My wife and I have dined at every restaurant on Amelia Island, and we definitely have a few go-to places that we enjoy on a regular basis.

When we’re in Downtown Fernandina, we enjoy Peppers. I like the Popeye: grilled chicken over spinach with beans. I order mine without rice, tortillas, or chips to cut carbs. Happy Tomato Cafe is another favorite downtown establishment of mine, and when we eat there, I always get the ribs with mustard sauce with beans and coleslaw on the side. At the entrance to Centre Street is Tasty’s, a terrific casual burger joint. My favorite is the Beach Burger – no bun. Tasty’s is always a great place after a fun day at the beach.

In what I like to call the Sadler Road corridor is Ms. Carolyn’s. The locals love Ms. Carolyn’s for breakfast. I always order a build-your-own omelet. There are also terrific lunch options, such as the Swahili wings with diced scallions, which is my go-to for lunch. I always order a Caesar side salad – add tomatoes and hold the croutons. The Loop Pizza Grill has the most amazing Gorgonzola walnut salad. I add grilled chicken for a meal-type salad (no croutons or onions for me). I also enjoy Fancy Sushi when I’m craving sashimi. 

Between Downtown Fernandina and the Sadler Road area is Townie’s. Townie’s is a fantastic family-friendly pizza joint, and on my cheat days, I love to treat myself to the BLT pizza. When I’m being good, the OG and Lemon Pepper grilled wings are my favorite.

Amelia Island is fortunate to have two first-class resorts: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and Omni Amelia Island Plantation. My wife and I enjoy meeting friends at The Pub located inside the Ritz. It’s a great environment for a Friday night impromptu happy hour. The wings there are awesome. Oceanside Bar & Grill at Omni Amelia Island Plantation has great views of the Atlantic Ocean and a unique house-ground beef burger. It’s 10 ounces of ground chuck and brisket topped with a black pepper aioli – delicious!

Amelia Island has no shortage of great restaurants, and when it comes to international cuisine, Le Clos is one of the best French restaurants in Northeast Florida. España, Tabitha’s favorite, specializes in traditional dishes of Spain and Portugal. I recommend sitting back and relaxing with a glass of sangria while enjoying España’s paella.