The arrival of summer means different things to different people. For many, it means time to travel with family or friends to a favorite destination where traditions are instilled and memories are made.
Over the last four decades, Seaside has grown to be one of the most sought-after destinations, garnering international recognition, and even being named the No.1 Beach Town in Florida 2023 by Travel + Leisure, the world’s leading travel magazine.
Every savvy traveler knows that the perfect family-friendly beach has to deliver more than just a picturesque scene. Seaside, with its expansive sand, gentle waves and easily accessible amenities, is what parents are seeking, especially if little ones are in tow.
One of the best parts of any beach vacation, beyond relaxing, sightseeing and swimming, is dining outdoors, especially with toes in the sand and a salty breeze blowing through your hair. Luckily, you don't have to stray far to find some of the best eats.
Crepes du Soleil
The Meltdown on 30A
The Chicken Shack
Black Bear Bread Co.
When hunger pangs strike, and you or your kids are about to have a meltdown, the food truck Meltdown on 30A located on Airstream Row is where you need to make a beeline. All taste buds will be satisfied with the variety of options offered, from the All-American grilled cheese, a classic, to my favorite, the Smokin’ Turkey with jack cheese, turkey, bacon, avocado, and Albuquerque sauce. It’s the perfect hand-held food.
Looking for something a bit spicier? Try the Chicken Shack, located west of Sundog Books in Central Square. Owner Chef Jim Shirley created a namesake sandwich called Jim’s Sunburn. The chicken is Nashville hot, and topped with marinated cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, and fried onions. Perfect to nosh on while headed back to your beach chair. Tenders are also on the menu, everyone’s favorite.
If breakfast is your thing, then come 7a.m., you need to be moving towards Black Bear Bread Co. on 30A. Bacon connoisseurs know that Benton Bacon is tops, and the Benton Bacon house-made biscuit with egg and cheese is one of the best early bird bites in town. It hits the spot for those heading down to the sand to set up before the crew arrives for the day.
One of my favorite foods to stroll Seaside with is the Crepe Le Classique with ham, egg, and cheese from Crepes du Soleil food truck on Airstream Row. It can also be ordered gluten free. You’ll be saying, “C'est si bon!” all the way back to the beach.
For foodies, life doesn’t get much better than a visit to the family-owned-and-operated gourmet grocery store, Modica Market, that’s been serving up Southern Hospitality since 1989. Located in Central Square, you will find everything you need for your family’s stay, from hand-cut-to-order steaks to the finest wines and cheeses. Plan to order a large cup of the cold shrimp salad to get a taste of some of our finest wild-caught Gulf Coast seafood. Don’t forget to grab a fork and napkin on your way out of the door.
Susan Benton is a longtime freelance food and travel writer, and the owner of the original 30A blog, 30AEATS.com, where she shares her passion and her commitment to sharing her healthy recipes and promoting local businesses and restaurants along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Follow @30aeats on Instagram.