Eat your way through the Sunshine State
The Sunshine State has an array of places to eat and drink. This summer, eat your way through the Sunshine State and explore the endless opportunities for unique dining experiences around the state.
PENSACOLA: With more than 460 years of cultural influence, an abundance of fresh seafood and a lively history that can still be seen and felt today, Pensacola has no shortage of unique eateries for food enthusiasts to enjoy. Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Pensacola, Five Sisters Blues Café is a local trademark and a monument to the city's history in blues music. Serving delicious southern and soul food favorites, and previously welcoming guests like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Ike and Tina Turner, this establishment has taken on a life of its own. Unable to decide what will best fit your appetite? Travelers can embark on an adventure through Pensacola to five local establishments on the Seville Savories Food Tours, indulging in dishes that are both diverse and eclectic, just like the city itself. The tours walk through the history of America’s first settlement via its food and cultural influences, with lunch and dinner tours available to book, as well as a designated local coffee tour.
FLORIDA SPORTS COAST: With all the adrenaline-pumping fun along Florida’s Sports Coast, you’ll no doubt need to refuel at some point. Try out some local, fresh-caught seafood at Whiskey Joe’s Bar + Grill in New Port Richey. Accessible by land or water, this seafood hotspot serves up mouth-watering Gulf grouper tacos, mango-glazed scallops and coconut rum chicken, also offering an always-fresh raw oyster bar.
Further inland in Wesley Chapel, the open-air entertainment epicenter, KRATE at The Grove, offers more than 50 one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants including sushi, falafel, Latin fusion, Hawaiian noodles and much more. The innovative center, complete with a live entertainment area and playground, is built from 90 repurposed and locally manufactured shipping containers, making it a unique backdrop for a foodie looking to satisfy any craving.
ORLANDO: Locals and visitors should prepare themselves to embark on a culinary adventure! The vibrant city carries a wide array of international dining options – introducing consumers to new flavors, spices and cultural influences. From award-winning restaurants to hidden gems, Orlando is a melting pot for diverse dishes and well-crafted drinks. Orlando’s dining scene grows stronger every year with nationally recognized chefs, new restaurants from celebrity chefs and diverse cuisines for every budget and taste. Overall, Orlando is home to over 6,000 restaurants representing 40 different international cuisines. Not to mention, 46 restaurants have been recognized by the MICHELIN Guide – including four starred venues, 11 Bib Gourmands and 31 Recommended. From dining with fireworks views or along the water, to exploring local neighborhood eats and trendy food halls, Orlando offers options for all foodies.
OCALA/MARION COUNTY: Ocala/Marion County offers unforgettable outdoor dining — whether under sun, shade or stars. Historic Downtown is home to some locally-owned restaurants and bars, as well as breweries. One such brewery is Big Hammock Brewery and Bites, also located in Downtown Ocala, not only offers 12 taps that feature a mix of BHB's own brews and rotating guest craft beers but also a unique Asian menu with a twist, offering ramen bowls, Boa Buns, hot pretzels and more. While BHB is the newest brewery in town, its historic location is not. The brewery recently won a Beatification Award from the Historic Ocala Preservation Society for the revitalization of its building.
Less than a block off the Downtown Ocala Square sits Corkscrew Winery and Brewery, where you can not just have a glass of craft wine and beer, but also make your own to bring home! With a rustic atmosphere that feels like a castle wine cellar, Corkscrew is a popular location for private events as well.
For residents and travelers eager to learn more about the culinary traditions of Ocala/Marion County, you may want to sign up for a Brick City Food Tour. Your guided Brick City Food Tour visits five sit-down tasting locations in the downtown neighborhood. From southern and French delicacies to gourmet cafés and the finest chocolates, you will learn about local customs, historical stories and specialty shops between delicious samples.
ST. AUGUSTINE: Florida’s Historic Coast offers a rich variety of culinary options, curated from centuries of diverse dining. From fresh seafood and artisan treats to any combination of local cultural cuisine, dining options can appease even the pickiest of palates. With more than 450 years of history, guests can enjoy fine dining, eclectic bistros, wine bars and sidewalk cafes influenced by the countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean that make up St. Augustine’s history. Guests can take one of the fantastic food tours in St. Augustine with The Tasting Tours, St. Augustine Experiences or City Walks Food & Wine Tours. Or book a class to learn more about how to make some of our local heritage classes at the Ancient City Brunch Bar’s Cooking Experiences.
