Seagrove Village Market
Starting out just next door to Seaside in quaint little Seagrove, the Village Market has been a staple in the area since 1949. The front section of the market is a souvenir shop, so when you walk in you may not even realize that there's a little restaurant tucked away in the back! The menu is simple and delicious, and we ended up eating here twice during our stay. During lunch, orders are placed at the counter and then you can grab a seat either inside or on the covered patio located at the back of the building while you wait for your food. During dinner, you have full table service.
The cute little market and cafe is located at 3004 S. Highway 395 near the corner of Hwy 30A.
The dinner menu, served from 5:00pm to 8:30pm, has lots of entree options from combo platters, classics like shrimp & grits, fish tacos, and a selection of sandwiches!
Love these two! Our foodie travel mates, Kara & Remington.
We had heard amazing things about the grouper po-boys and they were even voted as one of the 100 Things You Must Eat Before You Die by Garden & Gun magazine. Matt ordered his po-boy blackened, and it's served on a hoagie with hearty coleslaw and tartar sauce. He said it was delicious, but the vote for best dish at the table definitely went to Kara, who ordered her grouper po-boy fried. So we're putting in a hearty recommendation for that one!
I opted for something different and ordered the grilled shrimp sandwich, but was initially brought a grilled grouper sandwich! No worries and no problem - the staff was super apologetic and quickly brought out my shrimp sandwich, but it was fun to get to try both, and I thought they were both fantastic! The sandwiches are served on a sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce. All sandwich/burger entrees come with fries, and I thought they were nicely done - just the right amount of crisp.
We definitely weren't going to leave the area without trying what is touted as the #1 burger on 30A, so during a day of schmoozing on the beach (practically across the street), we popped back in to try the lunch menu.
This time we grabbed a spot on the outdoor patio. The atmosphere in the cafe is very casual and we didn't feel out of place for marching in windblown, sun-kissed, and still in our swimwear!
Matt ordered the BBQ Bacon Burger, which is dressed with George's famous sauce and coleslaw and comes with fries. Matt said the bacon and sauce were awesome and they are certainly generous with both! We already knew the fries were great from our first trip here, so we weren't complaining about getting to indulge in another batch!
I ordered the classic ½ lb Market Burger AKA the "best burger on 30A". The beef was tender and tasty and I appreciated that it was shaped to fill the entire bun. There's nothing worse than taking that big ole first bite of a burger and getting nothing but a mouthful of bread, am I right? We have no regrets about our decision to eat here twice, and recommend that you at least give it a try if you are passing through the area. You'll get a kick out of the small town "hole-in-the-wall" feel with friendly staff, fresh food, and a casual, comfortable atmosphere.
amavida coffee & tea
Located right in Seaside, I'm going to tell you right now that you don't want to miss grabbing coffee and a pastry from amavida! So just go ahead and put it in your travel plans right now - you'll thank me later. Check out their website at www.amavida.com or visit their Facebook page right here!
It's a small shop and bustling with people, but the service was pretty fast with different employees taking care of the pastry and drink orders to keep things moving.
Staring at the selection of breakfast sandwiches and sweet pastries is enough to make your mouth water while waiting to place your order.
Just look at these chocolate croissants dusted with powdered sugar. Heaven help me.
My hubby. He's kinda cute. I think I'll keep him.
I chose the bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich served on a sprouted grain English muffin, and man was it tasty. It gave me the perfect boost of fat, protein and complex carbs I needed for a day of walking and biking around in the hot late Spring weather.
Matt chose the ham and gruyere croissant and said it was, in his words, "delish". Perfectly flaky and buttery - all the protein hiding inside makes it healthy, right??
I can't finish this section without talking about the coffee at amavida, which is insanely good. I was 16 weeks pregnant during our vacation in Seaside and still in the process of getting over a major aversion to all things coffee (I'm usually a major coffee drinker!). I can say without a doubt that amavida coffee is what planted that aversion firmly in my rear view mirror and I could have had a mug every single morning - even the decaf is great! Matt ordered his usual cappuccino, which is the drink he uses to form his opinion about a coffee shop, and he said it was top notch.
