Best of Florida Food | 18 Foods to Eat While in Florida

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You may believe you know everything about the local food if youre planning a visit to the Sunshine State. You would, however, be incorrect. Having been conquered by Spaniards and Frenchmen, Florida currently boasts regional variances that match your state’s bragging rights.

In this palm-tree paradise, youll discover some of the countrys greatest meals, so whether you have a sweet appetite, a health nut, or a carb fixation, youll find it in Florida.

Apart from Disney World and towns like Key West and Naples (both noted for their fishing! ), Florida is also well-known for its cuisine. So, are you ready to go on your Sunshine vacation and sample some of Florida’s greatest cuisine?

Whichever section of Florida you are in, you will discover some delicious food!

Prepare to gorge yourself on the most popular foods in Florida with our list of the state’s top regional cuisines!

Visiting other places in Florida? See our other guides:

  • 9 Must-Try Marco Island Restaurants
  • 13 Fun Things To Do In San Marco Island
  • The 9 Best Amelia Island Restaurants
  • 13 Best Disney Springs Restaurants
  • 7 Best Kissimmee Restaurants
  • 7 Must-Try Clearwater Florida Restaurants
  • 6 Must-Try Indian Rocks Beach Restaurants
  • 6 Best Ft. Myers Beach Restaurants
  • The 8 Best Downtown Ft. Myers Restaurants

The 18 Greatest Florida Foods You Must Try

Cuban Sandwiches

Cuban sandwiches, also known as Cubanos, are popular in Miami and Tampa and have become the state sandwich of Florida.

This sandwich is loaded with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles and served between two slices of warm and toasty Cuban bread.

These go best with plantain chips, not potato chips or fries, in my view.

Many eateries in St. Augustine provide the greatest Cuban sandwiches, notably Taberna del Caballo on St. George Street and La Herencia Caf on Aviles Street.

Stone Crab from Florida

The Florida stone crab season begins in October and finishes in May. It’s that time of year when professional and amateur fisherman alike flock to Florida’s bays and canals with their pots and traps in hand to capture these delectable treats.

But, unlike blue crabs, lobster, and shrimp, this delicacy cannot be purchased fresh from a store.

The easiest way to get your hands on some stone crabs is to dine at a local seafood restaurant or buy them fresh from a local fisherman.

A seafood fan’s favorite are the delicious, meaty claws delivered cold and pre-cracked with mustard sauce.

After you eat this meal, you’ll understand why it’s one of the most popular Florida cuisines!

Clams from Cedar Key

Cedar Key is another little town in Florida known for its clams, but it is also one of the coolest. It is about 1 hour south of Gainesville.

Tonys Seafood is famed for its World Championship clam chowder, although also serves almost every clam meal.

Tonys Seafood claims to have the finest clam chowder in the world, not just in Florida. Isn’t that a clam?

I doubt you’ll find fresher clams anyplace else than the Gulf of Mexico.

Nothing says Florida like key lime pie, and what better way to finish it off than with a mudslide? So don’t forget to bring your hunger!


Try the local game or order the catch of the day, whether it comes from a swamp or the ocean, to get a taste of the local food. Gator is a distinctive dish in most Florida restaurants and is a popular Florida delicacy that is often offered as an appetizer or main.

The gator population in Florida now stands at 1.25 million, making this meat popular in many of the state’s eateries.

Grilling or smoking marinated ribs, as well as deep-frying golden finger-food pieces, are common dish preparations. You really must sample one of these Florida culinary delights before departing!

I’d heard the flesh is comparable to chicken, but I’d never had the opportunity to sample it. We eat chicken all the time, so it’s difficult for me to declare that gator flesh is better than chicken or vice versa.


It goes without saying that seafood is abundant in Florida cuisine. In fact, I can’t think of a finer state for a seafood lover than Florida!

A staple of the Florida seafood scene, grouper is a warm water fish that may be caught on either the east or west coastlines of the state. It’s also highly popular on menus in other regions of the country.

This is because there are over 400 distinct species of grouper!

picture of a grouper steak plate

Among its species, the goliath may weigh well over 600 pounds and is naturally hefty. This fish has a moderate taste and a solid density that makes it ideal for putting in a sandwich, on top of a salad, or simply baked with lemon juice!

There are several seafood shacks in Florida that provide fried, broiled, grilled, or blackened varieties of this renowned fish.

If you’re visiting The Sunshine State and want to eat some fresh fish, try this one, which has a lot of flavor and a taste of the state’s shore and sea!


Have you had ceviche before? It’s Florida’s famed meal, seafood, inspired by Spanish conquistadors and colonists, tasty, and it’s time to discover why it’s such an iconic feature of the Sunshine State!

