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Food and Drink, Florida

You will find delicious eateries everywhere you go in Florida, with sumptuous seafood on offer pretty much everywhere you roam; caught right by the ocean. Tuck into a dish at Biltmore Brunch for an impressive range of freshly-prepared dishes, or try Jax Beach Brunch Haus for honest, tasty food with a jazzy twist. From American diners to sophisticated restaurants and trendy, chic rooftop bars, there is something on offer here for everyone.

Flora-Bama Lounge

Perhaps one of the most famous beach bars in the United States, Flora-Bama is loved for its live music events, tasty oysters and an excellent atmosphere. Located in the Key West region of Florida, Flora-Bama opened in 1964 and has since reached iconic status with all who visit.

Image source: Flickr Copyright Antonio Zugaldia.

The legendary daily and annual events range from the exciting to the eccentric, staging everything from beach runs, chilli cook-offs, costume contests and even a mullet toss, to huge outdoor beach concerts. Music events also take place inside the atmospheric, rustic bar, where the friendly people and great tunes make for an unforgettable evening. There are actually five different music stages here, so whether your music taste is better suited to rock or country, you can find it at Flora-Bama.

The bar and grill here offer great drinks and pub grub, too, including the Bushwacker – a locally famous frozen drink which is described as having a coffee flavour. Locals say the drink gives you the best time that you don’t remember, so it’s worth trying if you’re after a wild night out.

Jax Beach Brunch Haus

Jax Beach Brunch Haus is a wonderful diner located on Jackson Beach, where you can enjoy a range of delicious food after spending the day at the beach in the glorious Florida sunshine. Try anything from brunch food, including the likes of delicious poached eggs or the Florida classic of shrimp eggs and grits. If you’re really hungry, why not opt for the steak and eggs served with the popular Haus fries?

The colourful decor and relaxed environment make this a very family-friendly restaurant. However, there is also a bar if you fancy a refreshing cocktail, or perch on the stools and enjoy a quiet drink in the evening.

Later in the day, you can try the burger patty, consisting of sumptuous homemade meatloaf wrapped in bacon. Make sure you try the O.G Cheese, too, which comes with your own choice of cheese, or tuck into the various wraps and quesadillas on the menu and wash it all down with a fresh smoothie.

Latitudes at Sunset Key Cottages

If you want to treat yourself to a spot of elegant fine dining while on your holiday in Florida, you can do so at Latitudes – an award-winning restaurant at Sunset Key Cottages in Key West. Here, the tasteful bar and stylish furniture spill to the outside patio, where you overlook the Gulf of Mexico washing up onto the shore.

Latitudes is a restaurant of class and its popularity reflects that. Diners need to book in advance in order to get a seat here and must be wearing the appropriate attire, which is usually smart casual. You can eat at Latitudes at almost any time of the day, with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus all available. However, the most indulgent, gourmet options are on the evening menu, which is refined, but varied.

Seafood lovers will love the seared sea scallops, seafood pasta and pan-roasted lobster tail, but the dry-aged strip steak, grilled tenderloin and mushroom linguini also make excellent choices. However, tasty salads, soups and chicken-based dishes are also available.

Local Cuisine

While many regions have drifted away from their local dishes, the various creations to have originated in Florida are still heavily present on menus throughout the state. Your day will likely start with a cold glass of Florida orange juice at breakfast – the state’s (and today, perhaps even the world’s) favourite breakfast drink.

From then on, you’ll find Florida dishes sitting alongside internationally-loved family favourites on the menus of almost all the local restaurants. Florida’s cuisine includes a little bit of everything, from clams and oysters to Cuban sandwiches.

Those with a sweet tooth will be right at home here, too, as Key West is also the spiritual home of the Key lime pie, with some of the best, original recipes being served here in Florida. Few people realise that Florida is also the winter strawberry capital of the world, with sweet strawberry shortcakes being a favourite amongst locals.

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Michael’s Genuine Food And Drink is a casual neighbourhood dining spot which showcases the recipes and food of Michael Shwartz, with his aim being to provide high-quality food in an unpretentious environment that everyone can enjoy. This restaurant caters for any appetite, as you can have a light snack here, or opt for a multi-course feast if you wish.

Image source: Flickr Copyright RachaelChickswithKnives

Make the most of the Miami sun and dine outside, while sipping on any of the tasty cocktails the bartenders can rustle up for you. The chefs here pride themselves on making freshly cooked food in the style of ‘new American cuisine’, so get ready to enjoy all of your favourite American dishes with a twist.

