3899 E County Highway 30a
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
When your reputation precedes you
Living up to a superior reputation isn’t easy in the restaurant business, but when seeking a
recommendation for dinner out in South Walton, Café Thirty-A always fits the bill. Their menu
changes seasonally, with interesting and new presentations, but one thing is guaranteed: you
can always count on an incredible experience.
This June, Café Thirty-A celebrates 24 years of serving memorable meals to the diners of South
Walton. The secret ingredient to their successful recipe starts with the passion and drive of its
owner, Harriet Crommelin.
Crommelin has always had an interest in cooking. But it was in the early 1980s, while struggling
in a souring real estate market in Montgomery, Ala., when she found herself taking a hobby and
making it a career.
“I expressed my interest in opening a restaurant with my friend Kathy,” she recalled. And, as
they say, “Kat and Harri’s” was born. Harriet eventually sold the popular spot to Kathy in order to
make the move to Scenic Highway 30A and then opened Café Thirty-A in 1995.
When asked how they’ve excelled with their consistency and service over the years, Harriet
spoke without hesitation, “We welcome guests like you would in your own home.”
Speaking of treating folks right, Café Thirty-A’s General Manager Dave Kessler has been a part
of the restaurant’s “family” since starting over two decades ago as a server in 1996. While
Executive Chef Tim Williams is a relatively newer member – with Café Thirty-A since July of
2018 – Crommelin notes the respect he showed for the longtime staff from the start.
“Chef patiently took the time to learn the restaurant’s ways and he very quickly established trust
and loyalty from his new team,” she said.
While comfortably and contently seated at Café Thirty-A, it is time to eat! Two beloved dishes to
begin your evening are the grilled Georgia quail and the jumbo lump crab cake. This crab cake
recipe actually came from Harriet’s own repertoire as a home cook. Shaped with a copious
amount of lump crab meat and very little breading, they are baked until golden brown and
served simply on greens with an aromatic mustard sauce.
A salad course is also a must at Cafe Thirty-A and the peppery arugula with shaved Pecorino
cheese and toasty pine nuts dressed with a lemon and garlic vinaigrette is the perfect choice.
It goes without saying gulf-caught seafood will always be a focal point for their entree creations,
but these mains often see new preparations. One popular entree offered year-round is the Asian-influenced sesame-crusted rare yellowfin tuna, served with crisp stir-fry vegetables. It is
After a meal so satisfying, it can be tempting to skip dessert. However, since Café Thirty-A is
well known for them, ending your night on a sweet note is a must. The banana beignets are
served with homemade macadamia nut ice cream and these tender, pillowy, fancy fritters are a
Café Thirty-A uses a deft hand within the art of casual fine dining. They offer a widely popular
two-for-one entree special between 5 and 6 p.m. every night, as well as a selection of half
bottles of wine, perfect for heightening food pairings at each course.
“Dave Kessler gets all the credit for our amazing wine selection,” Crommelin noted about her
GM’s knowledgeable expertise.
Twice a week you can also set your watch to a happening bar scene at Café Thirty-A. A favorite
stop for visitors and locals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, their $5 ‘Tini Night offers more than a
dozen martinis from the traditional crafted with gin and vermouth to those with a more coastal
flair using Schnapps and juices.
Cafe Thirty-A is located at 3899 E. Scenic Highway 30A in Seagrove Beach. Open daily for
dinner at 5 p.m., reservations can be made by calling 850-231-2166 or visit them online at