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Old Florida Dining

There’s nothing like enjoying true Florida cooking in old cracker homesteads. Here’s a listing of some of Florida Monthly’s top Old Florida restaurants around the state.


Northwest

Fisherman's Wharf. 210-D Highway 98 East Destin, (850) 654-4766. Owned by the local fishing co-op and features fresh local seafood. A great place to check out for lunch. Open daily seven days a week 11a.m.-until. V and MC accepted.

The Original Point Restaurant. 14340 Innerarity Point Road, Perdido Key, (850) 492-3577 Nothing fancy, but famous for fresh, local seafood and the "funniest" Bluegrass band around. It’s the place where all the locals eat seafood. Open for lunch & dinner. All major credit cards accepted.

Northeast

Yearling Restaurant. 14531 South C.R. 325, Hawthorne, (352) 466-3999. Serving over-sized Hush Puppies, Cheddar Cheese Dip (served complimentary before each meal), Stuffed Flounder, Deep Fried Clams, Venison, Quail, Cooter, Froglegs, Alligator and Quail.Wed.-Fri.: 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.: Noon-10 p.m.; Sun.: Noon-8:30 p.m.
 
Old Florida Cafe. Highway 441 (10 minutes south of Gainesville),  Micanopy, (352) 466-3663.  Try the Cuban and Reuben sandwiches or wide selection of deli sandwiches served on thick-sliced bakery
bread. For dessert try their famous Key Lime Pie or the McIntosh Wild Orange Pie, made from hand-picked wild oranges. Open daily seven days a week from 11a.m.-4 p.m. V, MC accepted.

Barbara Jean’s. 15 S. Roscoe Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, (904) 280-7522. Casual Southern dining featuring seafood (known for its crab cakes), home-style cooking, fresh vegetables and breads. Casual. Sun.-Thurs.: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. D, M, V, AE accepted.
 
Cap’s on the Water. 4325 Myrtle St. (off Highway A1A), Vilano Beach, (904) 824-8794. Located on the waterfront with fresh seafood, steaks and chicken, plus gator tail. Mon.-Fri.: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun.: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.
 
Clark’s Fish Camp.12903 Hood Landing Rd., Jacksonville, (904) 268-3474. Charbroiled seafood, fried gator tail, all-you-can-eat catfish, plus chicken, prime rib and steak dinners. Casual. Mon.-Thurs.: 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri.: 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun.: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Lunch is served Sat. and Sun. D, M, V accepted.
 
Conch House Restaurant. 57 Comares Ave., St. Augustine, (904) 829-8646. Conch chowder and fritters, tropical drinks, seafood dishes, plus chicken, steaks, pasta. Casual. Sun-Thurs.: 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sat.: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Serves breakfast lunch and dinner. M, V, AE accepted.

Central

Chalet Suzanne Restaurant & Inn. 3800 Chalet Suzanne Drive, Lake Wales, (800) 433-6011. Offering delicious cuisine including broiled grapefruit, soup romaine and shrimp curry. Open daily Sun.-Thurs. Breakfast served 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Lunch Noon-5 p.m.; Dinner 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.

Front Porch Restaurant & Pie Shop. 12039 N. Florida Avenue U.S. 41 South Dunnellon, (352) 489-4708. Tasty home cooking and delicious baked pies. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and supper. V, MC accepted.
 
Ivy House. 106 N.W. Main St., Williston, (352) 528-5410. Home cooked meals with specials daily. Featuring Baked Crispy Chicken with home made Macaroni and Cheese. The Ivy House is also renowned for its signature dessert, Milk Cake. Open daily 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner served Fri. and Sat.:  5 p.m.-8 p.m.
 
Skipper's Smokehouse. 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, (813) 971-0666. Florida cuisine with tastes of the Caribbean and Louisiana with award-winning black bean gator chili, alligator ribs & fried gator tail. Conch is served a variety of ways. Mudbugs are on the menu almost year round. Food is prepared to order: grilled, fried, steamed, smoked, or sautéed.Open daily Tues.-Sun.All major credit cards accepted.

Southeast

Catfish Deweys. 4003 N, Andrews Ave., Oakland Park, (954) 566-5333. Serving catfish lovers since 1984, this family friendly outpost has all-you-can-eat catfish every night along with other specials including all-you-can-eat stone crabs in season. Mon.-at.: 11:30 am.-10 pm.;
Sun.: 4 p.m.-10 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.
 
Flanigan's Seafood Bar and Grill. 479 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, (954) 493-5329. Flanigan's has become a South Florida legend because of the juicy, tender baby back ribs. Try the flame broiled, hickory smoked ribs and chicken fingers. Full Bar. Mon.-Fri.: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sat.: 11:30 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sun.: 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. All major credit cards accepted. Reservations accepted.

Southwest

Nav-A-Gator. 769 Kings Highway, Arcadia, (941) 627-FISH. The specialty at the Nav-A-Gator is their "World Famous" grouper sandwich, but don't overlook the duck tenders, gator bites, conch fritters, and swamp cabbage. More familiar fare such as grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs, shrimp and steak are available too. Full Bar. Mon.-Sat.: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun.: 12 a.m.-5 p.m. Restaurant opens daily at 11 a.m.
 
Fishery Restaurant. Placida, (941) 697-2451. The menu focuses on seafood with a wide range of sandwiches, salads, soups, appetizers and baskets. Specialties include Shrimp Tortuga, Low Tide Linguini, and Grouper Grande. Open daily seven days 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. All major credit cards accepted.