Colourful Martin County on Florida’s Treasure Coast has loads to offer. Beautiful beaches, quaint little towns, and some seriously amazing seafood. In fact, there’s seriously amazing food full stop.
One of my favourite aspects of my recent trip to Martin County was eating my way around some of the best restaurants in Stuart FL – and beyond. From the small-town vibes of Hobe Sound to the epic beaches of Hutchinson Island, I sampled some of the best restaurants and bars in the area. These are my favourite discoveries…
Restaurants in Stuart FL
Downtown Stuart is the historic centre of the city, right on the edge of the St Lucie river. You’ll find plenty of restaurants right on the water, or in amongst the pretty old buildings of the quaint city centre. These are a few of the best Downtown Stuart restaurants I found…
The Gafford, Stuart
A cosy restaurant in Downtown Stuart, The Gafford is a serious favourite with locals. We visited on a chilly Thursday evening in January and the place was rammed! It’s a family-owned restaurant focusing on the three S’s – steak, southern, and seafood. Think HUGE portion sizes and hearty comfort food. Everything is sourced from local farms so this is a great option if you want to explore the best of Martin County’s food.
Sneaki Tikki, Stuart
Tucked in between the colourful buildings of the Old Colorado Inn hotel, the Sneaki Tikki is a super lively, semi-outdoor bar and restaurant in downtown Stuart. Laid-back Polynesian vibes and palm frond umbrellas make it an awesome little setting. I can’t speak for the food (although the menu looks fab) but this is a great place to stop by for a drink or two. There’s local live music almost every night, and such a fun atmosphere.
For something quick and easy on the go, head to the takeout window at Luna – a fab little Italian restaurant in downtown Stuart. You can order pizza by the slice to takeaway, or eat at the tables on the sidewalk. Slices are enormous and SO good – this is an awesome quick lunch!
Banyan 320 Kitchen, Stuart
Banyan 320 Kitchen is a new local brunch spot in downtown Stuart and it’s already super popular thanks to their fresh, farm-to-table approach and awesome Sunday brunches. The burgers and sandwiches are to die for and the thick-cut fries are amazing.
Hobe Sound Restaurants
Harry and the Natives, Hobe Sound
In the words of owner Harry, his unique and sprawling restaurant in Hobe Sound was “an overnight success… it just took 66 years”. However long it took, today Harry and the Natives is easily one of the coolest restaurants in the area. I loved the quirky decor and the fun, kitschy signs covering every wall (things like “everyone brings happiness here, some by coming, some by leaving”).
Harry’s has such a cool atmosphere and the breakfasts are amazing – as are the mimosas if you want to treat yourself at brunch. Popular any time of the day or night, with plenty of live music events, you cannot miss a trip to this awesome restaurant!
Flash Beach Grill, Hobe Sound
If you’re looking for mega-sized portions and quirky dishes, the Floribbean–Asian menu at Flash Beach Grille could be right up your street. Yes – Floribbean, as in Florida-meets-Caribbean. Then it meets Asian for a bizarre but interesting menu with things like shrimp lollipops encaces in crispy fried noodles. Throw in laid back vibes, shabby-chic decor, and actual sand on mini “beach” out front and you have the ideal spot to chill in the sun with a beer.
Twisted Tuna, Stuart
Another local favourite is the Twisted Tuna, a restaurant on the bay in Port Salerno. It is one of the most popular restaurants in Stuart FL and great for seafood fans. The menu is a kind of bizarre mix of Italian and Asian – with loads of sushi options, fresh fish dishes, and then – randomly – pizzas and pastas too. Something for everyone I guess. Being honest, I didn’t love the ambience at Twisted Tuna – it felt more like a crowded sports bar than a restaurant – but the food was tasty and it’s right on the water. Plus the portion sizes are more than generous! Visit during the day to appreciate the views, and be sure to order catch of the day.
Drift Kitchen + Bar at Hutchinson Shores Resort, Hutchinson Island
At the Drift Kitchen + Bar I had one of my favourite meals in Martin County. Hutchinson Shores is one of the newest resorts in Hutchinson Island, just across the bridge from Stuart, and the oceanside restaurant is one of the best in the area. Even the bread rolls are incredible! As you can probably guess, seafood is the star of the show here, and there are loads of tasty options on the menu.
READ MORE: 7 Fun things to do on Hutchinson Island
Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House, Jensen Beach
If it’s shrimp your looking for, head to Dolphin Bar & Shrimp House in Jensen Beach. Built by the historic movie star Frances Langford, the Dolphin Bar overhangs the river’s edge, meaning amazing views from the wrap-around terrace. Here you’ll find fresh, fat shrimp served a whole bunch of different ways with – as ever – those absurdly generous Florida portion sizes. This is a seafood lover’s dream!
Kai Kai Farm, Indiantown
If you’re looking for a dinner experience with a difference, Kai Kai Farm out in the countryside around Indiantown could be for you. They run regular dinner nights on the farm, which is a great way to learn more about local produce and where your food is coming from. Things kick off with a farm tour, which is great if you’re into your gardening (I was more interested in the prosecco being served!).
The tour is followed by dinner which is prepared using only local produce. Most of it is grown right there on the farm. I’ll be honest, the night we visited the meal was tasty but a bit on the small side. A few of our fellow diners said they come regularly and the food is normally much better, so I’m sure it was just a one-off. But it’s a really cool idea to eat on the farm that your food came from. And the wine paired with each course was great!
Have you travelled to Martin County – or do you live there? I want to hear your recommendations for the best restaurants in Stuart FL so scroll down and leave a comment!