Oh man. This is it. 30A is no slouch when it comes to places to chow down. Look, if you’re not planning on eating within the next hour, just close this window and come back. I am not responsible for teeth marks on your monitors.
A brief overview: A mutual love the Browns & the Brownes share is food. The four of us have whipped up concoctions that would make your head spin. Why, just a couple of weeks ago we were celebrating Erin’s birthday with homemade shrimp n’ grits, pan-seared scallops, fresh mojitos, & key lime ice cream. We don’t mess around. So, imagine our collective excitement when researching Seaside & surrounding areas and we come to find it’s a foodie haven. Our mouths were watering with every new restaurant review we read. Heck, we had a entire TAB devoted to just FOOD in our planning spreadsheet. It uh…it was a little embarrassing. So, I’ll have to share where WE ate. Just a little blurb about each one b/c I don’t want to keep you ALL day. Believe me, I could. I really, really could.
Amavida: Is a lil’ coffee shop right on the corner of downtown Seaside. It serves up yummy pastries, healthy breakfast sammies, and of course…some crazy-g00d coffee. This place was packed every morning with tourists and locals alike. It’s clearly the spot for your morning caffeine fix.
(Pictured: Ham & Swiss Crossaint, Small coffee)
Bud and Alley’s: Boasts the best spot to watch a Seaside sunset. They are famous for their rooftop bar. We spent our last night in Seaside here and got there SUPER early to claim a table. Good thing we did too, because we approached several times by other patrons (some of them unfortunately rude) to ask us for our table. Another unfortunate, is that we didn’t really enjoy our food too much. We felt that it was pretty pricey, and one of our apps came out cold. They were kind enough to take it off our bill though. Less-than-impressive food aside, their cocktails were tasty and the view is un-matched. Our advice? Grab a bite elsewhere before or after, but definitely snag a table early and get yourself a tasty beverage!
(Pictured: Caribbean Lemonade & Mojito, Baked Oysters “Seaside”, Sweet Potato Fries, Bay Scallop Ceviche)
Pickles: Has a prime spot amongst the constant foot traffic. They proudly serve their neighbor’s coffee (Amavida) and specialize in comfort, diner food. We went for breakfast one morning because we heard a rumor about some magical french toast with a secret ingredient. While the girls opted for a more traditional eggs, bacon, toast breakfast, Matt & I could not resist the calling of this mysterious french toast. Folks, I’m gonna spill the beans…it’s ice cream. Yes! They batter their french toast in MELTED ICE CREAM and then griddle it up. It was the richest, most decadent french toast I’ve ever had. Heavy, is the word I would use. Heavy, but sinfully delicious.
Great Southern Cafe: Is THE place to go for your southern fix. Good old fashioned, stick-to-your-ribs comfort southern food, with elegant flair. Their flavors tasted just like home, portions were plentiful, and their presentation was understated. In short, this is one of the best southern restaurants around and they certainly live up to their namesake.
(Pictured: 1/2 order Beignets, Grits a ya ya, Eggs Sardou, Biscuits & Gravy, & one supremely happy man with his biscuits & gravy)
Modica Market: Is THE place to go for all your grocery needs. For a small space, they surprisingly stock a plethora of items. Something they also do are sammiches, salads, and cake. Oh my goodness, the cake. We’d read several different places that we needed to try the cake. Well, we did. Their bakery counter was slammed busy. So we had to make quick decisions. Fortunately they weren’t any bad choices to make. We “settled” on a slice of caramel cake and a slice of the dreamsicle cake that tasted exactly like what you’re imagining now. (Pictured: Slice of Caramel Cake and Orange Dreamsicle Cake)
Airstream Alley: (in Seaside)
This is the coolest hot-spot for food. Right in the heart of downtown Seaside, is a tree-lined sidewalk filled with quaint, vintage airstream trailers. And they are all food trucks. Yup. That’s right. Here’s a breakdown:
Meltdown on 30A: Was our favorite non-dessert airstream. The only thing they’re cooking up in this trailer are grilled cheeses. They have some classics to satisfy your cravings, or plenty of unique combos to awaken your taste buds. We tried the Smokin’ Turkey & the Strawberry Goat Forever. I would like to point out just how perfect the bread is. It’s the most critical element of a good grilled cheese. Buttered, toasted & crunchy on the outside, soft & pillowy on the inside. You can put dirt in between that bread and still have a good day.
