Nothing works up an appetite like a day at the beach. Whether you need an early morning coffee shop, a casual lunch, or the perfect place for sunset cocktail hour, here’s everything you need to know about where to eat on 30a:
Where to Eat on 30a
Coffee & Early Morning Bites
Black Bear Bread Co: I can’t rave about this place enough. And it’s not a hidden secret…everybody knows about this place. Stop by for coffee and pastries (the cheese danish was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten) or more of a hearty breakfast (the breakfast sandwiches were really good too). There’s more seating in the bar and lounge area next door and they’re open for dinner. The original location is in Grayton Beach, but there’s a second one in the Grand Boulevard at Sandestin and a third coming to Seaside SOON.
Charlie’s Donuts: It’s not vacation until you’ve trekked down to the donut truck at 6AM to bring back donuts for the crew. Okay maybe not 6AM but if you show up too late, all the sprinkled ones are gone : ) Charlie’s has a few locations on 30a…there’s the truck in Alys Beach, the stand at Peddler’s Pavilion in Seacrest, and the shop (a full cafe) in Rosemary Beach.
Amavida: Coffee, coffee, coffee. This long standing 30a coffee shop has locations in Seaside and Rosemary Beach.
Raw & Juicy: With an airstream trailer in Seaside and a full shop in Alys Beach, this is the go to spot for lighter fare. Smoothies, juices, bowls plus coffee drinks and a fuller breakfast at the Alys Beach location.
Modica Market: Stop by the market for coffee, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, etc to go and eat them outside on the square.
Other Places I Haven’t Been Yet: Sunrise Coffee Co (Santa Rosa Beach), Kahve & Cream (Santa Rose Beach-they have Charlie’s Donuts), Kith & Kin (inside the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park campground), Blue Mountain Bakery (Blue Mountain Beach), Sweet Henrietta’s (Santa Rosa Beach)
A Proper Breakfast
Donut Hole: This Destin breakfast institution is so popular that they’ve expanded and there’s now a huge restaurant in Inlet Beach (just east of Rosemary Beach). Yes, they do have donuts in a case, but they do a FULL breakfast. Go early or be ready to wait.
Havana Beach Club: I am a breakfast person and 90% of the time I eat the same thing everywhere (scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, breakfast potatoes, and toast) and can honestly say that every time I’ve eaten here it. is. so. good. Yes, there are fancier things on the menu, but they do the breakfast essentials perfectly and that tells you everything you need to know. Mimosas, bloody marys, eggs benedict, french toast, etc. It’s all there. If the weather is warm, the views from the porch are 10/10.
Other Places I Haven’t Been Yet: Big Bad Breakfast (Inlet Beach) – I’ve heard so many recommendations for this place!
Casual Sit Down Lunch (& Dinner)
Great Southern: The quintessential 30a restaurant. There’s ALWAYS a wait (no reservations) no matter what time you show up. Grab a drink at the BFF bar on the porch or head next door to Sundog Books to wait it out. The Grits a Ya Ya (with shrimp) is their signature dish and is not to be missed, but I have to say that their pecan crusted catch of the day (often grouper) and fries is hands down the best fish and chips I’ve eaten anywhere.
Crabby Steve’s: One of the few beachfront restaurants on 30a, Crabby Steve’s is easiest reached from the beach in between Seacrest and Rosemary Beach. Work up an appetite walking up the steps from the beach. It’s casual seafood and burger fare, but the view makes everything taste better.
Cowgirls Kitchen: It’s hard to find a casual spot in Rosemary Beach (this is about it), but it’s a good one. Famous for their tacos.
Bud & Alley’s: Another Seaside icon, this is one of the best views on 30a. Bud & Alley’s (upstairs) is your typical beach bar with good food. It’s not terribly big though, so if you can’t get in, try the Taco or Pizza Bar downstairs. Everybody goes for sunset (or wants to), but breakfast/brunch on the weekends is pretty great too.
Shrimp Shack: One of my favorite spots for lunch…it’s on the beach side of 30a and always easy to grab a bite and find a good spot to sit and eat. Yes, it has shrimp in the name, but don’t sleep on the lobster.
Other Places I Haven’t Been to Yet: Cafe 30a (Santa Rosa Beach), Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar (Santa Rosa Beach), Stinky’s Fish Camp (Santa Rosa Beach)
Food Trucks & Takeaway
Seaside’s Airstream Row: The thing Seaside does better than anywhere else on 30a is serving up good beach food, fast. And the Airstream food trucks lead the way. Lining 30a, there are 6 or so trailers with different offerings. My favorite is Meltdown on 30a (GRILLED CHEESE!), but you’ll also find BBQ, crepes, hot dogs, snow cones, smoothies and acai bowls.
Peddler’s Pavilion: Down at the other end of 30a closer to Rosemary Beach, Peddler’s Pavilion has a similar setup. 5-6 food huts arranged around a lawn.
Cocktail Hour & Nightlife
Bud & Alley’s: The best place for a sunset drink on 30a, but (like every place on 30a) it’s not very big.
Neat: Alys Beach’s fancy schmancy craft cocktail bar is the place to go if you’re an aficionado.
Red Bar: The hub of 30a’s nightlife…the vibe here is more neighborhood bar with great live music. Come for dinner and stay for the dancing. In Grayton Beach.
Dinner with a View
Bud & Alley’s: Yes, Bud & Alley’s again. Best view on 30a with decent food.
Pescado: 100% more high end with views of Rosemary Beach in the distance. Make reservations if you want to eat in the dining room or take your chance at the bar.
Fish Out of Water: I haven’t had a chance to eat here yet, but I did walk through on my last trip and honestly if the food is even halfway decent, this place is worth a dinner spot. It’s a bright and airy, well designed restaurant with GREAT views. It’s pretty large too and has an elevator for accessibility.
Nice Dinner Out
After a long day at the beach (and usually with kids in tow), a fancy restaurant is not usually high on my priority list, but of course you’ve got options (also keep in mind that “nice” is relative…30a is pretty casual no matter where you are):
Surfing Deer (Seagrove) is at the tippy top of my list for dinner on my next trip.
George’s (Alys Beach): Love this place! Good food and relaxed (but refined). If you want to check out Alys Beach, this is the best place for dinner.
Places I Want to Try: Edward’s Fine Food & Wine in Rosemary Beach and Citizen Alys Beach
La Crema Tapas & Chocolate: For a fancy dessert and dinner combo, have some chocolate fondue after your tapas. In Rosemary Beach.
Heavenly’s in Seaside: THIS IS MY SPOT. Everybody just goes for ice cream, but they have REALLY good strawberry shortcake…like with actual shortcakes, not angel cake.
Frost Bites: Frozen custard & shave ice on Seaside’s Airstream Row
More posts about the area:
P.S. If you want to follow along on my travel adventures in real time, you can follow me on Instagram (@caitylincoln). My post captions are full of travel tips and I have a ton of story highlights and videos with great info. And share my account with your travel loving friends! Your support really helps me keep this blog running!