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Road Trip Around Florida

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We are starting in Pensacola the end of January and making our way to Key West. Our plan is to drive down the west coast staying a few days in the Everglades but other than that, we have no definite plans. After Key West, we will head back to Atlanta. Are there any particular places we should stop for a scenic restaurant and good food? Any seafood restaurant or shack would also be high on our list. We would also be interested in any route frequented by foodies. It is,perhaps, too general a request but any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. Appilachacola for oysters. Cedar Key for clams.

    1 Reply
    1. re: qbdave

      also some great shrimp in cedar key. i had some great ones at annie's about ten years ago, hope it is still there.

    2. Deal's Oyster House in Perry. A little off the beaten path in such a good way.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Deal's is really good. Great fresh fried seafood and cheese grits.

      2. the Cypress Inn just north of Cross Citty on US 19 has a pretty good breakfast. Order off the menu or have the buffet. Nothing fancy, but nice.

        1. Central west coast, the Village of Cortez is an experience, with a lunch on the dock at Star Fish and a visit to A.P. Bell next door.

          1. This is exactly what we are looking for. Thanks

            1. stop by apilachacola for sure. the Indian Pass oyster bar is nearby. oysters, gumbo, and a cold beer.

              Take US19 down to the Tampa Bay area--- lots of roadside food and such. easy access to restaurants in Crystal River, Old Homosassa.

              In Perry, Goodman's BBQ beans are among the best i've bad. I always get a quart or two to go.

              1. What a great trip!!! Eat well!
                Coming down Hwy 19, west coast, through my neighborhood, I would suggest:
                Charlie's Fish House, 224 NW Hwy 19, Crystal River. Insist on a table back by the large windows that give a great view of Crystal River's little bay. And the food is pretty good. We try to go there about once a month.
                A little to the south, going through Hudson, Florida, Sam's Hudson Beach Bar, 6325 Clark St., Hudson. It's a mile or 2 off Hwy 19. Eat outside in a large tiki bar atmosphere, and time it to catch the spectacular sunsets on the Gulf. Sometimes the dolphins are out there jumping around.

                Andy Huse posted and recommended exploring Old Homosassa (about 10 miles south of Charlie's Fish House.) I think taking a couple of hours to relax going through Homosassa State Park, trying not to get sprayed by the resident hippo, etc., might be a nice stop.

                1. Do try some smoked mullet at some point!

                  I don't know of a particularly scenic location serving it. There are a few roadside spots around Crystal River on U.S. 19 iirc.

                  There are also a few spots around St. Pete, if you pass through the area.

                  1. If you come down 41 then stop at Skip One Seafood in Fort Myers. It's beer and wine in plastic cups but the seafood is very fresh. Try the Stone Crab. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

                    In Everglades City stop at the Rod and Gun Club for a peek back in time. http://www.fodors.com/world/north-ame...

                    1. When you head back up to ATL we had one of the best grouper sandwiches in Cocoa Beach at Jazzy's Mainely Lobster and Seafood.
                      The place was packed and the food was outstanding.
                      One of the best Seafood shacks outside of Maine.

                      www.yelp.com/biz/jazzys-mainely-lobst...

                      1. A quick up-date: had our first Apalachicola oysters at the Grand Marlin in Pensacola Beach and they were excellent as was the grouper.
                        Fried chicken at Crampy's in Daphne AL as well as a good beer at the Pensacola Brewery.
                        Ate more oysters at the Boss Oyster in Apalchi' and Dean's in Perry.
                        Tonight we ate at Charlie's Fish Restaurant in Crystal River. Hitting the near by parks tomorrow before heading to Cortez.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: POY

                          Its really coming together for you, so travel safe, and we all want details and candid reviews. Enjoy every minute,

                          1. re: POY

                            Hopefully not too late, but on your way through the Tampa Bay area I would suggest visiting some of the classic smoked fish houses. Ted Peter's in St Pete or Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa depending on your route. Yoder's in Sarasota is an Amish run diner good choice for breakfast or fried chicken lunch. Owen's Fish Camp is in Sarasota or Casey Key Fish House in Osprey. Not a shack, but one of my favorite restaurants is Wyld's Cafe in Bonita Springs on Bonita Beach Rd not too far from 75. US 1 has more interesting shacks and dive bars than you will be able to visit. It's been a few years since I made the drive, but some of the more interesting places you might try include: The No Name Pub on Big Pine Key, Green Turtle Inn on Islamorada, and The Green Parrot in Key West. Have fun; it would be hard not to have blast.

                            1. re: floridaeater

                              All excellent choices. I would also include Linger Lodge on the Braden River. Its in bradenton and it is funky. Google Linger Lodge pictures. And the menu has a bunch of Florida treats like gator and frogs legs. Worth the trip

                            2. re: POY

                              Ooh, the Grand Marlin is beautiful!!!! If you come back through, try Hemingways, on further down from G.Marlin on the left.

                              Then mosey on over to Orange Beach & Gulf Shores. ;)