You will find an arsenal of tasty restaurants in Florida’s capital city. Tallahassee’s food scene ranges from affordable diners and coffee shops to fine dining fit for a special occasion. Here are nine incredible restaurants to try in Tallahassee that I have personally been to and loved. I even share a suggestion of what to order from each.
Some of these meals (#1, #3, #6, and #7) were comped as a result of a FAM trip with Visit Florida.
1. Cypress Restaurant
Cypress Restaurant is one of Tallahassee’s most upscale restaurants. It has a warm, inviting atmosphere but is romantic enough for a date night. The complimentary biscuits and flavored herb butter are sensational — you almost know your meal will be good when it starts on this note. White tablecloths adorn the tables, and vibrantly painted walls frame local artists’ works that are available for purchase.
For starters, I recommend the flavorful butternut squash soup or the seasonal salad topped with cashews, cheese, pear slices, onion, and a soft-poached egg. Then, try the perfectly cooked seared red grouper with creamed collards and a chive remoulade for your main course. Save room for the toffee affogato made with Peruvian coffee, or if you aren’t a coffee drinker, how about key lime cheesecake?
2. The Egg Cafe and Eatery
Located near the Florida State Capitol is The Egg Cafe and Eatery. This restaurant is so pretty and has a spacious dining room with a welcoming vibe. The wait staff is friendly and attentive.
I ventured to The Egg Cafe for breakfast, of course, and was delighted with the Philly cheesesteak omelet choice. My omelet was stuffed with Philly meat, cream cheese, green peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Then, the luscious egg dish was topped with melted white American cheese and dusted with scallions. I chose cheese grits for my side dish since the waiter raved about them. My meal was 10 on a scale of10 delicious, and I would definitely eat there again.
3. Food Glorious Food
Food Glorious Food is a relaxed eatery with a seasonal menu and great ingredient combinations. If you are a craft cocktail drinker, you will love the clever menu, plus the extensive wine lineup. Appetizers to consider at FGF (how the locals refer to it) are the blue lump crab cake, warm brie, or crispy fried oysters. Next, try the fried green and shrimp salad. This is one of the most unusual dishes I’ve ever had, with chilled shrimp and fried green tomatoes, but the goat cheese and spicy ranch pull it together and awaken your taste buds.
Save room for dessert — the FGF options are numerous and scrumptious. My vote is on the hummingbird cake. Patio seating is available.
Pro Tip: FGF closes for lunch at 2:30 p.m. and reopens for dinner at 5:30 p.m.
4. Midtown Caboose
One of the locals’ favorites in Tallahassee is Midtown Caboose. It has a fun, railroad vibe and a foodie-worthy menu. One of the best appetizers I’ve eaten is its award-winning pulled pork wontons with cream cheese and jalapeños. Dip them in honey, mild, or hot barbecue sauce for the perfect bite. I recommend splitting a gourmet burger or sandwich with your spouse or friend or whomever you are dining with because they are huge.
My favorite Midtown Caboose burger is the PB&J. My daughter and I split it. PB&J comes with melted peanut butter, cheddar cheese, and bacon; then, choose grape, blueberry, or strawberry jam to top off the burger. We selected blueberry, which was sensational! You can also select beyond, turkey, or vegan garden burgers for beef.
You’ll get a kick out of the ingredient combinations just by reading the menu.
Pro Tip: Midtown Caboose has indoor and covered patio seating.
5. Shell Oyster Bar
There is no shame in saying that Shell Oyster Bar is no-frills and has not been updated in more than 20 years because the food is ridiculously fantastic and renovations are merely not needed. You can have a sensational lunch basket with seafood or other protein and your choice of two side items and two hushpuppies for less than $10. The fried shrimp is delicious, especially paired with the homemade cocktail sauce condiment on each table.
Choose other main entrees like crab cakes, fish, scallops, or oysters. Pair your mains with fries, baked beans, cheese grits, coleslaw, or macaroni salad, to name a few. Shell Oyster Bar’s menu also lists sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Bonus, this place is BYOB and maybe serves the best food in Tallahassee.
