30A’s New (and Coming Soon) Restaurants and Bars - 30A


30A’s New (and Coming Soon) Restaurants and Bars

By: Carrie Honaker | Posted Jun 10, 2022

The draw of emerald waters, sugar sand, and brilliant sunshine is hard to beat. The communities along 30A have it in spades and every year more people notice. Whether you’re here for a week, or a lifetime, the unmatched physical beauty of rare coastal dune lakes and fiery ocean sunsets create a welcoming backdrop for delicious meals filled with the region’s bounty and glasses raised in celebration. And we have a few new kids on the block to welcome to the fold. Let’s take a look at some of our new (& coming soon) favorites.

1. Down Island Seafood

Down Island Seafood Exterior

This spot has quickly become the neighborhood restaurant since opening in February 2022. Located on Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach, it’s just a short detour from 30A and so worth it. The menu includes dishes like the chonky-sized, wood-fired oysters, tangy Peruvian ceviche, homey braised pork cheeks, and Korean fried broccoli complemented by an impressive beverage list, including some daring creations like the Zombie Chuck Norris. 

You can grab a quick beer and a burger, or stay for three hours making new friends without feeling rushed, seven days a week. Lunch, an outdoor daiquiri bar, lawn games for waiting guests, and seven-days-a-week service are on the horizon. But right now there’s Chef Janca’s homemade blueberry pie. The 4-person serving makes a tasty leftover breakfast…because pie for breakfast is never wrong.

2. Black Bear, Seaside

BlackBear Seaside Location

A third instantiation of the wildly popular cafe and bakery is now open in Seaside. The quaint white building adjacent to The Court and Town Center, features a wide porch shaded by mature magnolia trees and lush courtyard populated with tropical plants, concrete tables, and sturdy wood chairs with plush navy cushions.

The menu at the Seaside location features breakfast and lunch offerings like the croissant-based french toast topped with a canelle of ricotta, fresh berries, and toasted pecans or the banh mi with pickled local vegetables, braised pork shoulder, and zesty sambal aioli served on a house-made baguette. And of course, bread.

The iconic Black Bear Bread sourdough plus all the tasty pastries Chef Kara Enache whips up with her army of early morning bakers are available at this new spot.

On the horizon for the Seaside location is extended hours and an evening menu featuring tapas and aperitivos.

3. Beach Happy Cafe

Interior of Beach Happy Cafe

Beach Happy Cafe’s light coastal vibe creates a welcome stop for families, couples, and remote workers. The staff behind the counter smiles wide and greets everybody who crosses the threshold. The signature ocean blue and sunshine yellow colors offer a relaxing respite from steamy Florida days. Fresh sandwiches and wraps (to-go orders and delivery can be ordered right on their website), baked goodies from Blue Mountain Bakery, 30A Coffee roasted by Amavida, delicious and healthy NaturBaker plant-based bakery options, 30A craft beer by Grayton Beer, 30A wine and much more populate the menu.

They serve breakfast all day alongside their menu of hot and cold brews. And if you need oat or macadamia nut milk, they have it, plus flavoring syrups for that extra sweet shot. There is ample indoor and outdoor seating, and if you need some 30A signature apparel made from recycled water bottles, they have a retail space inside with all the official 30A swag.

Be sure to stop by the new Watercolor hotspot to get your morning fuel or afternoon nosh seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

30A ????️ ???? WaterColor, Florida

BEACH HAPPY ????️ ???? visits WaterColor, Florida.

Presented by: Grady-White Boats
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Posted by 30A on Wednesday, 14 October 2020

4. The Courtyard at Pescado

The Courtyard at Pescado

The jazz-filled spot checks all the boxes for a first date or fiftieth date with its lush garden courtyard and piano bar, handcrafted cocktails, and small bites. Located underneath Pescado, The Courtyard is open daily 5 p.m. until 10:30 p.m., but the kitchen closes at 9 p.m. 

Linger over a cheese board filled with artisan selections, truffle honey, and salumi, or opt for the very shareable duck confit poutine with hand-cut fries.

Toast a romantic evening with live music and some Nawlins’ charm with one of their signature cocktails like the Queen Bee or the Red Skies. You must be 18 years old to enter. Music starts at 6 p.m.

5. Prema Organic

Prema Exterior

Prema translates to “love” in Sanskrit. And that is what the new spot in Seagrove Beach infuses into all its offerings. Nutritious smoothies, cold-pressed juices, salads, buddha bowls, and coffee served with cashew milk are all made in-house with an eye toward healing the body and spirit. They offer gluten-free, organic, soy-free, and canola oil-free options. The breakfast cookies and zucchini muffins are light, yet indulgent; the smoothies are creamy without feeling heavy. Each dish is visually stunning and chocked full of hearty nutritional goodness. 

The eatery is located next door to Balance Wellness Studio and is open 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. They have a few tables outside and some stools along the bar inside for dining in, but the eatery really shines with its grab ‘n go cooler and quick-serve to-go options. 

