Now that we’re eight days into the new year, I find myself wondering just how many little road trips I will be able to squeeze in this year. It all started with watching the Food Network’s show starring Guy Fieri called “Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives.” I was instantly hooked and thought to myself – wow I need to go visit some of these places.
Last year I probably went on anywhere from 12 to 20 little weekend getaways, and although I may not remember every small detail of those trips, I do remember the new food I tried vividly. Honestly that’s my favorite part about traveling to a new place; I am a total foodie – always on the hunt for something new and exciting to try.
While I am not hipster enough to keep a foodie diary on myself at all times, I am totally guilty of taking photos for Instagram. I also make myself little post it notes regarding the best foods to get at a restaurant or dive for the next time I find myself there – or even what I can recommend to friends or family traveling to the same area. I’ve compiled my own little list of last year’s top 10 places I traveled to locally here in Florida, and in my opinion, thought the food was amazingly epic and really affordable!
- Scarlett O’Hara’s in St. Augustine, Florida : This joint is based off the best selling book and movie starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, not only do they serve a southern favorite like Fried Gator Tail, but they have the best oysters and crab cakes I’ve ever tried!
- Maggiano’s Little Italy in Jacksonville, Florida: Hands down the BEST Italian eatery I’ve discovered in Florida. They have everything from amazing salads to mouthwatering braised beef and chicken piccata. It’s to die for!
- Bantam Chef in Bunnell, Florida: My mouth waters just thinking about their awesome Soft Shell Crab sandwich. It’s lightly fried and served on a sweet bun with nothing else. It’s that simple and awesome!
- Thai By Thai in Palm Coast, Florida: Go for the Spring Roll and try their Pad Thai or Spicy Chicken Curry!
- Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida: Outside of Calle Ocho in Miami, this is the best joint for the most authentic Cuban sandwich ever. These guys do it just right by slow roasting the pork for 16 hours before serving it to you!
- The Golden Lion Café in Flagler Beach, Florida: Nestled right on the beach, the Golden Lion Café is the perfect place to snag the best and freshest seafood, but I love them for their killer burgers!
- Houligan’s Sports Bar and Grill in Port Orange, Florida: These guys don’t just make your average fried chicken wings; they go above and beyond to earn the title of world famous grilled chicken wings! Try them Wally Style and you’ll never want plain wings again!
- Molly Hatchet’s in Daytona Beach, Florida: Oh my god! This is the tiniest eatery I’ve ever been to, but damn they have some dope sub sandwiches and killer chicken wings!
- Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant in Palm Coast, Florida : Try the Cangrejo Dip (salty crab and fresh cheese dip) to start and you can’t beat the Loco Burrito (a massive 3 pound burrito loaded with fresh rice, beans, cheese, guacamole and your choice of steak, pork, or chicken wrapped in a homemade tortilla)!
- Hot Diggity Dogs in Bunnell, Florida: This building is no bigger than the average sized closet, and the mascot is a 20 foot hotdog that is permanently built into the side. How could you not stop at a place like that? I’ve had just about every hotdog they make and I have settled on the Chicago dog as my numero uno!