This is a zesty and tasty Latin appetizer that highlights the strength of the sunny state’s enormous citrus resources.

It was popularized in Florida by Spanish conquistadors and settlers who cooked raw fish with citric acids derived from native citrus fruits.

ceviche image {image}

The meal contains raw fish that has been spontaneously cooked using a miraculous chemical process caused by citric acids found in lemons, limes, and oranges. It’s a meal that’s practically baked by the Florida sun!

There is an astonishing confluence of science, citrus crops, and seafood—and the outcome is spectacular!

The warm coastlines of Florida are abundant with all kinds of seafood, and ceviche is another another delectable way to eat it.

Chowder from Minorca

Florida’s lengthy agricultural heritage, diversified population, and tropical environment make it a foodie’s paradise.

This rich and creamy soup is a variant on the classic Minorcan clam chowder dish introduced to the region by the early Minorcan settlers.

Minorcan chowder is a St. Augustine delicacy, and recipes have been passed down through centuries. Most locals would tell you that the secret to the flavor is datil peppers, which are endemic to Minorca (and only found locally).

The hearty diced potatoes, peppers, onions, chopped clams, and tomatoes in authentic Florida Minorcan chowder.

This chowder is best served with hush puppies or oyster crackers since it is more tangy than spicy.

minorcan chowder image {image}

This classic Florida cuisine is simple to prepare! To begin, saute some chopped onions, followed by tomatoes, datil pepper, and garlic.

It is then gently heated until it becomes a paste, at which point you may add your boiled and diced potatoes.

Lastly, season with thyme, salt, and pepper to taste, then add the boiling clams and serve your Minorcan Chowder.

Tarpon Springs Greek Salad

For years, Americans have relished the combination of lettuce, feta, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions.

Tarpon Springs is the largest Greek population in the United States, and the unique addition of potato salad is concealed in the base of this traditional salad. There are contradictory tales on how this happened.

During World War I, Louis Pappas, a Greek native and former army cook, is credited with initiating a habit of utilizing potato salad to bulk up military meals.

According to some accounts, he invented it with an employee of his later Tarpon Springs restaurant after he ran out of basic Greek salad components.

Regardless of the truth behind the tale, the salad is the perfect way to conclude a lunch in Tarpon Springs!

Green Tomatoes Fried

Green tomatoes aren’t especially enticing to me, owing to my dislike of the flavor of tomatoes in general, but also to the fact that they’re not ripe. But fried green tomatoes, that’s a another story.

Fried green tomatoes are green tomato slices that have been dipped in batter and cooked in oil. Dip them in blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, spicy mayonnaise, or even mustard.

You may have it on toasted pretzel bread or plain wheat bread, with lettuce, mayo, and tomato on top. Try the sandwiches if you like green tomatoes! It’s a delectable blend of fresh ingredients.

Therefore, if you’re searching for something new to try, go over to the Blue Hen right now. Let’s go eat!

Grits with Shrimp

The food of Florida is significantly inspired by Caribbean or creole cuisine. It’s no surprise that shrimp and grits, a famous Creole seafood meal, is eaten for breakfast, noon, or supper.

This substantial recipe combines low-country grits and fresh fish for a deep Florida flavor.

Harrys Seafood, a Cajun restaurant business located in Florida, provides Shrimp & Grits in St. Augustine.

Fritters made from conch shells

What does the ideal Florida dinner look like? One thing is certain: it would not be complete without a serving of seafood!

The seafood cuisine in Florida includes some major names like king crab and swordfish, but nothing beats freshly prepared conch fritters.

Deep-fried shallow-water snails are offered as an appetizer at local seafood restaurants. A conch is a kind of sea snail, and a conch fritter is a manner theyre cooked. They’re similar to escargots in Florida, but significantly more tasty.

Deep-fried conch fritters are best served with a thick, creamy tartar sauce.

The Conch House, situated on Anastasia right across the Bridge of Lions, is an excellent site to get conch fritters. You may even manufacture your own at home if you like!

The recipe is quite easy to create, and all you need is 2 cups of self-rising flour, 2 cups of conch, tenderized and finely chopped, diced onions, 1 green pepper, tabasco sauce, eggs and milk.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the following ingredients plus enough milk to produce a stiff consistency. Form into fritters and deep fry in 350° oil until golden brown. Finally, drain the fritters on paper towels before serving with your favorite sauce.

These simple and tasty nibbles will certainly fill your hunger, and it’s no surprise that they’re a hallmark cuisine in Florida!

