A1A Ale Works

There are a few restaurants everyone assumes must be my favorites.  The Floridian gets a lot of buzz as does Scarlett O’Hara’s {confession: I’ve never been to Scarlett’s!}.  The third place I’m asked about all the time is A1A Ale Works.

The view is great, you can eat indoors or out, they brew their own beer… what’s not to love?!  In case you haven’t been, here’s A1A Ale Works in 2 minutes or less:

Situated at the foot of the Bridge of Lions, A1A Ale Works is easy to find!

When dining with all the kiddos, we love to eat outside.  There’s less pressure to behave perfectly so we can just enjoy being a family!  On our last visit, we scored a great table with a view of the plaza and the water.

Dinner portions are plentiful at St. Augustine’s A1A Ale Works but we usually order the Blue Cheese Chips ($8.75) anyways.  The kids love the loaded, house made chips as much as hubby and I do!

Protip: The Blue Cheese Chips taste even better with a house brewed Bridge of Lions Brown Ale!

Restaurants on the water in St. Augustine keep the kiddos occupied while we wait for dinner.  The boys like to guess the horsepower of boats zipping by in the river.  Daddy sometimes brings balance to their outlandish numbers… and sometimes we just smile.  My boys are going to design the fastest boat ever when they grow up!

Traffic noise isn’t too bad since we sat on a 2nd story balcony. We loved the breeze off the river!

There is a lot to love at A1A!  You know I like to keep things positive here on Simply St. Augustine… but I also share honestly so you’ll know what to expect.  So let’s move on to the reason I don’t rave over A1A Ale Works… inconsistency.

Last visit, the Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese ($10.95) was weak.  At our house, we call salads like this “Daddy Salads”.  He opens a container of greens, plops them on a plate and maybe tops them with something quick.  It’s fine when Daddy is throwing something healthy on a plate but not fine when you’re paying $11 for an entree salad.  The Spinach Salad is supposed to be topped with sun dried cherries and spicy pecans.  {I did get five pecans… maybe they were out of cherries?}  Still, not a bad presentation, but for $11, I expect to get all the toppings advertised…

But it’s not all bad!  In fact, it’s mostly good.  The next dish not only tasted good but had the kids smiling at the soup art!  Hubby enjoyed his cup of Lobster Bisque ($4.75) and everyone loves the Ale & Cheese Soup… I’ve ordered it and loved it.

A1A Ale Work’s Lobster Bisque

They were out of the Kobe Cheeseburger ($13.95) but our 8 year old shared a regular burger with his little sis.  Fries were cold but the kids didn’t complain.

I went for the Flat Iron Medallions ($18.95).  They arrived with Ragtime Shrimp which would’ve been great except I can’t eat shrimp!  I’m not deathly allergic, though, so I simply scooted them to an extra plate and enjoyed my steak & taters.  The shrimp looked & smelled great- you can order this combo for $22.95

As we enjoyed our dinner, the Bridge of Lions went up.  Traffic slowed to a stop and tourists climbed out of their cars for photo ops while parked on the bridge.  Horse-drawn carriages rolled past and we watched pedicab drivers pick up fares.  Breezes from the river kept us cool and the children’s laughter didn’t bother a soul as we enjoyed a leisurely dinner in St. Augustine.  Taking the whole family there is pricey and the food can be unpredictable, but time spent with family on the balcony is something I’ll never regret!

A1A Ale Works
1 King Street
( 904) 829-2977


  1. says

    We LOVE their burgers and their cheese soup. They also have a really good crab dip that is good. We like it because we can eat their pretty cheaply for a lot of food for downtown.

  2. says

    I also love A1A Alehouse……great to take my family or friends when visiting……..the food is generally good…and you can’t beat the view on the balcony!!

  3. Pam says

    I think their appetizers in the bar are divine – the quesadilla is one of our faves

  4. Heather F. says

    Inconsistency says it best! This was our favorite place to go without the kids and sometimes with them too. We come to town at least 3 times a year and this was always on our list. However, service is inconsistent and the food we loved in the past just was not the same during our last visit. The view and opportunity to sit outside is amazing and we LOVE St. Augustine. We may give them another try next summer.

  5. Rick Saunders says

    Thanks for an honest review of A1A. When it opened it was fabulous. The food was fresh and stylish and always good to excellent. It was the place we always took out of town guests. Then it started to suck.

    I don’t know what happened. Maybe it got too popular, too busy…but it became bland and safe. Now it even seems like the house made root beer isn’t as good as it used to be. I’ve always had good to acceptable service, but the food…it makes me sad. Snap out of A1A! The best location in town should offer food to match.

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