Savor the Flavor of Italy: Your Ultimate Guide to 30A's Italian Hot Spots in 2023 - 30A

Savor the Flavor of Italy: Your Ultimate Guide to 30A’s Italian Hot Spots in 2023

[EDITOR’S NOTE: We have a separate 30A Hot Spots category exclusively for pizza. Check it out here.]

Serving everything from delicious pasta to traditional old-world specialties, these 30A favorites bring the flavors of Italy to your plate. With thoughtful input from 30A aficionados and lovers of Italian fare, we’re excited to showcase the top Italian dining destinations on 30A.

Winner: Borago Restaurant

Borago Restaurant is our crowned champion of Italian cuisine, a long-time local favorite in Grayton Beach. Italian tradition meets coastal flair here, whether you’re saddled up to the bar, in the main dining room, or outside on the screened terrace. Their homemade pastas are often served with Gulf-fresh seafood. For a true taste of Italy, try their ‘Primi’ pasta dishes or indulge in the ‘Secondi’ main courses, featuring options like filet mignon or roasted eggplant lasagne. Their desserts, including Tiramisu and seasonal crisps, perfectly round off the meal with a touch of sweetness. The warm and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with excellent service, creates an Italian dining experience that’s truly 30A-worthy.

2nd Place: Mimmo’s

With its original location further west in Destin, the new Mimmo’s is located in Blue Mountain Beach. Known for its Old World charm and contemporary Italian fare, Mimmo’s offers an immersive dining experience with its luxurious decor reminiscent of an aged Sicilian palazzo. The restaurant buzzes with a lively atmosphere and features innovative vegan cocktails and a private dining room under a celestial ceiling. Culinary highlights include their addictive vodka sauce pasta, the life-changing Mimmo’s Marsala with a zesty orange twist, and the classic Pizza Margherita. For dessert, don’t miss the executive chef’s tiramisu, a perfect blend of espresso, Frangelico, and light mascarpone.

3rd Place: Amici 30A Italian Kitchen

Stone-Fired Pizza from Amici

Amici 30A Italian Kitchen, nestled in 30A Avenue in Inlet Beach, exudes a rustic charm and offers a cozy, community-centric dining experience, true to its name which means ‘friends’ in Italian. The restaurant is known for its interactive chef’s counter, vibrant ingredients, and traditional Italian dishes with a personal touch. Notable favorites include the heirloom tomato Caprese salad with a zest of lemon, mushroom ravioli in caper brown butter sauce, and the popular Lily’s Chicken Piccata. The menu also features homemade specialties like Nathan’s Chicken Parmigiana and Amy’s Meatballs. The freshness of the food is a hallmark, seen in dishes like the pillowy housemade ravioli and Neopolitan pizzas topped with fresh ingredients. Their cozy ambiance is enhanced with a selection of homemade syrups, juices, and to-go wine bottles, reflecting their commitment to freshness and quality in both food and drinks.

More Italian Delights:

While these establishments may not have claimed the top spots, they certainly deserve recognition for their delicious dishes that showcase the rich flavors of Italy.

Pazzo Italiano

Located on Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach, Pazzo Italiano is a lively Italian eatery known for its dedicated pizza bar and warm, engaging atmosphere, where guests enjoy interactions with chefs and a modern yet cozy dining setting. Founded in 2017 by Alfonso and Leventi, the restaurant combines traditional Italian dishes with Alfonso’s family recipes, offering a menu highlighted by items like “Alfonso’s Mussels and Beans” and Pappardelle Dello Chef. However, the heart of Pazzo is its award-winning, wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, made with a carefully fermented dough and baked in a custom-built Acunto oven from Naples. These pizzas, known for their perfect crust and balance of flavors, showcase high-quality Italian ingredients, embodying Alfonso’s commitment to creating pizzas where the dough, sauce, and toppings each stand out.

Pizza by the Sea

Pizza by the Sea is a beloved local brand with multiple locations along and near Scenic 30A in WaterColor, Gulf Place, Seacrest, and Miramar Beach. Their creative toppings and casual settings appeal to both adults and kids alike.

Angelina’s Pizzeria & Pasta

Angelina’s Pizzeria & Pasta in Seagrove Beach, open daily, offers a first-come, first-served dining experience with to-go and online order options. Their Italian specialties include a variety of pizzas with gourmet toppings, calzones, and stromboli, alongside fresh salads like Antipasta and Jan’s Shrimp Salad. The menu boasts an array of house pasta specialties, including classics like Spaghetti, Penne, Baked Ravioli, and Lasagna. For those seeking more elaborate dishes, they offer Pasta Features like Chicken Marsala, Linguine Frutte De Mar, and Veal Piccatta. Desserts like Tiramisu and Key Lime Pie, along with a children’s menu, make Angelina’s a versatile choice for Italian dining.

Dude & Meatball’s Italian Bar and Restaurant

Located in Inlet Beach, Dude & Meatball’s Italian Bar and Restaurant known for its flavorful Italian specialties, offers a variety of starters, salads, and pasta dishes. Their menu features unique items like “Dude’s Balls” – meatballs in a choice of homemade sauces, and “Sexy Shrimp” sautéed in cajun flavors. For pasta lovers, the restaurant serves classics like Linguine Carbonara and Spaghetti and Meatballs, along with innovative dishes like Sizzling Chicken Pasta and Vegetable Pomodoro Pasta. The restaurant also offers a range of kid-friendly meals and delightful desserts like homemade cheesecake and tiramisu, ensuring a comprehensive Italian dining experience.

Ticheli’s Pizza

Situated in Miramar Beach, Ticheli’s Pizza, renowned for its authentic Italian flavors, offers a variety of wood-oven pizzas made with imported Italian flour and homemade pizza sauce, both freshly prepared daily. The menu includes a range of options, from the simple yet delightful Classic Cheese and Margarita pizzas to the more elaborate and unique creations like the Sicilian Meatball Pizza and the BBQ Chicken Pizza. Ticheli’s also serves specialty pizzas like The Tuscany, Tony’s Italian Classic, and Chicken Bianca, as well as the meat-lover’s delight, Mr. T’s All Meat, and the loaded Mama’s Sweep the Kitchen, making it a go-to spot for pizza a popular pizzeria known for its delicious pies and Italian-inspired cuisine.

For a complete list of this year’s, check out 30A Hot Spots Award.

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