The Reef of St. Augustine

4.5
1145 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
The Reef, originally called Compton's, was built by the Usina family on a beautiful piece of oceanfront property in tranquil North Beach--three miles north of the Usina Bridge--on land owned by the family for generations. Compton's opened in 1989 and enjoyed great success for the next ten years. It closed in 1999 due to the ill health of Mr. Compton and hurricane damage. There are few remaining true Oceanfront restaurants in Northeast Florida, and of those The Reef, reopened in 2002 under the direct ownership of the Usinas, commands the most spectacular views. Sit at any table inside and the view is dynamic to say the least, or enjoy the recently rebuilt and expanded deck where you not only look out at The Ocean, you listen to it too as the waves break and the birds cry. To complement this vista Chef Bob Henle has created a menu primarily of fish and seafood balanced with beef, poultry pasta and creative specials, always fresh and sourced locally whenever possible.
What 1145 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Jacksonville
6 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first time here. After a misunderstanding about my request to sit outdoors we were seated at a nice table overlooking the beach and ocean. Our waiter Ryan greeted us promptly and we had our happy hour wine and appetizers in no time. He made excellent recommendations about the food and we were all very pleased without choices. I had the seafood risotto, my husband had the seafood pasta and our daughter had the salmon. All delicious. My husband and daughter liked the brown bread that was served but I wasn’t a fan. It didn’t really matter because I didn’t need bread-my meal was full of shrimp and lobster tail. The blueberry Creme brûlée was small but delicious. We also had the chefs special carrot cake. It was a cute individual size cake instead of a slice but was very dry-but had good flavor. All in all we were very pleased with the food, atmosphere and service! Ryan is a great server!

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JD
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great view of the ocean. Dinner was perfect.

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SM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was good, just.a little pricey.
Great view and great service!

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MD
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful evening and the only complaint was the noise level. Several tables of 6+ nearby but they weren't exceptionally loud.....it seemed to be the room itself. That said, wonderful fresh seafood, attentive service, good flow, wonderful experience.

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JD
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Located aside the ocean, this restaurant has a varied menu, excellently prepared and presented.
The Reef is a must-visit if wanting to escape the ordinary, and live it well!

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LS
Jacksonville
4 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The brunch was amazing! There is something on the buffet for everyone ranging from seafood to ribs to traditional breakfast items. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the endless mimosas! It is a must for brunch. I can’t wait to go back👍🏽

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CC
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent selection of food and great quality. We had an awesome view of the beach. The live music was great! I would definitely return again!

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B
Jacksonville
3 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, atmosphere, and staff. Our server, Douglas, was fantastic.

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KF
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Some friends and I visited on 4/14 for the "Sunday Brunch" at The Reef- wow wow wow! We had a great time! For $40 pp , you get endless mimosas and some really tasty food! Highly recommend the waffles, omelette station, prime rib station, peel and eat shrimp, scallops. You are dining with a great view also! We will definitely return for the brunch.

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c
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Food and service was very poor compared to previous visits. Not a good value for the money this time.

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C
Richmond
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful meal and enjoyed amazing views of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. Service could not have been better. I will be certain to get back there every time I’m in the area. Thanks for a memorable meal and I wish I could recall the name of our waitress as she was outstanding!

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KC
Miami
12 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

View was great, outdoor table looking at the ocean, service was awful. I thought most restaurants made their money on alcohol, we couldn’t get a waiter to even order drinks or food then the appetizer arrived and we still had no drinks.

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SD
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Reef is an outstanding restaurant with wonderful atmosphere over the ocean! If you are in town please take the time to stop by.

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DD
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent Food, great service. A must if staying on Vilano!

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KW
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Service was poor. Server also had a very disheveled appearance. We have been to the reef several times in the past and always enjoyed. This time food was ok. Crab cakes were not good at all.

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CA
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

We like that they take reservations. The food and drinks are consistently good. There is frequently music at the bar. And you can't beat the view!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outside deck at sunset, perfectly beautiful! Matthew was a gem of a server. Fried shrimp was perfect. Mai Tai was perfectly tasty! Love this place, will go back.

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DG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the ambience, the scenery and the food; we plan to return as soon as possible.

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A
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

We had hoped for a nice birthday dinner. The food was average for the price. The service was great., but when the food is average, it makes for a less than great birthday dinner for my wife.

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LA
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommend. Everything I’ve tasted had been delicious. Best scallops I’ve ever eaten. Wish it were closer to where I live.

