Close-up shot of Grits a Ya Ya dish at Great Southern Cafe
6 Ways to Brunch at the Beach in South Walton

After a long day at the beach or a night enjoying South Walton’s famous nightlife, the only thing that’ll do is a similarly fabulous brunch. Here are 6 ways to start your day off on the right foot:

Havana Beach Bar & GrillThe Pearl Hotel’s AAA 4-Diamond restaurant, brings Spanish, French and Portuguese influences to the table with Gulf Coast ingredients for an experience “steeped in the joy of living.” Plus, enjoy cocktails, draft beer or fine wine from a veranda overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and Main Street in Rosemary Beach.

For a funky, eclectic experience, try The Red Bar. The music is straight out of New Orleans or Memphis, and it’s got the atmosphere to match. But look for the menu, written on a chalkboard and changed daily, to be blown away by food you’d expect at a fine-dining restaurant. Always great are the eggs benedict and bloody marys, and they claim the best key lime pie in the Panhandle. Who are we to argue?

Funky interior of The Red Bar in Grayton Beach

Great Southern Café serves up an array of Southern favorites, updated with a twist. Chef Jim Shirley’s philosophy brings together his love of international cuisine, Southern cooking and local ingredients, and you’ll take a liking to dishes like Grits á Ya Ya – applewood-smoked bacon, portobello mushrooms and spinach over smoked Gouda cheese grits, spiced shrimp and sweet potato hay.

George’s at Alys Beach offers open-air dining or a cozy dining room to share a casual brunch with friends. Soak in the sunshine while you choose from dishes on either the “Behave” or “Misbehave” sections of the menu. Just came from yoga? Continue living clean with wood fire grilled salmon. Soaking up last night’s beverages? A burnt ends sandwich ought to do the trick.

As the restaurant itself says, “With a name like Stinky’s, it better be good.” And Stinky’s Fish Camp is very good. With Gulf-to-table seafood and a prime location overlooking scenic Lake Allen, you might show up for brunch and stay through dinner. Just take a break from eating oysters to appreciate the great (and reasonably priced) wine list.

Oyster log at Stinky's Fish Camp with scenic lake backdrop

Voted “Best Waterfront Dining” by Florida Travel + Life Magazine and “Best Place to Watch a Sunset” by Emerald Coast MagazineVue on 30a offers celebration-worthy views and a celebrity chef. Giovanni Filippone, who was featured on season five of “Hell’s Kitchen,” prepares a variety of omelets and specialty benedicts to match the scenery.

Exterior shot of Vue on 30a with beach view

Our 16 beach neighborhoods have a brunch that suits every fancy, whether you’re looking for scenic views, or a low-key kickoff to your day. They all have one thing in common, though: great food. What’s your favorite way to kick off the day?