If you love shrimp, crab, and all things seafood, you should have no shortage of dining options in Santa Rosa Beach — to the point that choosing the right restaurant can actually be a bit of a challenge.
Goatfeathers at 30Avenue deserves a spot on your local culinary bucket list if you’re primarily on the hunt for a straightforward source of the Gulf’s finest ingredients. The restaurant and market might not be fancy, but that’s not the point. Rather, Goatfeathers strives to deliver consistently fresh seafood reflecting the best of the Gulf.
While Goatfeathers mainly stands out due to its amazingly fresh seafood, it’s impossible not to notice its unique moniker. The market’s name refers to a quote from author Ellis Parker Butler, who referenced goatfeathers as “distractions, sidelines, and deflections.” This quote and the name it inspired can be thought of as confirmation of the market’s emphasis on fresh ingredients above all else.
While the seafood market is worth visiting, there’s something to be said for the relaxed experience of enjoying a prepared meal. You’ll find a variety of classic grilled, fried, steamed, and pan-seared dishes, including everything from salmon to oysters. A few non-seafood items are also offered, although those with an aversion to Gulf ingredients may want to consider dining elsewhere.
This Goatfeathers location is popular, so be prepared for a wait. While the market is well-managed, even the most efficient staff members are sometimes unable to prevent the line from going out the door. That being said, most patrons are willing to exchange the renowned freshness of the seafood for a brief wait.
Customer service isn’t necessarily a strength at Goatfeathers, but reports vary. Some visitors interpret the staff members’ demeanor as gruff, but this may simply reflect the market’s no-nonsense approach to business — a trait that many patrons appreciate.
A few of our favorite menu items include the following:
The meals served at Goatfeathers are sizable, so the gumbo is a worthy choice if you arrive with a limited appetite. The bowl is filling enough to serve as a full meal, although you’re also welcome to order a small cup before you receive your entree of choice.
Combining the best of East Coast, Gulf, and New Orleans cuisine, this dish features Maine lobster served cold on half a po’ boy. Coleslaw and fries are served on the side.
Fried Seafood Platter
Save your appetite for this massive platter, which is loaded with all your favorite seafood selections. Dig into oyster, shrimp, crab cake, and the fish of the day. All this would be plenty to satisfy even the hungriest visitor, but that’s only the beginning. The platter also comes with hush puppies and a side of your choice. Options include fries, parmesan potatoes, gouda grits, and grilled asparagus.
If you absolutely can’t stand the idea of seafood, you’ll be pleased to find a straightforward cheeseburger on the menu. It’s served on a sesame bun and topped with American cheese, red onion, pickles, and lettuce. Enjoy a generous serving of fries as well. If your carnivorous side needs a little extra meat, feel free to add bacon or a second patty for an additional fee.
Freshness is always a big deal at Goatfeathers at 30Avenue, where the ingredients practically feel as if they’ve jumped out of the Gulf and onto your plate.
The earlier you arrive or place your order, the better. This location has been known to run out of favorites early in the evening, so aim before 5 pm whenever possible.
– In addition to fresh seafood, the market carries a variety of helpful supplies, including skewers. If you’re feeling ambitious, pick up the essentials and prepare your own meal offsite.