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SV
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Make sure you make a reservation cuz it is very busy. Food was very good. Highly recommend ordering a couple of the small plates

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CV
Jacksonville
5 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have gone to the Sunday Brunch at the Reef, for many years, when we visit here from Michigan. We love the flowing champagne, very wide assortment of food, to cover from breakfast to dinner! The shrimp, crab and salmon are delightful. The pastries are great. But my favorite are the cheesy, Datil grits! Music is pleasant, and staff very helpful. We will return next year!

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P
New England
5 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter, Scott, was attentive to every detail yet distanced enough to enjoy our time ... we had the best table, and the food was outstanding. The broccoli was cooked to perfection and the salmon to my preference. We have been twice in one month and will return

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T
Atlanta
45 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice dinner at Reef. Had Fried Cheese appetizer and it was great. Main courses were Grouper Caprese, North Beach Mahi, Seafood Trio and Prime Rib. All of them were well prepared and delicious. Server was James and he was attentive and fun.

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a
Central Coast
17 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

The setting was beautiful but the food was not. The fish was overcooked and dry. It was so loud in the room that you could barely hold a conversation and some started getting a headache. It definitely did not live up to it's hype.

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w
New York Area
152 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

we had dined at the reef many times in the past, however, it has been awhile now since our last visit. we were looking forward to dining outside on the deck, and that was what I made our reservation for. when we arrived a sign on the door revealed that due to restoration of the dunes and construction of a sea wall, there was no outdoor dining 🙁! we sat at an indoor window seat with beautiful ocean views. Laura was our waitress and she was wonderful!!!! so very attentive, friendly and accommodating! I had the seared tuna app- which was underwhelming. the ‘herb’ searing didn’t do much for tuna and the tuna itself was just okay. for my entree I ordered the citrus salmon, which also was just average. we dine out ALOT and I order alot of seared tuna , as well as salmon, and i just was not impressed with either of these. hubby had the beef tips app and the seafood trio entree and he didn’t ‘love’ them, but did like them. the location and view are fabulous!! once the deck is back open we would come back for lunch or apps, but not sure about dinner. thank you, Laura!!😊

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SS
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Great restaurants have bad moments but our meals and service at The Reef rank as one of our worst five dining experiences. The staff was friendly but it's impossible to accept a fifty-minute wait for two poorly prepared meals.

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JE
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was very good but when the air conditioning fan comes on it is pretty loud and annoying. It has been doing that for years but the food is good, the view is great, and the service is good. The Key Lime pie is my family's favorite dessert there and they get it everytime.

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JA
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Beautiful ocean view and great service.
The food however left much to be desired.
The prime rib was tough and the grouper my friend had was overcooked.

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JC
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Two of the four had the 8oz prime rib. Very chewy and grisly. One had the seafood pasta and it was very rich. One had the special Sea bass and it was very good. I will go again but stay away from the beef meals.

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B
Charlotte
11 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food and service is always very good and the ambiance worth the price. Issues with a special request for seating through open table via a substitute host dampened the evening.

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LS
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was good, well presented , but slow coming. Friendly service, and staff

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OT
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dennis was great!!!

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RD
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing brunch spot. You can't beat the views of the ocean. Delicious food and great spread overall. Wonderful service as well.

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KE
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Service was really slow and our waiter forgot to bring us our wine, until the food started coming and we reminded him.

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TW
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice dining experience. Attentive staff, great food, great views.

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OT
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family vacation

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CH
Tampa
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

After 30 years we returned to celebrate our anniversary again and was not disappointed
To maintain quality across the board for so many years is quite an accomplishment
Great on every level

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PG
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent. The ambience was awesome. The view fantastic. The staff catered to us. Overall the dining experience was a hit.

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Y
Jacksonville
131 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

We tried The Reef based on Yelp reviews that it was the best seafood waterfront dining in the area. Well, then there must not be any good waterfront seafood places in the area. Actually, we've been to the Chart House in Jacksonville and that was much better. The food here was so so; could do as well at home and I am not one to prepare seafood well. The shrimp were very small. Skip the shrimp appetizer. I wish there was a salad with the meal. Didn't see an option on the menu for a small dinner salad. The service was terribly SLOWWWW. We were tucked off in the corner and our waiter just couldn't seem to take the extra steps to that corner of the room very often. The food took almost an hour to come out after we'd ordered. We won't be returning.

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