The Rock Shrimp

Rock shrimp are an unique Florida shrimp found in deep seas along the Gulf coast and on the eastern coastline of Cape Canaveral. They are highly regarded for their uncanny taste and texture similarities to lobster flesh.

Even if you miss the main season, which runs from June to November, you can typically get them frozen at local fish markets all year round.

The most common preparations are butter or fried, but no matter how you consume these small ocean delicacies, you’ll be hooked!

Oysters from Apalachicola

Apalachicola Bay is situated on Florida’s northwest coast and is home to the state’s natural treasure, the Apalachicola oyster.

These massive oysters are popular among bivalve fans because they are sweet and delectable. Regrettably, the recent reduction in harvests has been mostly driven by expanding environmental difficulties, while new government support is expected to ameliorate these situations.

Despite the economic and social consequences of reduced oyster populations, many restaurants in the Panhandle offer oysters.

Pollo on Rice

In Florida, it is known as Arroz with Pollo, meaning Rice with Chicken. This dish is often served as an entree in Florida restaurants. It has Spanish and Puerto Rican origins, demonstrating the variety of Florida food!

It, like many of the recipes handed down from earlier generations of Floridians, has become a part of the Sunshine state’s native cuisine culture.

Arroz con pollo, a mainstay in many Cuban and Puerto Rican families, is a simple recipe that is ideal for a home-cooked supper any night of the week.

As a side dish, home cooks often combine this dish with eggplant or fried plantains, but it’s also wonderful with sweet potato fries or rice and beans.


The empanada is a baked or fried delicious pastry. There are several fillings available, but they are often composed of meats, cheese, or shellfish.

As a result, the wrapped treats are a favorite dish for any meal of the day.

Visitors seeking sweet or savory entertainment may get empanadas at St. Augustines Spanish Bakery on St. George Street and Rincon Criollo on King Street.


Kumquat trees, which are members of the citrus family, may be seen in the yards of many Florida houses.

It’s OK to eat these bright orange olive-shaped gems intact without peeling. They have an acidic center and a sweet outside.

When they’re not being eaten as snacks, they’re normally being cooked low and slow and boiled down into thick jams and marmalades.

At the height of the citrus season, you won’t want to miss the annual Kumquat Festival in historic Dade City.

Pie with Key Lime

If you’ve been following culinary culture, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Key lime pie. In a nutshell, it’s a yellow pie filled with a sweet-sour condensed milk and key lime juice combo.

The pie was invented in the late 1800s in the Florida Keys by sailors from Fort Zachary Taylor to commemorate their spouses who had remained behind in Key West while they were at sea.

It is still a traditional Florida dessert today. It’s a simple dish with a long history.

California Oranges

Floridians enjoy a seemingly infinite menu of excellent and healthful meals to choose from. Yet, no one can match with the Sunshine State when it comes to fresh, tasty citrus combinations that are enjoyed across the globe, particularly during the hottest time of year!

Florida produces more citrus fruits than any other state in the United States, including the most tasty and luscious oranges. This delicious, healthy, and adaptable fruit is utilized in a broad range of cuisines.

Floridians use them to create fresh juice for breakfast, seafood for lunch, and drinks for evening, all of which are crowd favorites.

The state’s sandy soil and subtropical temperature proved ideal for growing the seeds sown by its early colonists. Since then, these luscious fruits have thrived!

More than 70% of the citrus imported into the United States comes from Florida, whose key export markets include Canada, Japan, France, and the United Kingdom. Moreover, Florida oranges account for the large bulk of orange juice produced in the United States!

It’s no surprise that everyone adores this zesty fruit! Nothing beats a glass of vitamin-rich orange juice to start the day. Oranges are high in vitamin C, folate, and niacin, and they are a good source of fiber.

Don’t leave Florida without sampling the most delectable form of sunshine: fresh-squeezed Florida oranges!

While Visiting Florida, Here Are the 18 Foods You Must Taste

Looking for some unique Florida cuisine to try when visiting the state? Our meal guide is here to assist. Long has it been said that Florida is a coconut and pineapple lover’s delight. If you visit the Sunshine State, you could discover out whether or not that is true.

The Sunshine State is a melting pot of various cuisines from all over the globe when it comes to Florida food. Although there is no one Florida cuisine, there are several local delicacies that People have enjoyed for years.

The temperature in Florida is ideal for producing numerous tropical fruits and vegetables, resulting in a state with some of the most delectable cuisine and beverages!

Florida has something for everyone, whether you want wonderful seafood, soul cuisine, or even exquisite pastries.

Therefore, visit the Sunshine State to sample a variety of distinct cuisines and delicacies, and try one of these Florida dishes!

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