Why St. Augustine's Ice Plant is One of the South's Favorite Bars
This spot is serious about having fun.
Ever been to an upscale spot where the food and drink were great, but the mood was so stiff that you spent more time trying not to spill anything on the tablecloth than enjoying your adult beverage? Ice Plant is having none of that.
This restored 1920s ice factory on Riberia Street, near Flagler College in St. Augustine, is serious about having fun. One side is a distillery, the other a bar and restaurant with a focus on farm-to-table food and craft cocktails made with fresh-pressed juices, three different kinds of ice, and other specialty ingredients. Two bars keep your thirst at bay, while a wait staff dressed in overalls, vintage dresses, and Rosie-the-Riveter kerchiefs brings the personality.
If you’re on the back side of 20-something, you might expect to feel out of place at a bar this close to a college campus. Not so. You’ll find a cross-section of St. Augustine here, and the food is as good as the drinks. Soaring windows keep the retro space light and airy, while the menu brings out your sense of adventure. Should you go for a classic Old Fashioned or Pimms Cup? Or maybe branch out and try the Little Red Corvette (London dry gin, cranberry, thyme, lemon, and Campari)?
Ice Plant serves dinner seven days a week, lunch Monday-Friday, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Bring your appetite for the Half Pound Ice Plant Burger, made with grass-fed Florida Wagyu beef, field greens, munster cheese, aioli, and pickled green tomatoes. It’s served with hand-cut fries. Or come for brunch and order French toast with roasted pears, served with black strap rum, walnuts, whipped ricotta, and candied lemon peel. For something savory, get the brunch tacos—crispy pork belly, scrambled eggs, cheddar, pico, red cabbage slaw, and salse verde wrapped in house-made tortillas.
Be prepared: Ice Plant doesn’t accept reservations and can’t accommodate parties of more than six, so get there ahead of the crowd if you don’t want to wait. (On the other hand, a little wait time gives you a chance to shop the distillery, which is also fun.)