6. Nigel’s Bananas

In the funky Ruskin Artists Colony behind the main drag in Seaside, visitors will find Nigel’s Bananas. This shaded respite from the Florida heat has been serving up decadent Belgian Chocolate-dipped frozen bananas and ice cream bars since May 2021. The fun menu even has illustrated instructions walking customers through choosing their base, getting it dipped, and selecting toppings.

And, oh the toppings…rainbow sprinkles, toasted coconut, crunchy marshmallows…and more. 

Open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Nigel’s also offers delicious breakfast, and ice cream floats with a variety of craft sodas and adult guests can indulge in boozy, bubbly sorbet floats or sip beer and wine by the glass. 

7. Macho Taco Cantina

Tacos at Macho Taco Cantina

The popular eatery at The Big Chill has a new location serving up its tasty Mexican fare, seven days a week on Highway 98 right next to Sherwin Williams (if you’re mapping). The sleek black and white exterior gives way to a bar covered in splashy-colored tile, outdoor patio seating under Edison lights, and a warm, inviting space for dining. And they’re open late—10 p.m. for dinner, but then the late-night menu kicks in until midnight.

Dishes like Chef and Owner Steve Bucalo’s favorite brunch item, Creme Fraiche Pancakes topped with candied lemon, whipped cream, and maple syrup anchor the brunch menu alongside hefty Smothered Breakfast Burritos filled with marinated skirt-steak, black beans, pickled onions, grilled poblanos, eggs, queso fresco and topped with queso and sliced avocados. For late-night, the frito tempura-battered Salt and Pepper Shrimp wash down easy with those Huckleberry Frozen Lemonades. Check out this new outpost just a little off the 30A path.

8. The Chicken Shack

The Chicken Shack at Seaside Square

Located between Sundog Books and The Great Southern Cafe, The Chicken Shack brings to life Chef Jim Shirley’s dream of opening a spot dedicated to fried chicken. The star attraction is family-sized, sweet tea marinated “buckets” of fried chicken, chicken sandwiches and chicken tenders. Along with this all-star lineup, they offer an eclectic blend of other global chicken dishes, such as Korean fried chicken thighs, Vietnamese wings, chicken Tikka Masala, and more.

There are few things more Southern than fried chicken. Every mama has their ‘family’ recipe, and it is a staple at many dinner tables. The Chicken Shack brought this quintessential Southern food to Seaside in March 2022. The casual concept is perfect for families and groups looking for a meal post-beach or post-shopping. Orders are placed at the walk-up window, and then guests can cop a squat in the communal seating area shared with Container Bar or take their food to-go as they explore Seaside. 

9. Container Bar

Sit Down Bar and Dining at C-Bar

The popular dining trend of restaurants in shipping containers has arrived in Seaside.

Just to the side of Great Southern Cafe, guests can grab one of 30 seats (shared with The Chicken Shack) at this custom, upcycled shipping container, walk up to the to-go window and grab a drink.

The local craft beer lineup is thoughtfully put together to highlight some of the exceptional breweries in this area. Also available are The Great Southern classic cocktails like those refreshing mojitos. 

The Container Bar shares a menu with The Great Southern Cafe, so guests can get their fill of Grits à Ya Ya alongside a tropical cocktail or thirst-quenching beer in a fun new location.

10. Hotz Coffee

Chiringo Coffee and Food at Grayton Beach

A hip new coffee bar opened in Grayton Beach in March 2022. The cute space adorned with bright, primary colors is attached to Chiringo restaurant and serves up their YOLO blend coffee. The walk-up bar has sparse seating outside along the patio overlooking Downtown Grayton, offers gluten-free muffins and donuts, biscuits, and a menu of “Boozy Brews” along with their straight caffeinated beverages. 

The vibe is relaxed with locals hanging out talking about changing neighborhoods, surfers coming in from their last wave and a bevy of “nice dogs” walking their owners through town. Stop in for some buzzy libations Tuesday-Sunday 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

11. Farrington Foods

Classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, Chef William Farrington did not start in the kitchen. In his former life he was a real estate broker in Naples, Florida. He realized experimenting with flavors and techniques was where his passion lay. Working through top kitchens from California to Colorado, Chef Farrington honed his skills. When the pandemic hit, Chef Farrington relocated to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, and opened Farrington Foods, a food business that encompasses everything from date nights to dinner parties. Maybe you want to learn how to do it yourself? Also on tap are cooking classes in baking, butchery, and pasta making, and more virtually, or in-person. Wanting to up your knife skills? Chef Farrington can teach you everything from sharpening to chiffonade.  And if you just need some hand-cut pasta to order for your next Sunday supper, Farrington Foods has you covered.

