Fernandina Food Finds

The best thing about bicycling adventures is the good food found at the end of every ride. We batted a thousand in Fernandina when it came to finding local restaurants. On Friday after a long day on the bike we ended up at Brett’s Waterway Cafe overlooking the Amelia River. Most days we’d have asked to be seated on the porch so we could have an unobstructed view of the river and boats, but after sweating on the bikes for a couple of hours, we couldn’t resist the air conditioned dining room. Fortunately, we arrived around 2:00 so we didn’t offend many other diners.

We ordered a Key Lime Margarita and a Strawberry Wine Spritzer to start…a great way to cool down! Then we split a fried fish sandwich with fries and fish tacos served with black beans and rice. While I enjoyed both, I’d recommend the fish tacos. The tacos, beans, and chips with fresh salsa all hit the spot!

After a sunset walk on the beach, it was time to find a place for dinner. Our original plans didn’t work out since the Spanish restaurant we’d picked out looked a bit too formal for our attire. Across the street, we found the Florida House Inn, but were disappointed to find they only served lunch. On the next block, we were attracted by the music coming from down the street, this time to find that The Green Turtle Tavern was a bar, not a restaurant.  No problem, Kelly’s Courtyard Cafe, just down the street would be a perfect place to sit outside, eat dinner, and listen to the music. This didn’t work out either. Their waiting list exceeded their closing time. No new names could be added.

A little discouraged, we headed further down the street and found Tomoti’s Seafood Shak. Well, it may have been a shak, but one that served delicious shrimp, and after all, since Fernandina is home of an annual shrimp festival, it was a perfect choice. The banner flying out front announced their selection by Coastal Living as one of the top twenty Seafood Dives in the U.S. We tried the fried and blackened shrimp, both came with fries, hush puppies, and slaw and decided we will definitely return on our new visit. What a great find!

The third restaurant, Tasty’s, was located in a former gas station that had been transformed into a place specializing in burgers and fries. Picnic tables surrounded the building shaded by the concrete shelters that had once protected service station attendants taking care of the needs of the cars they serviced. Here we made a mistake by splitting one burger, but since we were stopping in St. Augustine later in the day for the Food Truck Wars, that seemed to be a reasonable plan. Unfortunately, we weren’t all that impressed with the food truck event. We would have much preferred our own burgers, an order of their specialty fries, and a milkshake. But there’s always another day.

Fernandina’s been added to our list of favorite weekend spots!