Discover International Food, Wine and Treasures Right Here in Cocoa Beach
Adventurous eaters and diners with a taste for international cuisine have a lot to be thankful for here on the Space Coast. With diverse cultures from all over the world converging to influence a list of growing culinary choices, residents don’t have to look far for food and drinks with global flair.
Here are three local dining/eating/shopping favorites for whisking yourself off to heart, mind and soul—even if your body has to stay behind in Brevard County.
Balibar Wines & Finds
Slip off to Indonesia, if in spirit only, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the relaxed atmosphere that is Balibar Wines & Finds. Its rich decor, inside and out, was inspired by world travel and carefully selected to provide guests with a destination experience.
In addition to transporting you instantly around the globe to exotic locales, BW&F offers fine wines and craft beers to slake your thirst and delicious nibbles to sate your appetite. Their wine menu includes selections from New Zealand, Spain, Chile, France, Italy, S. Africa, Germany and California.
Patrons will also find beautiful gifts such as jewelry, furniture, quirky wood pieces, animal sculptures and much more. While many are Balinese—like small prayer baskets meant for offerings and carved boxes for trinkets—you’ll find lights from Turkey, animal depictions from Zimbabwe, paper pearls from Uganda and crafts from Tanzania, among others.
Outstanding features on premises to look for include a set of hand-painted Moroccan doors, the large outdoor pagoda and a tiki bar.
110 McLeod St., Merritt Island, Florida, 321.305.4328, Balibar.Touchstone-Media.com
Flavour Kitchen & Wine Bar
Got a taste for tapas? Look no further than downtown Cocoa Beach, where Flavour Kitchen showcases a number of delectable Spanish-inspired foods from various regions of España, all under the direction of co-owner and chef Jason Bunin.
Visitors can pair one of the bar’s cool and refreshing sangria drinks with dishes like paella, a Valencian rice dish using mussels, clams, shrimp, chicken and Spanish chorizo served over real saffron-scented Valencia rice.
Another must-try dish is chef Jason’s Spanish grilled octopus with piquillo pepper salsa on a bed of grilled asparagus. The sweet chili peppers are traditionally grown in northern Spain and known for their lack of heat, making them the perfect compliment to the cephalopod.
Both the drink and food menus are innovative and fresh. The casual environment is a hip mix of modern and industrial where metals, lighting and wood all play off one another, yet it still encompasses a vintage feel by showcasing brick, exposed ceilings and ductwork for a relaxed, comfortable vibe.
15 N. Orlando Ave., Cocoa Beach, Flordia, 321.613.3573, FlavourKitchenCB.com
While you can get a number of delicious meals at Sage—all of them fresh from scratch—this casual fine-dining restaurant can also quench your hunger for a Bavarian bite or two. Yes, German food is on the menu, and if you didn’t know it, you need to acquaint yourself with the nearby Cape Canaveral restaurant.
The owners have firsthand experience with German cuisine, having lived in Stuttgart for three years. It’s co-run by executive chef Jordan Malmstrom and his mom, Sara. Chef Jordan is known for the creative twists he puts on his dishes, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary—that, and healthy scratch cooking.
But for a taste of Germany, try their savory, homemade Wiener schnitzel or schweinehaxe, both of which are accompanied with traditional spätzle or braised red cabbage. If you’re not familiar with schweinehaxe, it’s a delicious slow-braised pork shank, and Jordan serves his version up with a wonderful garlic caraway demi-glace.
The interior, done in sage-green earth tones and rich dark woods, conveys a cool, comfortable feel, but it’s the art deco-inspired mural of a sprawling tree conveying the impression of a graceful woman covering the expanse of the west wall that really grabs the eye at this particular establishment.
6615 N. Atlantic Ave. A1A, Cape Canaveral, Flordia, 321.783.4548, SageBistroFlorida.com
These are just a sampling of the many great choices residents have for a taste of the world locally. If you haven’t tried them, there’s no time like the present to dig into the delightful foreign flavors the universe has to offer in your own backyard.