This area is not known for it’s Haute Cuisine, but you can find some really good places to eat. One possibility is always the marina across the street. The food and service there can be good, but in the past it has been unpredictable and not dependably open. It is also supposed to be members only, but you can probably eat there. Kate and I are members and if you tell them you are renting from us that may work, but the odds are if you look like a cash customer and they are open you’ll get served.
Eating crab at "Kate's"
There are lots of other options including (there are other restaurants not on this list, if you find one you like let us know):
Dave Hawkins has a small catering business, and is a great cook. He can do barbeque, fish or most any local/southern food you want. Call him at 850-570-0655 or 850-925-0411. Contact him before hand if you are interested, we’ll send a phone number when you make the reservation. For those of you who have rented from us in the past Dave's son Michael used to be our property manager.
Other than the Marina the only food on Alligator Point is the fried chicken at the KOA, take out only, about 4 miles east on Alligator Drive. 850-349-2525 It’s pretty good but call first to make sure they are open and cooking, you can sometimes place an order by phone and pick it up.
Ochlockonee Bay (The east side of the Bay, about 10 miles northeast on 98)
Angelo's, on pilings over Ochlockonee Bay on US 98 on the east side of the bridge, you can't miss it. 850-984-5168 Very good fresh local seafood. They get fresh fish every day right off the boats and know how to fix it. The setting over the water is great. Prices are moderate. The reason it is located over the water is that at one time Leon and Wakulla counties were dry, but you could get a drink in Franklin.
An enterprising state legislator passed a bill moving the Franklin county line to the east shore of the Bay and then built a bar/restaurant on piling just over the line. At the time that made it the place the closest legal bar to Tallahassee. This was before there was a bridge, and now there are no dry counties in Florida but Angelo's is still over the water. Prices are moderate.
Fishbones, it's a small water front spot in the Bayside Marina complex at 2273 Surf Road, Ochlockonee Bay (About a mile north of US 98 on the east side of the Bay) 850/984-3333. A small unpretentious place that is unique in serving local fresh fish that is not all fried, the grilled grouper or boiled shrimp are great. Go and eat shrimp, drink beer and look out on the bay. Prices are low.
The Oaks, is a favorite breakfast spot, it is on the north side of 98 just east of the bridge. 850-984-5370 Prices are low.
(About 20 miles from Alligator Point take 98 west towards Apalach)
We think Julia Mae's in Carrabelle is just about out favorite place to eat most anywhere. On 98 half a mile or so west of the bridge. They have a radio and a boat dock out back; they get calls from returning fishing boats and decide what to buy directly from the boats as they return. The boats then just pull into Julia Mae's dock and unload directly. For that reason Julia Mae's menu is a little unpredictable, but you can't get fresher or better Gulf Fish. We doubt you can find a better Key Lime pie! Do not leave Julia Mae’s with trying a piece; we rarely leave without a couple of whole pies to go. A sad postscript Julia Mae's is gone, sold to build condos of all things.
Harry's Georgian Restaurant, US 98 in Carrabelle, west side of the bridge. 850-697-3400 This is a unique place it is Georgian as in the country of Georgia near Russia. I've eaten in Georgian Restaurants in Moscow and can tell you this place has had a little local redneck influence. Worth a try, prices are reasonable.
Apalachicola (About 40 miles from Alligator Point west on 98)
Boss Oyster Restaurant at the Apalachicola River Inn, 123 Water Street (850) 653-9364. We have eaten many a lunch here, great oysters and grouper sandwiches at reasonable prices. Be sure and get a table outside on the dock, they used to let you feed the gulls from the tables but check before you do, or do it when the waitress isn't looking.
The Gibson Inn, can't locate a street address, but if you go to Apalachicola
you can't miss it. (850) 653-2191. This is probably the only elegant restaurant in this part of Florida, excellent seafood prepared by a New Orleans Chef. This is great food in a wonderful old restored hotel in downtown Apalachicola. Prices are moderate to high,
but well worth it!
Panacea (About 15 miles from Alligator Point east on 98) Panacea has several Good places to eat that are not on this list, for no reason other than that we haven’t eaten in them recently.
The Coastal Restaurant, South side of 98 in Panacea. 850-984-2933 Great local southern greasy spoon. Nothing fancy here, just good home cooking. Wonderful fresh fried mullet, fried green tomatoes, greens and more. Hash browns are not an option at breakfast, just grits. A number of all you can eat dishes. Prices are low, food is good and plentiful.
Harbor House by the Panacea Marina a couple of blocks south of 98. 850.984.2758. Good seafood and a really nice setting with a great view of Dickerson Bay and the salt marshes. It rarely seems busy which is good, you can almost always get good service quickly, but the food really is good, it is a bit out of the way so maybe that explains the lack of crowds. Moderate prices.
Sopchoppy (about 12 miles from Alligator Point, either go west on 98 to 319 and then north or east on 98 across the Ochlockonee Bay Bridge and then north on Surf Rd to 319 and east into town)
Mom's Seafood and Steaks, 53 P.A. Sanders Road, more or less downtown Sopchoppy. 850.962.2655. Good local southern food, the best and only place to eat in Sopchoppy. For those of you who are lucky enough to get to Sopchoppy in April ask about the Worm Grunting festival, the Worm Gunter’s Ball is not to be missed.
