The year 2016 has finally come to an end, and we’re so excited to ring in the New Year. What better way to celebrate than with some of the best food in Florida? Today, we’re taking a look back at some of the best, most original restaurants that we’ve featured over the past year. We recommend you try to fit as many of these into your 2017 to-do list as possible.
If you’re interested in learning more about a restaurant on this list, click on the title next to each number to open the original article in a new window.
1. Columbia, Ybor City, Tampa
This huge restaurant specializing in Cuban and Spanish fare is actually the longest-running restaurant in Florida, dating back to 1905. Though there are several locations throughout the state now, it's worth a trip to the original to experience this special piece of Florida history.
2. The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill & Griddle, De Leon Springs State Park
This popular restaurant is so much more than your typical breakfast spot. First of all, it's located in a state park, so a visit here is just the beginning to an unforgettable day. Secondly, the sugar mill was replaced with a flour mill, so these flapjacks are the freshest around. Finally, guests love the experience of preparing their own breakfast on the built-in griddles found in every table.
3. Latitudes, Key West
What's more romantic than a meal on your own private island in the Keys? Not only is the food at this upscale restaurant downright delicious, guests can dine right on the beach with their toes in the sand.
4. Norwood Restaurant & Wine Shop, New Smyrna Beach
Did you beg your parents for a treehouse growing up but never got one? This grown-up version supplies all of the fun of your childhood dreams with a dash of sophistication (and a killer wine list).
5. Thomas Donut and Snack Shop, Panama City
You can get here before they even open and expect a mile-long line. Don't worry, it will all be worth it when you break into that famous pink box of heavenly donut perfection. There are so many varieties, the hardest part will be choosing what to try first.
6. Buckingham Farms, Fort Myers
Fantastic food, literally fresh from the farm to the table? Every foodie's dream comes true at this farm restaurant.
7. Bob's Train, Sarasota
Bob's Train is like no other restaurant in Florida. Guests dine in vintage Ringling railcars, filled with circus memorabilia. Bob, the owner and chef, loves to chat with guests about trains and circus history.
8. Joe's Stone Crab, Miami Beach
Stone Crab is perhaps Florida's most famous delicacy, so you have to take a trip to the place that started it all. Joe's has so much history, it's been around since Al Capone was a customer. They don't believe in reservations, so get ready to wait. Trust us, it's worth it.
9. Yoder's Restaurant & Amish Village, Sarasota
Yoder's has all kinds of amazing homecooked comfort food, but you can't leave without a slife of pie. That's why it topped our list of places with the best pie in Florida.
10. The Bubble Room, Captiva
The Bubble Room is one of those crazy, quirky places that's just as famous for its atmosphere as its food. This unique restaurant is full of Old Hollywood memorabilia, Christmas decorations (year-round), antiques, and toy trains. If you're looking for a different, even kitschy, dining experience, you'll love The Bubble Room.
11. Cafe Alcazar, St. Augustine
This fascinating restaurant is located in our nation's oldest city, St. Augustine, in an historic hotel-turned-museum. The space once served as the hotel's huge indoor pool, and you can feel that history is alive here.
12. The Freezer, Homosassa
The Freezer may not look like much from the outside, but don't judge a book from its cover. Hiding within is a laid-back, Old Florida gem with some of the best steamed shrimp in the state.
13. Emmy's Time Out Tavern, DeLand
You don't have to leave Florida to sample cuisine from all over the world. Emmy's has delicious and authentic German classics and a cozy atmosphere.
Have you tried any of these restaurants? Did any of your favorites make the list? Are there any others you would add?