While perhaps best known for its innovations in modern urban planning, Seaside, nestled along Florida’s scenic Highway 30A, is an oasis for food truck fanatics.
Past rows of pastel houses and attendant picket fences, sun glints off the aluminum shells of Airstream trailers parked downtown. These so-called “land yachts” hold special significance as the chosen residences for architects and builders while Seaside was in its earliest stages of development. No longer a place to sleep among drafting tables, these Airstreams house a bevy of independent food vendors selling such a variety of dishes that you could carry three meals a day from their windows and never be left wanting.
Starting with breakfast, one of the better ways to begin a day includes a green vegetable juice or a fresh beet-juice smoothie from Raw & Juicy. Cashew coconut yogurt and fresh fruit are topped with the signature gluten-free granola, which you can also grab to go for a beach-ready snack alongside fantastic homemade kale chips. Though specials change daily, they might include sambar masala over cauliflower with curried vegetables, satisfying even for the meat-eaters among us.
If the long lines aren’t a telltale sign that your lunch should come from Barefoot BBQ, let it be the smell of pulled pork that wafts towards you as you approach the stand. Drawing from various types of barbecue styles — the owner lists Kansas City and Georgia as driving influences — the spinach salad becomes wasted menu space once you see everyone drinking bloody marys with literal bucketfuls of ribs. A brisket sandwich with sides of potato salad and coleslaw is a lunch you won’t soon forget.
For a midday snack, Frost Bites, with its Hawaiian-style shaved ice, is a beacon in the heat. Although nobody would blame you for eyeing the fresh lemonade, a cup piled high with snow is the go-to order. Topping it with whatever syrup and custard mix you can dream of, you’re limited only by the depth of your sweet tooth.
For dinner, each iteration of grilled cheese on the menu at Meltdown on 30A sounds better than the next. Grilled pimento cheese? Yes. Brie and bacon on cranberry walnut? Please! Meatloaf, marinara and Swiss on sourdough? Whoa. If you actually stop at one sandwich here and don’t go back to try the rest, you have more willpower than most.
As no summer day would be complete without a hot dog, grab an evening snack at Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs, whose grass-fed beef and pork links have that perfect snap — top them with grilled onions and a ribbon of mustard and they’re a thing of wonder. Neon signage and draped twinkle lights make this trailer a hot spot once the sun falls.
You’ll be forgiven for thinking that architectural tours or silky white beaches are the reasons to visit this idyllic spot as long as you arrive hungry. Let your nose (and stomach) guide you to Seaside’s gastronomic attractions in all their silvery, gleaming wonder.
Raw & Juicy, 2255 E. County Hwy. 30A, 850-231-0043
Barefoot BBQ, 2235 E. County Hwy. 30A, 850-534-0313
Frost Bites, E. County Hwy. 30A, 252-822-4262
Meltdown, 2235 E. County Hwy. 30A
Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs, 2245 E. County Hwy. 30A, 850-231-0802
Jasmine Moy is a New York-based food and travel writer.