So basically, you need to go to amavida. That is all. Over and out.
It's Heavenly - Gelato and Ice Cream
We love this place!! You can request a taste of any gelato or ice cream before you decide on a purchase, and I recommend doing that because there are so many yummy and unique flavors that it is hard to decide!
It's Heavenly is located down a short side path just off of the main courtyard in Seaside, around the corner from the Seaside Kids shop.
There's not much room inside, but there's plenty of tables outside, some with umbrellas. Or just take your gelato on the go as you continue wandering around!
I decided on a cup containing both chai and pistachio gelato. The chai was out of this world... it's so easy for chai-flavored anything to be disappointing in flavor, but this one made my taste buds explode - soooo good! As for the pistachio, well, it was also on point. I'm a sucker for anything pistachio. And you'll have to forgive me here, but neither of us can remember the exact flavor that Matt ordered for his mini waffle cone. It was definitely either Nutella or some kind of chocolate peanut butter (both typical flavors for him to order). But what I CAN tell you is that he practically moaned while eating every last bite. The gelato here has a perfectly smooth texture and you will not be disappointed!
Cowgirl Kitchen in Rosemary Beach
After a full day of beachin' and driving over to Destin for some outlet shopping, we were hungry. And I don't mean the, "Yeah, it's dinnertime and I could eat," kind of hungry... I mean the kind of hungry where you might end up killing your beloved spouse if you don't get some food in your stomach post haste. In fact, we were hangry. Hangry = hungry + angry. It's not a good place to be. So when we decided to make the easy drive over to Rosemary Beach to check out Cowgirl Kitchen, we were ready to chow.
You can check out their main website at www.cowgirlkitchen.com/rosemary.html and their Facebook page right here. Cowgirl also has a Seagrove location for their market and cafe which serves up breakfast tacos and biscuits, sandwiches, salads, soups, and other take home items. It's also a specialty food market! You can find information about the market and its location right here.
We were all surprised at just how... adorable... Rosemary Beach is. I didn't even know this place existed! With its quaint little side streets and small shops and cafes right next to the beach, you'd think you were strolling through some fancy coastal town in Europe instead of the Florida panhandle. Love it!
We had a little bit of a wait for a table, so we wandered over to the beach access to take in the sunset. The actual beach here is private and blocked by a locked gate, but you can still get a good view!
Finally time to nosh!
Cowgirl's motto is "Where Beach Meets West" and you can see that sentiment reflected in the menu. A lil spice here, a lil seafood there, and there's plenty of choices for everyone, with a simpler menu available for the little ones that includes hot dogs, mac and cheese, and even PB&J's.
Matt and I started with the Cowgirl Machita Dip, which is queso with chorizo, jalapenos, tomatoes, and chopped green onion. I do not eat chorizo very often because I know I will pay for it in the form of major heartburn when I'm trying to sleep later that night. This time was no different, but come on... you gotta just go for it sometimes.
For our main course, we shared the 30A Special pizza, which is a white pizza with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, black olives, green olives, portobello mushrooms, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, white truffle oil, sea salt, and fresh parmesan. Because feta is on my list of cheeses deemed "unfit for pregnancy", I ordered my half without the feta. It's pretty uncharacteristic of us to order a meat-free pizza, but this was a refreshing choice. I enjoyed the thin crispy crust, just enough cheese to not overpower the veggies, and the mingling of the olive and truffle oils. My only "gripe" about this pizza was that it was a little heavy on the olives compared to the mushrooms. This is totally just a personal preference because while I do like olives, I love mushrooms, so I would have liked more of the portobello flavor in there.
We sat outside on the patio and were there until well after the sun set. Great atmosphere!
Modica Market - Cakes from the Bakery!
