St. Augustine’s Savory Culinary Scene Reflects City’s Diversity

St. Augustine, Florida's cuisine reflects the city's diverse and colorful history. There's no better way to get to know the oldest city in the country than to take one of the guided food tours offered by City Walks, combining food and history with the sights and sounds of the modern city.

The 2½-hour Savory Faire walking tour explores the cultures that have influenced this oldest city in the U.S. As a food lover, and someone who believes that food reveals the true soul of a culture, this was the perfect way for me to get to know St. Augustine. While the restaurants vary, each tour is similar to my experience. 

Our small group ambled over to Athena Restaurant, which serves classic Greek dishes. The Chryssaidis family brings Greece to St. Augustine through such classic dishes as the Saganahi (flaming cheese) served with Pita Bread. Around the world, countries find great ways to serve cheese.

Athena Cafe

Athena Cafe. Photo courtesy Athena Cafe

The Greek version is one of the most flamboyant with the great shouts of joy as the cheese blazes with flame as it arrives table-side. In addition to the luscious oozing cheese, we tasted an array of other Greek specialties. I enjoyed watching the locals come and go before it was time to head off for the next culinary destination. 14 Cathedral Place. 904-823-9076. http://www.athenacafe.com

We made our way a short distance to the oldest street in the U.S., Aviles Street, and followed the delightful fragrance of waffles and coffee into Gaufre's & Goods, serving up Greek and Polish food. Along with the fragrant waffles (gaufres) and a smorgasbord of toppings, this little colorful restaurant, with doors opening right onto the old street, offers soups, salads, pierogies, and an assortment of Polish specialties. The signature dish is stuffed cabbage served with tomato sauce. I braved my dislike of cabbage and found myself eating the entire helping. The dish was hearty yet delicate at the same time and so full of flavor. I really enjoyed the Pyzy, or Silesian dumplings stuffed with meat. This traditional Southern Polish dish was another treasured bite. Even on a hot summer day, it didn't feel too heavy, although it was a complex dish. The owners, friendly and more than happy to share their stories, also serve a great selection of hot and iced coffees. 9 A & B Aviles Street. 904-829-5770.

Claudes Chocolate

Claude's Chocolate display. Photo courtesy Claude's Chocolate

I was so full I was certain I couldn't eat another bite — until I discovered that the final stop was at Claude's Chocolate. There is always room for gourmet chocolate. Chef Claude offers a huge selection of chocolates, from solid milk and dark chocolates to truffles, bonbons, bark, and a variety of novelties such as chocolate-covered popcorn, pretzels, Oreos, ginger, mango, orange, and Cheerios. I bought a 4-piece box and included two raspberry-filled chocolates in my selection. I have enjoyed chocolates around the world (literally) and those raspberry-filled chocolates from Claude's Chocolate in St. Augustine were among the best anywhere. I intended to get back into the shop before I left town to buy more, but with so much to do, I never made it back before time to leave. Fortunately, Claude's Chocolate also ships! 41 King Street. 904-808-8395. http://www.claudeschocolate.com

City Walks presents Savory Faire tours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1:30 p.m. They feature 5 different restaurants each weekday, offering a visitor the chance to visit 15 different restaurants during a week's visit in town. Due to the nature of the tours, they are not able to make adjustments for food allergies or special diets. Each tour is $48, which includes tastings at 5 restaurants, tips to waiters, taxes, and a recipe to take home.

Other City Walks tours include St. Augustine Creepy Crawl; the St. Augustine Pub Crawl; History, Mystery, Mayhem, & Murder. Times vary and are listed on the website at http://www.StAugustineCityWalks.com. The City Walks ticket booth is at 23 Orange Street in St. Augustine.

RoamRight travel insurance

City Walks
23 Orange Street
St. Augustine, Florida
http://www.StAugustineCityWalks.com
904-540-3476

St. Augustine is a beautiful escape, filled with history and romantic beaches. In fact, we also suggest you check out St. Augustine for your destination wedding. There are beautiful wedding venues near St. Augustine, including The Palencia Club. Wherever you decide to visit—for your wedding or a vacation, St. Augustine is a treasure.

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders, Alamo.com, Hotels.com, Fairmont.com, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury, Marriott.com, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

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