Top 8 Things to Do in Dade City, FL • Authentic Florida

Last updated on January 24, 2023

Welcome to downtown Dade, Florida sign

One of our favorite Authentic Florida destinations is dade citysite of the annual Kumquat festival.

This laid-back, laid-back Florida town has immense southern charm mixed with history and great hospitality.

It also offers farm-to-table cuisine to give visitors a tasty dose of authentic Florida.

It’s like going back in time, but with wifi and other modern conveniences.

Whether you’re experiencing Dade City during the Kumquat Festival or any time in between, there are a few things you won’t want to miss.

1. Dade City Courthouse

Dade City Courthouse in January 2023

The centerpiece of the town square is the beautifully restored 1909 classic revival-style courthouse. About him National Register of Historic Placesthe neoclassical dome and courthouse clock proudly proclaim the city as county seat.

2. Dade City Antique Stores

Photo of an antique store in Dade City
Downtown Dade City is known for its antique shops

Adjacent to the square, visitors can browse the local antique shops, including Antiques on Main. This cute shop specializes in folk art and primitive antique treasures. (It is closed Sunday and Monday)

there is also the Ivy Cottage Antique and Wine Shop Y The Dade City Magnolia House.

3. Lunch in Limoges

Photo of Lunch in Limoges
Lunch in Limoges is a classic of delicious southern food.

Historic downtown Dade City is also the place to take advantage of several excellent restaurants. Consider starting your food tour at the local classic, Lunch in Limoges (14139 7th street).

Lunch in Limoges chalkboard menu

This southern restaurant and gift shop offers chalkboard menu items with a Florida flair.

Pecan Grouper at lunch in Limoges in Dade City

We recommend the chicken with pecans, the grouper with pecans or their signature chicken salad.

Waitress with kumquat cake at lunch in Limoges

The culinary display of pastries and tarts, including the seasonal kumquat pie, will tempt all lovers of old-fashioned homemade desserts.

NOTE: Lunch on Limoges is now owned by the folks at Florida Cracker Kitchen.

Lunch on Limoges is owned by Florida Cracker Kitchen

4. Cafe Kokopelli

Kumquat Room at Kafe Kokopelli

Kokopelli Cafe (37940 Live Oak Ave) is also another local favorite. Once a Model T showroom for the Florida Motor Company, the restaurant is adorned with vintage Florida relics, photos and art.

Photo of grilled salmon
Seared Ahi tuna encrusted with black and white sesame seeds and served with seaweed salad and spicy Asian mayonnaise. Photo Credit: Cafe Kokopelli

Chef Steven Queen offers a sumptuous menu for dinner, including local Florida favorites such as fried green tomato wrasse, fried alligator, catfish sandwich, yellowfin tuna and organic mixed salads.

5. Steph’s Southern Soul Restaurant

Another off-the-square favorite, especially for home cooking, is Steph’s Southern Soul Restaurant (14519 5th Street).

The restaurant offers a fresh local menu of fried chicken, meatloaf, ribs, vegetables and fresh fruit desserts.

Dade City definitely serves up a cornucopia of good food.

6. Pioneer Village and Museum

1887 photo Trilby Depot, Pioneer Museum & Village
1887 Trilby Depot, Pioneer Museum & Village

To learn about the fascinating history of the area, head north of Dade City to the Florida Pioneer Town and Museum. This traveling village portrays a complete, real-life look into the life of Florida’s pioneer “Cracker”.

Actual buildings, many saved from demolition, were also brought to this site to create a living history exhibit.

Visitors can experience a wide variety of old Florida life through this experience as they journey through Florida’s past.

7. Joy-Lan Drive at the theater

Joy Lan Drive In Theater Photo
Joy-Lan Drive-In in Dade City

At night, Dade City is home to one of the few remaining drive-ins in the Sunshine State. He joy-lan screen is the largest digital screen in Pasco County and shows first-run movies.

The refreshment center is authentically decorated with photos of their staff and guests over the years. You also don’t want to miss a movie night… old school style.

Joy-Lan is one of six remaining drive-ins in Florida.

8. Annual Kumquat Festival

kumquat festival 2023

Every January, it’s time to celebrate the kumquat at the annual Kumquat Festival. Dade City is the epicenter of the kumquat and celebrates the little fruit in amazing ways.

Dade City Kumquats Festival Showcase

Read up on the Kumquat Festival and be sure to put it on your calendar of events.

All it takes is an interesting little fruit, a homey festival, farm-to-table dining mixed with small-town charm, and you have all the ingredients for an authentic Florida adventure in Dade City.

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