In my other Seaside post I did a quick tour of Modica Market and mentioned the fresh cakes being sold in the bakery case. I promised you guys I'd come back to them a little later, so here we are! Modica serves up a great selection of drool-worthy cakes, so one day we picked up a couple of slices to-go that we could devour later that night. We selected two different flavors, and between the four of us we pretty much destroyed them until there was nothing but crumbs left.
I really wanted to get a photo of the case itself to show you some of the other selections available, but it's a popular place to be in that little market, and there always seemed to be too much activity to get a clear photo!
Our first choice was the caramel cake, a triple layer slice of dense but moist vanilla cake that's packed to the gills with caramel filling and frosting all the way around. Good choice. Good, good choice. Mmm...
Ohh but this orange cake... this was my favorite. It was either called Dreamsicle or Orange Creamsicle, I can't remember, but it won't be hard to spot if you're on the lookout for it. Five thin layers of orange-y vanilla cake filled to the brim and covered with a smooth orange frosting and mini white chocolate chips around the outside. Um... yes.
I'm a major frosting lover, so my favorite types of cakes tend to be the ones with torted layers, giving you extra room to pile in the filling and frosting. Are you a frosting person as well? Yes? Then you will love this cake.
We only tried these two flavors, but I have heard marvelous things about Modica's legendary chocolate cake, rainbow cake, and Milky Way cake. Heck, I just want to try them all!
Great Southern Cafe
One morning we popped into the Great Southern Cafe for breakfast, which is pretty much a staple in Seaside. They serve up a pretty amazing Sunday brunch, but when doing our pre-vacation research we learned that their breakfast menu is pretty amazing on any given day, so we had to try it out!
Matt ordered the biscuits and gravy, which the menu describes as "a giant helping of love". They aren't kidding! This is one massive pile of fresh biscuits and house-made sausage gravy. Matt can usually put away his food quite nicely, but even this defeated him. I grabbed a bite myself and it was soooo fantastic!
I was dealing with some lingering heartburn from the chorizo I ate on a previous evening (I knew it would happen! And yet I did it anyway!) so I opted for a simpler choice - the cafe breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, a biscuit, and smoked gouda cheese grits. Those grits are amazing, my friends. Make sure whatever you order includes a side of those puppies - yum yum!
The Meltdown on 30A - Airstream Alley
You can't pass through seaside and not notice the line of cute Airstream food trucks that line 30A. We tried out several of them during our trip!
The Meltdown is all about, you guessed it, grilled cheese sandwiches! These aren't just your regular ole sliced cheese and Wonderbread sandwiches from your toddler years, though, these puppies are amazing. Just look at that menu! I was incredibly inspired to come up with interesting ingredients for grilled cheese sandwiches at home.
Be sure to visit Meltdown on Facebook by clicking right here!
On our first trip, Matt tried the Red, White, & Blue - blue cheese-infused brie, bacon, caramelized onion, balsamic reduction, and tomato. Ohhhh baby.
I got the Smokin' Turkey that included bacon, avocado, jack cheese, smoked turkey, and Albuquerque sauce. It was delectable, hearty, the cheese was ooey gooey, and I was full after eating only half of it! Well, I was also saving room for dessert, so ya know...
Later in the week, Matt and I returned to try out a couple of more combinations. This time I tried the Meatloaf Melt which included meatloaf, sliced ham, mozzarella, and melted Swiss on sourdough. This one had great flavor, but I think they were running low on meatloaf on that second day (we were nearing a holiday weekend and they were out of a few things) so it was a bit heavy on the ham and light on the meatloaf. Still, though, it's a tasty combo!
Matt ordered the special that day, which I believe was called The Heart Attack. Aptly named, this thing was stuffed with cheddar cheese, bacon, and meatloaf (again, a very small piece because they were running low). It was supposed to also have caramelized onions, but they were out, so they substituted with another topping of Matt's choice, but I can't remember what he selected.
