By Jessica Roberts
It’s not only sights and sounds that make an area iconic. Its cuisine and restaurants help build a full picture of a destination. Along 30A and the rest of the Emerald Coast, nothing is more synonymous with the area than seafood.
But, with so many options, where should you start? Check out the list below for the ultimate guide to 30A’s best seafood restaurants (in no particular order).
There’s a reason we always love the classics! We go back time and time again, and it never gets old.
For a casual, laid back vibe, try Stinky’s Fish Camp with their cajun menu options, fresh seafood, and don’t forget the oysters! For the adventurous, order the Oyster Log. Trust us!
Seagrove Village MarketCafé has been a part of the Seagrove community since 1949, and the menu hasn’t changed much in those 60 years – their grouper sandwich is absolutely legendary and not to be missed!
At The Shrimp Shack in Seaside, you’ll be charmed by this tiny wood-framed cottage serving up steamed royal reds and their beloved Florida Lobster Roll with gorgeous Gulf views.
And, if you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path, you have to visit Nick’s Seafood Restaurant in Freeport for truly homegrown restaurant featuring seafood fresh off the boat.
As the area continues to grow, the culinary options have expanded as well. Some staples have already established themselves as new classics and must-try spots along 30A.
If you’re looking for “Grayt Food and Tall Tales” then Grayton Seafood Co. is for you. The menu specials are always changing depending on fishing and growing seasons, so you know you’re getting the freshest catch available.
On top of great food, great views and fresh, fresh, gulf oysters, Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar is doing terrific things with sustainable fisheries and artificial reef structures. They are deeply committed to ongoing local conservation efforts and preserving the rich history of the area. Drop in on your next trip to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.
Posted by 30A on Monday, 22 January 2018
The land where Shunk Gulley currently sits was once used as a landmark for the legendary fisherman of South Walton. And the menu at Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar reflects that heritage and highlights the best this area has to offer. A 30A hot spot for oysters, live music, and great beer to pair with your favorite seafood items.
Great Southern Café fuses international cuisines with southern cooking using fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. No trip to Seaside is complete without trying Chef Jim Shirley’s famous Grits à ya ya, but you can’t go wrong with whatever you decide!
8. The Bay
Sitting directly on Choctawhatchee Bay at the southern foot of the Hwy 331 Bridge, The Bay offers a wide variety of seafood options along with delicious sushi rolls and specials. Definitely a local favorite!
Located in the heart of Seagrove Beach, Old Florida Fish House prides itself in providing a family-friendly, casual dining experience serving daily Gulf fresh seafood specials, some of the best sushi on 30A, and more fondly known as a locals’ hidden gem.
Along 30A, we like to have toes in the sand and may walk into a restaurant straight off the beach, but don’t worry – if you’re looking for more of a date night spot, we have you covered there, too!
Located in the award-winning WaterColor Inn, FOOW (the acronym for a new iteration of the restaurant formerly known as Fish Out of Water) focuses on the fresh flavors of the coast combined with one of 30A’s most impressive Gulf views. FOOW is perfect for a midday break with family, a fun evening with friends, or a romantic date night.
Pescado offers casual fine dining for the +18 crowd. Located to the west of Rosemary Beach Town Hall, you’ll come for the food, and stay for the atmosphere. Perfect for an adults-only night out!
Caliza serves contemporary American cuisine in a relaxed, al fresco setting overlooking Caliza’s stunning pool at Alys Beach. The open-air bar is the perfect spot for happy hour or dinner with a menu centered on artisan, seasonal ingredients showcasing our Gulf Coast locale. Grilled octopus anyone?
13. Marlin Grill
Nestled in the heart of The Village of Baytowne Wharf in the Sandestin Resort, Marlin Grill is the Emerald Coast’s finest seafood and steakhouse. With over 600 wines to choose from, you are sure to have your palatable tastes met and find the perfect pairing with your seafood dish of choice!
With so many great options, you are sure to find an amazing seafood spot in all the neighborhoods along 30A.
Did we miss your favorite? Write to us at feedback@30A.com and let us know!
JESSICA ROBERTS is a Santa Rosa Beach writer and event producer. When not working or writing, you’ll find her out on the water or traveling somewhere new.