By Chef Scotty Schwartz
I love being in Fernandina Beach. It is a beautiful southern costal town that embraces the notion of southern hospitality. Imagine if Norman Rockwell had a summer beach house in Florida. That is Fernandina. It's a great place to be a chef, because most of our guests are so happy to be away from the hustle of daily life, that they can't hep but be in a good mood. It's our job to make that smile a little wider.
MY RESTAURANT | 29 South
29 South is my playground. 'Extraordinary casual' is our tagline because we offer sophisticated fare created from locally-sourced ingredients served in a relaxed atmosphere. Our food might make you feel underdressed for wearing flip flops in the dining room, but don't let it. That is what we built this place for.
When you eat at my restaurant, I recommend you try the sweet tea-brined Black Hog Farm pork chop on macaroni and cheese with warm blackberry ginger preserves. If there was one item on the menu that I could advertise six million served, that would be the one.
29 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.277.7919 | www.29southrestaurant.com
Amelia Island's Fernandina Beach Guide
Great Harvest Bread Company
They make a great cup of joe and have some wonderful baked goods to go with it.
822 Sadler Road, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.277.4747 | greatharvestamelia.com
T-Ray's Burger Station
It is an old gas station converted into a diner. This is a local hot spot. Want to catch up on the town gossip? Go to T-Rays. Some of the best biscuits, pancakes and down-home cooking in Fernandina.
202 South 8th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.261.6310 | www.traysburgerstation.com
They have a big local following and a beautiful courtyard to enjoy while dining.
105 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.491.1771 | www.brightmorningscafe.com
SHOPS & MARKETS | Farmers Markets
Fernandina Beach Market Place
The farmers market on Saturdays is something that shouldn't be missed. Great vendors from small farms all over North Florida come downtown to sell some of the best produce and food products in the region. Even some of the local restaurants jump in, and you can often find Roberto from Espana dishing out portions of his famous paella.
Saturdays 9am - 1pm
North 7th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.557.8229 | fernandinabeachmarketplace.com
Nana Teresa's Bake Shop + The Pecan Roll Bakery
You can't go wrong with these bakeries; they both satisfy even the sweetest tooth.
Nana Teresa's | 31 South 5th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.277.7977 | www.nanateresa.com
The Pecan Roll Bakery | 122 S 8th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.491.9815 | www.thepecanrollbakery.com
EDIBLE SOUVENIR SHOPPING
Hand-crafted chocolates and fudge from owner Steve. He is from the famed fudge family on Mackinac Island and can be seen flipping the fudge with his paddle in the storefront window. Look at the ceiling over the marble table and you will see the evidence that he loves his job.
218 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.277.4801 | www.fantasticfudge.com
BBQ & SOUTHERN | Gilbert's Underground Kitchen
Gilbert's Underground Kitchen never fails to please for deep south cooking. Kenny Gilbert, of Top Chef fame, opened his southern kitchen and has earned rave reviews. On Friday and Saturday, he breaks out the smokers for lunch and makes some of the best 'que in Florida. Also great for dinner.
510 S 8th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.310.6374 | www.undergroundkitchen.co
SANDWICHES | Cafe Karibo
This is the place to be for sandwiches and pub grub. The Big Bella Sandwich (marinated portabella mushrooms) is my go-to, as well as the Thai Spring Rolls.
27 N 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.277.5269 | www.cafekaribo.com
This is a wonderful little cafe with a lively menu created by chef Brian (John Grimley). If you love a good Po' Boy with a side of beans and rice, Lulu's will not disappoint. They also have some of the best crab cakes on the island.
11 S 7th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.432.8394 | www.lulusamelia.com
The Green Turtle
This an Island style bar often featuring great live music.
14 S 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.321.2324 | www.greenturtletavern.com
For a taste of history, as well as a great Pirate's Punch, stop into the Palace Saloon. It's Florida's oldest bar.
117 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | www.thepalacesaloon.com
Dog Star Tavern
Across the street from the Palace, this is is a great venue to hear live bands.
10 N 2nd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.277.8010
Brett's Waterway Cafe
If you want a sunset view, then Brett's Waterway Cafe has a great vista over the harbor to the river and marsh beyond.
1 S Front Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.261.2660
Salt at the Ritz-Carlton
This is by far the most elegant and innovative restaurant on the island. It is my favorite place to celebrate. Chef Ricky, who leads the team at Salt, is one of the greats not only on Amelia Island, but the entire region.
4750 Amelia Island Parkway, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.277.1100 | Website
This is a local favorite with Spanish style tapas and entrees. Chef Roberto's paella is my favorite dish on the menu and features some great local seafood. If you are going all out, then there is only one place to dine.
22 S 4th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.261.7700 | espanadowntown.com
If you want authentic French fare, Le Clos is a must.
20 S 2nd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.261.8100 | www.leclos.com
Chef Scott Schwartz
Scotty Schwartz is the executive chef and owner of 29 South in Fenandina Beach, Florida. Originally from Atlanta, he opened up his restaurant in 2009 and has won numerous accolades, including the Spirit of SlowFood Award and Garden & Gun's South’s 50 Best Dishes.
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