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8 Must-Try Treats For Junior Foodies Across Florida

Pit stops around the state for kid-friendly Florida specialties.

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Key Lime Pie

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Donut Hole Café & Bakery

635 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

Key limes are inseparable from the Florida Keys, so that chain of islands is an obvious spot for the famous pie. For those who don’t want to spend several tanks of gas for a slice of this delicacy, here’s some great news: A stellar key lime pie can also be found way up north in the Florida Panhandle! Donut Hole Café & Bakery is open 24 hours (for pie cravings around the clock) and just like the name implies, it sells donuts, coffee, and baked goods. But its signature is a key lime pie that is perfectly tart, deliciously creamy, and has just the right amount of crumbly in the crust.

Empanadas

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Spanish Bakery

42 St George St, St. Augustine, FL 32084

Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, St. Augustine claims to be America’s oldest city. Nestled in the heart of the city is another Spanish discovery: the empanada. Empanadas are small pastries filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, and baked or fried to flaky perfection. (Like a pizza pocket, but way better.) St. Augustine’s Spanish Bakery, open since 1965, uses homemade dough and made-from-scratch fillings for the ultimate experience.

Cuban Sandwich

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Columbia Restaurant

2117 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605 and various locations

The Cuban sandwich — which, despite its name, originated in Florida — has a long, fascinating history. But for the real experience, head to Columbia Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Florida. The original Ybor City location in Tampa opened in 1905 and has been serving the sandwich ever since. A Cuban is like the best parts of a deli sandwich (sliced pork, smoked ham, mustard, and pickles) and grilled cheese (Swiss cheese melted between buttered bread). Lunchtime has never been better!

Greek Salad

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Louis Pappas

1318 Towncenter Drive, Lakeland, FL 33803 and various locations

You might know the standard Greek salad of cucumbers, feta, tomato, and olives. But one restaurant chain in Florida adds a hidden surprise under the usual suspects: potato salad! Louis Pappamichalopoulos arrived in America in 1904 and opened the first Louis Pappas restaurant in 1925, where he began serving the signature Louis Pappas Famous Greek Salad. A base of homemade potato salad gets covered with all the usual Greek salad fixings for a truly original experience.

Hot Dogs

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Mao Colombian Fast Food

8438 SW 40th St, Miami, FL 33155

New York and Chicago might have the more famous hot dogs, but Miami definitely has the craziest. At Mao Colombian Fast Food, the perro caliente (Spanish for hot dog) comes loaded with mustard (normal), ketchup (sure), potato chips (what), and pineapple sauce (?!?!). There are also plenty of other toppings to choose from, like garlic sauce, bacon, and cheese. It’s as delicious as it is ‘grammable.

Alligator

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Lone Cabbage Fish Camp

8199 W King St, Cocoa, FL 32926

Fried alligator is the essential element of Florida swamp cuisine. And with a gator population of more than 1 million, it’s a tasty treat that pops up on menus statewide. With a mild flavor — like a hybrid of fish and chicken — fried gator bites are a delicacy for the whole family. For an authentic Florida experience, stop at Lone Cabbage Fish Camp where you’ll find local specialties like fried frog legs, turtle, catfish, and, of course, alligator. The restaurant also offers airboat rides down the Saint Johns River where you’ll likely spot some of the same wildlife you just ordered from the menu.

Orange Juice

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Mixon Fruit Farms

2525 27th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208

The state fruit is the orange, the state beverage is orange juice, the state flower is the orange blossom. Do you get the picture? Nothing says Florida more than oranges! There are more than 74 million citrus trees in the state spread over almost 570,000 acres. Florida produces 90% of American’s orange juice supply and is second only to Brazil in global orange juice production. A visit to Mixon Fruit Farms offers a tour through a working citrus grove, where you can see the oranges go from the tree to the bottle and buy some refreshing juice to go.

Publix Sub

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Publix Super Markets

Various locations across Florida

A grocery store sub might seem like a weird addition to this list, but just trust us on this one. Founded in Winter Haven, Fla., in 1930, Publix has become one of the biggest (and best) supermarket chains in America. In addition to groceries and old-timey weight scales, Publix is well known for incredible subs. Nicknamed “Pub Subs,” they’re made with bread baked on site, fresh vegetables, stacks of deli meat, and an affordable price. Maybe the most popular Pub Sub is the Chicken Tender Sub, loaded with crispy chicken tenders and cheese with a choice of vegetables and delicious condiments.

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With amazing family destinations anywhere you go, Florida is the perfect vacation state!