The Local Spots in Downtown St. Augustine

The Local Spots series is a highlight reel of favorite local businesses and landmarks that have made an impact on the community, source Fresh from Florida or play an incremental role in the town’s history. If your stay in a Florida destination is brief, this series will serve your needs as you live local.

I like to think of myself as a STA local. I lived in the Oldest City for a year when I attended Flagler College as a freshman. I met my boyfriend through mutual Flagler friends and we spend many holidays and summers in his family’s St. Auggie Beach house. I have seen this slice of history transform from a tourist trap town to having one of the strongest local business communities I have seen in Florida. Here is a roundup of my favorite local businesses in St. Augustine.

Coffee- The Kookaburra

Downtown Location, 24 Cathedral Place

Start your day in STA the Aussie way at this authentic Australian style coffee house serving specialty coffee, baked goods, craft beer and kombucha. Their beans are roasted locally near the St. Augustine Shipyard. My recommendation is one of their Aussie-pies for Brekky smothered in their A-Frame Datil Pepper Sauce. Enjoy it alongside their signature latte, The Honey Badger, that will have you zooming for a day out in the Oldest City. With four locations in town, you are sure to be near The Kookaburra for a pick-me-up.

Dinner- The Floridian

72 Spanish Street

This farm-to-table restaurant serves locally-sourced Southern inspired dishes and craft cocktails.  The Old Florida ambiance is a great way to settle into vacation mode as you will be surrounded by Sunshine State Kitsch and vintage decor. Be sure to stop by their indoor tiki-bar, adorned with an alligator skull overhead. Start off with the Biscuit and Belly small plate, drizzled with hot honey. Cool off your palette with a Swamp Pony, named after the Spanish soldiers tiny horses, it is the FL twist on a classic mojito.

Healthy Bite- Crave

134 Riberia Street

Crave Food Truck sits along the San Sebastian River serving salads, bowls and smoothies with fresh and local produce. I have to boast a lot about Crave, because one of the proprietors was my good friend when I went to Flagler College for a year. I would like to think Crave started with Andrés’ rants about the quality of Flagler dining hall’s salad bar. Prior to Crave, the options for locally sourced restaurant in St. Augustine were slim to none. Andrés started Crave with his wife Renee and made a turn in the STA foodie community to eat local. Grab a wrap or smoothie to enjoy alongside the waterfront. Be sure to grab some goodies to throw in your bag for city exploring like Crave’s Vegan Cookie Dough Bites or my favorite Mama’s Guava Bars.

Scenic Sweat- Bike King Street to the Bridge of Lions

St. Augustine Bike Rentals, 125 King Street

Start your route at St. Augustine Bike Rentals at the intersection of King and Riberia Streets. As you cruise east down King, you will see the first see Villa Zorayda on the right. It is an Alhambra inspired palace that is currently a museum dedicated to the Gilded Age. Park your pedals to explore the courtyard of the sites of two historic Flagler hotels at Flagler College (Ponce de Leon Hotel, 1888) and Lightner Museum (Alcazar Hotel, 1923). In this same corner you will the Casa Monica, a hotel that is still in operation that Flagler purchased just a few months after it opened New Years Day 1888. Continue past the Plaza de la Constitucion and be prepared for an easy climb over the Iconic Bridge of Lions. From the top is a picture-perfect spot of the Oldest City and St. Augustine Marina. After you can choose your own adventure to ride around Anastasia Island or saunter up San Marcos downtown.

Bar- The Ice Plant

110 Riberia Street

The Ice Plant is located in the historic Florida Power & Light Ice and Electric plant that was established in 1927. Many of the architectural features of the building remain intact, including the tub sink located in the restroom. Ice is the cornerstone of every cocktail crafted behind this bar, with it being shaped and shaved unique to each beverage on their menu. The St. Augustine Distillery is located within the same building, so all libations are truly local.

Dessert- The Hyppo

48 Charlotte Street

The Hyppo has been popping up all over Florida, but these popsicles are native to Hypolita Street. This STA business was established in 2010, when the owner pitched the idea of a downtown coffee shop to a stranger on an airplane. The stranger changed the course of his business, and said that what he needed to offer was paletas, Mexican Ice Pops. Since then a rotating menu according to Florida’s seasons has been offered somewhere along Hypolita. You can opt for fruity or creamy or even get a cocktail inspired pop. A few of my favorites are Hibiscus Lemonade, Blueberry Collins and the Pineapple Orange dipped in Chocolate.

Boutique- So Mermazing

Located in Casa Monica Resort, 41C King Street

This women’s boutique and gift shop has an array of coastal inspired clothing and jewelry. It is a mermaid-lovers dream, providing both their own private label and various brands of clothing for the salty gal in your life. They have an array of Old Florida inspired souvenir pillows, tea towels and drinkware. You can purchase the St. Augustine edition of both Pandora and Alex + Ani at this location.

Just Passing Through- Castillo de San Marcos

1 S Castillo Drive

If your time is limited in the Oldest City, if there is one thing you cannot miss it is the Castillo de San Marcos. This US National Monument is free to roam its grounds or you can pay $15 to enter and get a guided tour. My personal favorite time to visit is at night, the fort is left open to play for tourists. You will likely see a Ghost Tour group pass through and if you’re within earshot, you may hear a ghoulish tale of STA history.   

Want to see more of the Oldest City and St. Augustine Beach? Check out #STAawhile on Instagram to view my Auggie adventures.

3 comments
  1. Cheryl Mizell
    Cheryl Mizell
    February 18, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    The Floridian is one of my favorite restaurants. Not only is the food amazing it just has that Florida Southern charm. I can’t wait to go back to St. Augustine. I think I will make it an annual destination.

    Reply
  2. TIFFANY KEELIN
    TIFFANY KEELIN
    April 22, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    With me being a St. Augustine native, you have chosen to highlight some of my favorites!! Thank you!! So glad i found your page on Instagram!

    Reply
    • Mandy Mizell
      Mandy Mizell • Post Author •
      May 8, 2020 at 4:39 pm

      Thanks Tiffany! I am so glad I got the local approval! Any other tips, send them my way.

      Reply
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