The Best Places to Eat in Crystal River, FL

Do you love fresh-caught seafood with an easy-going, Southern flair? You’ll love the offerings in Florida’s Crystal River community! We never left a restaurant hungry, and we had no trouble finding unique, local, small business restaurants on our weekend getaway. We think you’ll like them, too. Here’s the best of what we ate!

Waterfront Social

After a surprisingly long travel day, we chose to have an early supper at this restaurant and hotel on–you guessed it–the waterfront. The location was awesome, as it was both by the water and near our hotel, and I love that they offer locally-caught fish on their menu! We started with the grouper bites, which led to a “BALT” sandwich (bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato) and a poke bowl. Then we finished off with a classic key lime pie. Take a look!

Grouper Bites, Blackened, with Remoulade Sauce
BALT: Bacon, Avocado, Lettuce, and Fried Tomato with Fries
Poke Bowl (Shrimp, Raddish, Cucumber, Pickled Onions, Seaweed, Avocado) served over Rice with Sweet Chili Sauce
Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream

Did you go fishing during your trip? Bring your fresh catch here so they can cook it for you!

Do you love Key Lime Pie as much as I do? Here’s Where to Find the Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys!

Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters

We loved this place so much, we broke one of our travel rules and ate here more than once! They’re great for breakfast or lunch, and their full menu is available all day. It’s also the best place we found for a “fun coffee” fix. It’s in an old house right in the heart of historic Crystal River, and they have seating both inside and outside on their wrap-around front porch. What could be more inviting?

Cronut (croissant-doughnut) and Iced Spazzy Nutty Monkey Latte (Hazelnut, Banana, and Chocolate)
CD Clubhouse Sandwich and Chips
Breakfast Bagel Sandwich (Bacon, Egg, Cheese, Veggies)
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Crystal River

The Crab Plant

I had read about this place, but when a couple of local tour guides also recommended it, we knew we had to eat here! It is cash-only, so make sure you come prepared. They do have an ATM on-site, but you’ll pay a fee to use it. Other than that, the food was awesome! They had a great location right on the water, and the entire length of one wall was made up of a series of floor-to-ceiling windows.

The greatest part about this restaurant is that they catch many of their menu options on their own boats. In fact, many of the other restaurants in town get their fish from the Crab Plant’s own fish market! Their specialty is, of course, the crab, but we also tried the locally-caught snapper. Put this one on your “must eat” list!

Stuffed Crab Appetizer
Red Snapper Sandwich with Hush Puppies
Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with Grits
Important: This restaurant is CASH ONLY!

The Biscuit Barn

This is your typical diner-style restaurant open for breakfast and lunch, and judging from the packed parking lot and number of locals inside, this is one of the best places to come for a hearty breakfast! Steve got one of their huge omelettes with a biscuit, and I got two of their “specialty biscuits,” thinking one wouldn’t be enough to stick with me through the morning and into the afternoon. Boy, was I wrong!

Spinach Omelette with Biscuit
The “Marsha” (Egg Whites, Spinach, Tomato, Swiss Cheese)
The “Marilyn” (Fried Apples and Whipped Cream in a Biscuit)
More on my dedicated World Foods Page!

Amy’s on the Avenue

We stumbled upon this little place when the restaurant we intended to go to was too busy (and too confusing!) for us. I’m so glad we stopped in! It’s a boutique as well as a cafe, so you can eat and shop to your heart’s content. They have seating options out front, in the cafe itself, and out back in their garden–we chose the garden option! Everything sounded good to us, but because it was such a hot day, we both opted for refreshing salads. No matter what you get, though, be sure to save room for one of their amazing, and gigantic, desserts. Fair warning, the cream cheese frosting-to-cake ratio is on-point.

Caesar Salad with Shrimp
The Avenue Salad with Chicken (bleu cheese crumbles on the side because: ew)
Hummingbird Cake with Three Thick Layers of Cream Cheese Frosting
More here: The 10 Best Things to Do in Crystal River, Florida

Seafood Seller and Cafe

This one also came very highly recommended by locals. In fact, they recommended arriving an hour and a half early for dinner, just to make sure we could get in! This is another restaurant that catches their own seafood, so it’s a must-eat situation. Steve got the Shrimp Po’ Boy, and I enjoyed the Grouper Sandwich. We got there for lunch around 12:30 on a Sunday, and we were seated right away, but by the time we left an hour later, there was already a wait going on and a full waiting area of people ready to put in their names!

Side Salad with Honey Mustard
Blackened Shrimp Po’ Boy with Red Beans and Rice
Grilled Grouper Sandwich with White Cocktail Sauce

Want more? Check out all my foodie blog posts on my dedicated World Foods Page, and take a look at everything you need to know about Florida on my United States Page

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One response to “The Best Places to Eat in Crystal River, FL”

  1. […] Worth bringing the cash: The Best Places to Eat in Crystal River, Florida […]

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