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O'Steen's Restaurant

205 Anastasia Boulevard, St. Augustine, FL - (904) 829-6974
Posted By Susanne Hupfer on 6/19/2009 3:41:00 PM
O'Steen's -- a quick drive from St. Augustine's historic downtown, just past the Lion's Bridge and signaled by an illuminated shrimp sign -- was recommended by a native St. Augustinian, who proclaimed that it's "the best place in the world for fried shrimp, scallops, or oysters... plus wonderful veggies. It is a very old, cramped, hospitable place that everyone tries to get to..." He definitely didn't steer me wrong. The unassuming exterior of O'Steen's belies the Southern culinary delights that lie within.

Thanks to Florida's shrimping industry, the fried shrimps are fresh and sweet. They have a light, crispy, non-oily coating, and shouldn't be missed. If you want to eat like a local, ask for some extra "orange sauce" (Datil-pepper-based dipping sauce). Southern-style vegetable sides make a great accompaniment: the summer squash bake is creamy and delicious, and coleslaw is fresh and not-too-sweet. Spicy-hot Minorcan clam chowder is a uniquely St. Augustine rendition and a good way to start a meal. Two hushpuppies accompany each dinner; they are dense but tasty. Finish off your meal with a classic Southern pie, such as Key lime.

After all this indulgence, you can walk off some calories at the beautiful Anastasia State Park, just a little further down the road.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Minorcan Clam Chowder
Fried Shrimp (12)
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A culinary anthropologist could pinpoint the precise location of this dish. The hushpuppies and blackeyed peas are a sure sign of the South in general. The elegant shrimp say Florida's north coast. The pink dipping sauce with a datil pepper punch is St. Augustine's
"A culinary anthropologist could pinpoint the precise location of this dish. The hushpuppies and blackeyed peas are a sure sign of the South in general. The elegant shrimp say Florida's north coast. The pink dipping sauce with a datil pepper punch is St. Augustine's"
Michael Stern





The menu warns of a 30 minute wait for O'Steen's fried chicken. It is cooked to order and very good, but still not good enough to dissuade me from getting the justly-famous fried shrimp.
"The menu warns of a 30 minute wait for O'Steen's fried chicken. It is cooked to order and very good, but still not good enough to dissuade me from getting the justly-famous fried shrimp."
Michael Stern


The signature dish of St. Augustine: clam chowder supercharged with datil peppers.
"The signature dish of St. Augustine: clam chowder supercharged with datil peppers."
Michael Stern


O'steen's is the place in St. Augustine for fried shrimp.
"O'steen's is the place in St. Augustine for fried shrimp."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


This style of butterflying a shrimp is typical of the Florida north coast.
"This style of butterflying a shrimp is typical of the Florida north coast."
Michael Stern


You may have to wait in a long line at O'Steen's for your shrimp fix (and a delicious fix it is!), but here's a tip: ask for takeout, get your food in 10 minutes or so, and head for a picnic lunch at the gorgeous Anastasia State Park a few miles down the road.
"You may have to wait in a long line at O'Steen's for your shrimp fix (and a delicious fix it is!), but here's a tip: ask for takeout, get your food in 10 minutes or so, and head for a picnic lunch at the gorgeous Anastasia State Park a few miles down the road."
Susanne Hupfer


Here is the magic of St. Augustine, in the form of datil pepper. In the foreground: peppers in vinegar, well-suited for dressing vegetables. In the background: datil pepper sauce, a fiery potion that would make a piece of cardboard taste great.
"Here is the magic of St. Augustine, in the form of datil pepper. In the foreground: peppers in vinegar, well-suited for dressing vegetables. In the background: datil pepper sauce, a fiery potion that would make a piece of cardboard taste great."
Michael Stern


A cool dessert after a hot meal: banana cream pie.
"A cool dessert after a hot meal: banana cream pie."
Michael Stern


Meals are accompanied by a biscuit and a square of cornbread, both of which are excellent vehicles for conveying datil pepper sauce from plate to mouth.
"Meals are accompanied by a biscuit and a square of cornbread, both of which are excellent vehicles for conveying datil pepper sauce from plate to mouth."
Michael Stern


This sign is posted on the door of the antiques store on the other side of O'Steen's parking lot. It is reassurance that you won't miss your name being called if you are inside browsing among the nick-nacks.
"This sign is posted on the door of the antiques store on the other side of O'Steen's parking lot. It is reassurance that you won't miss your name being called if you are inside browsing among the nick-nacks."
Michael Stern


O'Steen's is not a large restaurant, and is very popular locally.  Expect to wait (you might be able to shorten the wait if you're willing to sit at the counter).
"O'Steen's is not a large restaurant, and is very popular locally. Expect to wait (you might be able to shorten the wait if you're willing to sit at the counter)."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A Florida landmark for fried shrimp - O'Steen's.
"A Florida landmark for fried shrimp - O'Steen's."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The roadside sign is a good sign indeed of something special inside.
"The roadside sign is a good sign indeed of something special inside."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Be sure to try the signature fried shrimp, coated in a light, crispy batter and butterflied in a unique way.
"Be sure to try the signature fried shrimp, coated in a light, crispy batter and butterflied in a unique way."
Susanne Hupfer



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