Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

By Chef Scotty Schwartz

Imagine if Norman Rockwell had a summer beach house in Florida. That is Fernandina.
— Chef Scotty Schwartz
Photographs courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

Photographs courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

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
29 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.277.7919 | www.29southrestaurant.com


Amelia Island's Fernandina Beach Guide 

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

MORNING

Coffee

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

Breakfast

Photograph courtesy of T-Ray's

Photograph courtesy of T-Ray's

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

Bright Mornings

They have a big local following and a beautiful courtyard to enjoy while dining.

105 South 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
T: 904.491.1771www.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

SWEET TREATS

Photograph courtesy of Nana Teresa's Bake Shop

Photograph courtesy of Nana Teresa's Bake Shop

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: 904.277.7977www.nanateresa.com
The Pecan Roll Bakery | 122 S 8th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.491.9815www.thepecanrollbakery.com


EDIBLE SOUVENIR SHOPPING

Photograph courtesy of Fantastic Fudge

Photograph courtesy of Fantastic Fudge

Fantastic Fudge

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: 904.277.4801www.fantasticfudge.com


LUNCH

Photograph courtesy of Gilbert's Underground Kitchen

Photograph courtesy of Gilbert's Underground Kitchen


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: 904.310.6374www.undergroundkitchen.co

Photographs courtesy of Cafe Karibo

Photographs courtesy of Cafe Karibo

IMG-0080-2.jpg

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: 904.277.5269www.cafekaribo.com

Lulu's

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: 904.432.8394www.lulusamelia.com


PRE-DINNER DRINKS 

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

The Green Turtle

This an Island style bar often featuring great live music.

14 S 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 | T: 904.321.2324www.greenturtletavern.com

Palace Saloon

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 32034www.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


SUNSET VIEW

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

Photograph courtesy of Amelia Island Tourism

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


DINNER

Photograph courtesy of Salt Ritz-Carlton

Photograph courtesy of Salt Ritz-Carlton

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

España Restaurant

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

Le Clos

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.


Discover our 24-Hour Florida Guides


Florida Features