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Florida’s array of no-frills seafood spots along the coast lure you in with a delectable selection of fresh, boat-to-table cuisine. These renowned seafood restaurants only focus on their fresh cuisine, from stone crab claws to oysters, red snapper, and grouper, with many offering picnic tables where you can admire beautiful waterfront views as you dine. Boasting Old Florida vibes, here are the best seafood dives in Florida.
One of the best seafood restaurants in Florida, Star Fish Company in Cortez keeps its seafood dishes simple. A seafood market and restaurant in one, this one-stop seafood hotspot is popular for its wild Alaskan salmon and mahi-mahi sandwiches, in addition to Gulf shrimp and stone crab claws when they’re in season. Pair your meal with coleslaw, cheese grits, or french fries, then soak up the buzzing commercial fishing atmosphere and beautiful Gulf Coast views from the outdoor picnic tables.
Located on the waters of the Canaveral National Seashore, J.B.’s Fish Camp & Seafood in New Smyrna Beach is an alluring beachside seafood joint nestled between the Mosquito Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Come by car or boat to this classic dive, where you can indulge in fried seafood offerings and tempting steamed rock shrimp, but don’t leave without sampling a slice of key lime pie. If you bring the kids, they can watch manatees, dolphins, and exotic shorebirds right off the dock.
Open seven days a week, Schooners in Panama City Beach is an open-walled restaurant right on the sand. Come here if you’re looking for fresh seafood paired with a beach-party ambiance with live music that doesn’t close until the wee hours of the night. Capture one of Florida’s colorful sunsets as you dine on Southern-flavored food, from grits made with three cheeses to spicy seafood gumbo and seared crab cakes.
Serving seafood for over 30 years to seafood lovers around the state, Dixie Crossroads in Titusville is a local institution. From enticing seafood sandwiches to large seafood combos, the menu here is diverse enough to cater to any budget and preference. If you come hungry, you should try the restaurant’s standout Dixie Spectacular, which comes with 1 Maine lobster, 1 dozen rock shrimp, 1/4 lb scallops, and 1/2 lb. crab legs.
Head to Destin for a seafood feast at The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House. A Gulf Coast tradition for over 40 years, it’s been a local favorite since 1974. What started as a small A-frame building on the beach has been transformed into a beachfront icon, serving delicious Gulf seafood with incredible Gulf views. Inventing the Amberjack sandwich, its menu includes fresh Appalachicola oysters, Destin grouper, stuffed Mahi-Mahi, and blackened yellowfin tuna. There’s also a second location in Panama City Beach.
High Tides at Snack Jack is a laid-back waterfront restaurant in Flagler Beach. It’s been standing proud since 1947, beloved for its fresh seafood cuisine and stunning views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to its wild-caught seafood selection, you’ll find options for traditional southern fried baskets on its menu. Dig into conch fritters, coconut fried shrimp, or wild-caught ahi tuna, or try the grilled, blackened, or jerked fish tacos or seafood sandwiches. Steamed sides include combo platters, crab legs, and spiced steamed shrimp.
Considered a Panama City institution, Hunt’s Oyster Bar has been serving Apalachicola oysters to hungry locals for over 50 years. This beloved seafood dive is laid-back and family-run, with its delicious menu offering an array of seafood choices, from grouper sandwiches to grilled crab cakes and tempting oysters. The legendary dive has a friendly atmosphere, where you can sample their famous three cheese Cajun baked oysters while listening to live music.
Featured on Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins & Dives, DJ’s Clam Shack in Key West is a seafood favorite in Florida. Set on the lively Duval Street, the small shop has a menu of southern and Northern flavors, including overstuffed Maine lobster rolls, garlic steamed middle neck clams, conch fritters, and mahi-mahi tacos.
Located in Sarasota, Phillippi Creek Village Restaurant & Oyster Bar has been a local gathering spot for over 35 years. Boasting an inviting tropical setting, the family restaurant features multiple options for digging into fresh, local seafood. Nicknamed the “Creek”, it has spacious outdoor and indoor waterfront dining with oysters as a popular speciality. Other treats on the menu here include jumbo lump crab cakes, steamed shrimp, stuffed oysters, and fried seafood platters with options like soft shell crab, flounder, clam strips, and sea scallops.
Dewey Destin’s Harborside Restaurant might have a relaxed atmosphere, but they are serious about their seafood and use original Destin and Gulf Coast recipes. You can’t get much more local than this spot, as proprietor Dewey Destin’s great-great-grandfather founded the town. Sample the catch of the day either fried or grilled for the freshest selection of fish and watch a beautiful sunset over the water.
