One of the most exciting parts about traveling is the food. We love eating at local spots and trying ‘new to us’ dishes. The restaurants we discover while traveling are just as important to us as the places we sleep. Known for its local eats and fantastic food trucks – we had a big list of ‘must try’ places to eat in Seaside, Florida.
Located on legendary Highway 30A, between Panama City Beach and Destin, there are no chain restaurants and no big-box stores – everything along this stretch of road is local and/or family-owned businesses. We were excited to explore and find some great food too.
Great Southern Cafe
If you’re in the mood for breakfast, check out the Great Southern Cafe in Central Square, but get there early as the wait list grows quickly. And for a great reason – they have fantastic, Southern style eats like fried green tomatoes, grits and plenty of seafood. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Bacon and Pecan waffle was a unique way to blend three of my favorite things. Pro Tip: Since you’re in the South, order a side of the smoked Gouda cheese grits. I ordered two servings – they were that good!
The Meltdown on 30A
Looking for a unique place to eat? Airstream Row features food airstream food trucks, each with great eats and The Meltdown on 30A was my favorite. Known for gourmet grilled cheese, I had a hard time deciding what to order – each thing on the menu sounded tasty.
I picked the Goat Cheese, Proscuitto, Arugula and Tomato sandwich – definitely a treat. Pro Tip: Check out The Meltdown at breakfast where your order comes on a biscuit!
Bud & Alley’s Taco Bar
Tacos and local beer – you can’t go wrong here. Bud & Alley’s Taco Bar features outdoor seating, plenty of chips, salsa and homemade guacamole. Since we were just steps away from the beach, I couldn’t resist trying the Baja fish tacos – fresh and delicious.
The kids menu features quesadillas and tacos – choose from chicken, steak and cheese. Pro Tip: Try a local cerveza – I recommend the 30A Beach Blonde Ale.
The Shrimp Shack
When I’m at the beach, I always crave seafood. The Shrimp Shack features fresh seafood, including my personal favorite – peel and eat shrimp. There’s nothing better than getting your hands messy with a side of garlic butter.
I’m still mad at myself for not trying their Key Lime Pie.Pull a table and get to eating, right along the beachfront. Pro Tip: Order a pound of boiled shrimp to go and take it back to your cottage for a family feast.
No trip to the beach is complete without having ice cream. Don’t miss the hand-scooped ice cream and gelato specialties at It’s Heavenly. If you’re in the mood for toppings, they’ll fold it right into your ice cream.
We ended each day with ice cream as we made our way back to our cottage. Pro Tip: Ask for a sample – there are 32 flavors to choose from, so many choices!
Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant
Fine dining with a view, that’s what you’ll get at Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant. You’ll find creative seafood dishes, a great drink menu and beautiful views of the beach. From fresh oysters to perfectly prepared salmon, we sat upstairs and enjoyed the view just as much as we did the food.
Don’t let the fancy menu keep you from bringing the kids along. My girls shared chicken fingers and had a great time too. It’s definitely a kid-friendly place. Pro Tip: Don’t miss the nightly sunset celebration on the rooftop. If you’re lucky, you might be chosen to ring the bell at sunset.
As you can tell, there was no shortage of food during our time in Seaside. And surprisingly, we were only able to visit a small portion of the great spots in this beachfront community.
I’m already scoping out places for our next visit — and definitely penciling in time for another grilled cheese from The Meltdown too. For now, I’m going to see if I can try to recreate the Bacon and Pecan Waffle here at home.