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30A, situated in the Florida panhandle between Destin and Panama City Beach, serves as a county road. While the nearby beach communities boast towering high-rise buildings, 30A offers a different experience, with charming beach towns, each possessing its distinctive charm. Join us as we explore the most amazing 30A seafood restaurants.
This area is a part of South Walton County, and you might encounter mentions of South Walton’s beaches, as 30A closely follows the coastline. We’ve vacationed here countless times over the last 15 years and keep coming back!
The 30A communities showcase unique architectural styles, some revolving around a central town while others are more scattered. A few, like Rosemary Beach and Seaside, enjoy immense popularity. In contrast, others like Grayton Beach offer a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.
The best places for fresh seafood are scattered throughout these communities with fantastic food. Some restaurants offer strictly seafood, while others have a more diverse menu with burgers and sandwiches, too. These are always great if you have picky family or friends in your group. Over the years, we have tried many restaurants along 30A and I’m excited to share our favorites with you!
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Your Beach Packing list
- the best beach chair
- beach umbrella
- sun shade
- beach towels
- beach blanket
- beach toys
- best hat
- bug spray
- kids face sunscreen
- kids face stick
- adult face sunscreen
- body sunscreen
Local favorite Restaurants on 30A
Florida’s scenic Highway 30A boasts charming restaurants catering to seafood enthusiasts, offering a delectable taste of the Gulf’s bounty. Nestled along the pristine coastline, these dining gems present visitors with an unparalleled seafood experience. From Apalachicola oysters to succulent Gulf shrimp, these restaurants source their ingredients locally, ensuring freshness and authenticity in every dish.
With chefs skilled in crafting both traditional and innovative seafood creations, visitors can savor the flavors of the ocean while enjoying the laid-back coastal ambiance that 30A is renowned for. Whether you’re seeking a casual beachfront dining experience or an upscale culinary adventure, the Florida restaurants along 30A promise a seafood feast that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.
If you are visiting during the busy summer season or on a weekend, try to make reservations in advance, as many of these places book quickly or have long wait times.
Old Florida Fish House
Sitting on the waterfront on Eastern Lake, Old Florida Fish House is a culinary gem that combines the irresistible allure of live music with the tantalizing flavors of fresh seafood. As you step outside on the patio, you’re greeted by the rhythmic melodies of talented musicians, setting the stage for an unforgettable dining experience. While savoring the sounds, you can indulge in a menu brimming with the finest catches from the sea.
From platters of succulent oysters to perfectly grilled fish, every dish at Old Florida Fish House is a testament to their commitment to seafood excellence. With each bite, you’re transported to a coastal paradise, creating a fun atmosphere that’s as captivating as delicious.
Check out the seafood gumbo, smoked tuna dip, mahi tacos, or fried shrimp baskets. There’s a sushi and oyster bar for guests as well.
Great Southern Cafe
Located in the heart of Seaside, you’ll discover a 30A classic, Great Southern Cafe. For years, this was my go-to restaurant whenever we vacationed on 30A. I loved the food, especially the Grits a YaYa on gouda cheese grits and their fun cocktails like the Frojito. I still thoroughly enjoy it, but recently, I have been exploring new places with my husband.
The building is unique as it is an old home, so instead of one large space, there are many small rooms with a lot of outdoor seating on the porch. In the busy season, they use a tented area with tables and fans to meet the demand. As you can see, this is a favorite amongst locals and guests, so plan in advance to avoid a long wait.
Although it is popular, they are open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, so there’s plenty of time to try it. Take advantage of their new drink counter, b.f.f. On the side of the restaurant. They offer happy hour daily.
As for seafood, check out their expansive menu of crab cakes, fresh oysters, blue crab claws, or fish of the day- to name a few.
Shrimp Shack is also a casual and quick option in Seaside on the ocean side of 30A. Seaside is known for fantastic food in nice restaurants or casual fare. They are known for fresh shrimp, oysters, or lobster rolls.
One night, I stopped for a lobster roll while my kids grabbed burgers and fries from another Seaside joint. When we visit Seaside, my kids want to run! There’s a vast open amphitheater, and kids migrate here to play at any given time.
