Safe Space Coast dining options for our Florida Road Trip / Staycation 2020 was a big part of our planning. We were only doing outdoor seating, where servers wore masks and we looked for places with CDC precaution in place.
1477 Pineapple Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32935
Squid Lips in downtown Melbourne fit the bill for us, and we ate there our first night on the Space Coast.
The staff was wearing masks, and the hostess directed us to the outdoor and beach seating.
TIP: to the far left of the building, there is a gated entrance directly to the beach, where you can seat yourself. You can avoid walking through the restaurant.
There was TONS of outdoor seating on the beach; all tables were at least six feet apart. You are right on the river with beautiful views of the water.
Our server was super sweet and surprisingly easy to hear through the mask, even with sounds from the pier and music on the patio. They had a steel drummer near the bar, which was perfect for the tropical island vibe.
We started with drinks and sharing a Coconut Shrimp appetizer. There were five big, fat crunchy coconut covered shrimp with a delicious Island Dipping Sauce. It was so good that we probably should have ordered one for each of us instead of sharing.
We both followed up with the Lobster-N- Crab Cake Sandwich. They were good-sized cakes with nice chunks of both crab and lobster and not a lot of filler. I got mine fried, and my Chuck got his sautéed – both were excellent. Both came with lettuce, tomato, red onion, a huge, crisp dill pickle wedge, and a cup of a whole grain mustard sauce. I got coleslaw, and he went with chips.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience – the ONLY negative for us had to do with the table next to us. The group started at six people and quickly added on a few more couples and singles. Soon they were numbering eleven or twelve people and kept pushing back farther and farther from the table. While all of the tables were really well distanced, this kept narrowing the gap.
Our Missed Step
On our drive down the Space Coast after our day at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, we stopped to eat on the way back to our hotel. The restaurant was recommended by a follower on Instagram. At first glance, it had plenty of outdoor seating as well as an open-air, covered bar area.
Unfortunately, that’s where the precautions ended. We seated ourselves and realized that none of the servers or bartenders were wearing masks. Additionally, the photocopy menus on the table were dirty, marked up, and definitely appeared to be being reused.
We chose not to stay!
610 Glen Cheek DrCape Canaveral, Florida 32920
We were not far from Port Canaveral driving down the Space Coast and chose to checkout Fish Lips, a local place facing the port terminal that we had been to previously. Even with all of the cruise ships docked off the coast, we knew the waterfront would be beautiful.
We arrived to find a huge Fish Lips ENTRANCE sign, setting them up for one way in and one way out! The lobby was set up with separate areas for picking up takeout and dining in. Everyone had masks on, and there was hand sanitizer in the lobby. BINGO, all good signs!
We requested outside, and we offered a table downstairs. The tables outside were spread out for social distancing, and we were given freshly cleaned laminated menus.
Hailey P was our server, and she’s a #ROCKTAR. She got us started with drinks, answered our questions, and didn’t rush us. Her service was wonderful, attentive, and friendly without being annoying.
Awesome Food and Drinks
Fish Lips has a great selection of beers. Our server ran 99% of the list before my husband decided. I ordered a fantastic cocktail special I saw on a sign in the lobby. It was made with Hendricks Gin, fresh blueberries, and mint – I’m pretty sure it had St Germaine in it as well. It was delicious and something I’d make with our fresh, local blueberries.
We started with a Chicken Nacho appetizer. They use wonton crisps, which are a great twist. There was plenty of diced mesquite smoked chicken and toppings. We skipped the black olives as Chuck’s not a fan.
For his entree, my Chuck had the Fish and Chips. It came with a considerable portion of crisp fried haddock, fries, and slaw. The fish and fries were nice and hot, and the fish was super crispy and not greasy.
I ordered the Tuna Poke appetizer as my main dish. I was a nice sized portion of fresh, lightly marinated, flavorful Ahi tuna, with jasmine rice and shredded cabbage. It was light and refreshing and packed with flavor.
Fish Lips offered a few other big plusses for us.
- First, being from St Petersburg, Florida, which banned plastic straws, seeing them use eco-friendly, biodegradable agave straws was AWESOME!
- Secondly, not only did all their servers wear masks but when Hailey brought our food, she wore disposable gloves.
- Finally, we LOVED the bamboo baskets that the food is served inside. Not only can servers stack them, and the lids keep them hot, but it keeps food covered coming to the table.
We will absolutely return and have told everyone we know who is headed to the port about Fish Lips!
I’m A Pizza Junky
If you’ve read any of our previous world travel blogs, you might know I’m a pizza junky!
We purposely opted for a suite-style hotel room so if necessary. We could get takeout from local places and eat in the safety of our hotel room.
One night we opted to order pizza and bring it back to the hotel room to enjoy a sunset and watch a movie. After reading many local reviews, we opted for Oceanside Pizza in Melbourne Beach, just down from the hotel.
300 Ocean Avenue, Suite 6
Melbourne Beach, Florida 32951
We called in the order, knowing it would be ready when we arrived. Right away, we noticed the staff was wearing masks. Oceanside Pizza required masks even though it was not a local requirement.
The pizza crust had a perfectly crisp bottom, the kind that folds perfectly for easy eating. The top was nicely blistered with the right balance of not too sweet tomato sauce and cheese. Surprisingly, it was still piping hot by the time we got back to the hotel.
Overall, Space Coast restaurants in Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Port Canaveral area offered many options for outdoor dining and takeout.