Make sure you try the stonebaked pizzas, which are prepared right in front of you, or perhaps sample the freshly caught seafood cooked to perfection. This bright and airy restaurant is the perfect place to spend quality time with friends and family and experience some tasty Miami food.

Rooftop bars

Florida’s tropical climate and friendly atmosphere is perfect for sitting outdoors with a cold refreshing drink, which is why rooftop bars are so popular throughout the state. Whether you’re looking for somewhere with a relaxing, laid back atmosphere with an ocean view, or somewhere more vibrant to party the night away, you will be able to find a rooftop bar which caters to your exact tastes while holidaying in Florida.

The trendy district of Miami Beach is a particular hotspot for stylish rooftop bars, such as Sugar, a green, vegetation-lined bar which provides panoramic views of the city at 40 floors high. Alternatively, head to the idyllic Watr at the 1 Rooftop, which offers incredible ocean views.

If it’s a Sunday, make sure you head to Highbar for an all-day pool party with amazing city views. Aero in Orlando is a hugely popular rooftop bar, too, where visitors dance long into the night, while Latitudes has a rustic Caribbean feel and great value drink deals to take advantage of.

Seafood restaurants

Seafood is a core part of Florida’s cuisine, with Florida stone crab, Apalachicola oysters and Cedar Key clams all being created here. Smoked fish spreads are also highly popular here and are a staple of the average Floridian’s diet. So, with all of these delicious dishes originating here, you can guarantee that you will find an excellent seafood restaurant during your getaway.

Most of the best seafood restaurants in Florida tend to be more traditional outlets, such as independent shacks and stalls at fish markets. So, consider trying some of the more authentic outlets, like Big Water Fish Market in Sarasota, Fish Shack just off Pompano Beach or Safe Harbor Seafood Market & Restaurant at Atlantic Beach.

Head to DJ’s Clam Shack in Key West to try some of the state’s best clam dishes, or Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar in West Orlando to sample some of those adored Apalachicola oysters. Alternatively, for a meal of sheer indulgence, try Ocean Prime, or Flying Fish, located in the Epcot theme park.

Sweet Liberty

Found in the trendy South Beach district of Miami Beach, Sweet Liberty is the perfect rest stop to indulge in glorious food and tasty cocktails.

This highly popular restaurant is loved by beachgoers for its incredible menu of glorious cheat dishes. Steak Frites, fried chicken, Buffalo chicken wings, swordfish tacos and lobster are just a few of the excellent options to choose from here. However, the real standout speciality is the buns of liberty burger, comprised of two succulent sirloin and brisket patties, topped with American cheese, special sauce and fries.

If you want to spend the whole day here or merely eat earlier, you can, as Sweet Liberty serves a full brunch menu, including tasty salads, sandwiches and Nachos. Maybe you merely want to stop here for a quick refreshment on the way back from the beach? Sweet Liberty offers a number of tasty beverages which hit the spot on a hot day, with a full cocktail menu being available from early evening to late at night.

The Biltmore Brunch

The Biltmore Brunch at Coral Gables can offer you a friendly service and spectacular food within gorgeous surroundings. This eatery offers a huge range of seafood for you to taste and try, from salmon to caviar, shellfish and even sushi; all in an exquisite and elegant setting.

There is a whole wall of desserts and a fantastic selection for you to treat yourself to, prepared by the expert pastry chef Olivier Rodriguez. Along with these sweet treats, you can enjoy unlimited Bellinis, sparkling wine and many other delicious and delicate drinks for you to try.

Make the most of the live entertainment while you feast at Coral Gables, and take advantage of the bottomless brunch and cocktails. If you’re in Florida for the weekend, stop by the Sunday Brunch for tasty waffles and pancakes, a selection of salads with artisan dressings or any of the perfectly cooked meats at the carving station.

The Circle, The Breakers

The Circle restaurant at Palm Beach offers you sumptuous food in luxury surroundings. Whether you’re going to the breakfast buffet or the Sunday brunch service, make sure you book your reservations far in advance. With impeccable service and glorious lush grounds to explore after finishing your meal, a trip to this elegant restaurant is always a treat.

The Circle caters for lots of different diets and as well as an a la carte menu, there is also a hot and cold buffet for you to taste and try. This location is also incredibly romantic, so make sure you book a table with a view, to spend some quality time with your special someone.

For breakfast, you can expect to enjoy fresh fruit, pastries or freshly made omelettes with delicate flavours, while you admire the frescoed ceiling above you and renaissance style architecture. Don’t forget to dress up for their delicious Sunday brunch to treat yourself to some fantastic cuisine.