Famously Fresh Seafood

Famously Fresh Seafood

written by Herb Donaldson

 

For decades, there has been no better way to describe the many delights of Wakulla County’s seafood than ‘famously fresh’.

Placed neatly between both the Florida Natural, and Forgotten Coasts, Wakulla’s seafood retail markets are among the best in the state.

Domestic and international travelers return year after year for that one-of-kind taste of succulent oysters, shrimp, mullet, blue crab, red snapper, cobia, and the myriad of seafood varieties that make ‘Fresh From Wakulla’ a household name.

With over seven seafood markets and thirty restaurants spread throughout the entire county, a good day’s catch is not hard to find along this stretch of coastline.

Not only is Wakulla’s seafood ‘famously fresh’ – it’s personal. The customer service, dedication, and sense of pride that goes into bringing you the finest seafood available is obvious because many of our markets are family-owned.

One such location is the Lighthouse Seafood Market, located just outside of downtown St. Marks. Lighthouse has delivered Wakulla-­caught seafood since 1998. Their fresh variety includes mullet, flounder, rock bass, shrimp, oysters – you name it. Lighthouse also offers an array of fresh crab, including live blue crab.

Also in St. Marks is Lynn Brother's Seafood. Owned and operated by five brothers, Lynn’s opened in 1983. The Lynn family has harvested local waters for seafood since the 1930s. Their hard-to-find items include fresh octopus, grunts, and seasonal stone crab, and their seafood reach extends beyond Wakulla to as far away as Hawaii, Canada and New York.

Mineral Springs By the Sea can be found towards the East end of Panacea’s city limits. It too has been family owned and operated for more than 20 years. Their daily selections include shrimp (small, medium, and large); oysters (bushel, half-­bushel, quarter-­bushel or pint); fresh fish selections include grouper, tuna, and sheephead. And though all are mouthwatering, Mineral Springs is best known for their locally caught gator, and their prepared-on-­site smoked mullet, salmon, and cobia fillets. They even have an assortment of smoked seafood dips.

Mineral Springs Seafood

My Way Seafood, also located along the Coastal Highway in Panacea, opened its doors in 1984. Specializing in black grouper, mullet, blue crabs, and more, My Way also carries seasonal items like the stone, and soft-shell crab.

Along Sopchoppy Highway, is the Nichols & Son's Seafood Market. Nichols & Son’s has served the Florida panhandle & Southern Georgia for more than 80 years and multiple generations. Their retail market is renowned for its shrimp, oysters, fresh fish and crab. They are also a wholesale distributor of the items.

Also in the heart of Sopchoppy is Sanders and Son's Crab. It is one of the last remaining wholesale retailers of crab within their area. Family owned and operated for 35 years, they handle a range of crab types, including fresh blue crabs, cocktail fingers, jumbo, lump, and claw crab meat – by the pound.

Traveling back to Panacea, just before the Ochlockonee Bay Bridge, is Tropical Trader Shrimp Company. It is currently the only Wakulla seafood market with a restaurant where freshly purchased seafood can be cooked on site. Smoked seafood dips; bacon-­wrapped shrimp dishes; fresh shrimp; tuna; crawfish; oysters – so much to choose from.

‘Fresh from Wakulla’ is exactly what it says, and though only a few of the seafood markets are listed here, you can imagine what the restaurants have to offer.

Wakulla County: ‘Famously fresh’ for a reason.