Just because you’ve chosen a specific diet doesn’t mean that you have to pack your own food on your trip to St. Augustine (although if you do, be sure to ask us about having a refrigerator placed in your room!) Below are our favorite restaurants, both in the historic district (1,2,3, and 4) and outside of town (5,6,7).
Don’t forget to include your dietary specs in your reservation. Our breakfast options always include fruit, yogurt, muffins, bagels, oatmeal, and assorted cereals.
- The Floridian. The owners of this charming café are committed to fresh local food, and most of the entrée descriptions list the name of the farm where the ingredients were grown. Vegans and non-vegans alike will love the menu, which changes frequently. During my last visit, I enjoyed a carrot and ginger soup; vegetarian sandwiches and a burger are always available. Homemade pickles come with many of the meals. www.thefloridianstaug.com. 39 Cordova Street. 904.829.0655.
- Casa Maya. The hub’s favorite restaurant, although he wouldn’t eat vegan (on purpose) if the meal was free. Tempeh entrees are good, and the black bean soup (vegetarian-not vegan) and guacamole are awesome. 17 Hypolita Street. 904.823.0787. Closed Tuesdays.
- Love Tree. Located behind one of St. Augustine’s famous “love trees”, a palm tree and oak that have grown together, this café offers turkey burgers, vegetarian pizzas, and spinach pie. www.lovetreecafe.com. 6 Cordova. 904.827.0807. Closed Sundays.
- Juniper Market. You might not see this small market of baked goods and prepared foods, but it’s right on San Marco, behind Coastal Traders (they’re the ones with all the cool wooden figurines in the window). This hidden treasure offers great vegan and gluten-free choices, like vegan pumpkin streusel cake, and vegan (and gluten free) lentil kale soup. Plus, they offer full meals–just order them ahead and bring them home to enjoy. Menu changes daily; call for details. 56A San Marco. 904.342.7617.
- Ripe. You’ll have to drive to this location, but it’s worth it. New in 2012, this unassuming looking restaurant in a strip mall serves great food and always has vegetarian options, including a vegetarian soup each day. The inside is cute, with a library and sofas in the back room. www.ripestaugustine.com. 1097 A1A. 904.471.3177.
- The Back 40 Urban Café. Some great vegetarian options—including vegetarian 3 bean chilli, a wet burrito with avocado and brown rice, and avocado and red pepper tacos. Plus, an amazing house made cilantro salsa (to make the wet burrito vegan, ask to skip the cheese, skip the sour cream, and insert salsa instead). www.back40cafe.com. 40 S Dixie Highway. 904.824.0227.
- Present Moment Café. Extensive raw menu, and all organic. Mostly vegetarian, with some vegan options; the owner is committed to the concept of “kind cuisine”. The restaurant is on the up-and-coming neighborhood of West King, and is surrounded by cool art galleries. Parking is behind the café. www.thepresentmomentcafe.com. 224 West King Street. 904.827.4499.
One final note: although I’ve never been there when the cafe is open, you might want to check out Diane’s Natural Market (locations on Anastasia Island and in the Hobby Lobby shopping center on Route 1). They carry freshly made sandwiches, as well as a fully stocked grocery of vegan and vegetarian products.