My kids don’t want a sit-down restaurant, so we’ve experimented with all the food trucks and casual options over the years. I love that Shrimp Shack allows us a quick and easy dinner but still seafood! When I’m at the beach, I want fresh seafood!
Fish out of Water
Fish out of Water is located in the community of Watercolor, directly on the beach. Guests can enjoy a delicious meal on the patio overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters or in their spacious dining room.
Besides offering fantastic food, the location is top-notch for families eating with kids. You can step outside to a boardwalk leading down to the beach. We’ve eaten here several times for brunch and dinner with our kids. They love to run down to the beach to play. There’s water faucets to rinse feet before returning to the restuarant. Grab a cocktail and wait by the water, or catch a beautiful sunset.
As for the menu, our family and extended family have tried many of the items. We enjoyed the shrimp and grits, burger, fish sandwich, fish tacos, and shrimp tacos. I highly recommend Fish out of Water, especially if traveling with kids.
Red Bar is a favorite of seasoned 30 guests and residents. You’ll find Red Bar in the quirky and fun community of Grayton Beach in the middle of 30A. On weekend nights, you will find a packed crowd at Red Bar for the food, live music, and a lively and relaxed atmosphere.
As for the menu, they are known for their crab cakes on Friday & Saturday nights. One night, I waited a long time to try these tasty crab cakes! They also offer grouper, gumbo, shrimp & crawfish, and a few pasta dishes. The lunch menu has some sandwich options, too.
The Red Bar is wildly popular but doesn’t take reservations, so show up early, or if you can’t, try to grab a spot at the bar to ride out the wait. As a side note, there’s not a lot of parking in the center of Grayton, but they do run shuttles. Go north of 30A on county road 283. There’s a lot off to the right that you can park in to grab the shuttle.
The Bay sits directly on the Choctawhatchee Bay, just a short drive from 30A. Guests can sit indoors, but the best seating is on their large covered patio on the water. My husband and I enjoyed a date night so much that we brought the whole family the following year. The restaurant is incredibly family-friendly, with a sandy beach for kids to play on while they wait for food and faucets to rinse feet off.
As for the food, the menu is diverse and offers something for even the pickiest of eaters. Some family members have more limited diets, and everyone quickly found something to enjoy.
We enjoyed an appetizer of cheese curds, a refreshing frose, and delicious seafood. We recommend Faux YaYa (a take on shrimp and grits), fresh shrimp, sushi, and Bacon Braised Cabbage as a side. My husband and mother-in-law raved over the cabbage. Fall is our favorite season to visit as restaurants aren’t as crowded. We easily grabbed a reservation for The Bay for a group of 7.
North Beach Social
Directly across The Bay of Highway 331, there’s a fun and casual restaurant, North Beach Social. The restaurant is owned by the chef who runs Great Southern Cafe and The Bay so that you can experience some of their best menu items, like the Bomber Burger and Grits a YaYa.
North Beach Social has unique twists like all-day drink specials, a fantastic location on the water with live music, and a fun atmosphere.
Local Catch Bar & Grill
Sandwiched between the communities of Blue Mountain and Santa Rosa, there’s an adorable little restaurant on the south side of 30a. There’s a fun twist on many traditional items.
For instance, there’s a gulf fish dip to start your meal with. Then move to either Caribbean fish tacos, southern fish and chips or an oyster Po Boy.
Their fun twist continues with cocktails and dessert. Try a pink margarita, sweet tea mojito or a fried Oreo with ice cream for dessert.
Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar
In the heart of Santa Rosa Beach near Gulf Place, you’ll find Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar, a local favorite celebrated for its exceptional oysters. This restaurant is a true oyster lover’s paradise with a reputation that stretches far beyond the sandy beaches. Patrons flock here to relish the briny goodness of freshly shucked Apalachicola oysters, perfectly served on ice with various delectable sauces.
The charming seaside ambiance and the restaurant’s dedication to sourcing the finest, sustainably harvested oysters make Shunk Gulley a must-visit destination for those searching for the quintessential Florida oyster experience. Whether you prefer raw, char-grilled, or Rockefeller-style, Shunk Gulley is where these ocean jewels take center stage in a culinary symphony that captures the essence of coastal Florida.
