Our Review of The Reef – Best St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

If you’re looking for St Augustine restaurants on the water or top notch seafood restaurants in St Augustine, Florida, you’ll find them both at The Reef Oceanfront Restaurant located along Coastal Highway.

The Reef is the Best St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

The Reef St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

A St Augustine restaurant with a view, great food, outdoor dining, and a location right on the ocean, The Reef has it all and might just become your new favorite beach restaurant. Here’s our review of everything they have to offer:

A Review of the Reef Restaurant – Waterfront Dining on the Beach in St Augustine, Florida

The Reef St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

The Reef Restaurant Menu – Excelling at Seafood in St Augustine, FL

The menu at the Reef Restaurant primarily consists of various seafood small plates and full entrees. They serve other dishes as well, but their seafood is particularly spectacular. They’re definitely one of the best seafood restaurants in St Augustine, FL.

You’ll also love the bread. It’s complementary and brought to your table within seconds of first sitting down, so you’ll have plenty of time to much while deciding what to order from The Reef’s menu.

The Reef Restaurant Menu St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

What to Eat at The Reef Restaurant – Review of Small Plate Appetizers

During our waterfront dining experience, we started with two appetizers. These are called “Small Plates” at The Reef Restaurant. I ordered the Fried Manchego Cheese with Honey Raspberry Drizzle for $9, and my boyfriend selected the Saffron Mussels for $12. The latter is steamed and served in a rich broth made of saffron, garlic, cream, white wine, diced peppers, and fresh herbs. Toasted bread tops off the finished dish. Both appetizers were absolutely amazing, and we highly recommend them.

Saffron Mussels at The Reef St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

This was actually my first time trying Manchego cheese, so I didn’t know what to expect when I initially ordered the plate. I found the flavor to be slightly nutty and reminiscent of both Blue Cheese and Mozzarella, as if the two had mingled together and had a more palate-pleasing baby. If you’re like me and find the taste of Blue Cheese to be a little too intense for your liking, then I suggest you give Manchego a shot. Paired with the fruity sweetness of the raspberry drizzle, it was absolutely delightful.

Manchego Cheese on The Reef Menu St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

If neither of these appetizers sound appealing to you, The Reef also serves Jumbo Shrimp, Oysters Piquant, Calamari, Fried Green Tomatoes, Beef Tenderloin Strips, Herb Crusted Seared Tuna, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Pate, Crab Cake, Gravlax Salmon, and Smoked Duck Stuffed Piquillo Peppers. At the time of our visit, all small plates priced between $9 and $15.

What to Eat at The Reef Restaurant – Review of Dinner Entrees

Dinner was just as spectacular as the appetizers. My boyfriend dined on the $34 Grilled Seafood Trio from the Fresh Fish and Shellfish menu. It includes a 4 oz lobster tail, 3 jumbo shrimp, 2 New England scallops, and potatoes.

The Reef Seafood Restaurant in St Augustine FL

I chose the Shrimp and Lobster Risotto, a $28 selection from their Beach Side Bowls menu.  A 4 oz lobster tail is served alongside 6 shrimp inside a creamy vegetable risotto.

The Reef Seafood Restaurant in St Augustine FL

Lobster Risotto at The Reef Beach Restaurant in St Augustine FL on the water


What to Drink at The Reef Restaurant in St Augustine, FL

The St Augustine waterfront restaurant has an extensive champagne, wine, and beer menu. Because I was dining on the beach, however, I found myself wanting something tropical or fruity, so I decided to choose one of their specialty drinks from the Beachside Refreshers menu instead. It wasn’t quite as sweet as I imagined it to be, but I still enjoyed the flavor. It was especially nice to sip while staring out at the sea and watching the waves roll in.

The Reef Drink Menu at Beach Restaurant in St Augustine on the Water

The Reef St Augustine Beach Restaurant Atmosphere – Patio Dining, Ocean Views, Glowing Lanterns, and Soft Sunsets

The biggest appeal of the Reef Restaurant is that you can view the ocean from any seat in the restaurant–inside or out. The entire facility was designed with this attribute in mind, and it’s definitely its selling point. The indoor tables are all seated by large glass windows facing the sea. There’s also an outdoor patio deck that sits directly on the beach, and that’s where we opted to sit so that we could smell and hear the ocean in addition to admiring the pretty view. We arrived at the perfect time–around 6 pm–so we were able to witness the sun slowly descending in the sky until the horizon was bathed in a soft orange glow and the balcony lanterns illuminated the patio with romantic lighting.

The Reef St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

Outdoor Patio at Waterfront Beach Restaurant in St Augustine FL - The Reef Restaurant St Augustine

Where to Find The Reef – St Augustine Restaurant on the Water

Address: 4100 Coastal Hwy, St. Augustine, FL 32084

Website: thereefstaugustine.com


Our visit to The Reef Restaurant was one of our favorite stops in St Augustine, Florida, and we think you’ll love it, too! If the weather allows, definitely ask for patio seating! It made all of the difference for us. Nothing beats feeling that cool ocean breeze through your hair. The food, the service, the location, and the atmosphere all get an A+ from Adventure Dragon!

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Jillian Michelle
FAIRY DRAGON MOTHER at Adventure Dragon. Artist. Writer. Dreamer. Adventurer. I still believe kindness can change the world. I just want to inspire.


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