6. Uptown Cafe
Breakfast at Uptown Cafe is a necessity. I love the outdoor patio, and the service is spot on. Uptown Cafe typically has morning favorites like omelets and pancakes for breakfast and salads and sandwiches for lunch. Still, the unusual grit bowl and pesto scram are just two of the intriguing menu items you will find here.
I loved Rod’s Grit Bowl, with scrambled eggs, breakfast meat, and cheese over a bowl of creamy grits. A friend tried the Uptown Benny with pesto scrambled eggs on a toasted English muffin with sliced tomato, sprouts, and provolone, and it was pretty darned good. Uptown Cafe’s coffee is insanely good, too.
Uptown Cafe has been in business for nearly 40 years, an impressive fact.
Pro Tip: If you get cold, Uptown Cafe has both heaters and blankets for those who enjoy dining outdoors when the weather is unfavorable.
7. The Edison
Book your brunch reservation for The Edison Restaurant, and belly up to a board full of delicious chicken and flapjacks. The Southern breakfast is another exceptional choice with fried chicken and scrambled eggs atop a Southern biscuit, then topped with mouthwatering sausage gravy. If you are at The Edison for lunch, might I suggest the Ruskin BLT with tomato jam and candied bacon jam spread over the sourdough bread on the signature sandwich?
For dinner, a more hearty fare might be the Seminole short rib over roasted veggie puree or the Gulf Coast skewers with seasoned shrimp and scallops. Regardless of what you choose, you are sure to enjoy the eye-catching scenery and great location of this Tallahassee gem.
Next to The Edison is a cafe-style eatery called Power Plant Cafe. Here, you can get a condensed menu with a few breakfast options, handhelds, flatbreads, and a whole host of alcoholic beverages.
Fun Fact: The Edison also offers picnic baskets for two to enjoy at the fabulous 24-acre Cascades Park setting. Baskets typically feature salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
8. Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille
The hip place to enjoy NOLA-style food in Tallahassee (or the other four Florida cities with Harry’s locations) is Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille, a beloved local chain. Lunch prices run a few dollars less than dinner, but the menus are the same — all of your favorite cajun and creole dishes done really well. The menu ranges from blackened redfish and French baked scallops to shrimp Po’Boys, jambalaya, and crawfish étouffée.
I really like Harry’s baked stuffed shrimp with crab meat and a killer Louisiana beurre blanc sauce. You also get a side dish with this, with tempting offerings such as red beans and rice, fried grit cake, dirty rice, and collard greens. Save room for Bananas Foster, arguably the best dessert Louisiana has to offer.
Fun Fact: While Monday through Sunday is happy hour from 2 to 7 p.m., every Tuesday is Fat Tuesday at Harry’s with happy hour prices all day long.
9. Melting Pot
My daughters and I are addicted to the Melting Pot. We try to visit this establishment in every city across the country. Whether you splurge for the entire meal at Melting Pot (cheese fondue, salad, entree, and dessert), or just go there for cheese and chocolate fondue, you are sure to have a good time and palate-pleasing experience.
I’m all about the white cheese fondues, while my girls prefer the cheddars. Fondue dippers for your melty cheesy goodness include raw cauliflower, carrots, and cubed bread. For dessert, there are several combinations to choose from (caramel toffee crunch, turtle, chocolate, and peanut butter), but I typically stick with milk or dark chocolate. Dippers include marshmallows, pound cake, bananas, strawberries, brownies, and Rice Krispie cubes.
The Melting Pot is an enjoyable time, and no experience is needed. Just stab your food on your skewer, dip, and eat. I’ve heard people talk about it being a little intimidating, but really, it is a whole lot of fun. This is the original fondue restaurant.
Florida is one of the most popular destinations in the world, and there’s no reason to doubt its restaurants are also among the best in the world: