Indialantic, Fla., is easy to overlook, in the shadow of nearby Melbourne Beach and the Space Coast's more popular destinations, such as Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. But for such a small town (with a population under 3,000), Indialantic packs a big punch when it comes to flavor.
Travelers may be surprised to see the wide selection of excellent restaurants in this small town.
As might be expected on the East Coast, fish and seafood are easy stars of the dining scene in Indialantic. Even Italian restaurants, like Petriollo's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria and Villa Palma Ristorante, incorporate seafood into their dishes. Although if good pizza is what the belly craves, Indialantic has that covered, too. Petriollo's and the popular Original Bizzarro Famous NY Pizza, both do pizza well.
For something quick and casual, Long Doggers is a surfer hotspot. For something a little more substantial and sophisticated, Scotts on Fifth has a reputation for excellence. Islands Fish Grill serves well-prepared, locally caught fish.
Many of Indialantic's best restaurants are located near the boardwalk or walking distance to the beach. So after you fill up on local fare (and don't forget to leave space for key lime pie), you can walk along the water and enjoy the warm Florida weather.
Here are our favorite 10 places to dine in Indialantic.
You will know you've found the Beachside Cafe in Indialantic by the inevitable line out the front door on any given weekend morning.
This small, family-owned and operated cafe is wildly popular for breakfast, and if you can bear to wait, it will be worth it. The food is delicious with large portions.
Try traditional breakfast favorites or a few beachy variations, such as the Long Board Stack (three pancakes or three pieces of French toast) or the Beachside Skillet (ham, bacon, sausage, onion, green peppers, tomatoes and hash brown grilled with cheese).
Try the cafe for lunch, too. Beachside Cafe claims to serve the biggest salads in town, with only fresh, in-season veggies. Even bread is freshly made here.
When you're done, walk to the nearby beach. (321-953-8444)
City Tropics Bistro
City Tropics Bistro is first and foremost known for its great location, right in the heart of Indialantic, complete with a shady and beautifully landscaped outdoor patio.
Then there's the food and drinks.
The menu features new items every day from the chef, as well as an assortment from sushi to brick oven pizza to local seafood. The crab cakes and brick oven salmon are also favorites.
Hungry diners will also find their favorite comfort food here, such as meatloaf and ribs. All items are made with fresh ingredients.
City Tropics has two bars in one, with indoor and outdoor seating. It has a great daily happy hour, offers specialty martinis and cocktails. If you're lucky, catch the jazz brunch with $3 bloody Marys and mimosas. (321-723-1300)
Villa Palma Ristorante
Sit down for filet "Peppino," named after Chef Peppe: filet mignon tips and sausage in spicy gravy with mushrooms. Or if you can't decide, the Villa Palma Platter is a plate with a taste of many different specialties: eggplant rolatini, calamari, mussels, grilled eggplant, shrimp and more.
These are just two of the many scrumptious items you can find on the menu at Indialantic's Villa Palma Ristorante, a family-owned, authentic Italian restaurant.
In fact, this restaurant is owned by (and food is prepared by) an Italian immigrant from Naples, Italy, and his son.
So the food you will find here is a blend of classic and modern Italian, with real roots.
Villa Palma has been serving up Italian favorites to the Space Coast since 1987. (321-951-0051)
Petrillo's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria
Travelers looking for Italian food served in a cozy, family-owned environment (with strong New York Little Italy feel) will love Petrillos in Indialantic.
Petrillos serves delicious pizza and the Italian comfort-food staples, like spaghetti bolognese. But it offers much more than that, and some truly unique variations on Italian.
The Italian stir fry is a medley of shrimp, chicken and sausage sauteed with veggies and served over penne pasta. Or try the chicken milanese, breaded chicken cutlets fried and served with lemon butter and white wine sauce.
Diners can also order a filet mignon, Italian style, or lightly breaded and friend jump shrimp, just to name a few of the many scrumptious menu items.
You can also order Petrillos to go (hello, beach picnic!) or to cater a special event. (321-953-6888)
Skewers Mediterranean Grille
As the name would suggest, this is the place to go to indulge in, well, things on skewers. But that's not to simplify or overshadow the incredible flavors you can find in this longstanding Indialantic restaurant.
Skewers has been a local favorite for more than two decades, and it takes Mediterranean food to a whole new level, with bold and creative flavors, high-quality and always fresh ingredients and kabobs that will leave you drooling. You won't find any preservatives, artificial ingredients here or anything pre-made.
Instead, diners will find lamb or tenderloin kabobs, fresh seafood and authentic Mediterranean plates, from "mousakhan" (charbroiled chicken in sauteed onions with rice and a pita) to the adventurous yogurt kafta kabob, a ground sirloin covered in pita chips, sauce and pine nuts.
Every plate is made to order, and sometimes served with live entertainment – including belly dancing. (321-727-8944)
Islands Fish Grill
Islands Fish Grill, ideally located mere steps from Indialantic's boardwalk, has been a Space Coast favorite for more than 16 years, specializing in expertly prepared, local fish.
The grill was purchased by new owners August of 2014, and underwent a facelift, raising the bar even higher on this already beloved restaurant. Islands has a new chef (classically trained and a grad of the Culinary Institute of America in New York), improved food and an updated interior that features art by local artists.
Islands is an upscale but casual place to experience some of the best local fish on the coast, with an always-rotating menu of specials.
A few highlights: bluepoint oysters, onion-crusted grouper and mussels in marinara sauce. Order fish grilled, jerked or blackened, depending on your taste that day. (321-956-0559)
The Original Bizzarro Famous NY Pizza
There's something about pizza and the boardwalk that's a perfect match. That's why we love The Original Bizzarro Famous NY Pizza (Bizzarro's for short), located right on the Indialantic boardwalk. Order your pie to go and eat it on the beach or enjoy it on site. In a hurry? Order a crispy-crust slice.
Feeling hungry? Try a Sicilian-style square pizza – Bizzarro's Special, with nine different toppings.
This beachside Italian joint serves up more than pizza, however. For something light, you can grab a salad here. The mussels marinara are a light appetizer. Deli subs make ideal lunches. You can even order beer or wine to wash down your meal.
Bizzarro's is a Space Coast staple, locally owned and operated for two decades. (321-724-4799)
It wouldn't be right to have a top-10 list in this area without at least one legitimate tribute to surfing. Long Doggers has that covered. Come as you are – yes, even after a morning of surfing. Grab a quick foot-long "Mork Dog" at the window, or sit down for a Beach Bum meal, like a crab cake with a handful of sides. Everything here's casual. After all, Long Doggers calls itself a "radically relaxed" grill and brew. Bonus: People with allergies will appreciate the full gluten-free menu. Find Long Doggers as five different locations in Florida, including one in Indialantic. (321-751-4448)
Scotts on Fifth
This "five-palm" fine-dining establishment boasts a wine bar, fresh seafood, cocktails and top-notch desserts.
The dining room is intimate and relaxed, as you would expect on the Space Coast, Fla. But the food is expertly prepared and fit for royalty. Expect to see a different menu each time you visit; plates vary based on what's the freshest and also on chef Scott Earick's whim. Even the decor regularly changes.
Don't see what you're looking for on the menu? Ask Earick if he can make it. Or trust your chef and order Scott's Choice, which is "whatever Scott feels like making today." (321-729-9779)
About Aimee Heckel
Aimee Heckel’s passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, and she majored in journalism and German at Colorado State University.
When she's not covering Colorado for Fodor’s Travel Guides and writing for SpaTravelGal.com, she travels and volunteers for Think Humanity, her family's nonprofit that helps refugees in Africa.
Heckel also blogs for HuffPost Weird News and writes feature stories, a fashion column and fitness column for the Boulder Daily Camera in Colorado.
Read more about Aimee Heckel here.
Connect with Aimee via: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest