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Mar 19, 2009 11:21 AM

Rt. 30a Seafood Shack-ish?

We're leaving tomorrow for a week-long stay in Rosemary Beach, FL. Since we live in Chicago and have access to all kinds of great chow, we really like to stick to the local fare on vacations.

I know that the Rosemary Beach/Seaside area has lots of great sushi places, upscale cafes, etc. However, are there any good, local seafood shack type places in that area? We are wanting oysters, crab, etc. More than anything, we want a casual/local place.

Any ideas???

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  1. Stinky's Fish House in the Dune Allen area has a pretty good reputation. For lunch, the Red Bar in Grayton Beach is kind of divey and has good grilled fish sandwiches and smoked tuna dip salads. It's a little more upscale, but Gravel Road also does a killer grouper sandwich at lunchtime.

    If you want to venture north of Choctawhatchee Bay, take US 331 north to Freeport, and go west on FL highway 20 until you see the sign for Basin Bayou. Nick's is a little cement block building that so local color you can't stand it, complete with the owner's chickens going free range out back. Their sides are kind of indifferent, but they just know how to cook fish and seafood. (check the whiteboard on the way in to see what's fresh in the kitchen)

    For more suggestions, there's a food and restuarants section on the South Walton message boards here:

    3 Replies
    1. re: beachmouse

      Thanks for the tips! Stinky's and Red Bar have both been mentioned to us by the folks here, too. So, we're definitely going to try those out!

      Any places where we can get local crab legs or peel & eat shrimp?

      As beautiful as Rosemary Beach is, I'm astounded at the lack of seafood at the restaurants around here!

      1. re: emiliewasmyeve

        I'm more of a Destin area person, and you're on the Panama City Beach side of things, so anything I can recommend will be a hike. Nick's in Basin Bayou had peel & eat shrimp last time we were there. Dewey Destin's in Destin (new location on the Destin harbor as well as the old shack that was on the last street before the Destin/East Pass Bridge) will sometimes have really fresh blue crab.

        Bayou Bill's might work for crab as well. They're got their second location in the far west fringes of Panama City Beach (you can see them from US 98 just past the Carillon Beach development) and I think their original location on US 98 in central Walton County might be open again after the renovations post-fire. But I've never eaten at either so can't comment on quality.

        1. re: emiliewasmyeve

          You might want to also try Senor Mojitos, at the foot of the 331 Bridge. They have local bluecrabs and $5/dozen local (Apalachicola) oysters. Happy Hour is 4-6pm, $1 off local drinks. We had drinks and some nibbles there and liked it.