CLAY COUNTY: From fresh, local seafood to international flavors, there’s no shortage of unique dishes at local restaurants in Clay County. Allow the destination to help create a unique dining experience for you, perfect for stepping outside of the box and trying something new.
Get ready for bold, Greek flavors at Fresh from Yianni’s Kitchen in Fleming Island. Owner, Yiannis Demopoulos, prides himself in sharing the flavors of his parent’s homeland, producing authentic, Mediterranean cuisine using recipes he learned from his grandmother. From made-to-order gyros, fresh Greek salads with the option to add-on grilled fish and, of course, there’s spanakopita on the menu too. Other Greek items include: Moussaka served with Greek salad and pita sandwiches, shawarma and Avgolemono soup. Open for lunch and dinner, stop in for a meal filled with flavors.
When it comes to Florida delicacies, it doesn’t get much more Floridian than eating alligator! At Whitey’s Fish Camp along Swimming Pen Creek, diners can enjoy fresh seafood of all kinds with alligator tail served fried as an appetizer and also an entrée. And yes, it is true – it really does taste like chicken. For other adventurous items, try a platter of fried and raw oysters, whole catfish and even a traditional shrimp boil with corn, mushrooms, sausages and more. A local favorite since 1963, at Whitey’s you can even arrive by boat! As you explore the dock area, be on the lookout for real alligators in the water below.
ST. PETE: Sit back, relax and enjoy unparalleled views of the Tampa Bay at Pier Teaki, located atop of the St. Pete Pier. Opened in July 2020, the St. Pete Pier is the Southeast’s largest waterfront playground comprising 26 acres of activated waterfront park located in St. Pete, Florida’s vibrant downtown. Pier Teaki, famous for its views and delicious bar bites, including its fish tacos, pork potstickers and more, is the perfect stop at the St. Pete Pier. This modern tiki bar is the spot to be — from its refreshing house-made frozen cocktails like the Frozé to its tropical hand-crafted signature cocktail list — this rooftop lounge is the perfect place to end your evening on the St. Pete Pier.
TAMPA: Hyde Park Village is the place for discerning shoppers and diners, looking for the very best in retail, dining and entertainment. Located within Tampa’s most historic district and spanning six-city blocks, Hyde Park Village is a lifestyle center unlike any other in the region, blending historical and modern architecture and European-inspired detail.
Hyde Park Village has 15 (soon to be 16) culinary destinations to choose from, 10 of which are locally-owned. The options are endless between Goody Goody, specializing in burgers, fries and pies, Timpano, known for its rustic Italian menu, On Swann, a renowned hot spot for its contemporary American dining and Meat Market, an ultra-chic, modern steakhouse. Additionally, there is Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co., with 38 wacky, chef-driven ice cream flavors, as well as Sprinkles, known for introducing the world’s first cupcake ATM, and The Hyppo, complete with 450 flavors of all-natural ice pops.
The Sunshine State offers visitors an assortment of unparalleled culinary options. To learn more and plan your next trip, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.
About VISIT FLORIDA
VISIT FLORIDA is the Sunshine State’s official tourism marketing corporation and travel planning resource for visitors across the globe. As Florida’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming over 137.4 million visitors in 2022, the highest number of visitors in the state’s history. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations, and visitor services programs, and works with travel industry partners throughout the state. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow @FloridaTourism on Facebook and Twitter, or go to visitflorida.org
About Vox International
VoX International is a Canadian-owned destination marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada with offices in Vancouver and Montreal, providing Canadian representation nationally. VoX is a full-service sale, marketing, event planning and public relations agency led by a team of high profile, knowledgeable travel industry executives. Recognized as a marketplace leader, VoX offers a wide range of support within the North American meeting, incentive, events, and hospitality and leisure tourism sectors. VoX’s passion for providing personal, innovative and results driven solutions are key factors for driving the company’s reputation for success.
Senior Public Relations Manager
VISIT FLORIDA – Canada
416-935-1896 ext. 242