Stinky’s Fish Camp
Stinky’s Fish Camp is on the western end of 30A and is one of the best seafood restaurants in the Santa Rosa/Dune Allen area. Like many other restaurants, this is a popular spot and a little snug inside.
We’ve had to wait a bit for tables and, at other times, have had no trouble. When we had to wait, we walked behind the restaurant to their dock on a little dune lake, and the kids looked for turtles. It is easy to buy time while waiting for a table or food.
As for the food, there’s brunch, lunch, Taco Tuesday, and a great dinner menu. Try their oysters, firecracker shrimp, seafood chowder, or a friend basket. Although it is simple, we love their fried shrimp baskets. Regardless of what you order, it is going to be great food!
Louis Louis is a sister restaurant of the Red Bar. It is an excellent alternative if you don’t want to mess with the long wait at Red Bar or crowds. Enjoy some of their classics, like Panne Chicken, shrimp, and crawfish pasta.
As a mom of three, one being very picky, I always appreciate kid menus that offer more than burgers and chicken tenders. They offer crab cakes, panne chicken, and shrimp pasta for kids!
Don’t leave without trying the homemade key lime pie or banana pudding!
Seafood Markets on 30A
Nothing beats picking up fresh seafood at one of the local markets in South Walton. My husband is a fantastic cook, so we do this 2-3 times when we are there for an entire week. If you are on a tighter budget and want local seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, this is the way to go instead of eating out for a good value.
My kids love fresh shrimp and can demolish it in no time. While we eat shrimp, my husband picks up some fresh fish like mahi mahi. We pair it with pasta, a salad, and fresh bread for an easy dinner. My in-laws and mom adore fresh crab cakes, so we also do that for a night.
Goatfeathers Seafood Market
Goatfeathers is our go-to-market while on 30A. They have several locations in 30A- Seagrove, Santa Rosa, and Inlet Beach. We usually run out mid-day after lunch, and it is a quick trip.
Goatfeathers also has various fish options, shrimp peeled and deveined, or if you want to save a little money, grab the shrimp that isn’t peeled or deveined. They also have a great collection of spices and dips for appetizers.
They do take credit cards and actually have a restaurant attached to the Santa Rosa location. We picked up fried srhimp one night from here and it was absolutely delicious!
FAQ: Visiting 30A
🐠When is the best time to visit?
Our family prefers the shoulder season of fall. The crowds are lower and the heat isn’t as oppressive. Another perk of fall is that these restaurants are quite as busy. You may still need to make reservations or wait a bit, but it is significantly different from visiting in June and July when many Southern schools are on vacation.
Winter is a great time to visit if you prefer low crowds and want an escape from the cold winter season.
🐠Where should I stay on 30A?
30A communities each possess their unique design and character, with some centered around a town center while others feature a more expansive layout. Like Rosemary and Seaside, a few enjoy immense popularity, leading to price variations.
You can find rentals on the beach or just across 30A in walking distance or a golf cart ride to the gulf. There are rental options at all price points, so don’t get discouraged. Check out one of my favorite rental communities in Seacrest at a lower price point.
Meanwhile, others like Grayton Beach offer a more relaxed atmosphere. We love Blue Mountain Beach because it isn’t as crowded as some of the other communities. Regardless of your preferences, you’ll find a beach to suit every type of tourist in the area. Additionally, the region boasts an abundance of fantastic state parks waiting to be explored.
🐠Who has the best ice cream in 30A?
Blue Mountain Creamery is my all time favorite place to grab ice cream in a delicious waffle cone, but you can also try Pecan Jacks, Heavenly, Sugar Shak in Rosemary Beach or Dawson’s in Seaside.
🐠What are some great restaurants in Destin?
Harbor Docks, Dewey’s Destin, Boshamps Seafood and Oyster House
In conclusion: Check out the most amazing 30A Seafood Restaurants
30A is a terrific destination for vacation. With abundant fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, you are guaranteed to try some tasty meals. I hope my guide to the most amazing 30A seafood restaurants helps you plan your next great adventure.