Spring Creek (About 25 miles from Alligator Point at the end of State Road 365, Spring Creek shows up on most detailed maps)
Spring Creek Restaurant, just about the only thing in Spring Creek. (850) 926-3751. A surprisingly good restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Good softshell crabs, stone crabs, bulldozer and more. Probably the best salad in the region (most places in this region don't know what salad is unless it's fried). If you have never tried bulldozer you should. The bulldozer is a kind of lobster found in the Northern Gulf; it is also called a Slipper, Spanish, sand, and shovelnose lobster. They are a local delicacy that can be found in a number of local restaurants, and seafood stores.
Medart (About 25 miles from Alligator Point on 319, on the way to Tallahassee & Wakulla Springs)
Scratch Cakes (formerly Fishbones and Sisters before that and Registers before that) Bakery and barbeque, east side of 319 in Medart. No phone this is an old gas station turned into a Bakery and barbeque stand, and they make great cakes, cinimon rolls, barbeque, pork, beef, ribs and chicken. You can also get your car detailed there. It is mostly for take out but they do have a few tables. This is the real thing, no air conditioning and the building looks like it's about to collapse. The barbeque is done out back in the yard behind and you can smell it for miles. Prices are low, and service is friendly. You'll buy your meal from one of the ladies who cook it and who own the place. A few years ago we stopped there and they had hot collar greens, we tasted them and they were delicious. Rob asked the proprietor for the receipt and was surprised when he agreed to tell us. He said you start with 5 pounds of fresh collard greens, 5 pounds of bacon grease, and 5 pounds of sugar. You can probably figure it out from here, but the moral is be careful of your vegetables down here, more likely than not the better they taste, the more likely they are to be grease ridden.
St Marks (About 30 miles from Alligator Point, take 98 west to State Road 363, Port Leon Dr then south to the end of the road)
Posey's Oyster Bar, 55 Riverside Dr, at the end of the road on the water in St. Marks. (850) 925-6172. This is real oyster bar and an old landmark and looks like it. Good smoked mullet and oysters, a real old Florida oyster bar. They also serve other local seafood, but you go here for the mullet and oysters. Take a dollar bill to write your name on and staple to the wall or ceiling, it'll make you feel local. Prices are low.
Riverside Café, 69 Riverside Dr, next door to Posey's in St Marks 850.925.5668, next door to Posey's in St Marks. Good grouper sandwiches and shrimp. Probably a more scenic and comfortable place for lunch than Posey's. It's a small place and all the tables are on the dock so the view is nice. They also rent canoes for exploring the St Marks and Wakulla River. Prices are low.
St. Marks Country Store & Deli 900 Port Leon Dr, just across the street from the Riverside and Posey’s. 850.925.9908. This looks like an old converted gas station and it isn’t much of a place but they do have some good quick food and are really nice people. A couple of years ago we were down for Christmas and went for a drive on Christmas day. We ended up in St Marks and Kate was thirsty, it looked like the store was open so we stopped and went in. Actually they were not open but we having a more or less open house Christmas dinner for the sailors, barge workers, and bikers stuck in St Marks on Christmas. We were invited in and served a great turkey dressing with all the trimmings, and beer at no cost. Not a Christmas we’ll soon forget.
Wakulla Springs (about 30 miles from Alligator Point, in the State park)
The Wakulla Springs Lodge, 850.224.5950 is an interesting old building. It was built about 100 years ago a
nd remains pretty much unchanged. There is a snack bar and gift shop on one end; it’s a good place to eat a burger when visiting the springs. There is also a nice restaurant through the hotel lobby with good southern food. You can get fried chicken and grits with you eggs for breakfast. It’s worth planning to have time, dry clothes and a bit of hunger when going to the Springs.
contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for a picture of a crab feast on the screened porch
Politically Incorrect Alligator
Two vampires wanted to go out to eat, but were having a little trouble deciding where to go. They were a little tired of the local food in Transylvania and wanted something a little more exotic. After some discussion, they decided to go to Italy because they had heard that Italian food was really good. So off they went to Italy, in bat form of course, and ended up in Venice.
On a bridge over one of the canals, they hid in the shadows and waited for dinner. A few minutes later a young couple walking their way came to the bridge. As they neared, the vampires made their move. Each vampire grabbed a person, sucked them dry and tossed the remaining bodies into the canal below. The vampires were extremely pleased with their Italian meal and decided to have seconds. Another young couple approached a few minutes later and suffered the same fate as the first -- sucked dry and tossed into the canal below.
Our vampire friends are now fairly full but decide to have dessert. In a short while a third young couple provides just that. As with the first two couples, these people were also sucked dry and tossed over the rail into the canal.
The vampires decided that they had had a marvelous dinner but that it was time to head back home. As they started to walk away they began to hear some singing. They were puzzled because no one else was on the bridge. As they listened, they realize that it was coming from the canal. They looked over the rail and saw a big alligator in the water under the bridge, feasting on the bodies. They listened as the alligator sang, "Drained wops keep fallin' on my head."