Restaurant options for vegetarians withing 30 minutes of St. Augustine?
December 11, 2017 10:58 PM   Subscribe

Two vegetarians and two non-vegetarians will be in St. Augustine, Florida, in late December. The non-vegetarians (parents) want a really good meal for the holidays, and they want the vegetarians to have a nice time with them. Where can they eat without driving an hour to Jacksonville?

I have already found Juniper Market, Saigon Pho Bistro, The Floridian, Mellow Mushroom. We also found Present Moment Cafe, but not very interested in raw food restaurants.

It looks like there are a few Asian restaurants, which is good. A recommendation for a really good one would be lovely.

What would be perfect -- but I realize may not be realistic -- is a wonderful fine dining-type establishment, or bistro, or something innovative or interesting, that has _good_ vegetarian options (not just pasta). The non-vegetarians (who are in their 70s) kindly found three semi-fancy-to-full-fancy restaurants and suggested them, but they didn't even seem to have good salads or side dishes, and zero vegetarian entrees.

I started looking in Jacksonville, and even made a tentative reservation there at Restaurant Orsay for Christmas Eve, but it's an hour's drive from the place we'll be staying (that's south a bit on the barrier island).

Points added for _any_ of: fresh food, Caesar salad, tofu/soy/seitan, broccoli or brussels sprouts, interesting risotto, pasta with mushrooms, vegetarian entrees that aren't mainly pasta, potatoes, or cheese. Don't get bogged down in this, though, please!

Thank you for _any_ help. This didn't seem difficult at first, but I'm not having a lot of luck.
posted by amtho to Travel & Transportation around St. Augustine, FL (5 answers total)
Would tapas/paella suit the vegetarians? The veg options aren't as broad as the meat-centric ones, but we've had a couple of lovely meals at The Columbian in St. Augustine when visiting my parents.
posted by sarajane at 4:26 AM on December 12, 2017

Came in to say The Columbian, as well. My band ate there on our last tour, and we always have to be picky about where we go because I am a vegetarian. The Columbian doesn't have many vegetarian options, but they do have some (the black bean cakes are very good), and their mojitos are superb!
posted by dearwassily at 6:03 AM on December 12, 2017

Best answer: The Columbia is fine, but The Floridian is much, much better. I'm an omnivore, my wife is a vegetarian who's weird about cheese, and her brother and his wife are vegan, and we've eaten there dozens of times over the years (including this past Saturday night) and always had amazing meals. Variety is terrific (even for vegans) the ingredients are as fresh and local as possible, and the dishes themselves reflect local Florida culinary tradition (pilau! smoked mullet!) in a way that's rare to find even here. It would absolutely be my A-Number-One restaurant recommendation given your parameters.

I live here and would be happy to answer any other questions you have about the area. Email is in my profile.
posted by saladin at 7:38 AM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

The Columbian as well. One of my favorites! Also in Jax Orsay is beautiful! I think you would enjoy.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2017

Nthing Columbian/Floridian. We did both with folks with specific food needs and they were amazing.
posted by TravellingCari at 10:52 AM on December 13, 2017

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