By Dylan Bailey
While the allure of Centre Street in Fernandina Beach is undeniably magnetic, there’s a restaurant further south with a big personality. KP’s Restaurant, owned by Kenny Pickett, is a beloved establishment among locals, yet remains a delightful enigma to many visitors. The restaurant is in a quaint, peaceful setting that offers a serene island atmosphere, away from noise and crowds.
Stepping inside KP’s, I was instantly greeted by a lively ambiance and a staff that radiated friendliness. The place has an unmistakably homely vibe that makes you feel like a valued patron, not just another customer. The restaurant’s clean, cozy interior is just the first sign of the experience that awaits you.
KP’s offers both indoor and outdoor seating, catering to every kind of diner. Whether you prefer the comfort of indoor dining or want to soak up the serene island atmosphere outside, KP’s has your back. The outdoor seating area, in particular, is a delight, offering a comfortable dining experience amidst the scenic surroundings of the island.
One glance at the menu and you’ll realize you’re spoiled for choice at KP’s. The restaurant serves up a variety of delicious American bistro-style dishes, with some vegetarian options as well. From starters to entrees to desserts, there’s something for everyone here.
Upon the waitress’s recommendation, I chose the chicken quesadilla with Calypso Cajun chicken as my starter. And boy, was it a winner! This dish was a perfect blend of flavors and textures, with just the right amount of spice to kick things up a notch. And the best part? It’s big enough to share – if you’re feeling generous.
For the main course, I decided to try KP’s shrimp tacos. These delightful soft tortillas came loaded with four pieces of succulent shrimp each, a generous helping of baby spinach, a dollop of coleslaw, and sweet chili aioli. And for just an extra dollar, you can top it all off with their mouthwatering mango salsa. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.
To round off my meal, I decided to try out their peanut butter pie. This dessert is an absolute must-try for peanut butter lovers. It comes topped with crushed peanuts, adding an extra layer of flavor and texture to the dessert. Now, I must warn you, this pie is quite rich – but in my opinion, that’s what makes it all the more delicious.
One of the things that stood out to me about KP’s was the price. For the quality and quantity of food you get, the prices at KP’s are impressively reasonable. This restaurant offers a fantastic dining experience without burning a hole in your pocket.
If you’re looking for a casual dining experience away from the hustle and bustle of Centre Street, KP’s Restaurant is the place to be. With its warm ambiance, friendly staff, delectable food, and affordable pricing, it’s a place that ticks all the right boxes. So the next time you find yourself at the south end of Amelia Island (on the exit to American Beach) – KP’s Restaurant is waiting to welcome you with open arms and full plates.
Address: 5472 First Coast Hwy #8, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Monday – Saturday)