Outback Crab Shack

The Outback Crab Shack St Augustine

There are waterfront restaurants and then there are waterfront restaurants. Outback Crab Shack is so on the water, they had to build a retaining wall to keep the water out of the restaurant! They also have the longest boat dock on the river- 1,500 feet long, to be exact- and fresh seafood, fried gator, a smoker full of BBQ and ice cold beer. If you’re a boater, a biker, a good-ole-boy or just hungry for great service and Southern food, this place is for you.

First, you must understand that Outback Crab Shack is in the middle of nowhere.

Well, it used to be. Neighborhoods are popping up around Outback now but when we moved to St. Augustine just over a decade ago, it was the sole restaurant in a three-hundred-bajillion mile radius. It’s still quite a drive from St. Augustine proper… about 17 miles and 35 minutes from the Castillo.

This turns out to be a good thing, because you can get up-close-and-personal with the neighbors… manatee, birds, gators and turtles.

Outback Crab Shack Waterfront Restaurant in St Augustine

When we were there last, we watched a manatee pull clump after clump of vegetation down below the water and eat it up. He was just inches from us- what a great experience!!! I recorded it via Facebook Live… I’ll put the video at the end of this post. It’s pretty cool!! If you really want to experience St. Johns River wildlife, set up an airboat ride with Sea Serpent Tours while you’re over there. They’ll pick you up from the dock which adds to this don’t-miss experience.

We wanted to have a fun, Old Florida evening so we arrived at Outback Crab Shack for an early dinner and started our evening with Outback Gator Tail {$9.95}:

Gator Bites Outback Crab Shack St Augustine
Gator Tail. Yes, it does kind of taste like chicken.

I was there with 5 of my children and none of us had ever tried gator before. I braced myself as I took my first bite… and was pleasantly surprised! It’s not as chewy as I expected and is a bit sweeter than chicken.

We also ordered some Fried Green Tomatoes {$5.95} which were slightly tart, firm and just right. No ranch needed on these!

Fried Green Tomatoes Outback Crab Shack
Crisp Fried Green Tomatoes

I’d heard Outback Crab Shack’s portions were generous so the kiddos and I ordered 3 meals to share. We still left with an entire box of food for lunch the next day!! Everything, from the Fried Grouper Platter {$18.95 } to the Half Smoked Chicken Dinner {$12.95} to the best thing of the night, Red Neck Chick {$12.95} was hot, crisp and well seasoned. I mean, how can you go wrong with smoked chicken, BBQ sauce and fries?!

Outback Crab Shack Dinner St Augustine
Three meals to feed six people…

Lauren’s pick, Red Neck Chick, was easily the favorite of the table. Two fried chicken filets (a whole breast, I believe), fried green tomato, bacon, cheese and spicy sauce make this one tasty sandwich. I’m ordering that next time. One thing I won’t order is the cole slaw. Ours was on the dry side and not very flavorful. It’s a fish camp, so go ahead and order crab legs, fries and hush puppies with no regrets. I won’t tell.

Outback Crab Shack Chicken Sandwich

Speaking of fried stuff… the kids ganged up on me and we ended up with a fried cheesecake dessert to share. Yes, you read that right. Personally, I would have rather had more gator tail but the kids asked with cute smiles and I gave in.

fried cheesecake st augustine outback crab shack

Oh, and when you first arrive, you’ll walk by the bar. Tell Angel hi from us and ask her if she’s talked hubby into taking her fishing again. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one of her great smiles and an even better story. She’s the friendliest ball of energy I’ve ever met- I wish we could eat there every week just to hear her stories and enjoy her hospitality!

If you haven’t been to Outback Crab Shack, you haven’t experienced the other side of St. Augustine. Walk out on the dock after dinner, or while waiting, and see how gorgeous wild Florida is.

Outback Crab Shack
8155 CR 13 North
(904) 522-0500

p.s. Here’s the adorable manatee-eating video I promised:

Outback Crab Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Sharon says

    Alli O,the plants are water hyacinths,and yes the manatees are protected,no touching and no feeding.

    • says

      HYACINTHS! Of course! Thank you Sharon.

      It was really a blessing to be so close to them and watch them devour the *hyacinths*. What a neat experience! ~Allie O

  2. Pam Kippes says

    Manatee is delicious!

    • says

      LOL Oh dear. The manatee buffet is along the docks in the creek… all you can eat water hyacinths FOR the manatee. 😛

  3. Andrea says

    Love love love this place! When we visit st. Augustine this restaurant is always a must. My favorite is the catfish nuggets.

    • says

      I’ve never tried the catfish nuggets but I bet they’re fried just right! 🙂 Viva St. Augustine! ~Allie O.

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