LOOKING FOR THE TOP MUST-TRY RESTAURANTS ON 30A?
Florida’s 30A is a magical place where the sun, sand, and sea meet to create a vacationer’s paradise. Aside from the stunning beaches, what makes 30A stand out is its diverse and mouth-watering cuisine.
With a focus on locally sourced ingredients, you can truly taste the difference in the food offered on 30A. Yes, as you likely guessed—fast-food and chain restaurants are a rarity here, well, except for the occasional Starbucks. But we’ll give them a pass.
Instead, you can indulge in fresh seafood caught straight from the Gulf of Mexico, farm-to-table cuisine, and homemade desserts that will get your taste buds dancing.
My family and I visit 30A year after year (we can’t get enough) and love trying the local fare while we are here. I have eaten at EVERY restaurant on this list and can confidently say these restaurants are worth a visit. So join me as I highlight the must-visit restaurants and iconic dishes that make 30A a food lover’s haven.
Planning a trip to 30A? Check out my in-depth vacation guide on where to stay, eat, and play for an unforgettable getaway.
Top 11 Must-Try Restaurants on 30A for Foodies
1. Restaurant Paradis
82 South Barrett Square Rosemary Beach, FL 32461
Restaurant Paradis is hands down my #1 pick for top must-try restaurants on 30A. This small fine-dining restaurant is a perfect spot to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or have a memorable date night.
The food, service, and ambiance are all exceptional. The restaurant is situated on the corner of Rosemary Beach’s downtown area, but still somehow manages to provide you with a quiet and cozy atmosphere.
Recommended dishes: Gulf Coast Snapper, Pecan & Lobster Encrusted Grouper, and the Crab Appetizer (nicknamed “funnel cake of the sea”).
Do you need a reservation? YES! Advance reservations are strongly recommended, especially for holidays and the summer months. Walk-ins are occasionally accepted when space is available.
2. Borago Restaurant
80 E County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Borago is a favorite spot among locals and for good reason. This chef-owned and operated Italian delight is tucked away from the more crowded areas on 30A and provides you with the perfect homey atmosphere.
We sat outside on their screened-in patio (my recommendation – as it can be a bit loud in the main dining area) and enjoyed the ocean-fresh summer breeze over the delicious complimentary house-made focaccia bread to start.
Recommended dishes: Chicken Piccata, Chicken Linguine, or Three Meat Bolognese. If you have room for dessert, end your meal with their warm berry cobbler dessert with vanilla bean ice cream on top (the best ever)!
Do you need a reservation? Yes, Borago is primarily reservation-based and by phone only at (850) 213-4156.
3. Café Thirty-A
3899 E County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Café Thirty-A is a casual fine-dining restaurant that features a contemporary, eclectic menu with excellent service. The restaurant has won a variety of awards for “best restaurant in 30A” (30A Hot Spot Award Winner, Best of the Emerald Coast, Perfect in Walton County Award, and others) and you will quickly see why.
As an added bonus, Café Thirty-A offers a “Daily BOHO” from 4:30-5:00 pm: Buy any entrée at the regular price and get a second of equal or lesser value HALF OFF. Orders must be in the kitchen by 5:15 p.m. Dine-in only.
Recommended dishes: The menu changes daily according to the availability of ingredients, but if you happen to be there when they offer the She Crab Soup (so creamy) and Chili Dusted Salmon (just the right amount of spice), you are in for a treat.
Do you need a reservation? Yes, reservations are required, and expect to valet park. Reserve a table here or by calling 850.231.2166.
4. George’s At Alys Beach
30 N Castle Harbour Dr., Alys Beach, FL 32461
Are you looking for a casual, yet upscale restaurant where you can bring the whole family? George’s is the place! The restaurant offers a small airy dining room or a breezy porch for seating options (I’ve tried both and each spot is lovely) in the quaint coastal town, of Alys Beach.
George’s is a spot we frequently visit and continues to be one of the top “must-try restaurants” 30A has to offer.
Recommended dishes: Jumbo Lump Crab Cake (for dinner) and their Famous Market Fish Sandwich (for lunch).
Do you need a reservation? George’s does not accept reservations except for Valentine’s Day & New Year’s Eve. Tables are seated on a first-come, first-served basis. The restaurant opens for dinner starting at 5:00 p.m. and guests start lining up around 4:30 p.m. Note: During my recent visit in mid-May, we arrived around 5:30 p.m. on a weeknight and had to wait approximately 45 minutes for a table.
5. La Crema Tapas & Chocolate
38 Main St, Rosemary Beach, FL 32461
La Crema is a cozy cafe known for its Spanish tapas and chocolate confections (fondue? Yes please!) The restaurant is located on scenic Main Street in Rosemary Beach and is the perfect spot to relax and create memories with family and friends.
Recommended dishes: Seafood Paella, Lobster Mac, and Enfuego Chicken; and don’t forget to save room for dessert – the Chocolate Fondue (apples, bananas, strawberries, pound cake & marshmallows dipped in milk or dark chocolate) and/or the gooey chocolate chip Classic Cookies (with a milk shooter) are to die for!
Do you need a reservation? La Crema does not accept reservations and operates on a first-come, first-served basis. During the dinner rush, you will likely have to wait a bit to be seated (we waited about 30 minutes during a weeknight), but you can always come for lunch if you want to avoid the crowds and still get to order off the same menu.
