By  Mike Miller  Updated December 27, 2023

What is a Florida historic restaurant?  I moved to Florida in 1960 and that is my unofficial definition of historic when talking about restaurants.

There have been many great restaurants in the Sunshine State that are gone forever.

One was the Kapok Tree in Clearwater.  Another was Chalet Suzanne in Lake Wales.  Still another was Clarks Fish Camp in Mandarin.  I miss them, but life goes on.

Old Florida RestaurantsCabbage Key Restaurant and Inn

Here are some Florida restaurants that have been around long enough for me to consider them historic and to have written a review.  

Click on the photos for more information about each.


ALABAMA JACK'S, Key Largo.  This place on Card Sound Road has been serving Southern fried food since the 1950s or early 1960s. 

Alabama Jack's on Card Sound RoadAlabama Jack's on Card Sound Road

ALHAMBRA DINNER THEATER, Jacksonville.  One of the few remaining dinner theaters in Jacksonville.  Has been serving entertaining shows and good food since the 1960s.  

BERN'S STEAK HOUSE, Tampa.  This legendary restaurant opened in 1956 and is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Florida.  It is noted not only for its great steaks, but for its famous dessert room and enormous wine cellar.

CABBAGE KEY, Pineland.  On an island off Pine Island, this quaint old place has been open since 1944.  Jimmy Buffet says he did not write his cheeseburger song about this restaurant in paradise, but we don't care, we like it anyway.

CAP'S PLACE,  Lighthouse Point.  Opened in 1928 and has had many famous visitors like Al Capone, movie stars, and politicians.  On the National Register of Historic Places. 

CHATTAWAY, St. Petersburg.  This old restaurant has been in business for more than 90 years at the same location at the corner of 4th Street South and 22nd Avenue South.  There are a small number of inside seats and a larger number of outside ones. Good burgers, soups, salads and other sandwiches. 

COLUMBIA, Ybor City, Tampa.  A Spanish restaurant that has been operated by the same family since 1905.  Wonderful floor show with flamenco dancers.  

SINGLETON'S SEAFOOD SHACK, Mayport.  A vintage restaurant on the St. Johns River that has been feeding generations of tourists and locals fresh seafood for years.  Near Jacksonville.  

SNACK JACK, Flagler Beach.  This restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean has been operating since 1947.  It was renamed by new owners a couple of years ago who call it High Tides at Snack Jack.  I don't know why. 

STARFISH COMPANY, Cortez.  This waterfront restaurant started back in the 1920s as a seafood market and has evolved over the years into a great small restaurant for fresh seafood - usually fried.  The seating is outside. 

THE YEARLING, Cross Creek. This restaurant is near the home of writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  It serves many Florida cracker dishes mentioned in her writings.  It opened its doors in 1952. 

Our Facebook page has more than 130,800 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.