Regardless of being short on ingredients our second go-round, everything we ordered from Meltdown was delicious and I can easily toss out my recommendation to give this place a try!
There's seating outside of the trailers, but on crowded days it can be hard to find a table. We were lucky to find shaded seating on both visits.
Frost Bites - Airstream Alley
Frost Bites specializes in shaved ice and frozen custard. Let me tell you, a fruity frozen dessert really hits the spot when that Florida heat gets going
The trailer is so tiny and cute!
This is only part of the menu, and there is SO much to choose from. Here's a tip: visit their website BEFORE you go: http://frostbitesseaside.com/ so you can have an idea of what you might want. I did this and it made selecting a flavor combo so much easier. There are so many choices that it can be overwhelming and I'm sure I would have stood there for half an hour trying to decide if I didn't have an idea beforehand!
I got the Dreamsicle - orange and vanilla shaved ice topped with a drizzle of sweet cream. It was so refreshing and cool, I've never had any kind of drizzles or toppings on shaved ice before, and Frost Bites has lots of options such as sweet cream, chocolate syrup, graham cracker crumbs, and gummy candies.
Matt tried the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, served "piggly wiggly" style. That means there is frozen vanilla custard on the bottom topped with pineapple shaved ice, drizzled with sweet cream and topped with graham cracker crumbles - wowza!
On a different day, Matt and I came back to share a lemon-lime piggly wiggly, mmm mmm yummy!
Barefoot BBQ - Airstream Alley
Can't go wrong with good old-fashioned barbecue! Barefoot has lots of options for pork, chicken, turkey, or beef entrees. Choose from sandwiches, combo platter, BBQ nachos, and even some lighter options like spinach salad and chicken salad. The neatest part about Barefoot is that all of the sauces are available via pumps outside of the Airstream, so you can try them all! Here are their descriptions!
Hang Ten - Traditional - Tomato Base, Brown Sugar w/ Bourbon
Wipeout - Vinegar Base, Light, Tart and Fruity
Pipeline - Mustard Base, Sweet and Spicy
Hot Lava - Spicy with a kick of Cayenne and Pepper Sauce
Pssst... my favorite was Hang Ten!
You can click right here to find Barefoot BBQ on Facebook!
I ordered the turkey leg and it was pretty much perfection. The meat was juicy, flavorful, and fall-apart tender. It is also absolutely enormous - two people could easily share this monster! I ordered potato salad on the side, and you guys, I gotta be totally honest... I'm not sure I can recommend it. It just wasn't my favorite. But the meat? Delicious. Make sure to give all of the different sauces a try!
Matt ordered the beef brisket sandwich and loved it! He said the brisket was juicy and tender. His platter came with two sides, so he chose the mac and cheese and potato salad. Sadly, he agreed with me about the potato salad, and also said that the mac and cheese was "just okay". But honestly, even without the sides, the meat and sauces are delicious and more than filling, so all-in-all we were not all all disappointed or unsatisfied with our lunch here!
Even though we didn't visit the remaining two food trucks in Airstream Alley, I thought I'd at least mention them! The Raw & Juicy truck specializes in vegan, raw fresh food, and looking through the menu, I really wish I had made time to try out some of their delicious sounding juices and smoothies! I also remember really wanting to try the veggie hummus wrap. Next time!!
Wild Bill's Beach Dogs is about all things hot dogs! Since hot dogs are another one of those pregnancy no-no's, at least according to what my midwife suggested, this truck was pretty much off-limits to me. But oooh look... soft pretzels!
Though we did stop at Wild Bill's on an evening walk through Seaside and shared a dipped frozen key lime pie on a stick. Tasty!
Pickle's is a casual counter service diner located on the main strip right next to amavida coffee - can't miss it. It's totally open air with covered outdoor seating and a bar that faces the street, so it's a fabulous place to grab some shade and people watch! There's even fan misters on hot days to cool you off!
I ordered the breakfast platter with scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, and buttered toast. Pretty classic and hearty meal!
