Top 7 Places to Eat Along 30A
Who knew a county road in Florida would be so well-known? Why is it so well-known? Because along county road 30A, the sugar-like grains of sand in the Gulf of Mexico's warm waves make it a dream destination for anyone.
What makes this strip of coastline all the more special are several quaint seaside communities that have popped up along the road over the years. If you've ever seen The Truman Show - you've seen one of these little communities already. You'll be happy to note that the majority of our favorite finds just happen to be located in these towns along 30A. Each of these communities are very different in their design, offerings, clientele and atmosphere, but so fun to visit!
While there are so many restaurants on 30A, there are several that truly stand out, and just like the little communities along 30A, each of these places are great for different reasons. From celebrating special occasions to rolling in off the beach, this list is compiled of a variety of places that are truly just a pleasure to eat at or to grab a drink. I hope you enjoy these places just as much as we did! See below for the best eats along 30A.
1. Pescado at Rosemary Beach - Adult Getaway Rooftop with a View of the Gulf
Photo credits: Pescado
WOW! That was literally my first impression as I walked off the elevator. Pescado is located on the top floor of a building over-looking Rosemary and the gulf. The entrance is a bit hidden because you must take the elevator to the dining floor. (Tip: Located just next to the shop OKO). Once the elevator door opens, you are transported to a different world. Your very own secret gem. The dining area makes for a romantic setting with its beautiful decorations and views of the gulf.
Pescado is also known for their cocktails. Their seasoned bartenders come up with their own specials each season which tend to be twists on some of the classics. Ask your server for details.
While this place is definitely worth the visit, visiting can be difficult. For dining, make reservations 30-60 days out by calling their number. We went in late June and they were already booked through July for dinner. If you can't get a reservation for dinner, try and go for a late afternoon drink when they open at 4PM. We went around 5PM and were lucky to get the last available table on the patio, which has the best views!
74 Town Hall Road, Suite 4, Rosemary Beach, FL 32413
Monday & Tuesday 4PM-10PM, Wednesday-Saturday 11AM-10:30PM, Sunday 10:15AM-10:30PM
Must be 18+ to enter, except for Sunday Brunch
2. La Crema - Tapas & Chocolate at Rosemary Beach - TAPAS & Fondue on the Patio (need I say more?)
On the main street leading from 30A down towards the water is a little place called La Crema - Tapas & Chocolate. Talk about popular! It's practically impossible to go wrong with these Spanish inspired meals.
We happened to go for a super late lunch, around 3PM, and were seated immediately. We soon learned that usually around actual lunchtime and for dinner that it is not uncommon to have a two hour wait since they operate under a first-come first-serve for seating. Our waiter was happy to help us with what we should order, portion-sizes and wine pairings. Our perfect lunch (my mom and I) at La Crema consisted of two fabulous tapas (the crab cakes and scallops), a glass of wine and chocolate fondue for dessert. The tapas were first-class. Seafood on the coast is so good, but it takes a true master to serve what we ate. I'll definitely be back for more! They offer both milk and dark chocolate options for the fondue - go dark!
We actually ended up going back for dinner one night. We went at 6:30PM and asked for an outside table for four, and we weren't seated until 8:00pm. We were notified that our table was ready via text message, which freed us to wander up to the lovely Havana Bar at The Pearl (which I recommend). Even though it was a long wait, the staff was very knowledgeable and the food was delivered quickly and was absolutely delicious! So just be aware before you chose your dining times!
38 Main Street, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461
Open Daily 11AM-9PM
No reservations. No exceptions.
3. Roux 30A at Grayton Beach - A Fine Dining Experience
Photo credits : Roux 30A
Walking into Roux 30A, the room was small and dimly lit with candles along the dining tables, with most of the light coming from the open kitchen along the back of the restaurant. We were greeted immediately with a glass of champagne as a friendly staff member escorted us to our seats. Within seconds, I felt at ease. The atmosphere was very friendly, yet intimate. It was as though I was a guest at a dinner party.
Many places along 30A have great food - but Chef & Owner Nikhil Abuvala takes it to a whole other level. His ingredients are farm-to-table and the evening we dined there he even served a wahoo that he and a colleague had caught earlier that day.
We attended a dinner that was part of his 12 Dinner Series which is a set menu that consist of a theme which changes every two weeks. The new summer game menu will be launching July 14th and will last until the 25th of July. Each course is paired with a glass of wine, and as they were served, Nikhil told us a little bit about each dish. We were thrilled to find out about his experience catching the wahoo!
As the night went on, I heard others talking about previous dining experiences with Nikhil, from private dining events to his Around-the-World meals and how they are continuously blown away by his impressive yet delicate courses. One gentleman sitting next to us even went on to tell us about the many wonderful experiences he's had at Roux 30A and that he continues to come back because dining there is always a pure delight. Him and other Roux 30A's guests keep coming back because not only is it great food, but Nikhil and his staff turns it into a truly joyful dining experience.
Attending dinner at Roux 30A, was genuinely my favorite amongst all others along 30A. Please note that this incredible experience can't be compared with your everyday restaurant, so while the cost is high, remember that it's not only a meal, but also an experience, and one worth checking out!
114 Logan Lane Ste 1A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Dinner starts at 7PM.
4. Stinky's Fish Camp in Santa Rosa Beach - Local's Favorite / Best Seafood
Photo Credits : Stinky's
If you ask a local down on 30A where you should go eat, it won't take long before you hear the name Stinky's. Located a bit further west on 30A in-between Grayton Beach and Sandestin, you'll find Stinky's just across the street from a beach public access. It's the local joint you want to hear about. They are a first come, first serve restaurant, so if you have to wait for a table you can get a drink first from the bar and walk on over to enjoy the sunset on the beach. Stinky's is known to serve some of the best seafood in the area. They also mix some Southern sides in as well like fried green tomatoes, cheese grits and crawfish pie. Their friendly and hard-working staff are great about helping you choose the right meals. If you truly want a taste of 30A, you have to try Stinky's.
5960 W County Road 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Monday-Saturday 11AM-3:30PM, 5PM-10PM
5. Bud & Alley's at Seaside Beach - Waterfront Outdoor Dining with Rooftop Bar
Named after the founder and restaurant owner's dog and cat, Bud & Alley's has been a staple of Seaside since 1987. What I love about it is that 30 years later the upstairs deck is still the meeting place in Seaside for parents as their kids are playing down by the water or exploring the square.
Located right off the beach, Bud & Alley's is a great place for lunch and dinner, and everything in-between. It's easy to find something on the menu for everyone, from seafood lovers to picky-eaters. Lunch time is quite casual. Go upstairs to the top deck for nice gulf views and a local beach-town atmosphere. For dinner you can expect to see families showered and clean with their new brightly colored summer outfits and laughing around the dinner table.
Just as their sign says, Bud & Alley's has been the place of good food, good people and good times for 30 years. It's the perfect place to wrap up another fun-filled day at the beach.
2236 East County Road 30A, Seaside, FL
Open Daily 11AM-7:30PM
6. Great Southern Café at Seaside Beach - Easy Casual dining and just good food
Truly an all-around great spot to eat, drink and be merry. Great Southern is located in the center of Seaside with views to the entire square and is known for its wonderful Southern-seafood blends. The food is supplied from nearby farms and the seafood is fresh from the Gulf. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but be prepared - they are currently doing reservation-only dining during this time. So be sure to visit their website to make a reservation.
Considering its location is in the center of Seaside, this is not a hidden gem, but it is truly fantastic food and also great for families! The town square is just next to the restaurant which gives kids the perfect spot to play as the parents finish their meals. I've been there multiple times, and every single meal there has been so good. So if you are up for some good food, but don't want to race home to change, this is a great spot for you.
83 Central Square, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Breakfast 8AM-10AM, Lunch & Dinner 11AM-9PM
7. Raw & Juicy at Alys Beach - Healthy Eaters Paradise
Known for their natural juices, drinks and cocktails, Raw & Juicy is becoming a quick favorite by visitors, myself included. Their use of organic ingredients and plant-forward juice bar is great for those needing a gluten-free, vegan and tasty option for juices, smoothies or food! Personally, I'm an 'Almond Love' smoothie fan. They also have some small bites or food options. While they don't have too many options for foods, the few they do have are great!
Raw & Juicy lies right off of 30A behind a few of the large bushes, which I actually enjoy since it creates a cozy patio where you can leisurely sip your drink. They provide live music on the patio Thursday-Saturday from 5PM-9PM. If you can, sit by the bar located outside, in my opinion it's the best of the patio areas! Bonus: if you have kids, there is an excellent little play area right beside the patio.
Parking in the area is quite easy to come by, but as the Alys community is still very much in a construction phase, it could become busier once more construction sites are completed.
147 W La Garza Lane, Alys Beach, FL 32461
Open daily 8AM-3PM (and 5PM-9PM on Thursday-Saturday)
Honorable Mentions :
Shades Bar & Grill
Amici 30A Italian Kitchen
Havana Beach Bar at The Pearl