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Favorite Foods: Best Seafood, Clam Chowder, Key Lime Pie, Cuban Sandwich & Craft Beer Haunts in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Located in central Florida, just one hour east of Orlando, New Smyrna Beach, FL is known for being a charming seaside town with lots of historical sites and for boasting over 13 miles of spectacular white sand beaches.

Still, there’s more to it than meets the eye; New Smyrna Beach boasts a diverse range of great dining options, including both casual and fine dining restaurants serving wonderful seafood embedded with local flavors and influences from international cuisine. Most of the time, you get to dine with wonderful ocean views and feel the gentle breeze coming from the sea.

Wondering what the highlights are for the dining outings? Ask any local and they’ll probably say it’s to delve into the culinary scene by savoring fresh seafood delicacies, probably the renowned clam chowder. They’ll also say you can treat your taste buds to the flavorful Cuban sandwich. Whatever you pick, you should end on a sweet note with a slice of Key Lime Pie and wash everything down with a refreshing craft beer.

Need some help picking which restaurants to hit? We’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll bring you a list of the best restaurants to try the best seafood, clam chowder, key lime pie, Cuban sandwich & craft beer haunts in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

Let’s embark on a culinary exploration!

The Best Seafood in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Because of its blessed coastal location, seafood is at the culinary essence of New Smyrna Beach, and visitors can indulge in dishes like shrimp, oysters, fish tacos, grouper sandwiches, and seafood platters, all served in the highest and freshest quality possible.

Besides the classic dish from the area, the clam chowder, which we will cover just below, other must-try dishes include:

  • Shrimp and Grits: succulent shrimp served over creamy, cheesy grits.
  • Blackened Mahi Mahi: a local catch that’s flavorful and tender.
  • Crab Cakes: made with crab meat, breadcrumbs, and seasonings.
  • Fish Tacos: made with grilled or fried fish, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and a drizzle of creamy sauce, all wrapped in warm tortillas.
  • Oysters: fresh and served on the half shell, deep-fried, or in a Po’Boy, tacos, and even a stew, there are many ways to enjoy them in Florida.
  • Lobster Rolls: filled with tender chunks of lobster meat tossed in a light mayo dressing and served on a buttery toasted bun.
  • Grilled Scallops: tender and succulent, often served with flavorful sauces.

We bet you’re feeling like a seafood feast now.  Let’s see where to head for the best seafood in New Smyrna Beach, FL:

  • Crabby’s Bar & Grill NSB: Indulge in fresh local seafood and sip on handcrafted signature cocktails while soaking in the tranquil ocean view.
  • Aunt Catfish’s On The River: Experience the sublime catfish and don’t miss out on the freshly baked homemade cinnamon rolls, always hot out of the oven.
  • Millie’s: The food was beyond delicious, and when they say ‘farm and ocean to table,’ it’s not an understatement! (located near NSB, in Daytona Beach Shores)
  • Mckennas Place: A strip mall sports bar just south of town, serving up classic ‘pub grub’ alongside a tempting seafood raw bar.

The Best Clam Chowder in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Among so many options, a particular seafood dish that has gained a lot of popularity in the area is the Clam chowder, a type of soup known for its rich and flavorful broth filled with tender clams and hearty vegetables.

Even if the most famous Clam Chowder is the New England version of the dish, Clam chowder has become part of the culinary tradition in New Smyrna Beach, with local chefs and restaurants putting their own unique spin on the classic dish.

Whatever variations they come up with, the recipe is invariably comforting and delicious — and a total must-try when you are in New Smyrna Beach, perfect for enjoying after a day spent exploring the beach or engaging in outdoor activities.


The Best Cuban Sandwich in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Equally beloved in New Smyrna Beach, the Cuban sandwich has its origins in the Cuban community and gained popularity throughout Florida. 

As a rule of thumb, a classic Cuban sandwich in New Smyrna Beach consists of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami on Cuban bread. The sandwich is then grilled or pressed until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted, creating a winning combination of flavors and textures that makes for a delicious and very satisfying meal.

No wonder it became a local favorite. Local restaurants will often twist the dish and create some creative variations, making it more relevant to the local coastal tradition, but always paying attention to quality ingredients and dedication to traditional preparation methods. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a sit-down meal, a Cuban sandwich is always a great choice! 

Let’s see where you can find some of the best Cuban sandwiches in New Smyrna Beach, FL:

  • Millie’s: A pressed Cuban delight with its crispy exterior, warm and gooey interior, and rich cultural tradition. (located close to NSB, in Daytona Beach Shores)
  • The Baker’s Table: You won’t get enough of their Cubans, but be sure to save room for dessert!
  • Corkscrew Bar & Grille: The mouthwatering Cuban sandwich features a generous portion size and a perfectly untoasted bun.


The Best Key Lime Pie in New Smyrna Beach, FL

Move over, ice cream. The perfect dessert for warm Florida weather is the Key Lime Pie! Made with key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk, this refreshing delicacy has been a Florida favorite since the late 1800s.

The creamy blend of these ingredients atop a pastry crust is simply irresistible, and Key limes, being more aromatic than common Persian limes, add an exceptional fragrance and flavor to the Key Lime Pie. So, with each bite, you can anticipate a delightful experience that sets it apart from an ordinary lime pie.

This iconic dessert originated not too far away in Key West, Florida. Over the years, it evolved with variations in crusts and toppings while still maintaining its refreshing and tropical taste.

In New Smyrna Beach, many restaurants and bakeries in town offer their own version of this tangy and sweet treat, perfect for finishing off a seafood meal. Let’s see what places serve some of the best Key Lime Pie in New Smyrna Beach, FL:

  • Caffe Paradiso: The key lime pie is a total hit with the family and will transport you straight to paradise.
  • Norwood’s Restaurant & Treehouse Bar: Fresh food and veggies are served as well, but the Key Lime pie steals the spotlight.
  • Mon Delice: A small shop with French tastes, but don’t miss their amazing Florida Key Lime tart!

The Best Craft Beer in New Smyrna Beach, FL

We know this is not a food item, but grown-ups will appreciate this inclusion. New Smyrna Beach has a burgeoning craft beer scene, with several local breweries offering a variety of unique and flavorful brews, ranging from hoppy IPAs and rich stouts to refreshing lagers and fruity sour ales.

The city is home to several local breweries that produce unique and innovative craft beers. These breweries often use locally sourced ingredients and experimental brewing techniques to create distinctive brews that reflect the spirit of New Smyrna Beach.

Besides, enjoying a locally brewed beer can be a great way to experience the local flavor, and it can be paired with all of the culinary offerings above, even the Key Lime Pie. Why not?

Here are  some of the best places to try craft beers in New Smyrna Beach:

The Best Seafood, Clam Chowder, Key Lime Pie, Cuban Sandwich & Craft Beer Haunts in New Smyrna Beach, FL

As you can see, New Smyrna Beach, FL is a wonderland of amazing food — and your experience will certainly be enhanced if you delve into the local specialties knowing a little about their background as well as heading directly to the best places that serve them.

Want more tips on New Smyrna Beach? Then head to our destination blog. We’ve covered everything from the best restaurants and a nightlife guide to all you need to know about fishing in New Smyrna Beach. And there’s more coming soon!

Wondering where to stay in New Smyrna Beach, FL?

Want another tip from us? When you visit  New Smyrna Beach, we suggest choosing vacation rentals over hotels to enjoy a place with local vibes and all the privacy you want.

There are plenty of beach vacation properties, cozy condos, and charming homes in this area. This is another way to immerse yourself in the local culture — shop at local markets, stroll through nearby neighborhoods, and dine at local restaurants. 

You’ll truly feel like a local.

For a selection of the very best vacation homes in New Smyrna Beach, visit our booking page. For all of the above, we’ve got you covered.

Not to brag, but we are very proud to have earned the official title of one of the “Best Vacation Rental Professionals in the World” from Business Insider.

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