This looks like a regular plate of French toast, yes? Um... no. Although it doesn't say it explicitly on the menu, this French toast is actually dipped in MELTED ICE CREAM you guys!! How genius is that? I mean, it makes sense... you normally make French toast by dipping the bread into whisked egg or a mixture of egg and milk or cream, right? So why not make it even more decadent and sinful and use melted ice cream instead? I just can't even... brilliant idea and you simply must try it!
Loved the colorful seating area! Great place to watch the comings and goings on 30A.
Blue Mountain Beach Creamery
On the way back from a long and murderously hot hike in Topsail Hill State Park, we stopped at the Blue Mountain Beach Creamery (click for Facebook!) to cool down with some sweet treats.
Matt ordered a scoop of banana pudding topped with a scoop of peanut butter cup ice cream. Sounds like a winning combination to me!
When I get all hot and sweaty I tend to swing toward things that are light and fruity, so I got this orange mango sorbet that really hit the spot.
Bud & Alley's
On our last night in town, we decided to attempt to grab an outdoor table at Bud and Alley's, named for the town's Dachshund mascot, Bud, and the restaurant owner's cat, Alley. Considered one of the more upscale restaurants in Seaside, it still manages to feel friendly and comfortable. There is a rooftop bar overlooking the Gulf of Mexico where you can take in the sunset. We had planned for an evening of drinks and appetizers while enjoying the late afternoon breeze.
We knew that the outdoor tables at the bar would be a hot commodity, so we arrived pretty early and were able to find an empty table with no problems.
Not a bad view, eh?
Aren't they cute?
Us! Thanks to Kara & Remington for the photo!
The menu has some seriously tasty sounding specialty drinks, including some naughty ice-cream blended drinks - yum yum! Since alcohol was obviously off the menu for me, I got as creative as I could and simply ordered a Sprite and pineapple juice. Matt, however, ordered a Pain Killer - spiced rum with orange, pineapple, and coconut juices.
We ordered a sampling of appetizers to share. This is the bay scallop ceviche (don't worry, I didn't try it, but I wanted to!).
Baked oysters - gotta be honest, these left something to be desired. The flavor was pretty bland and the texture was off. The worst part was that they were cold by the time they made it to our table. Kind of a bummer!
Sweet potato fries - don't these have a chunky unique batter? I thought they were really tasty, but unfortunately these also arrived cold, but I can otherwise recommend 'em. Different from any other sweet potato fries I've had for sure!
Aside from the fairly disappointing appetizers, I'll offer a small warning if you are lucky enough to snag an outdoor table at sunset. Bud & Alley's is open seating, which means that there are customers walking around and waiting for tables. Several of these people actually approached our table and asked if we were leaving soon, going as far as pointing to our almost empty drink glasses and plates and commenting that it looked like we were almost finished, and asked for our table. It was a little distracting when we were just trying to have a relaxing last evening in Seaside with our friends. What's worse is that the crowd of people stalking tables were lined up against the deck railing, effectively blocking most of the view and the sunset that we were there to see.
You guys know that it's a difficult thing to balance being honest with my opinions and reviews on this blog while also not wanting to make outright terrible comments about the things and places that we try. I'm not totally down on Bud & Alley's, but I think it's important to remember that when you go there, what you are really paying for is the view and the atmosphere, so keep that in mind when you see the $30 entrees, $15 appetizers, and $10 for the small cocktails. Unfortunately, "Great view and atmosphere, mediocre food" is a rut that many restaurants seem to fall into when they have an amazing location in a highly-trafficked tourist area, and I think Bud & Alley's is just one of those places. I will say that I would be willing to give it another try and order some of the entrees, and maybe try coming at a different time of day instead of trying to get one of the "seats with a view" right at sunset and being assaulted by waiting patrons.
But the view really is quite beautiful. 🙂
What are some of your favorite places to eat in Seaside or along 30A? Let me know in the comments!
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