Story originally appeared on Westgate Resorts.

Travel Tips

10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Cocoa Beach

One of the best reasons to vacation at the beach (or visit the best shark tooth beach in Florida) is the immediate access to fresh-not-frozen seafood. Restaurants in Cocoa Beach cook, steam, grill, and filet up the daily catch in mouthwatering ways. Straight from the sea, the seafood doesn’t get fresher or more nutritious.

Seafood restaurants in Cocoa Beach are a diverse bunch, with different cuisines and atmospheres elevating the dining experience. Raw bars dedicate their menu almost entirely to perfecting the experience of slurping up shucked oysters on the half shell, whether doused in lemon juice or dripping in melted butter. A basket of fish and chips is never far away in Cocoa, with many casual seafood spots serving this global favorite. For a fancy evening or date night, try one of Cocoa’s seafood grilles or scratch kitchens for finely prepared seafood like snook, mahi mahi, lobster and crab. At sushi spots, the fish is guaranteed fresh and “sushi-grade,” as it’s slivered up and served raw in Florida inspired rolls and poke bowls.

No matter what kind of seafood you’re craving, you can find it in Cocoa Beach, often with an ocean-view to boot. Even the pickiest of eaters will have a hard time resisting the smell of melted garlic butter giving that notorious flavor to the daily catch. Keep reading our picks of the best seafood restaurants in Cocoa Beach – and when you’ve satisfied your appetite, move on to a sweet read of adventurous things to do in Florida featured on our Travel Blog or depending on when you plan your visit, learn more about the Cocoa Beach Florida Air Show this year!

1 | Pier 62 Oceanfront Restaurant & Bar | Paying homage to the year the Cocoa Beach Pier opened, this upscale restaurant boasts a completely reimagined dining experience (Previously Pelican’s) with a brand-new menu, including fresh seafood, grilled favorites and a full sushi bar with sake cocktail offerings. Pier 62 features a new outdoor bar with seating and roll-up windows for guests to take in the oceanfront views and exquisite Florida sunsets.

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549

2 | Chip Wrecked | A completely new spin on the classic bowl of chips. Guests experience loaded kettle-cooked chip bowls packed with punchy ingredients at Chip Wrecked. Featuring items like Mexican Street Corn, Italian Chicken Alfredo and Philly Cheesesteaks, this elevated beach snack is a hit with tourists and locals alike.

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549

3 | Ohana Subs | Full of unique customizations and made-to-order sandwiches to go, Ohana Subs allows guests to choose from premium, locally-sourced ingredients all assembled fresh by our sandwich experts. Ohana Subs features unique and specialty selections of freshly sliced cold cuts and deli meats, along with an assortment of fresh veggies. It’s the perfect way to grab a bite and head back down to the waves.

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 465-2374

4 | Rikki Tikki Tavern | Located at the end of the 800-foot-long pier, directly over the ocean, is Rikki Tiki Tavern. It features spectacular ocean views, open-aired seating and all of your favorite specialty drink concoctions. Rikki Tiki Tavern includes table and bar seating for 100 guests, a thatched roof covering the entire deck and food service. Cool off in the shade and enjoy the salty ocean breeze while sipping on a refreshing tropical drink at the Cocoa Beach Pier bar!

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549

5 | Gregory’s Steak & Seafood Grille | Gregory’s is a Cocoa Beach staple famous for serving up freshly grilled entrees in classic style. The restaurant focuses on steak, seafood, and pasta, and the kitchen at Gregory’s masters the trio well. Dishes like garlicky shrimp scampi and seafood alfredo please Italian appetites. If you’re having a hard time choosing, order the Ocean Seafood Plate–a smattering of jumbo shrimp, sea scallops, and freshly caught mahi-mahi. The captain’s portion is seasoned with seafood’s favorite flavors: lemon, pepper, and butter.

WHERE: 900 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 799-2557

6 | Seafood Atlantic | In 1984, Seafood Atlantic started out providing wholesale seafood to other area restaurants in Cocoa Beach. Over time, they started serving their market catch’s prepared in traditional ways. Today, the Cape Canaveral restaurant is a locals’ favorite with the freshest seafood in town. The restaurant proudly boasts that their seafood isn’t fresh-from-the-truck, it’s fresh-off-the-boat. With views of the harbor, the casual dining spot serves up dishes like bacon-wrapped scallops, Florida lobster, and local Blue Crab.

WHERE: 520 Glen Cheek Dr, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: (321) 784-1963

7 | Sage Bistro | A great place for a date night, Sage Bistro sets just the right intimate mood. Self-described as a “scratch kitchen,” Sage Bistro’s menu is made entirely from, you guessed it, “scratch!” The menu transitions with the seasons, showcasing local Florida produce alongside the catch of the day. For a fresh-not-frozen fish entree, simply order Chef’s Catch of the Day, which comes served over “avocado mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and finished with roasted poblano sauce.”

