St. Augustine, Florida—a city that’s as rich in history as it is in culinary delights. You might come for the Spanish forts and the cobblestone streets, but let’s be honest, you’ll stay for the food. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
But what if I told you that you can do as the Italians do, right here in America’s oldest city? That’s right, St. Augustine is not just a haven for seafood and Southern cuisine; it’s also a treasure trove of Italian gastronomy.
Imagine walking down a quaint alley, the air tinged with the aroma of garlic and fresh basil, and stumbling upon a little Italian bistro that feels like a slice of Rome or Florence. You’re not daydreaming; you’re just exploring St. Augustine’s vibrant food scene.
From wood-fired pizzas that would make a Neapolitan proud to pasta dishes that transport you straight to a grandmother’s kitchen in Sicily, this city has it all.
So, why should you trust me? Well, I’ve had the pleasure—and let’s be real, it’s an absolute pleasure—of dining my way through St. Augustine’s Italian eateries.
I’ve twirled the spaghetti, I’ve savored the osso buco, and yes, I’ve even had a tiramisu that made me want to stand up and applaud. And now, I’m here to guide you through this culinary journey.
Think of me as your gastronomic GPS, steering you away from tourist traps and pointing you towards authentic, mouth-watering experiences.
Ready to discover the best Italian restaurants in St. Augustine, Florida? Trust me, by the end of this article, you’ll be saying “Mamma Mia, why didn’t I explore this sooner?”
So, loosen that belt buckle and put on your adventurous palate, because we’re about to dive fork-first into la dolce vita, St. Augustine style!
My Top Three Picks of the Spots For The Best Italian Restaurants In St Augustine Florida
|Restaurant||Top Pick||Our Rating|
|Casa Benedetto’s||Shrimp scampi||5/5|
|Terra & Acqua||Lobster over grilled veggies and arugula||5/5|
|Amici Italian Restaurant||Chicken Francese||4.5/5|
The 6 Best Italian Restaurants In St Augustine Florida
197 Blackford Way, St. Augustine, FL 32086, United States // +19044715999
Nestled in the heart of St. Augustine, this casual eatery is like stepping into a cozy Italian home, complete with retro vibes and homey accents.
You know a place is authentic when the atmosphere alone transports you to Southern Italy, and let me tell you, Casa Benedetto’s nails it.
Now, let’s talk service. You ever walk into a place and immediately feel like you’re part of the family? That’s exactly what happened here.
The staff greeted us with warm smiles and made sure we were well taken care of throughout our meal. It’s that kind of genuine hospitality that turns a good dining experience into an unforgettable one.
But let’s get to the main event—the food. Having had the privilege of tasting dishes in Italy, I can vouch for the authenticity of Casa Benedetto’s cuisine. We kicked things off with some crusty bread and a caponata spread that was just divine.
The soup of the day? A mouthwatering cream of mushroom with spinach that had us scraping the bowl.
For the main course, my friend went for the Penne vodka, and I opted for the shrimp scampi. Both dishes were spot-on.
The pasta was cooked to al dente perfection and the sauces? Let’s just say they had us contemplating whether it’d be inappropriate to lick our plates clean.
And oh, the portion sizes! Don’t be fooled by what might seem like small servings. Trust me, the richness of the pasta will leave you satisfyingly full.
It’s like that paradox where something small packs an enormous punch. A featherweight boxer with a heavyweight knockout, if you will.
We couldn’t resist rounding off the meal with one of their homemade desserts. The bread pudding was our pick, and boy, did it deliver! Warm, delicious, and speckled with chocolate chips, it was the perfect sweet note to end on.
So, if you find yourself in St. Augustine with a craving for authentic Italian fare, do yourself a favor and head to Casa Benedetto’s.
60 Charlotte St, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States // +19048254100
Nestled conveniently between the Hilton and St. George, Pizzalley’s Chianti Room offers a unique blend of classic Italian cuisine and a relaxed, Floridian atmosphere.
The first thing you notice as you walk in is the inviting smell of garlic wafting through the air. It’s a subtle yet unmistakable sign that you’re in for an authentic meal.
The restaurant layout is intriguing, to say the least. With a full bar, veranda seating, and additional spots near the restroom hallway, the place has a labyrinthine charm.
It’s easy to find a cozy corner for a more intimate dining experience. And if you’re in the mood for some live tunes, they often have music performances on their deck—a nice touch for a casual night out.
Service here is top-notch. The staff are attentive but not intrusive, striking that delicate balance that makes you feel both cared for and comfortable. It’s clear they take pride in what they do, and it shows in the quality of the service.
Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter: the food. The homemade lasagna is genuinely impressive, offering a comforting blend of flavors that feels both hearty and refined. My friend had the chicken parmigiana, and it was equally satisfying.
