Florida is a state of remarkable diversity, both of landscapes and of cultures. From the natural springs and forests in the north to the sun-drenched beaches in the south, Florida is packed with multitudes. As a result, it offers a culinary scene that is as vibrant as its sunsets, making it a wonderful destination for food lovers.
From the eclectic international scene of Orlando to the refined restaurants of Sarasota, Florida’s gastronomy is superb, and well worth savoring. Whether you are in the state for just a few days before you set sail from Tampa’s west coast, or you are planning a longer adventure in the Sunshine State, taking the time to try the food wherever you end up is a great idea. To get your mouth watering and your tastebuds tingling, here are are few of the culinary highlights, offering a medley of flavors unique to each destination.
St. Petersburg is a true Florida gem, a city that merges an eclectic, artistic vibe with an energetic party style to create one of the best places to visit in the state. It’s one of the best places to eat in Florida too, with everything from grilled cheese from a food truck and artisanal pizza from a local cafe to creative, artistic fine dining menus are high end restaurants. Whatever your culinary tastes, St. Pete will provide, with a healthy dose of Gulf Coast beach and sunshine on the side!
Nestled like a jewel towards the southern end of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota is a paradise for seafood aficionados. It is one of the more elegant cities in the state, and serves up a wonderful array of charming, quality dining options that lean heavily on the fresh fish caught that day. From yellowtail snapper to spiny lobster, it is hard to find finer seafood than in Sarasota. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the sunset on the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand, the ultimate Gulf Coast experience!
Orlando is mostly famous for its impressive collection of theme parks, but it also boasts an impressive international food scene. Scattered around the city are some of the best and most multicultural restaurants from all around the world, from Ethiopian injera to Mediterranean meze, and everything in between. Whatever taste is tickling your tastebuds on any given day, from Brazilian churrasco to Japanese ramen, Orlando’s diverse culinary landscape has got you covered.
Sometimes nothing else will do but some down-home Southern soul food, and in Tallahasee, the state capital, there’s plenty to go round. From biscuits and gravy to shrimp and grits, this is food to soothe and comfort, served up with a plentiful helping of Southern charm. But it’s not all rustic comfort food. Tallahassee does a great line in farm-to-table dining, where locally sourced ingredients shine throughout every dish, down to the muscadine wine pairing!
Your culinary adventure off the beaten track in Florida finishes up in Fort Myers, where riverside dining takes center stage. Sat out on terraces overlooking the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers is a superb place to sample some of Florida’s best seafood, from crab cakes to scampi, served up to the tune of a warm Gulf breeze.
Florida's dining culture is as diverse as its people and its natural environment. From the artistic enclaves of St. Petersburg to the international flavors of Orlando, each destination presents a unique opportunity to savor the Sunshine State's rich tapestry of flavors.
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