WHERE: 6615 N Atlantic Ave, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: (321) 783-4548

8 | Grill’s Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar | For the full island experience, visitors love Grill’s Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar. The waterfront restaurant sits right on Port Canaveral, offering a view of the boats as they cruise in and out of the Cape Canaveral harbor. The seafood here is so fresh that the menu even dabbles in sushi. Tuna, cobia, dolphin, and snapper are some of the fresh catches you’ll find prepared to order. Here, ordering your fish fried is a big no-no, as these filets are best enjoyed in their purest form. For a truly unique Cocoa Beach meal, try their Grilled Lionfish. The invasive species are threatening the native Florida ecology along the coastline. But Grill’s made lemonade out of lemons and fine-tuned a recipe that showcases the fish at it’s best, on a plate. Flash-fried then broiled and topped with a tangy sauce, this Lionfish dish is unique and tasty. Now that’s sustainable seafood.

WHERE: 500 Glen Cheek Dr, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: (321) 868-2226

9 | Pier 62 Oceanfront Restaurant & Bar | Enjoy your seafood with views of the sea. Pier 62 Oceanfront Restaurant & Bar is perched on the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier with vista views of the ocean and surrounding coastline. The menu offers more than one way to consume seafood, with chowders, sandwiches, and salads featuring the freshly caught main event. Keep it simple with peel-and-eat shrimp, or satisfy a big appetite with a grouper sandwich.

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549

10 | Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grille | Watch the cruise ships as they glide into port at this bar and grill with a view. Head to Fishlips for a lazy brunch on the weekend and feast on their menu of shrimp and grits, seafood crepes, and mahi-mahi over scrambled eggs. You’ll find a seafaring crowd at this port restaurant enjoy all meals marine. Make it a real vacation memory and pick up a t-shirt in the restaurant store on your way out.

WHERE: 610 Glen Cheek Dr, Port Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: (321) 784-4533

BONUS #1 | Nosh Restaurant & Bar | Sushi lovers flock to this clean, modern Asian eatery. Owned by a brother duo, this small but mighty establishment churns out an assortment of Asian dishes, from Vietnamese Pho to Japanese bento lunches. The fish is always fresh and the tempura hot and crispy at Nosh Eats. With rotating daily drink specials like $5 margaritas and $8 loaded Bloody Marys, Nosh Eats is a place to frequent on a long vacation to Cocoa Beach.

WHERE: 3800 N Atlantic Ave Ste. 6, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 450-2323

BONUS #2 | Jazzy’s Mainely Lobster and Seafood | It’s all in the name of this New England style seafood restaurant and market. Though the menu highlights their fresh shipments of Maine lobster, Jazzy’s also serves up native Florida catch like raw oysters, mahi-mahi, scallops, and shrimp. For visitors from up North, Jazzy’s will feel just like home. Whether you like your lobster roll “New England style,” or “Connecticut style,” Jazzy’s will serve it up to your liking.

WHERE: 210 N Orlando Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 613-3993

BONUS #3 | The Fat Snook | Book an anniversary dinner at this chic modern-American kitchen. The menu features made-from-scratch dishes inspired by local produce and in-season seafood. From the coffee to the beer to the spring greens, everything is locally sourced at The Fat Snook. With Michelin star vibes, The Fat Snook delivers food artfully prepared on elegant ceramic plates. A small menu guarantees the meal is fresh and prepared to order. You can’t go wrong with the Market Catch, pan-seared, and served with lobster corn fritters. Don’t leave without ordering the key lime pie, a thoroughly Instagrammable dessert with “mile-high meringue.”

WHERE: 2464 S Atlantic Ave #2276, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 784-1190

BONUS #4 | Autumn’s Crab | Roll up your sleeves and tie on a bib for dining at this Cajun seafood restaurant and bar. This crack-your-own crab restaurant serves local blue crab as well as the recognizable Dungeness claws. You can also find oysters and steamed mussels, but before you pick your protein choose from flavors like lemon pepper, garlic butter, old bay, or Autumn’s Special. Corn on the cob, potatoes, and garlic bread adorn this simple but savory steamed seafood spot.

WHERE: 1628 S Fiske Blvd, Rockledge, FL 32955 | WHO: (321) 877-0066

Last Tips

Bring your appetite to Cocoa Beach where the seafood is served on fine china or out of a bucket, freshly boiled and doused in Old Bay Seasoning. Whether it’s casual seafood dining you crave or five-star service accompanied by wine pairings, Cocoa Beach has an assortment of seafood restaurants to suit all appetites.