Tallahassee, being the Capital of Florida state, is a pretty big city, with plenty of history and culture to absorb during a visit.
From the many museums that you’ll find dotted around the city, to the massive entertainment scene, there’s so much to do, see and admire here.
Sure, other places like Orlando might be bigger and the obvious tourist destinations for many holiday-goers, but Tallahassee is THE place for cultural and natural history-loving tourists.
Of course, being a big city with tons to see, is going to need at least a few great places to grab good food. And, being the state capital, Tallahassee has attracted some of the best chefs and restaurants in the country.
In this list, we’ll share with you some of our favorite places that you should check out for yourself on your next visit to this state capitol.
These were picked both from our personal experiences and the word of mouth from both tourists and residents of this great city!
Starting with a well-renowned restaurant chain on the Tallahassee scene, we have this amazing little restaurant that you’ll find just opposite Governors Square Mall in Central Tallahassee, BJ’s Restaurant, and Brewhouse (see also “Amazing Things To Do In Tallahassee“).
Well, we say it’s small, but this famous chain restaurant is one of the most popular food venues in the entire city. And for good reason!
Right off the bat, anyone will be able to appreciate the classic American menu items that you love, cooked and prepared to perfection. Plus, there are also some great vegan and vegetarian options available to patrons.
There’s even gluten-free food on offer here, so there’s no excuse not to check this place out!
Plus, this is still a BJ’s, so you can just as easily order out if you’re just looking for a chill and delicious night in!
Of course, everyone loves a good premium chain restaurant. It’s often a slice of familiarity in a new place, and you can usually expect some level of consistency.
But if you’re in a new city or town, and you’re looking to try out some good food, you probably want to try out some of the smaller local bars and restaurants.
If that sound’s like your plan for a new city visit, then allow us to introduce you to one of Tallahassee’s finest pizza establishments!
Gaines street pies were originally set up by two pizza entrepreneurs who were looking to make the best pizza joint in the city.
And with a second restaurant on the way and a menu that caters to pretty much any kind of pizza lover, it looks like they’ve done just that!
From their delicious garlic knot sharing options (among many amazing others), to an incredible selection of pizza toppings and sides, and even salads and desserts.
Plus, the adjourning bar that these guys own can comfortably provide great drinks and atmosphere for up to 60 people, so it’s great for medium and larger-sized groups!
These last few restaurants have all been great at sharing classic foods that we all know and love at this point, but there’s very little unexpected so far, you know?
For a state capital city, you’d expect at least a few experimental or groundbreaking restaurants.
Enter Backwoods Crossings, one of the most popular new restaurants to crop up in the last few years, and absolutely a go-to place when it comes to contemporary American cooking and flavors.
From the presentation to the fascinating menu items that you’re unlikely to find in many, if any, other restaurants, this is the kind of restaurant that you check out if you’re looking to experience food that you’ve never heard of and seen before.
Complimented by an array of amazing drinks that are on offer, you’ll see how and why this restaurant has become an amazing place for people looking to explore new flavor horizons (see also “Amazing Places To Eat In Fort Lauderdale“)!
Just as the name suggests, you’ll be savoring every last bite of your meal when you eat here on a night out!
With perhaps one of the best chefs in the city, Brian Knepper, the menu that has been cultivated here could rival almost anything that Backwoods Crossing has to offer, balancing both new flavor experiences and classic recipes.
And the best part? Pretty much everything that you see on the menu is inspired by the recipes and foods that have traditionally been grown and eaten around the area.
So you’re not just eating great food, but celebrating local culture too. That’s got to be a win in anyone’s book, right?
We’re not sure which of these two restaurants we prefer more, so we’re just going to call it a tie for now!
Pretty much 90% of the towns and cities in Florida are going to be within arm’s reach of the coast, whether it’s the Emerald Coast on the Gulf of Mexico, or the facing out into the wide Atlantic Ocean.
So of course, seafood is going to be a big part of many people’s lives!
Tallahassee is no different, being less than an hour from the coast, giving it some pretty good catches, and a ton of great seafood restaurants to boot.
For us, Wahoo Seafood Grill is one of the best in the city. So many different kinds of fish to eat, and so many ways to enjoy them!
You have your classic American grilled foods, but there’s also a surprising amount of Creole, Cajun, and other Southern delicacies to try out here.
And that’s not just fish and amazing crab cakes, either. There are also some of the best hamburgers in the city, to match their mouthwatering crawfish dish (a seafood option that we can recommend from experience).
An ideal place to go if you can’t decide on whether you’re looking for meat or fish food for dinner!
If you’re looking for a food venue that is a little more laid back in its ambiance and presentation, then you’ll need to head down to the Bada Bean, on Apalachee Parkway!
With a massive range of different meals on offer, covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is a diner that you can check into for pretty much any meal.
Of course, the beans are the stars of this little establishment, but you’ll find a wide selection of plenty of other foods to try out for yourself, from beef hash to English muffins.
When it comes to some of the most popular cuisines in the world, food from and inspired by the Indian subcontinent have become some of the most popular worldwide, but are surprisingly thin on the ground in some parts
Fortunately, Tallahassee is a great exception to this rule, with an Indian restaurant scene that is as vibrant as the food itself!
Of these many restaurants, Essence of India has to be one of our favorites. With its distinct clay oven (or tandoor), and inspired by North Indian Mongol recipes, this is an experience that is as delicious as it is authentic.
And trust us. From the ingredients and spices to the cooking preparations, this is a VERY authentic Indian restaurant!
Now, if you’re looking for something novel and interesting, make sure that you step this way into this picturesque restaurant!
As the name implies, pineapples are a staple ingredient for many aspects of this restaurant, not just when it comes to flavors.
From the stir-fry-filled hollowed-out pineapple to the Caribbean-inspired curries on offer here, pretty much everything tastes as good as it looks.
And given how popular these recipes have been on social media, these are going to be some tasty recipes!
Is there a more popular cuisine right now than Japanese? It feels like it’s taken the world by storm in the last 20 to 30 years, and it shows no sign of slowing. And with good reason, to be fair. A good sushi bar is a pleasure that is hard to beat!
Tallahassee is no exception to this trend, with quite a few Japanese and sushi venues opening in the last few years.
For our final entry, we felt like we had to go with our favorite venue for this kind of food, Sakura!
From amazing katsu curries to amazing teriyaki steak too, of course, a truly astonishing variety of different sushi, sashimi, and other rice rolls, this has a Japanese-tailored meal for pretty much every sushi fan out there.
Honestly, there’s so much to try here, that it’s very tempting just to keep coming back to this restaurant over and over again, and never trying the same thing twice!
(Unless it’s edamame beans. We can’t get enough of them!)
So, as you can see, Tallahassee has plenty to offer an intrepid food-lover when visiting this state capitol. There are just so many amazing restaurants here, that we simply couldn’t fit them all on here!
Still, next time you’re down in the South East, moseying through this neighborhood, make sure that you treat yourself to one of these amazing restaurants.
Whether it’s grilled or seafood, Americana or Japanese, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here!
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