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 dives 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.
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Star Fish Company, Cortez
Located in Cortez, Star Fish Company keeps their 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.
J.B.’s Fish Camp & Seafood, New Smyrna Beach
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 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 shore birds right off the dock.
Owen's Fish Camp, Sarasota
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 Old Florida restaurant is known for their Southern hospitality. Choose from enticing seafood items such as Fried Soft Shell Crab sandwiches, Pecan Crusted Trout and Low Country Boils for two.
Stewby's Seafood Shanty, Fort Walton Beach
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 their 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.
Schooners, Panama City Beach
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.
Lynn's Quality Oysters, Eastpoint
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.
Boon Docks Restaurant, Panama City Beach
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.
Dixie Crossroads, Titusville
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 restaurants standout Dixie Spectacular, which comes with 1 Maine lobster, 1 dozen rock shrimp, 1/4 lb scallops, and 1/2 lb. crab legs.
Dewey Destin's Harborside Restaurant
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.
Up the Creek Raw Bar, Apalachicola
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.
Killer Seafood, Mexico Beach
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.
Update: After sustaining damage from Hurricane Michael, Killer Seafood is closed. Please refer to their Facebook for more details about their upcoming plans for re-opening, and read the heartwarming story of how they continued to feed Mexico Beach residents in the aftermath here.
Key Fisheries, Marathon
Specializing in seafood paella, Key West shrimp, whole stuffed lobster and Jumbo Stone Crab Claws, Key Fisheries in Marathon is a great place to indulge in fresh catches from the Gulf and Florida Bay. Located in the heart of the Florida Keys, you can soak up the tropical ambiance as you choose from a selection of seafood cuisine prepared with a Florida Keys flair. There’s also a seafood market on-site for when you want to take home grouper, snapper or mahi-mahi and a marina.