The chicken was cooked just right, and the sauce had a depth of flavor that complemented it well.
While the drinks were decent, they weren’t the highlight. But that’s okay because the food more than made up for it.
Price-wise, it’s a bit above average, but considering the quality of the food and the overall experience, it feels justified.
88 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States // +19048291133
If you’re in St. Augustine and have a hankering for New York-style pizza, Borrillo’s Pizzeria & Beer & Wine Garden should be on your radar.
Run by a chef from Brooklyn, this small eatery delivers big on authenticity. It’s a simple place, no frills, with about nine tables inside. The interior might be a bit worn, but it lends the place a certain unpretentious charm.
The menu is more than just pizza; they also offer baked pasta, calzones, Stromboli, and cold sub sandwiches. But let’s focus on the main event: the pizza. We ordered a large sausage and pepperoni, and it hit all the right notes.
The crust was hand-tossed, the sauce was well-seasoned, and the toppings were generous without overwhelming the pie.
What sets Borrillo’s apart is its beer and wine garden. It’s an open-air space that’s casual and welcoming.
While we were there, they had live music, which added to the relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great spot to enjoy your pizza, sip on a beer or wine, and just unwind.
The drink selection is decent, offering a variety of options that pair well with the food. And speaking of pairing well, the service was attentive and friendly, making the dining experience even more enjoyable.
So, if you’re looking for a laid-back spot with authentic New York pizza in St. Augustine, Borrillo’s is worth a visit. It’s a local go-to for a reason, and it’s easy to see why after you’ve dined there.
If you’re in the mood for Italian food that goes beyond the usual suspects of spaghetti and meatballs, Terra & Acqua is a must-visit in St. Augustine.
Specializing in modern Northern Italian cuisine, this place offers a dining experience that’s both sophisticated and down-to-earth.
When I first walked in, I was struck by the atmosphere. The lighting sets a warm and inviting mood, which is always a good sign.
I initially thought Terra & Acqua would be a small, intimate place, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s a full-sized restaurant.
There’s plenty of space to enjoy a meal without feeling cramped, yet it still manages to feel cozy.
Now, let’s talk food. I opted for the lobster over grilled veggies and arugula. It was a dish that managed to be both flavorful and light, a combination that’s not easy to pull off.
My friend chose the Cioppino, a seafood stew that was a medley of fish, shrimp, clams, and mussels. What set it apart was the light red broth, which was a refreshing change from the usual heavy tomato sauce you find in most stews.
It was clear that the chef knows how to let the ingredients shine.
The wine menu is also worth mentioning. They offer a variety of choices that complement the food well, making it easy to relax and savor your meal.
In short, Terra & Acqua is a hidden gem in St. Augustine’s dining scene. If you appreciate Italian cuisine with a modern twist and a setting that’s both elegant and comfortable, you won’t be disappointed.
It’s a place that manages to be many things at once: sophisticated yet unpretentious, expansive yet intimate, and above all, delicious.
1915 A1A S, St. Augustine, FL 32080, United States // +19044610102
If you’re in St. Augustine and craving some good old-fashioned Italian comfort food, Amici Italian Restaurant should be on your list.
This place is a classic, casual spot that serves up all the Italian staples you know and love. Plus, it’s easy on the wallet, which is always a bonus.
First off, the atmosphere is cozy and welcoming. It’s the kind of place where you can settle in for a leisurely lunch or dinner, indoors or out.
And let’s not overlook the practical stuff: free off-street parking and wheelchair accessibility make it a hassle-free experience for everyone.
One of the first things that caught my eye was their tablet menus. It’s a small touch, but it made ordering a breeze—and kind of fun, too.
The decor could use a bit of a refresh, but it’s pleasant enough and doesn’t detract from the overall experience.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff: the food. They started us off with warm bread and garlic-infused olive oil for dipping. Simple, but oh-so-delicious. I decided to try their signature Celery Datil soup, and it was a pleasant surprise.
It had this unique blend of flavors that was both tasty and had a bit of a kick. Definitely not something I would’ve thought to put together, but it worked.
For my main course, I went with the Chicken Francese. The chicken was incredibly tender, and the sauce had this perfect balance of citrus and butter.
It’s been years since I had a Chicken Francese this good. My friend opted for the Wahoo Crab Cannelloni and was equally impressed.
And although we were too full for dessert, the options sounded tempting. They also offer pizzas, which I’m definitely coming back to try.
A little pro tip for the health-conscious: you can substitute pasta with zucchini noodles in any dish.
2 Aviles St, St. Augustine, FL 32084, United States // +19048910318
For the last spot, we have a place tucked away from the main tourist hustle and bustle of St. Augustine, Nonnas Trattoria is a delightful find.
This intimate Italian restaurant offers both indoor and charming sidewalk seating on Aviles Street, a narrow lane that gives off a distinctly European vibe. It’s the kind of place that feels romantic without even trying.
