Imagine it’s a casual Wednesday. You’ve spent the day at the beach with some of your favorite people soaking in the most gorgeous weather. You feel refreshed, realigned and so excited to eat a delicious meal. You slip into a chic dress and some cute wedges paired with your favorite handbag of course. And you’re off for dinner at the newest, obsession-worthy restaurant in Alys Beach – The Citizen.
Now if you’re new here, I’m Savvy. The luxury life, style & travel blogger/youtuber and 30a local who is serving as your tour guide. We have SO much to chat about today but before we get started, I’d love for you to join our community by signing up for our newsletter so you never miss a discovery. You’ll get loads of 30a based content as well as other luxury travel and foodie finds. But for now, let’s dive into today’s goodness!
Everything You Need To Know About The Citizen – Alys Beach, FL
Tucked in the center of Alys Beach, The Citizen is next to the central park and just past Neat on 30a. Parking is available both in front of the restaurant as well as across the street and in the larger parking lot behind George’s.
Think chic, and upscale with a mix of modern and retro. The bar features gorgeous marble countertops along with vintage pieces that work for cocktail serving. Additionally, there’s a record player and a vintage shaved ice machine that add to the atmosphere’s mixed vibe.
Upon entering The Citizen, you’ll be greeted by the host/hostess. If you’re aiming to sit at the bar, it’s first come first serve (and one of my favorite places to sit here). There’s both indoor and outdoor seating available as well as a few lounge areas for those waiting to be seated. You also have the option to sit at the seafood bar.
The menu at the Citizen varies quite a bit depending on what time of day you decide to go as well as where you sit. A special bar menu is available from 4 pm-5 pm. However, they do tend to change the menu every few months/seasonally. Certain staples tend to remain such as oysters, the seafood tower, and the whipped feta. But the chicken, beef, pork, and vegan options are in rotation.
Truthfully, there’s been very few things we haven’t enjoyed in the months that we’ve come here. And even when we’ve ordered things totally unexpected, they’ve become new favorites. During our recent Spring 2022 girls’ night, we opted to split the hummus platter as well as the lambchetta (both featured in today’s photos). They were divine!
I’d also suggest double-checking the menu with the time of day you’re going (more on that in a second) as a salad at lunch might not be available at dinner. Additionally, the bar menu is exclusive to the bar hour window and isn’t available online but typically offers something that works or is easily customized for all diets.
DO THEY ACCOMMODATE ALLERGIES?
Yes, they do! As a most paleo-based eater, I often find that dairy is a sneaky issue in meals for me. While gluten-free is often labeled, I generally ask questions about dairy. And I’ve had zero issues or even the inkling that it would be difficult to accommodate my dietary restrictions. The staff has always been kind and happy to help make sure that we get the best experience possible.
The Best Time To Come
This is really going to depend on the size of your group and how last-minute you’re looking to get in. Personally, I prefer sitting at the bar as I like watching the bartenders make all the fun drinks. It’s also your best bet for a last-minute spot in the dinner window. We often pop in around 440 to snag a seat at the bar, order a dish off the bar menu, and then split something once the dinner menu becomes available. For lunch, it can be moderately easy to snag a table. But brunch on 30a is rather popular so it’s best to book ahead if you can.
Do They Take Reservations?
Yes, they do. You can book via Resy or by calling.
What Makes It Special
One of the things I’ve found restaurants in the Rosemary & Alys Beach area do really well is highlight the lightness of being at the beach without being a beach cliche. The atmosphere at The Citizen is very casual. The menu accommodates all diets which is incredibly rare for the area. Vegan options are very limited so to see them being celebrated and done here at a foodie level is amazing. We tend to end up with at least one vegan dish every time simply because they sound that good and live up to the hype.
You of course have your seafood staples and options. But it’s not the fried fish dish or PO boy that is often synonymous with a beach restaurant. The Citizen has done an amazing job at marrying the elegance of experience and detail with the relaxed vibes of being on vacation. Plus, they do food and cocktails REALLY well.
What To Order At The Citizen?
I have to say I don’t think I’ve opted for a basic dish here yet. The oysters are lovely. The charred avocado salad with blackened shrimp was a recent instagram feature (find that here) and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I often find that salads featuring grains overdo the grains rather than simply highlighting them. So I was delighted to find that only a small portion of my meal was quinoa.
There is a kids menu for those picky eaters as well as some lovely mocktails featuring a location favorite: Noli South. But if you’re a foodie who loves a new discovery or a fan of a fun cocktail, you are sure to find something on the Citizen menu no matter what time you go.
What To Wear?
There’s not a proper set dress code as it tends to be a beach casual vibe. But for the area, you’re likely to find most guests dressed in khakis (for the gents) and sun-dresses or other casual looks (for the ladies).
Have you checked out The Citizen yet? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience and your favorite menu item. If you want to stay up to on all things 30a and luxury travel, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter. And if you want to see more of life on 30a, be sure to come follow me on instagram. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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