Beach Happy ????️ ???? Visits Santa Rosa Beach

Where is Santa Rosa Beach? ????️ Bet you didn’t know this!! >>

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Posted by 30A on Thursday, 18 November 2021

12. 30A Blue Crawfish Company

Blue Crawfish Company at The Big Chill

The Big Chill at Watersound has a new tenant, and they’re bringing the Nawlins’ flavors. 30A Blue Crawfish Company sits amid a lively outcropping of food trucks, music, and boutiques surrounded by preserved forest land.

Visiting feels like being at a great music festival, but with better food.

And 30A Blue Crawfish Company serves up some of the best Cajun and Creole around. They’re dishing smoky gumbo, spicy red beans and rice with andouille sausage, bayou bread pudding dripping in thick sauce, and more. And if you’re looking to grab ‘n go, they have family meals available in quantities to feed as few as six people and as many as 20. The Creole Pasta, Crawfish Etouffee, Corn and Crab Bisque, as well as others can be ordered ahead, picked up, and enjoyed in the comfort of your home.  And when crawfish are in season, get there for the boil…you won’t be sorry.

13. 40th Street Pizza

Pizza from 40th Street Pizza 

This family-owned pizzeria has survived the trials of Florida restaurant ups and downs. Originally opened in Mexico Beach, 40th Street Pizza had to relocate to Parker, Florida after their building was sold. Then Hurricane Michael tore through, and they found a new home in Panama City. The pandemic brought the last move to their new (and hopefully final) location in Miramar Beach. This is the little pizza place that could, and they are tossing brick-fired pizzas Wednesday through Monday. They have a wide variety of specialty pizzas, or you can make your own with topping choices that range from pineapple to beer cheese to spicy italian sausage. You can even stuff them in a calzone. And if you’re looking for something to do with the kids, they have Pizza Workshops where the next generation of pizzaiolas can don an apron, top some pizzas, and eat the fruits of their labor.

14. Fatboys

Sandwich and Fries at Fatboys

Credit: Fatboys Facebook page

You may know this eatery, already famous for juicy beef and tasty chicken, in Destin, Florida, and Enterprise, Alabama, but they’ve added a new location closer to 30A.

The Miramar Beach spot is now open, and serving the always fresh, handmade, quarter-pound burgers and traditional or boneless wings served with fresh veggies and the secret house-made sauces everybody loves.

They also have meatless options for the vegetarians in the crowd, and gluten-free choices available. A wide selection of draft and bottled beer, wine, and craft cocktails are available to wash down the tasty grub seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

15. Shelby’s Beach Bar

Coming Soon Shelby's Beach Bar

Coming soon to Gulf Place, Shelby’s Beach Bar will occupy the space formerly known as La Playa. And the view is choice with a rooftop bar overlooking sugar-white sands and the emerald water of the Gulf of Mexico.

Every detail calls to the coastal environment—a horseshoe (crab?)-shaped bar running along the patio for people (and sunset) watching, blues and turquoise coloring the interior, and a feature wall adorned with sea creatures that looks like a mosaic. 

Shelby’s will be a true beach bar showcasing fresh seafood in a casual setting from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily. The menu will feature the usuals of this area like fried shrimp and grouper, but there will also be innovative beach-friendly fare like walking tacos—a bag of tortilla chips cut lengthwise to form a little pouch and then filled with all the taco toppings, served with a fork for ultimate portability. 

On tap also will be beach buckets filled with beers and canned wines to go with those walking tacos. The casual vibe mixed with great location and iconic beach eats will make this a must-stop on 30A.

16. Gallion’s

The former location of Wild Olives in Rosemary Beach is getting a new restaurant Spring 2022. Shunk Gulley’s sister-restaurant, Gallion’s, promises to be an approachable upscale restaurant and bar located on iconic Barrett Square. Sophisticated small plates drive the culinary experience while coastal favorites anchor the menu. The dynamic wine and spirits portfolio ranges from bottles in the Buffalo Trace vintage collection to Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon. And the classic interior, designed by Erika Powell of Urban Grace, feels effortlessly chic and memorable. Gallion’s is sure to become a Rosemary Beach staple for residents and visitors alike.

17. Cowgirl Kitchen West

New Cowgirl Kitchen Location

Not a new restaurant, but a new location. The original Seagrove Beach hotspot since 2005, moved to Blue Mountain Beach, literally. Rather than building from scratch, they saved the 1950s Old Seagrove building that housed the first Cowgirl Kitchen and transported it to its new home next to sister-restaurant Blue Mabel. 

Cowgirl Kitchen West reopens Spring 2022 with the same menu and hours that Seagrove Beach offered. And yes, those tasty chorizo breakfast tacos and campfire biscuits and gravy will be available. Breakfast and lunch will be the initial offerings, but they plan to expand to dinner service later in the year.

Blue Mountain Beach ????️???? Beach Happy

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Posted by 30A on Saturday, 19 December 2020

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Carrie Honaker is a Florida-based freelance writer who is not sure where she will land next, but it will involve messy eating, a spicy Tempranillo, and finding the local dive bar. Her work has been featured in Wine Enthusiast, Bon Appetit, and others. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @writeonhonaker.