6. Chanticleer Eatery
55 Clayton Ln, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Want something off the “beaten path”? Chanticleer Eatery is a hidden gem and local’s secret located in Grayton Beach that serves made-from-scratch sandwiches at lunchtime (try the Reuben!), juicy burgers, the best prime-grade steaks, and of course fresh cookies (which, you guessed it, are made from scratch). You can really taste the love and thought that goes into preparing/making the food here.
I highly recommend you grab a seat on the patio and add this to your list of “must-try restaurants on 30A. Flip-flops and beach attire are completely acceptable.
Do you need a reservation? Chanticleer does not accept reservations and operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: I have eaten here several times for both lunch and dinner and never had to wait for a table.
7. Surfing Deer
2743 E County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Surfing Deer is a beachside restaurant that offers a sophisticated and modern dining experience. The restaurant’s menu features innovative dishes that blend Southern and Mediterranean cuisine, all made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
There’s also a cute story about where its name, “Surfing Deer” originated – ask your waiter/waitress about the pet deer named Bambi.
Recommended dishes: Seared Sea Scallops, Thai Skillet Salmon, Pimento Cheese Hush Puppies (spicy), and Iron Skillet Jalapeño Cornbread.
Do you need a reservation? Yes! Surfing Deer is another hotspot in 30A that books up quickly. Reserve a table here. Note: The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
8. The Citizen
20 Mark Twain Lane, Alys Beach, FL 32461
One of the newer spots in 30A, The Citizen is a seaside tavern inspired by coastal cuisine around the world. The restaurant gets a 10 out of 10 for ambiance which makes up for the food that slightly misses the mark (in my opinion). Drinks are fabulous though (order the “Smoked Cabernet” – it’s a 30A favorite)!
Recommended dishes: their menu is seasonal, but be on the lookout for the Charred Avocado Salad, Whipped Feta appetizer, as well as the Charred Grilled Oysters.
Do you need a reservation? The Citizen accepts a limited number of reservations for lunch and brunch via Resy and parties of 8 or larger for dinner. If you would like to make a dinner reservation, please call the restaurant at 850-909-0702. Otherwise, I would recommend getting there early around 5:00 p.m. to snag a table.
9. The Great Southern Cafe
83 Central Square, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
The Great Southern Cafe, located in the heart of Seaside, is a mix of southern cooking and international cuisines all while using local produce and fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a casual establishment and a great place to bring your family.
All seating is located on their outdoor patio and, from personal experience, is a great people-watching spot.
The must-try menu item here is the Grits À Ya Ya – blackened shrimp with gouda cheese grits – it is a winner!
Do you need a reservation? The Great Southern Cafe does not take reservations. I would recommend getting there early to reduce your wait time. Otherwise, you are looking at a 30-minute to an hour wait during prime dinner time.
10. The Perfect Pig
4281 E County Hwy 30-A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
The Perfect Pig is popular with both locals and visitors. This quaint neighborhood spot offers delicious comfort food with a twist and is another great place to bring the entire family. The Perfect Pig has three different locations along 30A including one in Gulf Place, Seagrove Beach, and Watercolor.
I would recommend coming here for breakfast or lunch rather than dinner, as I think you will be more pleased with some of the other options listed above. Nevertheless, The Perfect Pig will satisfy the meat lovers in your group – try their award-winning pulled pork sandwich.
Do you need a reservation? It’s not necessary to make a reservation (wait times are typically low), but if you would like to, reservations are made by phone only: Gulf Place – (850) 660-1591 // Seagrove – (850) 213-0701 // Watercolor – (850) 533-1522.
11. Old Florida Fish House
33 Heron’s Watch Way, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Old Florida Fish House is all about the atmosphere – the restaurant is nestled on Eastern Lake so you get a dinner with a view surrounded by twinkle lights, live music and entertainment, an ice-cream stand, and an outdoor lawn area inclusive of cornhole, ping pong, and a dedicated play area for kids.
The only downfall is the service – the restaurant is always busy and you can feel a bit rushed to finish your meal.
My advice: order your appetizers first, otherwise they will come at the same time as your entrees. All in all, you are paying for the location and sunset views – though it still provides one of the most beautiful settings in 30A.
Do you need a reservation? Yes, I would highly recommend making reservations. The best way to make reservations is online. Note: Self-parking is available first come-first served on the lot or next door at their sister company, Coastside, (if spaces are available). Expect to use the [complementary] valet parking.
Additional recommendations (from locals):
⭐️ Basmati’s Asian Cuisine
⭐️ Pescado Seafood Grill & Rooftop Bar
⭐️ Stinky’s Fish Camp
⭐️ Bud and Alley’s
⭐️ The Red Bar
⭐️ Daytrader tiki bar
*Note: I have not personally eaten at any of the above restaurants and, as a result, cannot rate them accordingly*
Map of the Best Restaurants on 30A
A map pinpointing the locations of the top restaurants in the area is provided below.
Final thoughts on dining on 30A
30A is a foodie paradise, with a wide range of restaurants that offer delicious and innovative dishes. Whether you’re craving seafood, Italian cuisine, or Southern comfort food, 30A has you covered.
From casual beachside eateries to fine dining restaurants, the area offers a diverse range of dining experiences that cater to all budgets and tastes. So, the next time you’re in 30A, be sure to check out these must-try restaurants for an unforgettable dining experience.
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