’s is closed on Monday.