Barefoot BBQ: Is one of the highest rated restaurants on Trip Advisor & Urban Spoon. And it’s not hard to see why! They have some tasty smoked meats! Like most BBQ joints, their sides left a little to be desired, but the meat itself was spot-on! Kara had the BBQ nachos & I chowed down on the smoked chicken sammich.
Frost Bites: We only stopped here…oh….2 times in a week. Yeah, it was that good. The service was beyond compare. The owner himself was out there cleaning off tables, taking away people’s trash, talking with everyone, thanking them for the business. Take that service, coupled with some out-of-this-world shaved ice concoctions and you have a winner! They have what they call the “Piggly Wiggly”, which is frozen custard on the bottom, shaved ice of your choice, and then topped with cream. SO GOOD. First time we went, we tried the Wedding Cake & the Key Lime Pie (pics below), other flavors we tried included Lemon Meringue & Root Beer Float. Wedding Cake with custard on the bottom was the BEST! We hope this joint is here to stay. If anyone asks for a “can’t miss” place to eat in Seaside, this is absolutely on the list. Perfect for a beach day!
Seagrove Village MarketCafe: Was quite literally a block away from our house. We ate there twice. Once to try their Grouper Po’ Boy, which is totally famous. And again for lunch one day to try their burgers, boasted as the “Best burger on 30A”. The grouper po’ boy was phenomenal. They should never, ever change that dish. Their burger wasn’t too shabby either. It makes for a good “beach” style burger. Grilled on a flat-top, served with crispy fries. Mmmm….This is also a great place to pick up any touristy items like shot glasses, stickers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs, etc.
The Perfect Pig: This highly rated joint is a couple of miles down the road heading East. After cruising around Rosemary Beach, we stopped here for lunch on the way back to the house. This may have been one of the best meals we had on 30A! The ambiance was unique as you can see below (excuse my touristy hat & t-shirt). The menu wasn’t very big, but it had plenty of mouth-watering choices. Kara opted for the Parmesan crusted grilled cheese and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Tomatoes, mozzerella, & pesto stuffed between two slices of yummy bread, then coated in parmesan, then grilled to perfection. I went with the Roasted Cracklin’ Pork Panini. Pulled pork, gruyere, caramelized onions, & fig jam…then tossed onto the panini press. I don’t even have to explain to you how delicious it was. Perfect Pig definitely makes it on our “must go back there” list when we visit 30A again!
Cowgirl Kitchen: A hot-spot located in the “downtown” area of Rosemary Beach; they also have a “feed & supply” store across the street and a smaller market/cafe in Seagrove. After a LONG day, we drove out to Rosemary Beach and we were all absolutely starving. We each ordered an app, and a 10″ pizza. The pizza was super tasty. Great brick-oven style pizza that you shovel in your face as fast as….oh? That’s not socially acceptable in public? Well, tough. That’s what we did. (Pictured: Drunken Cowgirl Pizza and Smoked Tuna Dip)
Blue Mountain Beach Creamery: Is seemingly a little out of the way, but worth the drive. We stopped by here after spending several hours exploring Topsail Hill Preserve in the hot sun. We were filthy & exhausted, so naturally ice cream sounded amazing. Kara & I are big ice cream connoisseurs and this place did not disappoint. Kara ordered a scoop of their award winning chocolate, and a scoop of strawberry cheesecake. As for me, regular strawberry and a scoop of banana pudding hit the spot.
Santa Rosa Beach:
Donut Hole Bakery Cafe: Is a breakfast joint just outside Destin. Since we didn’t have a chance to make it to Charlie’s Donut Truck in Aly’s Beach, our donut craving was still looming large. Fortunately, this place wasn’t too far away from the road that leads us home. They were packed! And they were delicious! Especially the Red Velvet cake donut!
On our list for next time (meaning they made it on our spreadsheet, but we didn’t take it this trip):
What about you dear readers? Anywhere we missed that we shouldn’t have? Anything missing from our list of places to try next time? Let us know so we can add it to the list!