One hundred and seven.
That’s how many different local restaurants we tried in 2018, and 99% of those were small, locally owned businesses.
We began 2018 with a mission to become field experts in local eats on the Space Coast, and documented our favorite finds along the way via Instagram.
Our goal? To become a trusted source for locals to turn to when looking for great eats. And in turn, supporting small restaurants who are excelling at what they do.
So after a year of exploring some of the Space Coast’s best little-known restaurants, we’ve compiled a list of our top 6 favorites, in no particular order. While difficult to narrow this list to 6 , if we had company in town and wanted to show them the local highlights – THIS is where we’d take them:
Backwater – Melbourne– Vintage Florida atmosphere, grill-your-own pancakes at your table, locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. This delightful downtown Melbourne brunch spot was one of the first places we tried upon moving to the Space Coast. Even after all the different restaurants we’ve tried since, it’s still a tried and true favorite! Some of our favorite dishes are the citrus waffle, the pulled pork eggs benedict, and the seasonal pancake batters – we’ve tried lemon poppyseed, funfetti, pumpkin, and snickerdoodle!
The Brix Project – Titusville – Here we found a hip, modern take on American bar food in a renovated lumberyard-turned-brewery. The chef blew us away with the creativity and quality of his menu. The food was to-die-for-delicious, and the atmosphere was cool and on-trend while still relaxed and welcoming. We had some amazing chipotle pork belly here- served with an orange marmalade glaze – and a craft bison burger with Asian flair.
Cryderman’s BBQ – Cocoa Village – Melbourne (soon!) After living in true BBQ country and being exposed to some of the best, we finally found a place on the Space Coast that does it RIGHT. The owners here have perfected the craft of slow cooking their meats to perfection, and offer some of the tastiest pork, brisket and sausage we’ve tasted. Not to mention their sides like dirty rice, mac n’ cheese, and bread pudding. They’re open at lunch til sold out, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
The Fat Snook – Cocoa Beach / Crush XI – Melbourne – Two sister restaurants that offer an atmosphere and menu that are sure to impress even the big-city foodie. Great for date nights, these two spots offer high-quality and creative American dishes, with upscale service that makes you feel truly spoiled!
The Burger Place – Melbourne – A charming, old-fashioned diner with a small menu of burgers, fries, and milkshakes. No-frills, but some of the best around. Weird as it sounds, this place has the best buns we’ve ever tasted. Perfectly buttery, not-to-firm, not-too-soft MAGIC. A must-try for an easy, casual lunch!
Thai Thai II – Indialantic– The flavors here cannot be beat if you’re a fan of Thai food and sushi. We’re obsessed with their Mango Yellow Curry, and could literally drink the sauce off our plate when we’re done. It’s got a traditional Thai restaurant atmosphere with a large menu that has yet to disappoint.
Diving in to the Space Coast’s local food scene this year has been quite the adventure! Sometimes we feel like seasoned pros when people ask us for advice on where to eat; but looking ahead to our plans in 2019, it’s clear there’s still so much for us to try and we’re just getting started. So keep following along for all our future eating escapades! Find us on Instagram at @spacecoastfoodies.