Lynn’s Quality Oysters overlooks the Apalachicola Bay and is a hidden gem that features a raw bar and outside deck where you can capture stunning sunset views. Try their oysters harvested from the bay, including The Manning with bacon, cheddar, and mozzarella. The shrimp and crabs are steamed with a choice of butter, garlic, and old bay seasoning, while Granny’s Gumbo and smoked mahi-mahi fish dip are also great choices.
A small seafood restaurant in Fort Walton Beach, Stewby’s Seafood Shanty is a take-out and dine-in joint that offers an extensive list of locally sourced seafood options on its menu. A go-to seafood spot in Florida, locals come here to dine on oysters from Apalachicola and sample shrimp from the Choctawhatchee Bay. Take an extra serving of seafood gumbo to go, as it’s often referred to as the best in the state.
You need to come hungry when you visit Owen’s Fish Camp in Sarasota, as this coastal gem serves large portions of fresh seafood from the Bay every day. Nibble on boiled hot roadside peanuts as you enjoy the friendly atmosphere, as this popular Gulf Coast restaurant is known for its Southern hospitality. Choose from enticing seafood items such as Fried Soft Shell Crab sandwiches, Pecan Crusted Trout, and Low Country Boils for two.
Boon Docks Restaurant in Panama City Beach sits under a beautiful canopy of moss-draped live oaks and serves freshly fried seafood platters. Just five minutes from the beaches in West Bay, its local and regional seafood is mixed with a special blend of spices to create a unique and flavorful breading. Relax on the dock and take in the history of the 1941 West Bay landmark as you dine on po’boys, hush puppies, and fried pickles.
Visit the small town of Apalachicola, which is world-renowned for its oysters, to dine at Up the Creek Raw Bar, a laid-back seafood joint that is nestled along the Scipio Creek Channel. Sit in the covered, open-air decks overlooking the water while sampling its extensive menu of succulent oysters that includes raw, steamed and mignonette oysters with minced shallot and habanero pepper. It also offers a range of other seafood that you can enjoy.
A casual eatery in Fort Walton on Okaloosa Island, Old Bay Steamer serves a collection of freshly-caught steamed seafood options. It’s beloved for its generous portions of steamers, which feature plenty of shrimp, oysters, lobster tail, and crab legs either for one or for more if you’re in the mood to share. You can’t go wrong with the catch of the day, while shrimp and pineapple, crab cakes, jumbo sea scallops, and a Triple Play with grilled lobster tail, glazed scallops, and skewered shrimp is a hit if you’re feeling extra hungry.
Keys Fisheries is a seafood restaurant, market, and marina all in one. One of the most popular restaurants in the Middle Keys, just north of the 7 Mile Bridge in Marathon, this tropical paradise offers the perfect setting for a seafood meal. Its signature dishes include lobster Reuben, grilled mahi-mahi, Key West shrimp, conch chowder, and jumbo stone crab claws, while you can also purchase seafood to go. Pair your seafood meal with a decadent dessert, like the Key Lime Pie Pops with Key Lime pie filling, graham cracker crust, and chocolate.
Known for their famous Simmerin’ Sauce and deliciously messy fish tacos, Killer Seafood in Mexico Beach has got something for the entire family. A casual beach restaurant on Florida’s Forgotten Coast, take a break at this restaurant to find burgers and fish sandwiches, scallops and shrimp cooked in the special sauce. You’ll instantly feel at home with its welcoming atmosphere, where you can gaze out the windows to admire views of the Gulf of Mexico.
If you’re a fan of clam chowder, Tony’s Seafood Restaurant in Cedar Key should be on your Florida bucket list. The restaurant’s staple dish is award-winning, collecting the top prize for the best clam chowder for multiple years. Tony has three times won the “Great Chowder Cook-Off” in New England, and his popular dish is now sold in Publix stores across the state. While the clam chowder is what attracts visitors initially, its succulent seafood dishes like fried oysters, steamed clams, and cajun creole are what has them coming back for more.
Located on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, O’Steens is a popular cash-only eatery with delicious seafood offerings. A staple in St. Augustine for over 50 years, its family atmosphere and relatively unchanged menu keep seafood fans loyal. You’ll find anything from fried favorites like shrimp, oysters, scallops, and freshwater catfish filets on the menu to broiled seafood items like deviled crab patties and sea scallops. Pair your meal with a side of hush puppies or homemade clam chowder and you’ve got the perfect meal.