Daytona to St Aug Rec's
Howdy, we are gonna be heading down from Virginia to Palm Coast and are looking for rec's for the best local BBQ, Pho, Sea Food recommendations tween St Augustine & Daytona Beach.. We also plan to look for some of the local flea markets in those places as well.
I'll add that there is a local for the area who goes by the handle COVERT OPS, if you were to search her posts regarding Flagler / Daytona you can learn much of what the area has (and has not) to offer. She's fair and constructive in her comments and she is usually spot-on . . . in my experience, anyway.
I lived just below Flagler for two years, until March this year. There aren't an abundance of good choices in the Daytona area that visitors would find on their own. Still, there ARE some good choices and maybe these replies can help.
First, St A has a cuban place called Columbo or Columbia which has another location down south (Tampa maybe??) that gets a lot of good comments on this board . . . never eaten there but people rave about it, and the St A location is the original, I believe.
One block inland from the Flagler Beach pier is a small fish market / restaurant worth trying called the Flagler Fish Market (clever, isn't it?). It's not on the coast highway, but just one short block in, and this little part of the village is very small, you'll find it. Also in Flagler is a pub on A1A called the Gold Lion with a good bar menu and good fresh seafood dishes. Consider that all places in Flagler are casual, there's often sand on the floor and open shutters, etc . . . just so you know what to expect. Snack Jack's mentioned in the earlier reply is very much a beach bar with a seafood menu, tasty but not fancy. I see another mention on here for Martin's, particularly the prime rib is said to be very good and a very good deal at that.
Note that Flagler is nearly an hour south of St A using the coast highway. Then, Daytona is another 30 miles . . . not too long using 95, but slower going on the coast though it is pretty scenery. Most Daytona chowhounds mention their favorite places even further south of the city, in the suburbs of Port Orange and New Smyrna Beach. I drove round trip Flagler - Daytona about 10 times per week for two yrs and never saw a pho joint . . . not saying it doesn't exist somewhere in the area but I never saw it and I would have jumped on it if I had.
The only destination food I can truly recommend south of Flagler Beach would be the grilled chicken wings at Houligan's Bar in Ormond Beach, the next town down. There's a location just west of 95 at exit 273 (behind the big Harley dealer) and the original is on Granada 1 mile east of 95, use exit 268. If you're driving all the way there for the wings then get them "Wally" style so they're grilled after they're fried (trust me) and I think the hotter the sauce / spice you choose the better.
I don't know that anyone will chime in with strong recommends that you haul all the way down from Jacksonville to Daytona or further to go to " . . . X . . ." Not that Port Orange and New Smyrna don't have any good places, it's just that I doubt they're worth your trip from Jacksonville.
On the Southside of Jacksonville at the Baymeadows exit is Bull's BBQ, I am told it is one of the best but I don't have a lot of experience to judge it. Get off Baymeadows exit and go west for 1 mile or so and it is in a shopping center on the left (south side) in front of a gym.
Rt 40 exit at Ormond beach at the Publix shopping center is a Chinese place that is really one of the best in the area. Exit rt 40 and go east to the 1st traffic light, turn right and then left into the shopping center.
There is a Pho place (Pho Cali, 5624 Cagle Rd) off the University Blvd exit of 95 in Jacksonville but it is a difficult off./on for someone not familiar with the area. We don't have many pho places in town.
South of St. Augustine, for seafood look for High Tides Snack Shack in Flagler Beach (http://www.snackjacks.com/), right on the ocean on A1A. If you find yourself all the way into Daytona, keep heading south and look for Boondocks in Wilbur by the Sea (can't find their web site but it's a wonderful little place on the intracoastal), or Down the Hatch in Port Orange. As for flea markets, there's a huge one in Daytona -- http://www.daytonafleamarket.com/. Happy Travels!