Foodie Road Trip Florida
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- Gulf Coast
- Central Florida
- Pro tips
- Roadside assistance
- Cheap insurance
The Sunshine State may be known for its oranges, but that’s just the beginning when it comes to all the incredible cuisine the state has to offer. The seafood, the tacos, and the Cuban delicacies are worth driving all over the panhandle for. Florida is simply heaven for your taste buds!
Jerry, the car insurance and broker app, has put together a handy guide to great restaurants all over Florida, from low-key diners to elegant eateries.
Jerry can help you score great car insurance, but now it also makes every trip complete with roadside assistance! Don’t miss your dinner reservations because of car troubles—Jerry’s roadside assistance will get you back on the road (before you get hangry).
Keep reading to learn all the good eats on this foodie road trip through Florida!
The Gulf Coast
Apart from its picturesque beaches and colorful sunsets, the Gulf Coast of Florida (also known as the Emerald Coast) is the best place to go for fresh, sustainable seafood.
What to do
Start off in Clearwater, Florida at Frenchy’s Original Cafe for some classic diner fare, including locally caught stone crab claws, fried shrimp, and crab soup.
Next, head south to Sarasota where you can stop by Indigenous for something a bit more upscale at one of the nation’s best restaurants. Indigenous’ menu uses fresh, sustainable, and locally sourced ingredients for their rotating menu, making every meal a unique experience.
If you’re looking for some tacos with a long history, head over to Birdrock Taco Shack in Bradenton. Here, Chef David Shiplett serves up his own special style of tacos out of a hundred-year-old surf shack. These tacos are the perfect snack to wind down with after a long day of surfing.
If you’re craving something with a bit more southern flair, the small town of Punta Gorda is home to Leroy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar, which brings a whole lot of Creole flavor to the Sunshine State.
Wind down the evening in beautiful Naples at The Turtle Club. Here you can enjoy exquisite seafood and steaks with a breathtaking view of the ocean.
Tallahassee has recently exploded onto the culinary scene, and its status as a large, diverse city translates into big, diverse flavors. There are loads of great restaurants to choose from, and here are some of the best.
What to do
You can start or end (or both!) the day at Lofty Pursuits! Kick-off your adventure with a full breakfast of grits, waffles, and omelets, or wind down with homemade candy or ice cream. While you’re there, we recommend that you play a few board games.
If you’re ready for some fancy brunch, lunch, or dinner, head to Food Glorious Food. FGF, the winner of the Golden Spoon award, offers upscale gourmet food, libations, and an eclectic ambiance.
If farm to table is more your speed, Backwood Crossing is where you want to be. Here the Rice brothers create classic, contemporary cuisine from produce sourced from local farmers. They even grow some ingredients on the restaurant’s own private farm!
Before you leave Tallahassee, make sure you stop over at Sage for New American cuisine with a French twist.
It may not have the big city appeal of Tallahassee or the beaches of Miami, but Central Florida is the oft-unsung hero for foodies. It’s full of small towns with hidden jewels. You can also hit up Orlando and get in some well-earned theme park time at Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, and Gatorland!
What to do
If you’re looking for the rich flavors of soul food that the south is known for, head over to P&D Soul Food Kitchen in Orlando, for some excellent barbecue and Jamaican cuisine.
The Orlando suburb of Winter Park is the home of Toasted, a restaurant that elevates the simple grilled cheese sandwich. If grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers aren’t your thing, Toasted also features a selection of vegan alternatives.
Next, swing back to the coast to New Smyrna Beach where you stop by Third Wave Cafe and Wine Bar for two of the world’s greatest potions: coffee and wine. Perk yourself up with a latte or wind yourself down with a glass of rosé in the garden. Pair your drink with a charcuterie or a Neapolitan pizza.
If you’re looking to satiate your inner carnivore, you can take your pick between Deland’s Neighbors Artisan Taqueria for flavorful Tex-Mex, or Apopka’s Porkie’s Original BBQ, where you can smell smokey goodness from a mile away.
You might also consider some fine Latin cuisine in Lakeland at Nineteen 61, a beer and wine bar that blends modern Spanish food with Chef Marcos Fernandez’s Cuban roots.
Winter Park, Orlando, Florida
You might have to pay some resort prices in Miami, but for good reason. Thanks to the large Cuban population in the region, Miami is filled with authentic delicacies with a Latin flair. Don’t miss out on these big bites on your Florida food road trip!
What to do
The name of the flavor game in Miami is Cuban, and no one does it better than Puerto Sagua. You cannot pass up the opportunity to get some authentic Cuban delicacies, including fried plantains and ropa vieja (a delicious stewed beef and tomato dish), nor can you walk away without getting your hands on a legendary pressed Cuban sandwich.
And if you need some perking up while you take in the sites and sounds of Miami, hit up Little Havana, Miami’s Cuban district. Not only is it the home of Miami’s best Latin restaurants, but it’s also where you can find authentic Cuban coffee. This dark, rich, coffee combines fresh espresso with cane sugar for that perfect hit of caffeine.
Little Havana, Miami, Florida
Know what you want: Whether you’re craving a particular cuisine, or sticking to a particular budget, or if you’re looking to be adventurous, make sure you choose the restaurants that fit your vision ahead of time.
A lot of the best restaurants, from fine dining to local holes in the wall, will be consistently busy, so don’t waste your time at an eatery that doesn’t cater to your plans.
Make reservations: If you’re going upscale, reservations are a necessity. The higher on the scale a restaurant is, the further in advance it is likely to be booked out.
You usually don’t need reservations for small diners and dives, but it’s good to check ahead for their busiest times.
Pick the right time of year and day: A foodie road trip involves a lot of driving, including in more heavily populated areas and tourist destinations. Crowds and subsequent traffic hit their peaks during certain seasons, so aim for the off-season when you can. Try to commute during periods of low traffic, like midday or late evening.
Seriously, get roadside assistance
Nothing ruins a road trip like a breakdown, especially when you have to allocate your food money towards towing and other fees. And roadside assistance isn’t offered by every insurance carrier. So how do you prepare for the worst without sacrificing the dining-out budget?
Call on Jerry, that’s what! For just $6.99 per car, Jerry offers roadside assistance to all its users, regardless of your insurance carrier. It features everything you’d come to expect from quality roadside assistance, including towing, rental car reimbursement, locksmith services, fluid and gasoline delivery, tire changing, and much more.
So go ahead and order dessert—with the money you’re saving, you’ve earned it!
Save more with cheap car insurance
And if you’re hoping to splurge on that Michelin-starred restaurant you’ve had your eye on, Jerry can save you tons of money on car insurance! Because that’s what Jerry was built for, and no one does it better.
Just fill out some basic information and Jerry will come back with great quotes from dozens of quality insurance carriers. Take your pick, and Jerry takes care of the rest, including finalizing your paperwork and canceling your old policy. So you can spend less time shopping and more time eating!
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