St. Augustine, Florida has the honor of being the oldest city in the continental United States. As such, it’s appropriately dubbed “The Ancient City.” But history isn’t all this charming city has to offer. Those with a fondness for local flavor will find the bars in St. Augustine to be an excellent way to get a taste of the culture.
St. Augustine History
It all started in 1513 when Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in his quest for the Fountain of Youth. Five decades later, Spanish Admiral Pedro Menendez established the city of St. Augustine. The influence of this centuries-old history is still visible throughout the city today.
To clarify further, much of that history can be learned throughout the bars in St. Augustine! Thus, we recommend a self-guided bar tour of the city that will easily consume your entire day, but be well worth it. You’ll pick up a historical perspective of the city, together with a taste of some noteworthy concoctions.
Who knows, you might just find your own Fountain of Youth along the way!
Best Bars in St. Augustine
Mojo Old City BBQ
5 Cordova Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
It may be cruel to suggest you start a tour of bars in St. Augustine with a self-proclaimed whiskey bar, but hear us out. Not only does Mojo BBQ have an endless whiskey menu, but they also feature a bacon-washed Tito’s Bloody Mary with a house-made mix. Perfect for starting out your day!
Sipping this drink will have you wondering “Do I really need to leave this place and see this beautiful city?” The answer is yes, yes you do. Sip it slowly and snack on the pickled okra and olives that garnish your beverage, then get on to your next stop.
St. Augustine Distillery
112 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Next, you’ll find yourself heading to the St. Augustine Distillery, a more recent addition to the Ancient City. Founded by a group of locals, the focus is on regional agriculture as they craft specialty vodka, rum, gin, and bourbon. And housed in an old ice plant, the distillery offers a unique view into local history.
They provide free daily tours for visitors to learn about their process and products. While it isn’t technically a “bar,” you’ll be able to sample some of their delicious spirits at the end!
Ice Plant Bar
110 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
When the distillery tour is over, head upstairs to Ice Plant Bar. This farm-to-table establishment focuses on local flavors, quality food, and craft cocktails. They treat ice as an art form in a nod to their location in the historic ice plant building.
Ice Plant Bar is quickly becoming one of the more frequented bars in St. Augustine. The vintage-inspired atmosphere creates the perfect ambiance. So, stop in and get a taste of it for yourself!
San Sebastian Winery
157 King Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
San Sebastian is a St. Augustine winery coupled with an educational backstory. Located in the former Flagler Railway building, the winery helps share a key piece of local history. In the late 19th century, a wealthy oil tycoon named Henry Flagler built a series of railways and hotels, thus leading to the development of the St. Augustine we know today.
If you enjoy wine and like to learn about history, join the quick walking tour to get some sips of their primary products. The best are the dessert wines at the last stop of the tour. If you play your cards right, you might just be able to sweet talk the server into giving you a taste of the Bin 12 Port. You won’t regret it.
Bog Brewing Company
218 West King Street, St. Augustine, Fl 32084
Down the road from the winery is a small St. Augustine brewery with minimal pomp and circumstance. Bog Brewing Company is the perfect place to drop in a for a flight of local craft beer.
Of all the bars in St. Augustine on our list, this one is the purest. In reality, that’s why we love it. Only a few stools encircle the bar, and brewery operation is in plain sight. It won’t take you long to sample the brews and chat with the locals, then be on your way to your next stop.
A1A Ale Works
1 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Another beer lover’s bar is back towards the heart of the Old City. A1A Ale Works is a full-fledged restaurant and bar, and a great place to grab a pint. Happy hour runs from 4-7 daily, so be sure to get there in time to take advantage of their specials.
As far as bars in St. Augustine go, A1A has one of the best locations. You’ll sit across from the tendered sailboats on the Matanzas River as dusk settles in on the town. If your stomach is growling, order yourself an appetizer to go with your brew.
Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille
46 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL 32084
At this point, it’s time for dinner, and the St. Augustine nightlife is heating up. Fair warning though, Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille will usually come with a wait. At this New Orleans-inspired spot, the food is good, the atmosphere is great, and the setting is superb.
You’ll enter through an outdoor patio with ample seating and lights hung throughout the trees. If you’re lucky to snag a seat outside and rain isn’t in the forecast, do it. If not, the inside isn’t too shabby either. While you wait, the bar inside is a good place to pull up a stool and watch the bartenders fly through drink orders. Grab an Abita on draft or a Sazerac to experience the NOLA vibe.
The Tini Martini Bar at the Casablanca Inn
24 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Finally, it’s time for dessert! The Tini Martini Bar is the last stop on our list because they have a wide range of sweet and chocolate martinis. It’s also a place you can find yourself lounging in for hours. Even if sweet drinks aren’t your thing, The Tini Martini Bar provides a range of options to meet your fancy.
Just be wary of the time of year and the foot traffic in town. This place lives up to its “petite” name and is one of the more popular bars in St. Augustine, so it can get crowded. But that’s all part of the ambiance. The close quarters and Frank Sinatra playing in the background are sure to whisk you away to another place entirely.
Though, we recommend you stay right where you are in St. Augustine and enjoy the Ancient City for as long as you can. The seaside setting, classical European influence, and Southern charm make St. Augustine a great city to explore! In the event you can’t make it to all eight of our featured locations, try going to at least one that offers food. You gotta eat, right?
And if you’re planning a trip to St. Augustine or any other Florida city, be sure to read our Florida Travel Tips to get prepared!
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