Port Canaveral has an area to serve up seafood and other dishes for cruisers sailing out of the port, sailors whose yachts are parking at the marina inside, and campers at Jetty Park. It’s called the Cove, and it’s home to several seafood joints where you can take your food, step out on the dock and watch the ships come in.
If you’ve booked a Go Port Snooze Park Cruise package you might want to consider eating at one of these fine establishments the night before your cruise departs.
Here’re our top picks for best eats in the Cove:
A combination of fish market and seafood restaurant. The seaport experience doesn’t get any more authentic than it does here, and you can’t get your seafood any fresher. It’s fresh off of the boat and for rock shrimp, Florida blue crabs, scallops, and spiny lobster. The Seafood Atlantic is a market first with the restaurant being a bit of an afterthought. Paper plates and tinfoil are what the order of the day is, but the catch of the day is fresh enough that you won’t want anything fancier.
Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar
Backyard seafood grilling turned into a specialty restaurant. Grill’s is one of the best places for fresh grilled fish. Including a generous serving of the Asian Lion Fish, a predatory species from the Pacific that has invaded the Atlantic & mainly Caribbean waters in the last decade. Grills solution to this environmental problem is to serve them up “froiled”, pan-fried and then broiled to perfection. Don’t worry, they cut the spines off. During your meal, take it out to the deck to watch the ships come in and out of Port Canaveral.
Milliken’s Reef is the only place in Port Canaveral to enjoy escargot smothered in garlic butter and Burgundy wine. For the less…French, it’s got its signature “Wang Bang” sauce is something to try with fried shrimp. Mussels, fried calamari, Ahi tuna, crab, conch, and others menu items round out a thorough offering of seafood dishes. If it comes from the ocean, you can have it any way that sounds appetizing. The landlubberly can choose from a selection of steak and chicken dishes. You can also take your meal outside and watch the ships in the port.
Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar
If you’re all about shellfish, then Rusty’s is your restaurant. What gives the restaurant its name is the ability to buy a bucket of four dozen oysters at the bar for the market price. Oysters aren’t the only thing on the menu: mussels and clams are available as well. Rounding out the aquatic offerings is the fried gator bites appetizer and a selection of shrimp and crab dishes. The turf side of surf and turf runs towards simple fare like chicken tenders, but it’s plentiful. Outside the wooden deck feels like being aboard a pirate ship.
Fishlip’s Waterfront Bar and Grill
Fishlip’s is the largest restaurant in Port Canaveral and the one with the most variety of dishes. It has a large selection of seafood dishes including Ahi tuna, shrimp, crab legs, salmon, and all the seafood staples. It also has a large variety of steak, chicken, and food from the landward side as well. Fishlip’s is built with a two-level exterior deck, so not only can you step outside to watch the ships, you can do so from a vantage point. Although it doesn’t matter so much when you’re looking up at the 18 deck Oasis of the Seas.