Monday, September 19, 2016

Safe Harbor: Fantastic Seafood Near Jacksonville, Florida


If you want fresh seafood right off the boats, and dockside informal dining, Jacksonville’s Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant is for you. On each visit to Jacksonville located in north Florida on the Atlantic coast, I yearn for a meal at Safe Harbor in Mayport. The shrimp is brought in fresh each day and you have a great chance of seeing some unloaded.

Dining at Safe Harbor
When you enter the restaurant you’ll see long cases of seafood, a deli case and lots of things to help you prepare your local seafood meal. But the real draw for our family is ordering a meal off the huge chalkboard at the back of the restaurant. You can get a shrimp basket, have a fish filet prepared to your order, or purchase a simple sandwich. Meals are accompanied by excellent cold slaw and fries. Add in a hush puppy and you’ve got a traditional southern meal.

Once you order, you can select a table on the covered dock, under an umbrella in the front of the restaurant or dine indoors and watch the fish market activities.

When I visited, my son and I enjoyed a shrimp basket, my daughter in law had a crab cake and my granddaughters opted for a familiar hot dog and French fries. You can add a soft drink, beer or wine to your meal and enjoy an afternoon watching the fishing boats.  Gambling boats and charter boats come and go. Pelicans may land nearby and the ever-present gulls fly low looking for hand-outs from the boats.

Enjoying the Area
Mayport is located on the St. John’s River near the Mayport Naval Station. There are some small white sand beaches along the road to Mayport where the children can play and you can enjoy a picnic. Often you’ll see marsh birds and kayakers enjoying the shallow inlet waters.

Before You Leave
Before you leave Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant, take a walk along the docks and have a look at the activity on the fishing boats. Check out the fishing charter businesses. You may want to return and do your own fishing. You can join the group on The Majesty or the Mayport Princess.

The restaurant and fish market is well-stocked with interesting things that will help you replicate a southern seafood meal at home. I purchased some breading mix and tartar sauce, both made in the South. Take home some seafood from Safe Harbor.

Oh yes, and they have some great t-shirts too!

More Information
Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant
4378 Ocean St. Unit 3
Mayport, Fl 32233
904.246.4911

They also have a restaurant at Jacksonville Beach.