Eat Wildly: Refuel in these Great Local Spots While Exploring the Florida Wildlife Corridor


Wherever your journey through the Florida Wildlife Corridor takes you, we’ve got you covered for the most delicious places to refuel along the way.

Photo credits: Blue Mountain Creamery, Kunjani Coffee, Tia’s Tacos, Playalinda Brew Co.

Whether you’re kayaking in the Panhandle or hiking through the Everglades, take time to slow down and grab some great local fare along the way. From eating pizza under an airplane to drinking coffee from a zero-emissions coffee roaster, we found 10 spots to refuel before, during and after your wild adventures across the Corridor.

Playalinda Brewing Company

~ 10 minutes from the Corridor

Cap off your beach day at Canaveral National Seashore or hike through Charles H. Bronson State Forest and end with a refreshing brew from Playalinda.

An ideal escape from the Florida humidity, Playalinda Brewing Company has two locations: one at a renovated lumberyard and the other at a 100-year-old former hardware store. The brewery includes a kid- and dog-friendly outdoor beer garden, community seating and board games. With more than 20 rotating beers on tap, the menu also serves non-alcoholic beverages and bar food.

Playalinda’s popular brews include Tropical Wonderland, a wheat ale bursting with juicy, orange flavor in honor of the Sunshine State, and Blueberry Lemonade, a tart, refreshing beer after a day in the sun.

Kool Beanz Café

~ 30 minutes from the Corridor

Stay cool with a trip to Kool Beanz after hiking, horseback riding or fishing at Lake Talquin or St. Marks River Preserve State Parks.

True to its name, this New York Times recognized hotspot stands out with funky décor, featuring artwork from local artists and wine lists printed on empty wine bottles. The ambiance can be summed up in their motto: “eat, drink, and talk loud — you’re among friends!” Their gourmet menu changes daily and combines Southern classics with a Caribbean flair.

Blue Mountain Beach Creamery
Santa Rosa Beach

~ 7 minutes from the Corridor

Blue Mountain Beach Creamery’s sweets cap off a day at many favorite Corridor spots, including the nearby Point Washington State Forest and Eden Gardens, Topsail Hill Preserve, Camp Helen and Deer Lake State Parks.

There’s nothing quite like cooling off with refreshing homemade ice-cream after a long day of swimming, paddling or boating. Blue Mountain Beach Creamery is a family-owned, full-service ice-cream shop that also serves milkshakes, yogurt and sorbet, including dairy and gluten-free options. Their unique flavors, such as Peanut Butter Pretzel and Thai Cinnamon, change daily. The colorful, beach house-inspired walk-up welcomes sandy visitors strolling in from the beach.

Backwoods Crossing

~ 15 minutes from the Corridor

After viewing wildlife and birding at Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park, stop by Backwoods Crossing for a healthy, wildly fresh meal.

Backwoods Crossing takes farm-to-table literally as it sits on a three-and-a-half-acre farm, which supplies their menu with fresh fruits and vegetables. Strolling through the property, you’ll also find chickens who produce over 18,000 eggs for the restaurant each year. Their creative menu features dishes such as jalapeño catfish bites and farm-inspired cocktails.

Satchel’s Pizza

~ 20 minutes from the Corridor

Check out the wild-roaming horses at Payne’s Prairie before a night at Satchel’s!

At Satchel’s Pizza, enjoy a slice of pizza in a retro van, under an airplane or inside a greenhouse. Colorful mosaics, local art and stained glass cover the restaurant. With more than two dozen pizza toppings to choose from, you can grab a slice of pizza and their famous “Satch” salad for only $8. Try one of their homemade sodas, or a flight if you can’t decide which one to choose. With several playgrounds throughout the property, Satchel’s Pizza encourages the whole fam to eat and play wildly!

Tia’s Tacos
Daytona Beach

~ 20 minutes from the Corridor

Travel back in time along the Pershing Highway Trail, a scenic brick highway built in 1917 that leads you through the heart of Tiger Bay State Forest, then end the day at Tia’s Tacos!

Family-owned Tia’s Tacos satisfies all your cravings, with customizable tacos, fajitas and crunch wraps. Once a month, their outdoor patio hosts live mariachi bands.

Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shop
Lakeland / Plant City

~ 40 minutes from the Corridor

After hiking through Colt Creek State Park nearby, grab a quick lunch at the Strawberry Hut and try their famous sandwich paired with a strawberry shake.

If you’re a long-term Floridian, you may have your own opinions on the best spot to grab a Cuban. Well, prepare for those opinions to wildly change once you pay a visit to the Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shop, which has won best Cuban sandwich in Florida for the past 14 years!

Christopher’s Kitchen
Palm Beach Gardens

~ 25 minutes from the Corridor

Christopher’s Kitchen is the perfect spot to revive after a weekend of camping at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

Christopher’s Kitchen, a modern, organic, plant-based restaurant, offers a diverse menu that features acai bowls, an array of fresh juices and smoothies, Asian fusion dishes, gourmet pizzas and more. At the end of your meal, satisfy your sweet tooth with their assortment of raw chocolates, including salted caramel bark and peppermint patty.

Grouper & Chips

~ 30 minutes from the Corridor

For all you seafood lovers, stop by the local favorite Grouper & Chips after a leisurely morning of fishing at Collier-Seminole State Park.

Though not as popular as the Cuban, the grouper sandwich is another Florida must-have. Voted as the best in Southwest Florida, Grouper & Chips keeps things simple. They serve their famous grouper sandwich on a challah roll with lettuce and tomato, with a side of fries, coleslaw, a lemon and a pickle.

Kunjani Craft Coffee and Gallery

~ 30 minutes from the Corridor

Before you set out horseback riding through Picayune Strand State Forest, get your caffeine fix with specialty, fair-trade coffee from Kunjani.

Kunjani Craft Coffee and Gallery, owned by a mother-daughter duo, sells handmade art from Africa and supports a local charity each month. They also roast their own coffee using a zero-emissions roaster, so you can start your day feeling confident your cup of Joe is helping the Corridor you love.