We are beyond thrilled to kick off Southern’s Food Month. When April 1st arrives, we’re ready to dig in to some of the freshest Gulf-to-table fare and comfort food in the South.

On April 1, we all head over to Inlet Beach at the Eastern end of 30A for Shades Annual Seafood Festival.  With a menu of jambalaya, crawfish, shrimp and more, we’re diving head first  into the best flavors of the season.

Speaking of seasonal flavors, it’s cobia time. While most people wait all year for holidays like Thanksgiving to eat their favorite foods, beach bums like us wait all year for March and April. During early spring, the Destin Cobia Tournament produces coveted cobia entrees at restaurants all along the Gulf.

In Destin, La Paz on Gulf Shore Drive serves cobia tacos that take the average fish taco to a new part of flavor town (thank you Guy Fierri). These fish tacos are in an exclusive gated community for only the most flavorful dishes.  Of course, when we’re in the mood for a great fish filet, Great Southern in Seaside replaces its mahi-mahi features with cobia. Let us just say, you won’t regret the swap. Dine on blackened, grilled, or pecan crusted cobia with Southern sides. They’re famous for smoked gouda cheese grits, collards, black eyed peas, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, and hush puppies.

Now, when we talk about Southern fried comfort foods,  you have to know these are dear to every Southerner’s heart. If they aren’t done well, well, we don’t want them. Without question, fried green tomatoes are a staple during food month. If you’re on the East end of the Gulf Coast, don’t miss Great Southern’s fried green tomatoes and crab cakes appetizer. In the heart of the Emerald Coast, hit Harbor Docks. They serve fried green tomatoes with tomato jam, goat cheese, and fried oysters or crawfish tails. And in Gulf Shores, swing by LuLu’s for a fried green tomato BLT or “Pa-menna” cheeseburger topped with pimento cheese, bacon and fried green tomatoes. (Also, a short drive away is Magnolia Springs, once home to the author of Fried Green Tomatoes, Fannie Flagg).

As for hush puppies, you’ll need a balcony seat at Harbor Docks in Destin. That way, you can enjoy the view as much as you’ll enjoy the food. Harbor Docks is Gulf-to-table certified and responsible for championing the movement to eat local, fresh seafood. So take your taste buds on a test drive with the yellow fin tuna dip. Then get your fill of Gulf seafood with the stuffed shrimp or grouper parmadine. Of course, hush puppies on the side is no-brainer.

No matter what you order, we have a feeling, you’re new favorite month may just be April—Southern’s Food month!

Book your stay  now for some of the best foodie festivals and local eats on the Gulf Coast!