The first thing that struck me was the music—Italian tunes softly playing in the background, setting the mood just right. The staff greeted us warmly, and it was clear from the get-go that the service was going to be attentive.
We kicked off our meal with fried calamari, and it didn’t disappoint. Crispy, tender, and just the right amount of chewy.
For our main course, we shared pasta with bolognese sauce. The pasta was cooked to perfection, and the sauce had a rich, meaty flavor that was comforting and satisfying.
It’s the kind of dish that makes you understand why family recipes are worth passing down, which in this case, are courtesy of Adamo and his grandmother.
To round off the meal, we couldn’t resist a slice of tiramisu. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful dining experience—light, creamy, and just the right amount of sweetness.
While waiting for our food, I took the opportunity to soak in the surroundings. Aviles Street is a gem, lined with old buildings that add to its character.
We even took a pre-meal stroll and discovered Peace Pie, an ice cream sandwich shop just two doors up. It’s worth noting if you’re in the mood for an extra treat.
So, if you’re looking for authentic Italian food in a setting that’s both cozy and a little off the beaten path, Nonnas Trattoria is well worth the visit.
It’s a place that captures the essence of what Italian dining is all about: good food, warm hospitality, and an atmosphere that makes you want to linger just a little longer. It’s definitely one of the best Italian restaurants in St Augustine Florida.
What’s the Italian food scene like in St. Augustine?
St. Augustine has a surprisingly diverse Italian food scene for a city its size. From classic pizzerias and family-run trattorias to modern Italian eateries, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re craving a simple Margherita pizza or a sophisticated Osso Buco, you’ll find it here.
I’m a vegetarian. Will I find good options?
Yes, you’re in luck! Italian cuisine is quite vegetarian-friendly, and most restaurants in St. Augustine offer a range of salads, pastas, and pizzas that are meat-free. Some places even offer the option to substitute regular pasta with zucchini noodles.
What about authentic Italian dishes? I’m tired of just spaghetti and meatballs.
You won’t be disappointed. Many restaurants, like Amici and Casa Benedetto’s, offer a range of authentic Italian dishes, from Chicken Francese to Cioppino. Some even use family recipes passed down through generations.
What’s the price range for dining at an Italian restaurant in St. Augustine?
The price can vary widely depending on where you go. Casual spots like Borrillo’s Pizzeria are quite budget-friendly, while more upscale restaurants like Terra & Acqua can be on the pricier side. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $30 per person.
Wrapping Up: The 6 Best Italian Restaurants In St Augustine Florida
As we wrap up this culinary journey through St. Augustine, it’s clear that this historic city has much more to offer than just its rich past and scenic beauty.
When it comes to Italian cuisine, St. Augustine is a hidden gem that deserves to be on every food lover’s radar.
From cozy, family-run trattorias to modern Italian eateries, the city offers a diverse range of options that cater to all tastes and budgets.
What sets the Italian food scene in St. Augustine apart is its commitment to authenticity. Many of the restaurants here are not just Italian-inspired; they are Italian, often run by families who have brought their cherished recipes from the Old Country.
This makes for an experience that goes beyond just eating; it’s a celebration of Italian culture right here in Florida.
But it’s not just about tradition. St. Augustine’s Italian restaurants also show a flair for innovation, often incorporating local ingredients to give classic dishes a unique twist.
Whether it’s a seafood pasta featuring locally-caught shrimp or a pizza spiced up with Florida’s famous datil peppers, the city’s chefs know how to keep things interesting.
Another standout feature is the atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot, a laid-back pizzeria, or a lively venue with live music, you’ll find it here.
Many restaurants offer both indoor and outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy the city’s pleasant climate while you dine.
Accessibility is another plus. From ample parking to wheelchair-friendly venues, these restaurants go the extra mile to ensure a hassle-free dining experience.
And let’s not forget the service, which often strikes that perfect balance between attentive and unobtrusive, making you feel both welcomed and respected.
In conclusion, St. Augustine’s Italian restaurant scene is a microcosm of what makes this city so special: a blend of history, culture, and a sense of community, all served up with a generous helping of hospitality.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through, make sure to set aside some time to explore this underrated aspect of St. Augustine’s culinary landscape. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our restaurant guides to the following cities:
- Best Amelia Island Restaurants & 9 Fun Things To Do In Amelia Island
- Must-Try Restaurants in Madison
- 9 Fun Things To Do In Vero Beach Florida
- 8 Best Vero Beach Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Clearwater Florida Restaurants
- 7 Best Celebration FL Restaurants
- 7 Best Kissimmee Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Cape Coral Restaurants
- 9 Must-Try Madison FL Restaurants
- 7 Best Neptune Beach Restaurants
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever