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Apalachicola: Need recommendation/dinner/room

I haven't been in a couple of years. Milestone anniversary coming up.

I humbly request recs for dinner and hotel in late September.

The Gibson Inn looks good based on websites, but so do some of the others.

View and (of course) the food is most important. Oysters, required.

Please help.

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  1. Visited there last fall and stayed at the Apalachicola River Inn right on the water. Not very fancy, but comfy and you can't beat the view and you can walk everywhere. Last fall they had a special with a full breakfast included in the price. See http://www.apalachicolariverinn.com/ for details. Boss Oyster is right next door and if you like oysters served in a dive setting where they're actually hauling them off the boats in front of you, Boss Oyster is your place. They have something like 30 optional toppings and I tried a few but went back to plain ole oysters on the half shell -- they are incredible!! We also liked Tamara's Cafe and Verandah Wine Barr for meals. The restaurant at the Gibson Inn was once known as one of the best in all of the panhandle but I believe it has since closed. If you want to get on the water for some fishing or, like we did, for a sunset sail up the river, see Captain John Sapp at 850-653-8740 -- he's a native and knows the area well. We've been thinking about returning this winter so please post a review when you get back.....Barbara

    1 Reply
    1. re: bcodom

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    2. The restaurant at the Gibson Inn that was one of the best in the entire country, Avenue Sea, closed in January. Chef said that he just couldn't make it work in Apalachicola because the local clientele weren't drawn in, and most of his customers had driven in from 100-200 miles just to eat there.

      Below are my personal gems of Apalachicola:

      Owl Cafe - http://www.owlcafeflorida.com/
      Tamara's - http://www.tamarascafe.com/
      Chef Eddie's Magnolia Grill - http://www.chefeddiesmagnoliagrill.com/
      That Place in Apalach - http://www.thatplaceinapalach.com/

      These are all fine spots for a meal and could stand up as popular places in any large city. I wish all towns with a population of 2,000 had this quality of selection.

      Additionally, here's the website for Veranda's Bistro, which someone mentioned above. I think it opened up since I was last in Apalachicola, but it looks promising:


      1. Apalachicola Seafood Grill is good for plain fresh seafood and has some really good potato salad! We also ate at the Mexican place last time we were there and it was good. We actually had managed to get oystered out lol

        1. The Gibson Inn is a great place to stay but more upscale is the Consulate. Being a resident of Franklin County I am thrilled that folks are coming to Apalachicola. It honestly captures old Florida.


          Reccs for food are good but I must say that the Magnolia Grill has a atmosphere that is creepy . Boss - though casual is the best for oysters without a doubt. Have some raw.

          3 Replies
          1. re: sunsuze

            We were fortunate last time we were up your way and met the son of the owner of Ward's Seafood at Indian Pass Raw Bar. He directed us to their wholesale facility on the Bay and we took our big cooler and got a sack of oysters packed in ice. Heaven!

            1. re: rhnault

              And were you able to eat all of them?

              1. re: sunsuze

                Came pretty close. I think my profile pic contains some that we baked.

          2. We stayed overnight in Apalachicola at the Coombs House Inn in May. A very pleasant bed-and-breakfast with several well appointed rooms. See the following link for details. http://www.coombshouseinn.com/ One note, contrary to their web page, the Inn is located in town and not near the water. As to Café Momi the restaurant presently in the Gibson Inn, we found the raw oysters were fresh and excellent but the BBQ ribs were so tough as to be practically inedible.

            1. Hi everyone, Just a brief reminder that suggestions about lodging are off topic. Please confine your responses to finding delicious chow. Thanks.

              3 Replies
              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                We got here on Saturday.
                the first night we ate at the Blue parrot at St George Island. It was terrible and terribly overpriced. Better options were found at Apalachicola.

                Tried the Owl Cafe for lunch. Great food. we loved the victorian house that it was in.

                Verandas Bistro was also great. We loved the adjoining wine room where u can purchase and drink wines at retail store prices ($5 corkage but what a bargain!). the wines were truly excellent and varied.

                Boss Oyster today - WE WILL BE GOING BACK FOR SURE! the raw oysters were amazing. the best i've tasted. The grouper chowder is a total miss. it was just gummy. The grouper fish and chips were also good. But oh... the oysters.... i can go on abt them.

                That Place in Apalach - it was good. But not great. The steamed shrimp were delicious. But the menu is modest as was the wine list but the prices weren't cheap.

                I'd like to try my hand at buying some seafood and cooking it at home - any reccs on where we could buy good seafood? We read abt Lynn's seafood. Any comments? Suggestions?

                We're here for the rest of the week so if anyone has any great resto reccs - please tell us. We're in St George Island.

                1. re: AussieGirl

                  Are you sure you went to the Owl? It's not in a house, unless they've moved.

                  If they still have soft shell crabs this late, try those at Boss Oyster. Ummmm!

                  For fresh seafood, there are two guys who sell out of trailers on the island. The one on the right, just as you get to the road over bridge, it the better one. There's also a place just on the Apalach side of the bridge, you turn off to the right... I can't remember the name of it. And, there's a great produce stand, on the left, as you head toward Apalach.

                  1. re: onrushpam

                    Sorry i thought it was a really big house. i guess it's more of a building. with the shops downstairs.

              2. head over to St. George Island and belly up to Eddie Teach's Raw Bar. see attached.
                Boss Oysters' Oyster Stew is worthy as not only a starter but also for dessert.
                and love tapas night at Tamara's.

                1 Reply
                1. re: edible complex

                  oh my god, i'm actually salivating from that picture! I must make a trip up there one day soon.

                2. Boss Oyster is terribly overpriced. Real locals go to Papa Joe's. There is nobody cooking at the Gibson.
                  Go to the Owl for the best in town. Caroline's can be good and so can Cafe Floridita depending on who's cooking. Chef Eddie's is very...uh...eclectic in appearance but for steaks, gumbo, bisque and fish he's hard to beat. The service at Verandas was awful the last time I ate there. Same at Caroline's although the girl tried really hard. She was overwhelmed.
                  Up the Creek is nother good place for oysters and much more reasonable than Boss with a better view.
                  Steer clear of the Hole in the Wall.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: antbetty

                    So are the oysters ok in spite of the BP oil spill In Cedar Key and Apalachicola? We're thinking of taking a road trip up there in November.

                    1. re: OysterHo

                      The oytsters have never been better.

                      Up The Creek Raw Bar @ 313 Water St., Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 2525.

                      Papa Joe's Oyster Bar @ 301 Market St., Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 1189.

                      Owl Cafe @ 15 Avenue East, Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 9888.

                      1. re: OysterHo

                        Just ordered and consumed a 30lb box of oysters from Water Street Seafood in Apalachicola - THEY WERE FABULOUS!!