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Florida roadside food: the best roads

I'm interested in the little stalls on the side of the road, usually in the country, where people sell smoked mullet, crabs, devil crabs, boiled and fried peanuts, BBQ and so on. I've stopped a lot along US 19 between Pinellas and Perry and 301 north of Tampa and a few other roads.

My question: where are the best stretches of Florida food roads with the most roadside vendors? All thoughts and recommendations greatly appreciated.

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  1. Try Highway 98 between Perry and Panama City. Quite a few boiled peanut stops. Might see a smoked mullet stand (although these have become incresingly rare in the last 15 years - Net Ban), lots of mom and pop oyster places and seafood shanties. Quite a few places where you can buy fresh shellfish and oysters off the docks.

    1. As Probert says, Highway 98 between Perry and Apalachicola is your best bet. Along the stretch from Panacea to Apalachicola alone, there are about a dozen seafood shacks where you can get practically fresh-from-the-boat local seafood, including oysters. Further, many of the seafood markets just in Panacea alone have smoked mullet for sale, usually around $4-5 each. Just look for the telltale smoker sitting in front of the store, and they'll have it.

      My favorite seafood shack restaurant along that stretch is Posey's Up The Creek Steam Room and Oyster Bar. For $13 you can get an AMAZING spread of fried shrimp (about a dozen), fried oysters (over a dozen), a healthy serving of deviled crab, and two sides, all of it from local fishermen. Just up the road, I found top quality smoked mullet at Mineral Springs Seafood Market. They took it right off the smoker for me. Outstanding stuff.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mikeh

        thanks, guys. i have done that stretch a couple times this year, it is surely the best seafood stretch of road i've yet found. i have crab related question that really deserves another post...

        1. re: andy huse

          Go to the center!! hwy 441 between Orlando and Mount Dora. This strech has almost everything except seafood. Start in Orlando and your journey will take you past a jamaican BBQ stand in lockhart Further on up the road in apopka there are a few taco trucks and in zellwood the best boiled peanuts and produce can be found. If your still hungry by the time you get to mountdora go for roadside fried chicken in lake gem or mikes bbq in Mount dora on the roadside!

          1. re: mountdorahound

            I drove this area once avoiding a traffic jam on the Turnpike and, yes, there's a ton of interesting roadside dives and stands along the way. Think we got onto 441 around Ocala and took it south until O-town.

      2. Orange Blossom Trail between 192 and the Florida Mall. I rode by here a few weeks ago and was amazed that in about a mile stretch, there was probably 100 food trucks all lined up, all of them attracting huge crowds. It seemed they were mostly taco trucks, but I saw a couple of non-taco trucks mixed in. I need to go back one night and try some of these!

        2 Replies
        1. re: watch me eat

          Somehow google maps is not helping me find this location. Andy, when are we going to go check it out?

          1. re: CFishman

            i will be do0ing a lot of driving this spring. no destination but the roadside stands. i'll let you know. I will probably break up the drive into a few different pieces.

        2. I have a book by a local writer, Gary McKechnie, that lists some of the foodie stops in FL. Check Amazon..."USA 101"

          2 Replies
          1. re: dawnviola

            I know Gary Well,,, He lives here in Mt. Dora.

            1. re: mountdorahound

              Small world!! I love Gary's style of writing :-)