Today’s Sandbar Amelia Island is a restaurant in the sand in the heart of historic Main Beach. If the name Sandbar sounds familiar, this is no relation to your grandmother’s Sandbar on the Amelia River with the giant oyster shell pile, one of the first seafood restaurants on Amelia Island. Today’s Sandbar has a lot of unique features and is now offering brunch.
Unlike any other bar or restaurant on Amelia Island, the Sandbar has tables on the beach in the sand. The Atlantic Ocean is in full view. Sand seating accommodates 64 people, not including the giant beach chair. Additional seating includes the popular covered, open-air porch that fills up as soon as the front doors open. Inside tables have large screens all around for a packed house during favorite sports events, with upstairs seating near the famous whisky library offering long views of the beach.
Saturday and Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bottomless Mimosa fizzes with classic, elegant perfection. The Mexi-Mosa packs a grapefruit-tequila punch. Other brunch cocktails include a Coastal Margarita, a tropical Breakfast Hurricane, a mocha Bushwhacker, a lemony Blueberry Cooler, Irish Boozy Coffee, and a vanilla-orange Creamsicle Screwdriver. The Ultimate Amelia Island Bloody Mary is the cocktail showpiece and it is way more than a cocktail! Its garnishes are the organizing theme for some of the Sandbar’s best brunch tastes.
Piquant Millionaire’s Bacon combines smoky, sweet, and peppery tastes into a wow umami base. French Doughnuts that began life at New Orlean’s Café du Monde are round and sumptuous beachy beignets. Said a man named Mike sitting with his feet in the sand and his dog under the table, “These wings taste more like Buffalo wings than any I’ve had since I moved here from Buffalo a few years ago.” Fried Shrimp tastes warm and peppery, the way I remember it from my childhood. Finally, olives provide the firm, salt crunch as counterpoint to all the other flavors. More than one person has chosen this U.A.I.B.M. as a meal.
Many of Sandbar’s brunch offerings reminded me of the Southern foods I had as a little girl, like gravies, biscuits, grits, sausage, and fried chicken. Shrimp accompanies grits or waffles, just as fried chicken can come with waffles, a biscuit, or a breakfast bowl. Jacksonville’s own Azar’s sausage is also in the breakfast bowl, as well as the breakfast sandwich and wood-fired breakfast pizza. Crab Cake Benny is a breakfast surprise. And expect no less than next-level bourbon specialties from Sandbar, as they are the bourbon experts for miles around. The Bourbon Butter and Bourbon Honey make each of these staples a little bourbon bit better.
I think of Natalie, whom I know from a doctor’s office on the island. When I asked her if she’d been to the Sandbar brunch, she bemoaned that she had not as she was from San Diego where brunch was a weekly thing. She rejoiced to learn there is a good brunch available, and on the beach for her kids to enjoy! Brunch is available on Amelia Island, of course, but only one is on the sand with the Atlantic Ocean just steps away. Sandbar Amelia Island is located on S. Fletcher Avenue at Main Beach.