Jul 28

Restaurants in the Cocoa beach & Canaveral area

Category: Travel

Right at port canaveral, just across a narrow channel from the south gate of Canaveral Air Force Station, there is a concentration of good restaurants. Cocoa beach, where i stayed, is also a concentration of good places.  Between the two lies the festering pustule that is Ron Jon and its associated bric-a-brac.  Ignore this and drive on.  The really good stuff is in unpretentious, small places slightly off the beaten path.  Search and be rewarded, no regrets will you have.

  • My favorite is the Smokehouse, which is an unpretentious small-town place where you can get… any kind of smoked flesh.  Many kinds of seafood, pig, beef, chicken, whatever.  It’s all good, and served cheaply and with a smile by proprietor Wes.  I ate lunch here almost every day for a few weeks, and never had a fatty or greasy meal.  Try the green salad with smoked salmon, marlin or whatever was fresh that day.  I think the smokehouse is only a lunch place, closing at 5.
  • Grills is right across the street from the smokehouse.  This is a larger, more “proper” restaurant sometimes with live bands at night, and is always mobbed.  The fresh fish there is superb, and it’s right on the waterfront.  Good place for lunch or dinner, if the crowds aren’t too bad.
  • Fish lips is good, but somewhat lesser than grills or the smokehouse in quality.  I wouldn’t hesitate to eat there again, specially if you went to Grills and were turned away due to crowds.
  • In cocoa beach there is a cuban diner called Roberto’s Little Havana.  I loved this place, where the service was very friendly, the food simple and inexpensive.
  • Also in Cocoa beach is the fat snook, which is an upscale place serving nouvelle cuisine.  Highly recommended, and expensive.  Worth every penny though.
  • The pompano grill in Cocoa beach is also first-rate.  Order seafood here, and love it.
  • A lovely little breakfast/lunch cafe place is the Simply Delicious Cafe & Bakery.  It’s like eating at a friend’s house, a friend who can cook really well.  Get some pastries afterwards.
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